We got our daughter a Netto "jazz" flute to try. Seemed well built, worked flawlessly. Her teacher couldn't believe it was only £50. Gorgeous sound when he played it. Lovely fast action kept up with him with ease. Seemed to good to be true.
We were well impressed with it the only negitive point is that its a bit soft so she has to be carefull with it. 18 months later it still works perfectly has had a couple of corks replaced and a key bent back into place but well worth the money.
My mate bought the Clarinet last year and he is happy with it, after a mouthpiece upgrade.
Not Netto, but we had a slightly different experience with a cheapo clarinet - Stagg.
It played, but was very crudely made. So crummy that when some bits got bent, the instrument builder refused to work on it - he spent a bit of time showing us the manufacturing faults, and showing us why it wasn't worth spending money on.
Still - it did the job, and cost us less than the rental would have on a decent clarinet for the year... And a lot less than the depreciation on a decent one as well, always a big factor when a kid's starting out and you don't know if it's going to work out or not. It's also still playable and acts as a (reluctant) stand in for when the decent one is in for repairs/service.
Something else to consider is that a lot of the teachers at the local music school use cheap instruments for gigging, saves the risk of damaging an expensive instument. One teacher blows a blue lacquered flute... Sounds OK on it as well... But apparantly it's harder to play well than the recognised student flutes like Yamaha, Jupiter and so on.
So I guess it's a case of going in with your eyes open. If it doesn't play you can always take it back... And if it plays OK, it's a good starter/standby. A reasonable clarinet mouthpiece isn't going to break the bank if one's needed....
Hmmm - we have netto here, but I've never seen them sell instruments.
My girlfriend has a Netto clarinet from about a year ago. Model 'Jazz'
I'm highly impressed with it and there have been no problems at all. Seems really well built, action works fine and produces a really sweet sound.
We took it to Stephen Howard a couple weeks after we bought it (girlfriend sat on it, bent a key...) and he seemed to think it was incredible for the £40 we paid for it. I remember him using one of his own mouthpieces and getting a fantastic sound from it.
The thing to bear in mind with Netto, like all the discount stores, is that they flog on whatever theey can buy in cheap wholesale at a profit. So what you buy from them this month might be very different to next month. Less of a risk for someone in the market for a cheap clarinet would be something like a John Packer student model at just over £100.