3 Woods from Menorca for the Arixa Clarinets Barrels (IV)

In the fourth and last part of the different articles I have published in our blog, where I talk about three different woods from Menorca for the Arixa Clarinets barrels, I will do a comparative study of the shape and sound colour they offer. However, instead of three, I will be comparing four different types of wood.


I will also attach a summarizing video in which I will be playing with four barrels made with the types of wood I compare:

-Wild olive tree wood
-Mastich wood
-Almond tree Wood
-Evergreen buckthorn wood

Comparative study

The general feeling I get when playing on a barrel made with wood from Menorca is that it produces a pleasant and warm sound. The type of sound is very similar to the one cocobolo wood offers, especially in the case of wild olive tree wood, almond tree wood and evergreen buckthorn wood. Mastich wood would be more similar to African Blackwood.  

When I am working on the sound with my clarinet students from the Conservatory, I like to take into account three characteristics:


From these three characteristics, I will only use shape and colour in my comparative study because tuning has to do with measurements, but not with the type of wood. What is a fact is that depending on the type of wood, the sound is either brighter or warmer, with more or less body, more or less centred… This would be the sound shape.

I will also explain the characteristics of the different models we make at our artisanal workshop.

The Arixa Clarinets models

Soloist: crafted to give clarinetists the possibility to develop their virtuosity in a unique personal way. It is incredibly agile throughout the clarinet’s different ranges, offering very light resistance, ease of articulation and great sound projection.


Orchestra: created so that clarinetists feel their timbre fully integrated into the orchestra and, at the same time, being able to stand out when the solo parts require a greater sound projection. The Orchestra Barrel offers an easy and controlled sound emission.


Ensemble: this model has been developed with the aim to achieve a full-bodied sound, great resonance and a well-balanced and centred sound.



Handcrafted: created for the most demanding professional clarinetists, who develop their professional careers in different musical fields and are looking for a barrel that adapts to their personal needs.

-Quality of sound

The Soloist, Orchestra and Ensemble models are made using two types of wood: African Blackwood and cocobolo. The main difference is that, generally, African Blackwood has a brighter sound and cocobolo wood has a more velvety sound.

The Handcradted model offers different sound colours, some brighter and other warmer, depending on the type of wood we use: boj, Kingwood, bocote… Further, on, I will be doing a comparative study with the types of wood we use for the Handcrafted model, similar to the one I have done with the Menorcan woods.  



Sound colour and shape

I am fully aware that there are different factors that intervene in the shape of sound of a clarinetist such as the mouthpiece, the mouth and tong positions, the type of breathing, relaxation…, but when doing the tests, one presupposes technical aspects are under control. 


Further on, my intention is to write an article based on:

- A Fourier test, an analysis based on the harmonics the instrument produces.

- Sound samples recorded at a professional studio to be able to really appreciate the characteristics of the different models and types of wood.

This site is owned by Bartolomé Mercadal Coll, residing at C/ Bergantí, 417 - Urb. Cala Llonga and NIF 41500147M.

Linking Policy

Any links to other websites that appear on the pages of http://www.arixaclarinets.com are offered to the user merely informative purposes, so http://www.arixaclarinets.com is not responsible for the products, services or content offered or supplied on pages stations located in another domain.

Intellectual and Industrial Property

All material on http://www.arixaclarinets.com belongs to Bartolomé Mercadal Coll and is protected by intellectual property rights as stated in the LPI. Any unauthorized use is expressly understood as a violation of these rights and could lead to appropriate sanctions. It is, therefore, reproduce, use, modification, distribution and public dissemination of the contents of this website without permission of the author perceptive.

Data Protection and Treatment Policy Personal Data

The data provided through the Web are stored in a data file owned by Bartolomé Mercadal Coll has been declared, as is perceptive in Spanish Data Protection Agency. The purpose of this information is solely for the recruitment of the requested service and for subsequent notification of promotions or services within the company itself. In no case be transferred to third parties or companies, except those required by law or associates of Bartolomé Mercadal Coll. The files may be processed by companies responsible for data processing and web hosting. These suppliers have signed service contract committing themselves to the same treatment conditions imposed by Bartolomé Mercadal Coll as required by the Data Protection Act.

Our system uses Cookies. Check our user agreement.

Jurisdiction and applicable law

You agree that the law governing the operation of this service is Spanish. Any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of these provisions shall be the responsibility of the Courts of the consumer. If Customers outside the Spanish state courts competent are those of Menorca.