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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000221.txt from 1994/09

Subj: Composite Buffets and New Bass
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 1994 21:03:48 -0400

Regarding the Buffet composite prototypes:

I played two of the prototypes at the ICA conference in Chicago and
was also impressed. Other than the fact that no grain pattern was present,
they looked, played and felt like good R-13s. The wood matrix is molded into
what look like very large clave sticks! These, then, are machined on a lathe
just like a normal piece of Grenadilla. Buffet only had two prototypes
available to play at the conference, and were somewhat reluctant to discuss
availability, cost, etc. The only commitment from them was that "these
instruments will be on the market in the future".
Buffet also had a prototype of their new low-C Prestige Bass
Clarinet. I own a two year old Prestige low-C, which plays quite well. The
new model (damn it!!) plays even better. The overall response is more even,
with no tendency to "explode" in the clarion D-G range. The keywork has been
modified for the right-hand somewhat, as has the bore.
The good folks at Buffet promised me a re-plate job on my Bb R-13.
I've had the nickel plating on several keys come off right down to the
copper undercoat in very short order. Their chief designer (name is Rene, I
think) looked at the horn and wrote up a work order on his business card (in
French!), authorizing a free re-plate. The only catch is that I must bring
the clarinet to Paris!! I do hope the 1996 ICA conference will be in France,
as mentioned. Have any of you had similar plating problems? This is my 3rd
(actually 5th, if you count the A's) R-13, and the only one to do this. I
guess that's why Buffet made the clear (ugh!) plastic B-12 with copper keys!

Jim Lytthans
Anaheim, CA

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