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 Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: gatto 
Date:   2017-07-04 19:53

Hi there,

I would like to refresh a topic, which I have found several times here. To my old Buffet RC Prestige "B-flat" I recently added an RC Prestige "A". Both I could try in the shop had a very long vent tube. Whereas the tube for the "B-flat" extends about 1/3 of the diameter into the bore, it is about 1/2 for the "A". (Swabbing is quite a problem, too.) Both clarinets I could try had a problematic upper (LH) clarion register, around the A above the staff. Actually, I find the whole region between F-sharp to high (clarion) C quite unsatisfactory, where the "climax" is on the A. Even worse is the long-forked (LH-1 and RH-1) B-flat just above the stuff.

Why "unsatisfactory"? I always hear a venting / turbulence noise, and sometimes a grunting or undertone (especially difficult is the long-forked B-flat). Of courese, the long-forked B-flat I could avoid. I noticed that when I reduce the distance between the register key pad and the register tube, then the noise vanishes. But I suspect getting problems with the throat B-flat, when adjusting the distance between key and tube.

First question: would it be "acceptable" to be flexible in the use of the register key? I would find it quite difficult, in particular in fast passages, to press the key for different tones in different ways.

In this forum I found that this problem seems to be quite common. (By the way, I could also try a Tosca "A", with apparent shorter register tube, and this problem there was much weaker, but not inexistent.) Advices were to shorten the tube, or even to replace by a tube for the "B-flat".

I took a look into Buffet's spare parts catalogue (online). I learned, that the RC Prestige, the R13 Prestige and the Festival "A" all have the same register tube, having reference number F31508.

For the "B-flats", the RC Prestige and the Festival the reference number is F31506, but F31507 for the R13 Prestige. Does this mean that the length of F31507 is in between? Or are their other differences? If replacing the "A" tube by a "B-flat", which is more suitable?

Thanks in advance for helpful comments.

Post Edited (2017-07-05 20:08)

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet "A"
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2017-07-05 17:31

The difference between the RC and R13 register tubes has more to do with the interior shape. I'll post more when I have time.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet "A"
Author: RefacerMan 
Date:   2017-07-05 17:34

Many clarinetists replace the long register tube in modern Buffet A clarinets with an RC B-flat register tube, which is about the same length and inner dimensions as the old Buffet A clarinet register tubes used before Buffet switched to the long tubes around the 130,000 serial numbers in the early 1970s. This usually helps to eliminate the grunting although it also slightly changes the feel of the bell B and throat tone B-flat.

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2017-07-05 23:20
Attachment:  Clarinet A Vent Tube Fix.doc (26k)

Tim Clark posted this on the repair board about 10 yrs ago or so. I'll share as I found it interesting and have also tried some of the fixes. I've found success with using his suggestons.

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-07-06 05:42

The 1998 R13 Buffet A purchased in Michigan had a grunting high A. Muncy Winds sold me a new register vent tube which fixed the problem.

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-07-07 17:48

Sometimes you can close the octave key a bit. It's often too open and this can help that GRUNT. The octave key is pretty much always too open.

As a mouthpiece maker if the baffle isn't correct this also can add to a GRUNT. This is pretty much on the new mouthpieces, not the older ones. Also the bores on the newer mouthpieces are actually smaller while the clarinet bores are bigger. Lastly, we have very close mouthpiece tips such as around 1.01mm's. All of this adds to extreme resistance, thus a GRUNT! Some players are now going the other way. Playing on tip openings of 1.20mm's and very hard reeds. This surely helps get rid of the problem.

So with the wrong tapered baffle on a mouthpiece plus the vent tube, yes the Grunt the Thug can be enhanced.

The answers are to let these companies know that they've gone just a shade too far.

Buffet is smart. They dumped the Divine. Yamaha keeps adding new great horns every year.

I've tried differ reed tip thicknesses and it seems that thicker reed tips also make things worse.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2017-12-16 07:26)

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: gatto 
Date:   2017-07-09 20:10


The "new" vent tube, was it modified or a different model?

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-07-09 23:01

The "new" vent tube was not identified, but Mrs. Muncy said it would help, and it did. That A clarinet is a joy to play.

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: gatto 
Date:   2017-08-04 22:34

The plan arranged with the shop repairs man from which I bought the "A" is that the length of the vent tube will be slightly reduced (and the shape of its upper opening somehow changed). He called a Buffet's person in Paris. "Of course" they deny this problem. On the other hand, "inofficially" he got an instruction how to fix it. I am curious how this will work out, but I have to wait some weeks before this can be done.

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-05 21:30

Very often need replacing from the original as it is too long.

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: gatto 
Date:   2017-08-05 21:36

Why does Buffet use such long tubes in their A's?

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: musica 
Date:   2017-08-06 00:48

My Buffet Festival A had the vent tube replaced a few years ago by local repairman. Have always had issues with upper A above staff & B being very resistant and finally after experimenting with various barrels and nothing changed brought to new repair shop. Repairman said that previous repair had
placed a Buffet Bb vent in.... after A one was put in issue solved.. Is this a
normal thing to do interchange venting tubes in Buffet?

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: gatto 
Date:   2017-12-11 20:24

Recently I got changed the register tube of my RC Prestige "A". The repairs man ordered the same A-tube again and additionally a Bb-tube. (For the second Buffet needed some months to deliver it.)

He shortended the A-tube by 0.7 mm and undercutted the opening. Then several positions where tested. I recall, the reason was problems of grunting LH clarion "a" (and surrounding tones). This problem slightly improved. Also, the cork pad of the register key was replaced by a flat one of harder cork. Of course, there were slight intonation changes.

Then we tried the B-tube. The B-tube was quite different from my register tube I have in my RC Prestige "Bb". The delivered one had a screw thread, and a hexagon head. The repairs man removed both, so that he could glue it into position like the A-tube. Ironically this tube now is even longer then the A-tube. (As a result some of my swabs do not longer work.) So I have doubts that the Bb-tube is really the original one for Buffet Bb-clarinets, even if it was delivered by Buffet. Maybe someone else here has better informations. At least, the bore of the Bb-tube seems to be different.

BUT the result was much better. I cannot say that the mentioned tones are completely free of problems now, but it is much better and I can improve things better now by embouchure. Even more important (but probably this depends on each other) the A-clarinet feels now less resistant, similar to my Bb-flat clarinet. As a result I can use a V12 and V21 reed of strengths 3.5 (mouthpiece: BD5), which seemed to be almost impossible for me before.

So I am quite happy now. Of course, the good immediate impressions have to be proved in the next time. I am still wondering if the result would have been the same (or even better) with an "original" Bb-tube (see my mentioned doubt above).

I additionally bought an ICON (gold) barrel, and have the feeling that the tone is even more focussed now.

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 Re: Long vent tube in Buffet A
Author: Bennett 2017
Date:   2017-12-11 23:52

I recently purchased the A grunt fix for my R13 A clarinet from Muncy Winds, about $40. It fixed the problem completely.

The replacement tube is ~0.065" shorter than the original and has a slightly larger bore or inside diameter. As best I could measure, the original tube has a 0.098" ID while the replacement seems to be tapered - ~0.120" at the thumb end and ~0.136" at the other end. (I don't know if the ID is a straight taper or whether it squeezes or contracts from end to end.) I never discovered the Buffet part number for the replacement.

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