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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000692.txt from 1999/01

From: "Ed Maurey" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Buffet R-13
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 20:17:44 -0500


Awhile back one of us in this group asked a very good question that was
never answered. The question was more or less this: Is there another
reason, presumably acoustical, for the register tube to extend into the
bore other than to keep water out?

Ed Maurey

P.S. It's terrific to hear some sound criticism of the R-13. That model
is regarded as a holy cow by entirely too many clarinetists.

> To:
> Subject: Re: [kl] Buffet R-13
> Date: Thursday, January 14, 1999 10:55 PM
> >RE :
> >
> >> From:
> >> To:
> >> Subject: Re: [kl] Buffet R-13
> >> Date: Thursday, January 14, 1999 10:47 AM
> >
> >> Tom......That was an excellent discussion of the inherent flaws in the
> >R-13.
> >>
> >> I still own my R-13 Bb (Vintage 1966, lots of memories, couldn't ever
> >bring
> >> myself to sell it), but essentially replaced it in the late 70's with
> >Selmer
> >> 10-G which Shifrin was promoting at the time.
> >>
> >> Could I possibly have the same type of discussion about the 10-G, like
> >the one
> >> you did on the R-13? Thanks in advance.
> >>
> >
> >Tom:-
> >Don't suppose that you would have the time [and inclination!] to answer
> >above,
> >but if you should, could you include comment's on the 10S #B1615 - the
> >Recital
> >#C8294 and the 10G "A" #C8253 series?.
> >The 10S and 10G are what I call a "matched set". since I am lucky to be
> >able to
> >use the same barrel and m'piece on both [Hite D, aprox 20 years old]
> >I enjoy reading your postings, and look forward to having you back
> >regularly.
> >Hopefully, you will get your problem's sorted out with the people in
> >Kenosha. I
> >represented two American companies for nearly 40 year's, and I think I
> >vizualise the scenerio!
> >I must say though, that I played on a "LL" from 1960 - 80, and found it
> >great horn.
> >Even Russianoff [who I used to see infrequently during my trips to NY]
> >stated it
> >was OK!
> >
> >Regard's and Good Luck
> >Peter Randell. Toronto. Canada
> Peter,
> I am often reluctant to voice an opinion about clarinets here, because of
> the fact that what I share might be misinterpreted since I also make my
> living in the clarinet business.
> What I shared about the R-13 was not just subjective, pejorative
> statements, but ones which are founded in hard core acoustics and are
> empiracally demonstrable. So I hope no one thinks I am just knocking the
> R-13 because of my feelings. I do not criticize the R-13 because of what
> feel about it, but because of what I know about it.
> If emotions enter into it, it is because I spent so many years as a
> and teacher trying to make an instrument play well that fights you every
> step of the way.
> Having said that, I really only have a passing knowledge of the models
> mention above....... But I'll share what little I know.
> The 10-G went through several incarnations, and it's hard to say what
> France made and what was then altered in Elkhart.
> As I understand it, the 10-G was to be a copy of Gigliotti's clarinet
> (Buffet) which Moennig had worked on considerably.
> The only problem with this, is that it was a Pre-R-13, large bore
> Whether that is true or not, the reality is that the 10-G's from the 60
> 70's had a larger central bore than the R-13. The original R-13 being
> 14.65 or thereabouts, and the 10-G being 14.85.
> Now the enlargement of the bore of 14.85 causes one frustrating and
> uncorrectable problem in those particular 10-G's: right hand shapness in
> the low register; very sharp low "A", Bb, B and even C; virtually
> impossible to play in tune with a piano, though prehaps good enough to
> slide by the vagaries of orchestral pitch.
> Subjectively speaking, I played some 10-G's that had attractive tones,
> played over the middle break better than most R-13's (but not the
> was just as uneven!), had better tone color in the upper
> clarion.........but the sharpness of the right hand low register made
> useless to me....especially since 95% of the playing I did was chamber
> music and with piano.
> The Recital has also gone through changes over the year of which I am not
> privvy. Recently I played a set and the tuning was excellent, good fluid
> middle break, excellent dynamic response, still not as even as I would
> in the high break, but certainly wonderful instruments.
> What they lack for me on the subjective side was resonance, not due to
> darkness, but they seem a bit dull to me. I could of course, compensate
> that with reed/mouthpiece set up and could have played them very happily.
> One might say, but you have to compensate! True. But Buffet players
> been doing that for year..with mouthpieces, reeds, barrels, bells and so
> on, all attempts seeing to mask the problems which really lie in the bore
> and tone holes.
> This dullness I sense in the Recital evaporates with the Selmer
> it is clear, vibrant and live, but the tones stay round and dark
> throughout. I have never seen or heard instruments which maximized
> anomalous elements so well.
> The Concerto, as a genre, did it well, but the Signature retains color,
> shape and pitch stability better than any clarinet I've ever played or
> heard. What the Concerto does offer is a wider color pallate and more
> variability in shape.
> But play the German clarinets we all admire and see how much color and
> shape variability you get! ZIP.
> German orchestra players want the instrument to be more "set", while only
> the German jazz players play the Buffet, because they can bent and shape
> the tone better.
> I mention the Signature in this context because it tunes similar to the
> excellent tuning of the Recital, but plays smoother and more securely
> the high break.
> The Selmer 10S I am not so familiar with.
> One sleeper of a clarinet for many is, in my opinion, the Selmer
> very fine tuning and a rich, dark tone, and rounder, more pleasant upper
> clarion tones than any R-13 I have played..... that is, if pleasantness
> sound means anything to us as clarinetists. It has come to mean more
> more to me, in any case, because it makes playing the clarinet a more
> satisfying and less painful experience......and since I have actually
> discovered that it means a lot to listeners, that they can actually
> tone color, and that they are pleased by pleasantness and put off by
> bright, thin tones......especially when they are "high", harsh, bright
> thin.
> The Prologue and the Leblanc Sonata are both instruments to consider for
> the advancing player. They both have their virtues. The Prologue _may_
> sound a little richer over all , the Sonata may play more securely and
> better, though the Prologue's tuning is quite good; these are just
> observations, and not a matter of examining each individual clarinet.
> There are most always exceptions to the rule....except when it comes to
> larger bore clarinets: They always have sharp low register, right hand
> tones.
> If anyone else has anything to say about the 10S or any other of these
> clarinets you asked about I would be all ears myself, since I have never
> studied them in any detail.
> I am glad to be back on line, and would like to put the little I know at
> the list's service. If one person has a better experience playing
> as a consequence I am happy.
> I apologize ahead of time for such perfunctory comments. It ain't my
> style. Sorry for the typos too.....I just don't have time to edit this.
> tom
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