The best material for your clarinet to be made from will depend on what kind of music you play,  where you live and play,  how you care for your clarinet and of course your preferred favourite look and tone. Hanson were the first makers of woodwind instruments in the world to gain FSC accreditation. We are committed to ethical and responsible work practices and you can be sure that any materials we use are sourced responsible.   Making with consideration for the future; these are instruments for our children’s children. africaFSC Award HRH-The-Prince-of-Wales Lucy

Traditional woods.


icon-grenadilla (also known as  African Blackwood, MPingo and Dalbergia Melanoxylon);    lots of names for the same wood!  Depending on which country the harvesters live in the wood will be know by a different name. Grenadilla wood is the traditional material for the finest woodwind instruments.  It is very dense and very dark in colour.   The latin name gives us a clue that African blackwood is actually a member of the rosewood family (dalbergia).  It is different from ebony;  less brittle and with a more luxuriant finish.   The best wood will be free of knots and imperfections; the grain will be straight and close and even. Some makers stain their clarinets to hide imperfections in the wood (they literally fill the knots and ‘paint’ the wood black!),  but if you choose a Hanson clarinet you can trust that you will be able to see the grain, true beauty and quality of our wood.
  • The traditional choice for quality woodwind instruments.

  • Powerful and focussed tone.

  • Our naturally seasoned blackwood (aged up to 14 years) is very stable.


icon-cocoboloWe use rosewoods (Dalbergia latifolia and Dalbergia retusa also known as Cocobolo)  to make clarinets which produces some of the most beautiful instruments. Lighter in colour than blackwood and some will argue ‘lighter’ in sound.  A good thing or a bad thing?  Why not ask to try one?  Rosewood clarinets are quite wonderful. Will a rosewood need more looking after?

Yes, and no…  all clarinets should be cleaned out properly after playing, taking care to remove moisture especially from inside tenons.  Your rosewood will look very special but not need more attention than your friends ‘ordinary’ instruments if they are all getting looked after properly.    It may however get a great deal of attention from all who see it.

  • Beautiful wood grain.

  • Softer, ‘lighter’ tone.

  • Our naturally seasoned rosewood (aged up to 12 years) is very stable.


Advanced materials.

Reinforced Grenadilla

icon-reinforced_grenadilla Our exclusive African blackwood, fibre and resin composite. Totally stable and guaranteed against cracking or splitting for life even in ‘difficult’ climatic  conditions.   Extensive testing during years of development make us the only company to offer such a guarantee. What does a reinforced grenadilla clarinet sound like?

More focused than a standard grenadilla clarinet,  people usually feel it is slightly brighter in tone.

What does a reinforced grenadilla clarinet look like?

From the outside it is difficult to tell from a normal blackwood clarinet.  From the inside you will notice an especially  smooth bore facilitating greater projection.

  • Guaranteed for life against cracking.

  • Excellent full tone with great projection.

  • Lighter in weight than standard grenadilla.


icon-reinforced_grenadilla The fundamental difference between our student clarinets and the ‘big brand’ competitors;   Most student clarinets are made from ABS plastic (sometimes referred to as ‘Resonite’ or simply ‘ABS’, but in simple everyday terms; plastic) which is injection moulded to form the body parts.    Hanson clarinets are different;  Hanson ebonite clarinets are not injection moulded plastic. What does an ebonite clarinet sound like?

Ebonite is considered to have excellent tonal properties and is used by all the best mouthpiece makers for their top model professional models. 

What does an ebonite clarinet look like?

From a few feet away you would have great difficulty telling apart one of our ebonite or grenadilla clarinets.

  • Guaranteed for life against cracking.

  • Prized for its rich tone, some say it’s better than grenadilla.

Bi-thermal reinforced grenadilla

  icon-BTRA layered billet of Grenadilla and ebonite which affords all tonal qualities of the best blackwood and the durability of ebonite.  A fabulous grain naturally occurs during the blending. BTR is our manufacturing name for the material. BTR stands for Bi-thermal reinforcement which is part of the production process. Unfortunately due to supply problems we have been forced to discontinue production of BTR clarinets for the foreseeable future.