Odyssey Premiere OCL500 Clarinet

ODYSSEY-PREMIERE-OCL500-CLARINETThe Odyssey range from JHS was always considered to be a beginners line of instruments. Now, in a bid to appeal to the semi-pro and pro market, the company has produced the Premiere range, designed and developed by none other than woodwind and brass guru Peter Pollard.

The OCL500 is a Bb Clarinet made from solid ebony, with French pads, and German rods, screws and springs. The finishing on this instrument is superb and we were surprised to find a long and a short barrel and an adjustable thumb rest – usually only found on the more expensive instruments. All the silver plated keys were easily accessible with the ‘C’ key being raised slightly higher up the body, making for better control for those with short little fingers.

Using a Bari nylon 3 reed and a Rovner ligature on the supplied mouthpiece (own ligature and Vandoren Reed also supplied), the OCL500 responded well with a well balanced super-fast action and a beautifully rich and warm tone. Throat tones were good and the longer barrel played consistently flat over the full range when not warmed up – needless to say, a good sign. The clarinet was also in tune when we used the shorter barrel, with the bottom ‘f’ slightly shy of pitch as usual.

At just a whisker under £500 this is a steal and it’s difficult to see how an instrument of this quality can be produced at this price point. And it all comes in a pre-formed, plush lined, semi-rigid, zippered case with a grab handle, back harness and shoulder strap. We were mightily impressed.

For more go to www.jhs.co.uk

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