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 Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: Karel Vahala 
Date:   1999-09-19 14:50

I have come across a Buffet R-13 Serial No 161924 (made in 1975 ?). It appears to have no cracks, has had pads replaced. Silverplated keys are quite marked and eroded. It plays well, and asking price is equivalent to US$1250. Is this a reasonable purchase? can the keys be resurrected?
All advice appreciated. Thanks in advance, Karel.

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-09-19 14:58

Keys can be replated. When this is done, you have to pay the price of a complete overhaul plus plating as they must remove the keys from the instrument and remove all the pads from the keys to do this replating. On a good instrument it is worthwhile to do. With the pads having been recently replaced though, you might want to wait awhile.

In my opinion, this might be a bit high for an instrument of this age and condition. Here in the US, the major mail order houses sell new ones for about $1800. Of course things could easily be different in the UK. That would make a big difference in whether this is an appropriate price.

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: Al 
Date:   1999-09-19 16:17

I agree with the previous post. I don't know the British market but indeed, in the US, one can purchase a new R-13 for about $1,800. Compare the price of a new instrument in England (not the list price!) and compute the difference in cost percentage-wise.

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: maureen bleiman 
Date:   1999-09-19 16:45

The current selling price (there appears to be a bit of a price war on R-13 just now)is 1000 plus vat ,the price quoted for new by 'keyboards direct' is 1175 inc vat.If you are in a state school they can purchase the instrument
without having to pay vat and you then pay the school

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: Gary Van Cott 
Date:   1999-09-19 17:31

I presume you are in Australia. Perhaps someone can offer some insight into the market there for used R13s. In the US that would be a high price for an instrument in this condition. This would be about the price for an instrument less than 5 years old and in excellent condition. I would consider paying about half of this price for the instrument you describe. However, it is all a matter of supply and demand in your local market.

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 RE:Function of keys far more important
Author: Meri 
Date:   1999-09-19 19:21

Why does replating the keys really matter? It's how well the keys work that is far more important, not how the keys look. Few people notice whether a clarinet's keys are shiny or not.

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 RE: RE:Function of keys far more important
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-09-19 20:44

Meri wrote:
Why does replating the keys really matter? It's how well the keys work that is far more important, not how the keys look. Few people notice whether a clarinet's keys are shiny or not.

Plating doesn't matter a great deal but it is nice to have an instrument that looks good as well as sounds good. It just makes a person happy.

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-09-20 01:02

I would try to talk them down to around $1100 or $1000 even. The keys can be replated, but that would be an aditional $300 or so plus mean it would have to be gone for a few months. I paid $1100 for my 1971 R-13 A that was belonged to a graduate student. So $1250 for a '75 Bb in need of a replating seems a little high to me.

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: Karel Vahala 
Date:   1999-09-20 02:49

Thanks to you all for the advice. Karel.

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-21 18:34

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I look at my pro tutor's 1970s era R-13 and cringe. It looks like he's taken a soldering iron and dropped solder on the tops of selected keys to "stretch out" the key's length a little. There are pieces of hand made and badly glued cork all over it. Some of the keys are bent almost beyond recognition. The inside of the lower joint and bell have obvious wood putty smeared in them. The mp has years worth of bite marks and crud on it. Reeds look like they are on their last gasp. No plating is left - anywhere. The wood is getting bare all over. Cracks on the surface abound, and I am pretty sure it's been pinned all over the place. I personally wouldn't pay $5 for the horn at a garage sale.

Now, put that beat up and old horn back into the senior and very arthritic hands that own it...

The skill of the player performing with his personally customized horn just makes me want to cry sometimes. What a pleasure to hear! Simply gorgeous tone, with absolutely perfect intonation. Power, accuracy. You name it. It's all there.

Don't get me wrong, he'd love to have one of the new, shiny and sexy horns that we all talk about on this board. I've caught him more than once gawking at my new Festival. However, I personally believe that there is more art and honor in having an old junker of a horn that you know better than your spouse, especially if you can get the horn to make the audience sing, cry, and feel the story with you. Now, that's the essence of music. In my opinion, there's the real value of a good horn.

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 RE: Advice on Buffet R13 please
Author: Cathy 
Date:   1999-09-24 21:05

To paul: Hear, Hear!!!!!! There's nothing like the touch of a master's hand. It can make nearly anything sound beautiful!

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