Wood vs. Synthetic
Although many musicians have misgivings about synthetic materials or "plastics," they are preferable to wood in some cases. Corbin Synthetic barrels are made from an industrial material that is dimensionally stable and virtually unchanging, even in the driest climates. Synthetic barrels will never crack. They do not expand or contract due to normal temperature/humidity changes like wooden barrels. These fluctuations can lead to changes in intonation and bore dimensions.
Many players can "feel" a difference between wooden and synthetic barrels in terms of projection and compactness of sound. In blind tests with players of all ability levels, Corbin Synthetic barrels were chosen slightly more often than the wooden barrels. Still, many players prefer the "ring" and "warmth" of the perfectly matched wooden barrel.
Brian Corbin Clarinet Products LLC
PO Box 3042
Tallahassee, FL 32315