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Backun Q Series Bass Clarinet

Backun Q Series Bass Clarinet

I'm proud to say I will have the first 60 of these bass clarinets for sale in the world. Anywhere. And I have about 25 left...

The Backun Q Series Bass Clarinet. Over 25 years in the making.

When I met Morrie Backun back in the 1990s, he was making clarinet barrels, and had just started making bells. He told me he was thinking about designing a Bb clarinet. But Morrie is a bass clarinetist (betcha didn't know that!), and knew that he would, someday, make a bass clarinet. He promised that he'd make me one. So I waited. (I'm glad I didn't hold my breath, either.)

But, it has finally happened. The Q is the first of several bass clarinets that Morrie Backun has on the docket. I am proud to say I provided some input into its development.

What's to love about the "Q"

I flew out to Vancouver to play the first prototype back in August, 2023, right after it was finished. Its response, intonation, and sound took my breath away. Free-blowing, but easy to control. Even timbre across registers (which got even better after we worked on some of the tone-hole undercutting together), and loads of character.

The keywork, which all of you know is something I'm a real stickler about, was terrific. I made a couple ergonomic suggestions to Jeremy Backun (Morrie's engineering-genius son who helps design all of the fitments for their instruments), and within hours, he had a replacement prototype for me to try. Like, he put the key on the instrument and said, "Okay, what do you think of this?" — and it was better, so it went onto the instrument. (Those of you who stand when you play will thank me for the adjustment to the thumb rest. I asked if they'd call it the Lowenstern Ergo-5000 Thumb Rest‚Ñ¢, but they said no.)

The case is a custom job designed by Marcus Bonna with input from Joel Jaffe and me. Small, lightweight, and thoughtfully designed, it has an external strap system made to hold the K+M Bass Clarinet stand.

They also didn't re-invent the wheel when they didn't have to. They took some of the best designs from current manufacturers: an automatic third register key just for throat Bb, rods (instead of long keys) for the side trill keys (no more leaky pads from out-of-adjustment keys), an articulated C#/G# system, and if I get my way, an optional built-in system to clip on microphones, and route cables. THANK YOU LORD.

And it goes on and on. They are building this instrument thoughtfully, with lots of little details that no one else has thought of.

Pre-order NOW if you want to be a part of history.

If you would like to order one of this batch, you can do so below. I do not know the exact number of each version that will be produced initially, so be aware that this can affect the timing of your delivery.

"When will Pre-orders be fulfilled?"

Shipments are scheduled to begin starting in June, 2024. Initially these will be small shipments as production ramps up. It is possible that you may not see your instrument until Q3 or even Q4. [Note: As of June, 2024, current estimated delivery is October/November, 2024] But rest assured, if you order one from me, you will get it before any other dealer even has one in stock. (Yes, I'm serious. I liked them so much, I snapped up the first 12 months' worth of production for this instrument.)

"But what if I'm not sure?"

If you aren't sure at this point whether you want to pre-order the bass clarinet, you can contact me about placing a $1,000 deposit. If you choose to place a deposit, you are not guaranteed one of the initial batch of instruments unless there are some that have not been pre-ordered. In other words, when the instruments come in, they will go to players who have pre-ordered them first. Once pre-orders have been filled, deposits will be fulfilled next in the order received. This is a way to "hedge your bet" without having to commit all of your funds right now.

Pre-orders are not refundable, but still come with a 7-day trial with the right to return it. (Please read my trial policy for more information on the trial process and fees.) Deposits are 90% refundable, meaning that you will get $900 returned if you don't elect to purchase the instrument. (This is to encourage serious players, while still providing some flexibility at the time the instrument is ready to be shipped.)

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me!


  • Your choice of aged Cocobolo or Grenadilla
  • Triple-plated keywork (in silver or gold)
  • Undercut toneholes with overcut vented “wings” on the lower joint (this is kind of a big deal)


  • Triple register mechanism for throat Bb tuning
  • Articulated G# mechanism
  • Adjustment screws on damn near everything
  • Adjustable thumb rest and neck strap loop


  • Custom black leather


  • Q Series Bass Clarinet Neck — silver plated
  • Q Series Bass Clarinet Bell — silver plated
  • Bass Clarinet peg
  • Custom Marcus Bonna Compact Low C Bass Clarinet Case with integrated bass clarinet stand straps (stand not included)
  • Polishing cloth
  • Large double-sided swab with integrated weight
  • Cork grease
  • NOTE: Mouthpiece is NOT included. Fortunately I sell those here if you need one.


      Q: What if I'm in New York and want to try it in person?
      A: I'm hoping to keep one of these in stock as a demo, so if you would like to come over, you're welcome to give it a try!

      Q: Does the instrument come with a warranty?
      A: Yes, it comes with the standard 2-year Backun warranty against cracks, etc. If you ever have any problem with the instrument, I'm your quarterback. I'll take care of the whole process, just let me know you need help, and I'll take it from there.

      Q: What happens if it's damaged during shipping?
      A: Inspect the package before you sign off at delivery! If there are any issues resulting from shipping, we have taken out an insurance policy to cover damage (and loss). But we need you to document this damage or we can't do anything to help.

      Q: If I decide to return it, do also I have to pay return shipping costs?
      A: Yes. And you will also want to insure it!

      Q: Do you ship internationally?
      A: Yes. You can add your shipping address when checking out to see what the shipping costs will be before taking the plunge. Note that VAT and Customs Duties are not included in this cost.

      Q: Can I at least hear it first??
      A: Yep. Listen below!

      Regular price $8,995.00
      Regular price $0.00 Sale price $8,995.00
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      Customer Reviews

      Based on 1 review
      Chuck Currie

      I was privileged to be there and hear Michael take the horn through its paces while Morrie finalized voicing. It's a whole new world for bass clarinetists. We've been waiting for this our whole lives. This changes everything. Chuck Currie, Vancouver, BC