Re: Happy with your junk horn? Good for you!
Skittlez, saxmaniac didn't say the horn was bad because the player was, he suggested it might not have been set up by a pro since it was bought, so it would most likely be quite out of adjustment. Unless you're a tech, you wouldn't know that that was the problem, and yes, plastic clarinets are far less playable that traditional wooden ones.
And as johnson said, it also has to do with reputation. Helmke has a terrible reputation(for good reasons) for quality and playability. You just found one that played well, which is a hard find, but no need to take things personal.
If you took some old poj student Helmke from the 40's, if a pro fixed it up with a big enough budget, it could play like a pro horn. Just slap new parts on it.