Music listeners commonly speculate that the clarinet sections of the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras’ produce different sound qualities. This is the first study to investigate these differences, as perceived by clarinettists involved with the two orchestras, and to examine the collective sound identities of each orchestra’s clarinet section. Five past and present clarinettists from each orchestra (n=10) participated in semi-structured interviews to discuss sound perception of the clarinet and of the respective clarinet sections. Clarinettists spontaneously defined sound differences between the two orchestras and ascribed practical and pedagogic reasons for the formation of these different sound identities. They reported that the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has a dark, homogenous and technical sound, in comparison to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s bright, heterogeneous and extroverted sound. Perceived reasons for these differences were associated with tuning practices, musical equipment used and pedagogic influences.