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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001243.txt from 1997/09

Subj: Re: A Plastic Clarinet Question
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 12:52:54 -0400

Dear Matt:
There is, or has been, a high quality plastic clarinet out there.
About 5 years ago a music store owned by a friend of mine aquired two
Buffet clarinets made entirely of a plastic that is as clear as glass. The
keys are bright copper plated and in the eye of this beholder they were and
are the most spectacularly beautiful clarinet imaginable. My friend kept one
and sold me the other. We both march them. They are rugged and insensitive to
weather conditions, except that the plastic temporarily becomes slightly hazy
at high temperatures. At every parade they draw oohs and aahs especially from
members of other bands.
I have seen only one other of these (which I promptly bought) and although
I think they were advertised for a while by the Woodwinds and Brasswinds of
South Bend they did not have one to sell me.
But the impressive part is that when subjected to the Fobes intonation test
the two I have are FAR superior in their tuning than either my Buffet R13 or
my Selmer G10.
That's all I know about these clear clarinets. I wish I knew their story.
Why were they made -- was it an experiment? Why are they so good -- is
plastic easier to work with? Why were they discontinued -- am I the only
person who sees them as beautiful?
I know that this probably won't help you except to answer your question but
never having heard these mentioned through any of the long threads about
plastic clarinets I couldn't resist answering your question. Besides, on the
Klarinet list when you cast your bread upon the waters it comes back many
fold amazingly often.
Ralph Thiers
Olympia, WA

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