© 2016 Les Nicholas. All rights reserved.

...more on CUSTOM CLARINET BARRELS

"The barrels that Les has worked on are far superior to any other barrels I've tried. They greatly improve tone, helping to facilitate a much more focused sound. What I found to be the greatest change was that my articulation sounded more crisp with these barrels.

On the day I found my barrel, I literally did not want to stop practicing!"

  ~ Hara Laskaris-Hackett, Assistant Professor of  

  Clarinet, Tennessee State University; 

  Freelance musician, Nashville

More History...

While studying with him, Robert Marcellus provided my introduction to also apprentice with Moennig, and I was very fortunate to work with him in his later years. I even thought for some time that my own career path might eventually lie primarily in repairs, as a woodwind luthier. 

Although Hans was quite old when I met him, he was still working and still willing to share his vast knowledge. I was eager to learn and I found I could hardly keep up with him. Now, after many years of studying this one issue - after sampling, playing and measuring hundreds and hundreds of barrels - I am confident I can go one step better. You see, to enhance your clarinet, the barrel dimensions must not meet some arbitrary standard, but instead must exactly complement the properties and dimensions of your mouthpiece and your particular clarinet. I can make a barrel that will match your specific needs.

But, I'll need your help...

I'll show you how - I'll send you everything that you need - to take careful measurements at specific points on your mouthpiece and instrument. I'll then use those exact measurements to create a barrel that will optimize the unique playing characteristics of your setup, a truly 

customized barrel. I'll even encourage you to trade-in one of your old, unsatisfactory barrels for a substantial discount!

Nicholas  Barrels...

My barrels are all old stock, vintage, ebony-wood barrels that I have lined with vulcanized hard rubber - mouthpiece rubber - and then re-bored to precise dimensions. The finish work is done entirely by hand. Exact. The playing characteristics are guaranteed to be superb on your horn and with your setup. People are amazed that they cannot detect the hard rubber bore in playing, and they enjoy security in the knowledge that the barrel will not warp over time. You will notice how great your horn plays, "feels" and sounds.

Contact me today and I will work with you to create a barrel that is superior to anything you have played. As one of my clients has said, it will make your clarinet "...get up and dance!"

Not convinced? Read on and understand the advantages of a truly Custom Clarinet Barrel.
  • Lining a wooden joint with hard rubber -mouthpiece rubber- has been done for many years. The old, restored, pre-war (and newer) bassoons all have the wing joint lined in this way. It makes a durable, unchanging bore, impervious to moisture and resistant to warping. It does not affect tone.

  • "NEW!" - After much experimentation, I now also offer barrels lined with a particular glass-filled synthetic that I have discovered gives outstanding results. Many players state they perceive a "warm, chocolate-y feel" to the sound, while retaining all the same beneficial characteristics: focused tone, crisp articulation, improved intonation and a stable bore.

  • The barrel's playing characteristics will not change over time, unlike an all-wood barrel which will gradually warp and lose its playing properties due to the assaults of constant temperature and humidity changes.

  • The greater density and mass of a rubber-lined, ebony-wood barrel provides far superior playing characteristics when contrasted with the lighter, synthetic or polymer-plastic, after-market barrels often sold today.

  • I'll keep working with you, 'tweaking' the bore, until we get it just right, perfect for your setup. A barrel may go back and forth in the mail, and that's OK. You pay only additional shipping.

  • I have never had a bore lining come loose. All work, as well as your satisfaction, is 100% guaranteed.

Contact me today to end that frustrating barrel search!  Finally, you can enjoy "the dance."

For questions and information about pricing, please use the form on my Contact page to contact me via email. For the convenience of my clients, I now accept payments via PayPal.

TESTIMONIALS

"Just got the clarinet--it feels great! I'm really impressed with how much more even the registers sound, and I think the tuning is definitely improved. My only regret is that I didn't get you to do this sooner. . . I really do believe that people should know about what you are doing, because it's unique and really fantastic. Thanks again--I'm really thrilled about all this!"

- Kathleen Costello, principal clarinetist, Alabama Symphony

"These barrels -Bb and A- are wonderful! They promote a well-focused and centered sound. I enjoy an even resistance between the mouthpiece and horn. It just feels right. His expertise and excellent craftsmanship makes the search for the right barrel much less illusive."

- Michael S. Lippard, Assistant Professor of Music, Sul Ross State University