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 Buffet E12 Evette
Author: Klockwood 
Date:   2018-01-03 00:17

I know little about clarinets, but my daughter plays. Her band director says it's time for an intermediate clarinet and recommended several. One was a Buffet E12F. I found a Buffet E12 Evette on Ebay that's affordable. What's the difference between the E12F and the E12 Evette. Is it a suitable step-up for her? Thank you!!

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 Re: Buffet E12 Evette
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-01-03 00:26

Buffet E12 Evette was made back in the old days, maybe 60s-70s. They are closest to the E11 and E12F nowadays. But since it is an old instrument, it may need to be overhauled or repaired, because the pads may leak air and more issues.

If you can find a Evette that is in pretty good condition, go for it!

-- Ray Zhang

Post Edited (2018-01-03 04:20)

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 Re: Buffet E12 Evette
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-01-03 01:54

The Evette was made for Buffet by Schreiber and in the '80s they became either the B12, E10 or E11 depending if it was a plastic or wooden Evette (the E10 having wooden body joints but with a plastic bell and barrel, the E11 is wooden throughout). For a time in the UK, the plastic Evette became the B&H Regent II until it was renamed the B12.

To my knowledge it was never called the E12 Evette - just stamped 'Evette' and it was either plastic or wood. The E12F is a fairly new model and replaced the E11F which was discontinued mainly due to problems of pillars dropping out as they weren't threaded - the E12F has threaded pillars as you'd expect.


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 Re: Buffet E12 Evette
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2018-01-03 18:54

Different acoustical design. E12f is more modern. Not to say that the E12 wouldn't be just fine.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Buffet E12 Evette
Author: Klockwood 
Date:   2018-01-03 19:17

Thank you!

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 Re: Buffet E12 Evette
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2018-01-04 03:09

The clarinet you have found on eBay is not equivalent to the current Buffet E12F. Assuming I am looking at the same clarinet you are, it was made in Paris sometime between 1960 and (circa) 1978. While there was a Evette designated as an E12, during that period, the clarinet on eBay isn't one.

In this case, I think Chris P. has oversimplified the early history of the (wood) Evette. Buffet actually marketed this model as early as the 1930's (maybe earlier). Until 1960, the label read "Evette Sponsored by Buffet." This has led to speculation that the another manufacturer, perhaps R.M. Malerne, "stencilled" these instruments for Buffet, though AFAIK, Buffet has never acknowledged this.

From 1960 through the late 1970s, the Evette label dropped the "Sponsored by..." designation. In addition to the change in label, these instruments can be identified by a "D" prefix to the serial number. They were still made in France and still in a separate factory and may have been stencils but Buffet promotional literature claims they were made either by Buffet employees or, at least under Buffet supervision. (I forget which.) During this period, they were designated in Carl Fischer (Buffet's U.S. importer) catalogs as the E10 model. (There was also a plastic Evette designated as the B10.) At some time during this period, perhaps towards the end, Buffet did adopt the E12 designation for Evette Master Models. However, these instruments are easy to identify by the words "Master Model" stamped below the Evette logo on these instruments. From what I can tell, master model Evettes were simply production Evettes that play-tested particularly well during their final inspection. I have one from the 1970s and it is a very decent student instrument. I also have a "regular" French Evette from the 1970s that my daughter used and it is also a very decent student instrument. (For awhile, Buffet made a similar distinction between "regular" and "Master Model" E13 Evette and Schaeffer clarinets. And to further confuse the issue, an old serial number lookup on the Buffet website actually designated the Evette and Schaeffer model as "E12.")

In the late 1970s, Buffet shifted production of their Evette student clarinets to the Schreiber factory and I think there are some Evettes made there from the late seventies until Buffet changed the instrument's designation to the E11 in the mid-eighties. These Evettes are identified as Made in W. Germany and have a 6-digit serial number with no prefix. They also show some presumably cost-saving design changes that IMO make them less desirable than French-made Evettes with the D- serial numbers.

The nomenclature Buffet has used over the years to designate this model is ambiguous and many eBay sellers mislabel these instruments in their ads (often honestly out of ignorance but sometimes dishonestly). As I mentioned above, I believe the clarinet you are looking at is indeed misidentified. It has the D-series Evette label and the seller notes that it has a D- series serial number (without actually giving the serial number, or at least its first 3-digits which would be useful in determining the instrument's age). That's why I conclude that it is a French-made model but not an "E12." If it were, it would have Master Model in the logo. Also, while it was made in "a" Paris factory, it was not made in "the" Paris factory where R13s were made. I also doubt the claim about the bore. While I may be wrong about this, I believe the D-series Evettes had cylindrical bores, not the polycylindrical bore of the R13. It is a student model and an old one, at that. Whether it would be a step-up for your daughter depends on what she is playing now.

Best regards,

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 Re: Buffet E12 Evette
Author: Klockwood 
Date:   2018-01-05 06:07

Thanks to you all for your help. I have learned a lot!

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 Re: Buffet E12 Evette
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-01-05 19:00

I just found a B&H catalogue from the late '80s with the lineup of all Buffet clarinets - they do mention the E12 there along with the E10, E11 and E13, but don't give any further info on it, so can't tell if by that time it was a French or German made clarinet. The E13 replaced the 'Evette & Schaeffer' model.

The ones typically on sale in the UK at the time were the B12, E11, E13, C12 and R13/RC upwards with the Elite being their top model. Perhaps the E12 was a European or a 'rest of the world' model as I never saw them in any order forms nor listed by any other companies in the UK.


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