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 Origin of R13 name
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2010-06-10 08:11

I've discovered from previous helpful postings on this board that the Buffet R13 name originated not with Buffet itself, but in the catalogue of Carl Fischer, the US importer, who listed models ranging from R13 for the standard model up to R16 3/4 for the full-monty version with every extra key going. But this raises further questions. I wonder if anyone, perhaps owning an old Fischer catalogue, can shed more light on this:

* What were R1 to R12? Other clarinets? Made by whom?

* Why R? You sometimes see it credited to Robert Carree (as in the RC model), but my understanding is that the R13 name goes back to at least the 1940s. I think Carree joined Buffet as a trainee in 1921, but his major bore redesign didn't happen till 1950 or so, so why should the long-standing standard "master bore" instrument be named after him?

* When did Buffet themselves start using the R13 name? If I look up my 1982 R13 on the Buffet site, it's described as a BC1131, and I think Buffet's own models designations have been of this form for a long time. I'm guessing Paris only semi-offically adopted Fischer's designation when they introduced the RC (1970s sometime?).

Thanks for any insights on this.

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: Bassie 
Date:   2010-06-11 21:17


(sorry, couldn't resist)

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: Neil 
Date:   2010-06-12 02:23

Perhaps it was inspired by the USS R13.

Not likely, though.

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: Bassie 
Date:   2010-06-12 15:50

Good call!

R05 thru R07 are of course Invincible, Illustrious and Ark Royal...


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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-06-13 15:13

What's the difference between an R14 and an R13? Is R14 the model number for one with the forked Eb mechanism (17 keys, 7 rings)?


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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2010-06-14 11:14

Chris: Yes, R14 is forked Eb/Bb, R15 is articulated G#, and R16 is both. There are additional designations for extra keys - a modern R13 Prestige would be R13 1/2 since it has a 5th LH key for alternative G#/Eb. Full Boehm with low Eb was R16 3/4. So maybe R1 was a tube with holes and no keywork at all.....

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: susieray 
Date:   2010-06-15 00:01

Here's a page from a 1960's Buffet catalog with the different designations, if anyone is interested.

Post Edited (2010-06-15 04:54)

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: susieray 
Date:   2010-06-15 00:03

oops, don't know why it didn't attach the first time.

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: susieray 
Date:   2010-06-15 00:06
Attachment:  Buffet catalog.jpg (961k)


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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2010-06-15 11:48

Susieray: Very interesting, thanks. Is this a Buffet Paris catalogue, rather than from a US distributor? I'd definitely heard previously that these odd names like R14 1/2 (so no R15, apparently?) were made up by Carl Fischer. It would be nice to know if that was true. And I'd still love to know if there was an R12....

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: susieray 
Date:   2010-06-16 02:07

John: It is a Carl Fischer catalog from the early 1960's and lists all of the Buffet woodwinds and accessories. It does not explain where the names originated though. It would be interesting to find an older version of the catalog!

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2010-06-16 12:57

Why not ask F. Kloc?

The 1968 catalog (I have one and just looked at it) used the terms
model 176 to refer to pro model with 17 keys and 6 rings.

I think that later catalog numbers were something like
model R1113...etc, whereupon clients refered only to the last digits.
Also, some folks misheard the nomenclature and called it the Arthur King model.

-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-
412 889 8202

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2010-06-16 16:01

The clarinets in this catalog have been manufactured no later than 1953-1954 and are "Master bore", so called Pre-R13 clarinets. I've seen the same model designations in the 1941 Buffet catalog. These clarinets have nothing to do with the Robert Caree's R13 clarinets. His R-13's have "Plycylindrical" bore (not a Master Bore) and different keywork.

The "R-13" was a stock number assigned to the Buffet, "Professional Model" clarinet since around 1930's. BTW Some Buffet records have been destroyed during the World War II and Mr. Kloc is too young to remember what was going on in the 1930's.

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

Post Edited (2010-06-16 16:21)

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2010-06-16 17:14

I suspect Carl Fischer may have been careless/imprecise in its designations in these catalogs (and I suspect the copy was written by marketing people, not clarinetists). If you blow up the pictures that Susie Ray posted, you will see that the G# and A throat keys on the instruments pictured share a post. That is consistent with Buffets made in the 50s (or earlier) not the 60s. The prices of the instruments pictured, however, are Buffet prices from the early 60's -- at least 5 years after the full run-out of the Caree polycylindrical R13. I have a catalog that apparently dates at least a few years later than Susie's. In this catalog the R13s pictured (as well as the variations) clearly have separate posts for the throat G# and A keys. By then, Fischer had apparently updated its photographs. Even so, the clarinets are still referred to as "Master Bore R13s."

I suspect the person writing the copy thought "Master Bore" meant "bore created by a master" rather than the "cylindrical bore" that preceded the Buffet's polycylindrical bore (though I agree with Vytas that the term probably meant "cylindrical bore" to the folks at the Buffet factory). To support my contention that the copy was likely not written by someone versed in clarinet construction, I will point out that the ad copy in my catalog refers to the "conical hand-phrasing (undercutting of the tone holes) that Buffet has mastered" where the correct terminology for undercutting would be "hand- fraising."

Best regards,

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: susieray 
Date:   2010-06-16 19:46

My catalog is from around 1964 and all of the clarinet pictures in it are from the 1950's, even the Evettes, so they obviously had not updated their photos for at least 10 years.

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2010-06-16 20:31

Susieray: you showed p4 of the catalogue - what's on p1-3? Presumably not the mythical R12....

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 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: susieray 
Date:   2010-06-16 20:51

John, no mythical R-12 to be found, sorry.

Page 2 is the inside cover which tells about how wonderful Buffet clarinets are and page 3 describes the R-13....available in Bb, A, and Eb and the SR-13 (silver plated) in Bb and A.

The Super Dynaction Saxes are designated R-15 alto,
R-16 tenor and R-17 baritone.
Alto clarinet is R-2 1/2.
Bass clarinet is R-4 1/2 and (R-4 1/2C for the low C version.)
Buffet oboe is R-7 and English Horn is R-9
Academy model oboe is R-6 and Academy model English horn is R-8

I don't know if the "R" means much of anything; even
the clarinet lyres are designated R-816 and R-818

Post Edited (2010-06-16 20:52)

Reply To Message
 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: clarinete09 
Date:   2010-06-16 21:51

I got a pair of R-16 3/4, Bb and A... I like them alot!

Post Edited (2010-06-16 21:52)

Reply To Message
 Re: Origin of R13 name
Author: sonofanata 
Date:   2019-02-27 19:06

i have just seen your message. i have a buffet made in 1951. taking the keys off the top joint to clean i saw 'r12' impressed into the wood. it is the only one i have ever heard. no mention on the net. i bought it from wichita band instrument company. it is in perfect condition with scarcely a mark on it. wichita silvered the keys. from the beginning it struck me as being somewhat different. diameter of the wood and ring keys slightly smaller, so it seems to me. the quality of the wood is first class and it has a beautiful tone - no surprise i suppose, for buffet owners.

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