Contra-alto Clarinet. It's Keyed in Eb, which puts it only a 4th lower than a bass clarinet. They'll run you a bit cheaper than a Bb contrabass clarinet, and there are more models available from different manufatuers. Depending on your budget, you'll either have a composite plastic one, or a wood one. Unless you have a TON of budget, I would get a composite one as they are significantly cheaper and way easier to maintain.
The advantage to contra-alto is that you can hand them a tuba part untransposed and they can basically just read it. (You need to add 3 sharps/ take away 3 flats from the key signature, but besides that it'll work). It's flexibility in covering parts is its biggest advantage.
The disadvantage is that it doesn't really go much lower than a bass clarinet. Nice bass clarinets can already play down to a Bb 3 spaces below bass cleff, and a Eb, contra-alto clarinet only goes to a Gb below that.
Bb Contrasbass: Keyed in Bb, basically a Bass Bass Clarinet. Just like contra-alto, they come in 2 models, a composite one and a wood one. For school use, I would almost always get the composite one, as it's easier to maintain and you won't have to worry about cracking. The keywork is likely to be simplier, mostly in the the right hand side keys, but for the parts it'll play it will do.
The disadvantage is that there is less felxibilty in parts. For band pieces, you are more likely to see Eb contra-parts, and unless there is a dedicated Bb contra part, they are just gonna be doubling the bass clarinet part.
What you get will depend on what you plan on using it for. Are you trying get a low woodwind to help reinforce or cover a weak low brass? Or do you need that extra full octave that a Bb contra provides.
Hoped this helps
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