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 Info on Sponsored by Buffet Clarinet
Author: smckeon 
Date:   2006-06-15 00:15

Hi! I'm looking for information relating to my clarinet. My father purchased this used clarinet from a co-worker in 1975. It is an old wood clarinet that is stamped with a logo that reads: "Evette, Sponsored by Buffet, Paris, France" on the top section of the clarinet. The serial number G500 appears on both the top and bottom sections. The piece that attachs the mouthpiece to the top section is stamped with the words "BERTHOT, Paris". The clarinet has not been used in about 20 years and the pads are dried out and/or in poor shape. The bell has a crack that appears to have been repaired at some time in the past. I am trying to determine whether or not it is worthwhile to restore it for my son. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

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 Re: Info on Sponsored by Buffet Clarinet
Author: Synonymous Botch 
Date:   2006-06-15 13:28

Most kids are swayed by "Bright and Shiny" new things.

Has your Son played before, or will this be his first instrument?

Many older clarinets in circulation were made in large numbers, and hold little valued regardless of play-ability. (It could be a great horn that is worth little more than the overhaul.)

The Evette line was made by the same crafting crew as the professional clarinets, so this COULD be a good 'un...

A sober estimate of repairs is in order.
Less than $200? Why not.

More than $200? Check out some of the modern designs, like Forte and Ridenour clarinets - they're giant killers.

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 Re: Info on Sponsored by Buffet Clarinet
Author: jim S. 
Date:   2006-06-15 14:41

A "Sponsored by" Evette is a lesser breed. One of our experts says it is comparable to the present E-10 Buffet. Do a search using "Sponsored by".

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 Re: Info on Sponsored by Buffet Clarinet
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-06-15 15:12

"The Evette line was made by the same crafting crew as the professional clarinets, so this COULD be a good 'un..."

Evette & Schaeffer line was made by the same crafting crew as the professional clarinets. Evettes have been made in the other factory in France. (some newer Evettes in Germany)

Evette and Evette Sponsored by Buffet are two different instruments.

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player

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 Re: Info on Sponsored by Buffet Clarinet
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2006-06-15 15:55

As someone who owns a couple of these, I think "comparable to the present E-10" might be a little generous. An E10 is essentially an E11 with a plastic (probably B12) barrel and bell. Design changes over the last 40 years likely make the E10, overall, a better instrument. As I recall, according to an old Buffet brochure that used to be posted on this site (and probably still is but I can't find it anymore) the Evette model was made at a separate factory from the one where Buffet made professional clarinets under the supervision of experienced craftsmen. The implication is that trainees worked on this model. Your instrument is no newer than 1960 and is probably a bit older than that. Is it possible that the prefix to the serial number is C instead of G? I've never seen G before, though I have seen C and, when Buffet dropped the "Sponsored by" logo (around 1960, if memory serves), they adopted a D-prefix. In its time, I think it was a pretty good student model clarinet but, as I mentioned before, designs have changed and it probably doesn't stack up so well now.

Your barrel is a replacement from another make clarinet. It may or may not improve the overall performance of your instrument but it probably reduces its sale value. Based on the high percentage among the ones I have seen, I conclude that the barrels and bells, at least, of "sponsored by" Evettes seem to have been prone to crack. So I don't find it surprising that your bell was repaired and your barrel was replaced. In the weird coincidence department, I have a bell by the same maker as your barrel that came with the plastic "sponsored by" Evette that was my first eBay purchase quite a few years ago.

A fix-up (and this instrument would probably need a complete overhaul or close to it) would likely run at least $200, (Woodwind and Brasswind now charges around $450, far more than the clarinet is worth but you might get a better deal locally) more if your music store can sell you a matching barrel from its box of old parts. And you would still have an old student model clarinet that you would be lucky to sell for $250 locally ($125 on eBay), albeit perhaps one that looks new and shiny. Personally, if it were mine and my child's musical future, I would sell it (as is on eBay it would probably bring around $40-$60) and put the money toward a newer better student model instrument. (Use the "search" feature on the bulletin board for information about the "Forte" clarinet or check out the Buffet E11.)

Best regards,

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 Re: Info on Sponsored by Buffet Clarinet
Author: smckeon 
Date:   2006-06-17 01:45

Thank you all for your input. We will probably fix it up just for the heck of it but rent a clarinet for his first year of lessons.

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