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 Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-11 13:43

It's not good.

End of discussion.

Chris.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: andy63 
Date:   2018-03-12 23:16

I beg to differ sir.

I own two Buffet Clarinets and a Buffet sax.
The build quality of all three instruments is excellent.
End of discussion!

Buffet Tosca ,Buffet Rc Greenline ,Yamaha YCl-881 Eb

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2018-03-12 23:20

I prefer the layout and hight of the keys on the buffet over my csvr. It's more bubbly and smooth. I think you mean quality control.



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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-03-12 23:52

Don't worry Chris, I have a solution! Simply send your poor useless Buffet instruments to me for "proper disposal" :P

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-13 00:48

So you think Buffet's finishing is top notch from the moment it left the factory? Have a closer look and you'll see there's plenty of room for improvement.

Tenons, tenon corks, toneholes, padiding, key fitting, key geometry, key 'corks', springing, nylon pins, thumbrests, thumbrest position, point screws, adhesives and pad glue and adjusting screws to name a few areas they can improve on.

If I ever sold new Buffets, then I'd only do that once they had been stripped down and completely rebuilt and addressing all the issues found along the way. Some companies do that and have been for decades.

Chris.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-03-13 03:38

Great...another hot debate on Buffet's quality. Can we not all have different opinions?

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2018-03-13 04:32

Not sure if it’s “different opinions”...I figured this is settled law.
Buffet certainly doesn’t come out of the box ready to play.
One either throws $$$ to make as good it should be...
Or one makes another brand choice.

I wonder if a new Camry would still be the best selling sedan in the USA if you had to take it to a mechanic and make it “run” to your standards? I think we all know the answer to that question.

It’s not unreasonable to expect more out the premier brand. I know I decided to not reward Buffet with my cash.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Brickbinder 
Date:   2018-03-13 05:50

According to Chris P, no you can’t. You can only have his opinion.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-03-13 06:14

Many people seem unable to differentiate between facts, preferences, and prejudices in how they come to a conclusion, or to realize what the implications are of that failure. That's why this conversation seems to need to happen over and over imho. It's fine to root for or against "Team Buffet" but that doesn't mean we can't also be objective.



Post Edited (2018-03-13 09:45)

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2018-03-13 07:53

Chris is a top notch woodwind instrument repairer so he knows what he's talking about. He has extensive 'hands on' experience on taking these things apart and re-assembling them.

Skyfacer

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-03-13 08:51

Generally, by far most players (including the best and excellent ones) don't notice build quality issues as long as they don't affect the way the clarinet plays very significantly. Of course there are exceptions.

Some issues I noticed on more than a few recent new Buffets:

Sticking tenons, with the tenon lower shoulder being larger than the socket by as much as 0.3mm. IMO this is more than can be accounted for by changes in weather and playing on the new clarinet, especially since the bore and upper tenon shoulder seem to be fine.

Binding or loose keys. Sometimes the keys "wobble" on the hinge while threading the screw (for rod screw). This is the result of either a thread that is significantly off center with the rod screw or post holes that are misaligned (mostly the latter), sometimes both. Some keys "solved" this problem by being a loose fit to compensate, but once fitted they are binding. This can be tricky (but possible) to repair sometimes, depending on the exact cause of the problem.

Low quality pads that tear very fast, sometimes even after a few months. This is for models with bladder pads, which include some of the professional models (some lower models actually don't have bladder pads).

Pads not sealing, either because of poor alignment e.g. hitting first in the front or back (usually the back), or (less often) because of tiny chips in the tone hole rims.

General flaws in design or build. For example, a few clarinets had the left hand F/C lever edge of the linkage arm hitting the F/C key spring cradle before the lever was actually closing the key. This meant the left hand lever didn't work.

Bad design and build of the pivot screws. The pivot screws have the plastic sleeves for decades. This is to make them not thread out, etc. and can be a good idea in general.
Some problems are the very short thread, but more recently I've seen cases where the screw couldn't even bottom on the head. Instead, the screw was "bottoming" by the sleeve pushing and squeezing against a smaller area before the threads. The key was loose in a way that is usually repaired by countersinking the post. This was impossible because of that. The screw was also less solid in the post as a result (not bottoming on the head, very short thread, tight only on the plastic sleeve).

One of the top models have a completely unnecessary design where a post is blocking a screw from coming out. A blunder by the lowest industrial design standards.

That's at the top of my head right now...

That said, they still play very nicely most of the time. Some of the problems might not be significant to the way they play, at least for some players. That doesn't mean the build quality is good.

I'm sometimes wondering if being a small country is that is probably less significant to their market means we might get the more problematic ones here, but I know that some sellers fly and choose the clarinets in France, plus the clarinets with those issues came from at least three different countries...

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2018-03-13 10:19

For what it's worth:

I usually find repair techs to be the most honest arbiters of information pertaining to product. Whether it be used automobiles, current technology, or yes...even clarinets.

It's too easy to say, "I love brand xyz because I've bought 50 of them, and they're all great!" or to say, "I hate brand xyz because I've bought 50 of them, and they all were terrible!" (All the while being unwittingly blind to our own biases.)

Good third party repair personnel usually don't have much incentive to push bad solutions. Their job is to get your product running the best they can, and keep it that way - otherwise, they'll lose customers. It's why I put the brand of parts in my car that I do. It's why I put the brand of computer components in my computer that I do. I find repair personnel whom I trust, and I get their opinions. If I'm buying a used car - I don't go to the dealer to ask about dependability of that model, nor do I obtain this information from the seller - I go to my mechanic. etc.

Sure, there are shady repair folks who shill for a company in order to obtain a kickback - that's why I said that I use "Good" repair personnel "whom I trust."

From Chris' candid posts over the years, I trust Chris...and...

"I hate brand xyz because I've tried many of them, and they were all terrible!" Hehe!  ;)

:^)>>>
Fuzzy

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-13 14:44

I see a variety of makes of clarinet once all the keys are off - most players don't get that insight. Considering I see more Buffets than anything and of all ages, what is shocking is players are just putting up with what they're given and don't tend to question things in an almost brainwashed attitude - it's Buffet so it's good.

Bench/finishing time on Buffets of all models is done on a production line, so they're not individually crafted pieces. Keys for each model will be padded and corked (well - have bits of synthetic material stuck to them with double-sided tape) and will only be fitted to the joints of your E13 through to Tosca and above at the finishing stage.

For lower level models this is one way to save on the cost of manufacture and be competitive. But for high end models commanding prices near that of professional level bass clarinets or oboes, then it's outrageous if they're finished in this same way. It's not good value for money to pay such a premium for something not finished to a standard worthy of that price.

It's not my closed minded opinion - I'm trying to open your eyes to what you're not seeing.

Chris.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Brickbinder 
Date:   2018-03-13 14:47

We can see just fine. However, I can tell you by your crappy and arrogant attitude I will never use your business.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-13 14:57

Please share your observations and experiences as to why Buffet are the best built and finished clarinets on the market and have no room for improvement.

Chris.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Caihlen 
Date:   2018-03-13 16:52

The Emperor has no clothes!

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-03-13 17:35

From what people have said--never having driven one myself--there's a possible analog in British sports cars. Given the inevitability of where this would go, I'm wondering if Chris just thought things had become too staid lately. Probably the only real way to influence Buffet's behavior in finishing their instruments is for people to conspicuously buy something else, but sound and feel tend to drive what people want to play more than build quality does. Nobody wants to play a horn they don't really like in order to make a point.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Ed 
Date:   2018-03-13 18:05

Some think it is all about Buffet bashing, but in truth it is just reality. I have spoken to many techs over the years who all complain about the same thing. I have even played instruments at the Buffet showroom that did not play properly. Often they have a variety of issues- adjustments, leaks, key height, binding tenons, etc.

It is not just a matter of setting the instrument to one's preferences. Often people talk about buying an instrument and then needing to spend additional to have it set up just to make it work properly. Once worked over they can play quite well, but it almost as if you have to treat it as an unfinished instrument.

Maybe Buffet should just send boxes of parts that you can put together. It can be their new model- the Ikea.



Post Edited (2018-03-13 21:43)

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2018-03-13 19:25

I don’t know any professional clarinetist who doesn’t have necessary adjustments made, plays the new Buffet for two-three months to prepare the wood, and then sends it off for an overhaul right away.

I just saw a social media advert from a high quality east coast technician which said “when is the best time to overhaul your instrument? When it’s brand-new!”

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: brycon 
Date:   2018-03-13 19:52

Quote:

Considering I see more Buffets than anything and of all ages, what is shocking is players are just putting up with what they're given and don't tend to question things in an almost brainwashed attitude - it's Buffet so it's good.


I've tried most clarinets out right now. I still play Buffet, not because I'm brainwashed, but because, for me, they do the things I want a clarinet to better than Yamaha or Selmer.

Also, I have all my horns overhauled regardless of brand. No manufacturer is going to have all the key heights, action, etc. set up for my particular playing. So a mediocre pad on a Buffet compared to a nicer pad on a Yamaha doesn't really factor into my purchase: they're going to be switched out for pads I prefer at any rate.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-03-13 22:35

I suspect that it depends on where one gets new Buffets. While I have four R13s from different sources and none really needed anything when new, I could believe that the shops they came from may have worked on them. Chris P may see Buffets which have never been looked at and adjusted after they were made and shipped from the factory.

One rarely encounters people with such experience, dedication, and knowledge as Chris P. He has my complete respect in woodwind matters.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-03-13 23:39

This isn't a new problem - in my own experience it dates back to my student days in the 1960s and, I'm sure, earlier. Hans Moennig used to largely rebuild the Buffets he sold, and those weren't just the R-13s he sold to major players. He rebuilt the A clarinet I bought from him in 1966 as a college freshman before he'd sell it to me. Part of Gigliotti's rationale for letting Selmer model the early 10G on his Moennig-rebuilt clarinets was to produce (he hoped) a line of clarinets that had the playing qualities he wanted without the need to have a band new clarinet overhauled to make it play as it should have. He wasn't trying to reinvent a concept, just reinvent its execution.

If Buffet put the manual adjustment by a skilled technician into the final stage of its production process, it would produce clarinets that are much better off the shelf. All that should be left to do for a player should be whatever tweaks are necessary for his or her individual wants. But the instrument would be more expensive. How much more? I'd be very interested to know. The two repair people in the Philadelphia area I know who do this kind of setup of Buffets that they sell from their shops add less than $1,000 per instrument to the price.

I find myself wondering if Buffet wouldn't give itself a real market boost if it would put skilled human techs at the end of the process not just to play-test the instrument to make sure they actually produce a sound, but to trouble-shoot the kinds of things Chris is talking about. At the beginning, each tech might have to put several hours into each instrument that comes off the line. But over time, those techs, as company employees, might actually be able to convince the designers more effectively than outside techs can about details that could be re-thought from a mechanical point of view during the assembly process.

There are conceptual differences among clarinet manufacturers' products, both the major ones and the ones who offer more hand work and less production volume. To me, the issue isn't that an assembly line doesn't produce the quality of a hand-made product. It's that the hand work to fix problems that come off the line needs to be done by outside people like Chris.

Karl

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2018-03-14 03:48

The underlying problem is that consumers are used to cheap clarinets, so manufacturers have to cut corners.

Compare the price of a new clarinet with a new oboe, flute or bassoon.

Even with a $1500 overhaul (what some of us call a set-up) clarinets are still less expensive than these other woodwinds.

Of course, you could always spend $11,000 for one of those Backun carbon fiber clarinets. I expect they're good to go from the start.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-03-14 03:58

rmk54, I am afraid I could not agree with you at all. An oboe has a much more complicated mechanic than a Boehm clarinet. And for flute, the material (silver, gold, platinum) used on high-end models are much more expensive than wood. And for bassoon, a, it needs much more wood, b, the construction of the key work is also much more difficult, considering how long the levers are. Your comparison is therefore very unreasonable.

I assume everybody understands that why a B-flat soprano clarinet is cheaper than a bass clarinet of same level? Should Buffet raise the price of a Tosca soprano to the same as Tosca bass, thus they can finally make its quality good?



Post Edited (2018-03-14 04:11)

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-03-14 04:43

Chris is one of the best repairmen on this board.

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.skypeclarinetlessons.com/about.html


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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Brickbinder 
Date:   2018-03-14 05:43

That’s fine. I’m just wondering why he feels the need to be a condescending ass.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: jonathan.wallaceadams 
Date:   2018-03-14 08:13

I got a chuckle with how Chris P started the discussion by pouring gasoline on the forever-burning fire. I commend you!

Just an aspiring student.
Buffet Tradition
Mpc.: Hawkins "G", Barrel: Moba, Reeds: Reserve 3.5+

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-03-14 12:18

>> have bits of synthetic material stuck to them with double-sided tape <<

I forgot that. I guess it might be ok for cheap student models. They tend to come off and they are often much too thick and give a very bad squishy feel (most common with the trill keys).

Another thing is the rubbery material used as a bumper for the left hand pinky levers (usually F/C and E/B). It's on the body, but after a while becomes very sticky, causing resistance when pressing those keys. I've seen them on a few brands, including Buffet and Selmer pro models.

>> All that should be left to do for a player should be whatever tweaks are necessary for his or her individual wants. But the instrument would be more expensive. How much more? I'd be very interested to know. <<

It probably only matters if the gain outweighs that expense... and we can only guess but I'm guessing it wouldn't.

I can say I recently saw several almost new clarinets made by one of the smallest companies where the clarinets are supposedly hand made/finished (AFAIK they are). They all had loose keys for nearly all keys with pivot screws. Some so much that I would be very surprised to see that even on clarinets that were a few years older and used constantly.



Post Edited (2018-03-14 17:19)

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2018-03-14 16:14

Klose wrote:

Should Buffet raise the price of a Tosca soprano to the same as Tosca bass, thus they can finally make its quality good?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes!

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-14 16:34

Brian 'Brickbinder' Jungen, If you feel I'm condescending, then at least I'm putting my money where my mouth is instead of sniping and offering absolutely nothing of value.

I wouldn't have started this thread if I had nothing to back up my initial statement, I still stand firmly by what I said and can't be swayed as I am speaking from experience as both a repairer and also an owner of some Buffet clarinets and saxes.

You have only made 14 posts so far and nothing of any worth in this topic to anyone. So instead of making the odd flippant remarks that carry absolutely no weight, please share your experiences with us as both I and several others have done.

Chris.

Post Edited (2018-03-14 17:15)

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Brickbinder 
Date:   2018-03-14 17:16

You’re just proving my point. Please don’t respond to anything I post or block me if you wish.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-03-14 18:15

Brickbinder wrote:

"You’re just proving my point. Please don’t respond to anything I post or block me if you wish."

I'll respond as I see fit, so please contribute to the discussion by imparting your knowledge on this subject - you have ample opportunity to do that, yet you continue to snipe and add nothing constructive nor useful to anyone.

Chris.

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: JamesOrlandoGarcia 
Date:   2018-03-14 19:26

Chris, thanks for your contribution to the Bboard. You rock!

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2018-03-14 20:05

Brickbinder,

Please read the following in the friendly (non-sarcastic) manner it is intended:

Welcome to the bboard (sincerly). I would love to hear your experiences with Buffet. Whether you've owned one Buffet or one thousand Buffets (or zero), your experiences could add to the discussion.

This is a frequently discussed topic on the bboard, and lots of opinions/experiences are shared in those discussions...with varying degrees of disagreement.

I have had poor luck with Buffet, so I fall more in the "not" Buffet group. Others couldn't live without their Buffet's, and feel they are still the standard for all others to be measured against. There are great points from each side.

It seems these discussions usually relate to "should I buy a Buffet" or "the pin on my Buffet broke" or "why does Buffet use..." etc. Being a top-notch repair person, Chris' experience are unique to that position. He sees A LOT of broken-down Buffets, so, many of us value his opinion on this topic and understand the spirit in which he humorously began the discussion with "...end of discussion..."

Likewise, serveral Buffet artists frequent the board, and have a much different view on Buffet than Chris or myself, and it is always interesting to see their take on this/these issues.

;^)>>>
Fuzzy

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-03-14 21:29

Fuzzy wrote:

> It seems these discussions usually relate to "should I buy a
> Buffet" or "the pin on my Buffet broke" or "why does Buffet
> use..." etc.
> Likewise, serveral Buffet artists frequent the board, and have
> a much different view on Buffet than Chris or myself, and it is
> always interesting to see their take on this/these issues.

I think it's often lost in these discussions that the strongest complaints are usually about the playability or the mechanical status of Buffets *as they come off the shelf* and the fact that they need further setup by a 3rd party repair tech to be fully playable. It isn't often that people complain about their Buffets after the instruments have been set up and broken in.

The discussions, which sometimes become arguments, here on the BBoard too often involve each side talking about a different topic. The finish of a new Buffet just off the assembly line and the musical potential of a Buffet that has been well regulated by an aftermarket shop are two separate issues.

It's perfectly possible to love Buffets for their acoustic design (and its implications for sound, tuning and response) but hate the way they play on first trial. For those who prefer other makers' clarinets over a well adjusted Buffet, "not Buffet" will rightfully be their opinion. Those players who prefer their established (well-regulated) Buffets over Yamaha or Selmer or Backun or Ridenour or any of the other instruments usually offered as competitors for "best" clarinet are the reason Buffet still sells so many instruments.

Karl

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2018-03-14 21:57

kdk wrote:

Quote:

"I think it's often lost in these discussions that the strongest complaints are usually about the playability or the mechanical status of Buffets *as they come off the shelf* and the fact that they need further setup by a 3rd party repair tech to be fully playable. It isn't often that people complain about their Buffets after the instruments have been set up and broken in."


Great point and well-said. I think it summarizes the issue wonderfully.

Most of the issues I've been around, is that students (myself included, back in the day) aren't informed of this "save an extra $X to have it rebuilt immediately upon purchase." Conversely, I've witnessed families virtually putting a second mortgage on their homes in order to buy the Holy Grail of clarinets (historically, an R13), only to fight with problems for years thereafter, and not being in a place to afford a proper adjustment/overhaul. I do feel this is a problem with the folks recommending Buffet en masse as much as it is Buffet's quality control. Sorta like buying a bag at the store labeled "Apples" and getting home to find the bag contains only Oranges. Oranges might be fine, but not when you were expecting Apples. Or worse yet, you find Oranges with a note saying if you want Apples, you'll need to remit 30% further payment
.

I wonder if top repair personnel would prefer (as I think was jokingly offered by someone above) to receive a Buffet sans pads, corks, springs, etc. Surely, it might expedite the overhaul?

Fuzzy



Post Edited (2018-03-14 22:00)

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-03-14 22:15

Fuzzy wrote:

> Most of the issues I've been around, is that students (myself
> included, back in the day) aren't informed of this "save an
> extra $X to have it rebuilt immediately upon purchase."
> Conversly, I've witnessed families virtually putting a second
> mortgage on their homes in order to buy the Holy Grail of
> clarinets (historically, an R13), only to fight with problems
> for years thereafter, and not being in a place to afford a
> proper adjustment/overhaul. I do feel this is a problem with
> the folks recommending Buffet en masse as much as it is
> Buffet's quality control.

It's also a problem of people, having been told to buy Buffet, looking on the Internet for Best Price as opposed to working with a reputable repair tech/shop that sets the instruments up that they sell. The shop's price will be higher, probably significantly, than the price that can be found on Amazon or even music outlets like Weiner or WW&BW. But the end result may be much happier.

Karl

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-03-14 22:27

Chris,

Today most orchestral clarinetists and college and conservatory clarinet professors still play Buffets but Backun, Yamaha, and Selmer are making inroads, with a few also playing Eaton, Rossi, and S & S. So, in your experience, which of these brands have the BEST build out the box, require the least maintenance, and are the most reliably made and easiest to repair?

A little sugar makes the pill go down, so if you say which clarinets are built better than Buffet and why, that might make your critique of Buffet a little easier for some on the list to "swallow." If you look at the social rituals that American Buffet players (I still count myself among them) have enacted historically you will see that the best informed of them have always known (since the late '50s and the big switch from Selmer to R13) that they would need to have the instrument "rebuilt." My teacher helped me select one in the early '60s and it was immediately sent away to Hans Moening to "get it working." Later on the ritual cup passed to William Brannen. You knew when you bought a Buffet that Brannen would make it sound and mechanically respond the way it should. After the Brannen shop started winding down, Buffet players began turning to techs like Mike Hammer, Larry Frank, and others to rebuild the Buffet they buy. It was no secret among American players that that's what had to be done. Off the shelf, the Buffet was known to be an "unfinished" product. Trying to tell Buffet players that the pad heights were wrong, the springs weren't of the right tension, the tone holes needed undercutting, etc, was like telling vegetarians that their diet failed to provide vitamin B12. Well of course they know that, and that's why they take B12 supplements.

American clarinetists fell in love with the sound of the Buffet R13 as rebuilt by Hans Moening and expected subsequent techs to accomplish a similar transformation of the instrument. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than Buffet has been extensively flattered through the years. Ridenour says that the Leblanc Infinity and some other Leblanc models tried to emulate it, Selmer in the 10G and 10 series did the same, Yamaha. before its more Germanic models did the same, and even the high end German S & S used the Buffet as a model. Whoever writes the history of the 20th century clarinet will have to give credit to the Buffet R13 (and later RC) as dominant designs in the French Boehm instrument for half a century. The engineering and quality control may have been marginal or even wretched, but the basic design inspired American orchestral players.

A growing grumble among Buffet fans is that the R13 design of the 1950s and 60s is being dropped in favor of a larger bore size that does not produce the same sound even when it is "Brannerized" or otherwise expertly set-up. And tastes in clarinet tone are changing. A broader, more covered sound, rounder and less vibrant is gradually becoming more acceptable. Changes in mouthpiece and barrel preference reflect this as well as the growing popularity of the Backun, and more recent Selmer and Yamaha designs. Some players are saying they want clarinet designs that "will take more air."

But to return to the original point. So the Buffet build out the box is poor. Which clarinets from a repair person's point of view have the best build and why? Do the Backun, Selmer, Yamaha and other clarinets you repair exhibit markedly better quality control and build than the Buffet, and if so, exactly how?



Post Edited (2018-03-15 00:20)

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2018-03-14 22:43

I worked on a Buffet recently where the right hand, lower joint C# key arm was too short and the pad cup was hitting on the timber (body) instead of in the tone hole. This represents to me a complete failure in product quality control. Someone should have caught this way before it left the factory. I'm sure with the number of clarinets that Buffet produces there are some anomalies sometimes, but it was certainly a "head scratcher".

jbutler

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-03-14 23:08

jbutler wrote:

> I worked on a Buffet recently where the right hand, lower joint
> C# key arm was too short and the pad cup was hitting on the
> timber (body) instead of in the tone hole. This represents to
> me a complete failure in product quality control. Someone
> should have caught this way before it left the factory. I'm
> sure with the number of clarinets that Buffet produces there
> are some anomalies sometimes, but it was certainly a "head
> scratcher".
>
> jbutler

I've had similar problems in the past where the cause was that the post holding the key had twisted slightly causing the pad cup to move horizontally. This can easily be fixed by re-securing the post in the correct position.

To be fair it's not like Buffet is the only manufacturer with quality control issues. Just off the top of my head here are some issues I've found when working on new clarinets:

•New Backun Protege: Glue used to hold on tenon corks failed, needed new tenon corks.

•New Ridenour Libertas: Leak between the register tube and the body of the instrument, needed to remove and re-glue the register tube.

•New Yamaha 221ii: Neck too short, impossible to play in tune without causing a leak. Needed a spacer installed below the neck receiver socket.

•New Yamaha 650: Had several leaks, Needed tone-hole leveling and pad adjustment

•New Leblanc Serenade: Keys became stuck in the open position. Needed material removed from the ends of the rods on several keys. Leaks in the pads also needed to be addressed.

•New Ventus by Backun: Rings too loose, severe leaks. (Didn't fix this one)

The only major brand I haven't seen quality control issues on is Selmer, and that's mostly because a rarely ever see new Selmers. Even if every clarinet player stopped using Buffet instruments it's not like these issues would go away.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2018-03-15 00:13

jdbassplayer wrote:

> I've had similar problems in the past where the cause was that
> the post holding the key had twisted slightly causing the pad
> cup to move horizontally. This can easily be fixed by
> re-securing the post in the correct position.
> -Jdbassplayer

Not sure how that would be in "this case" as the upper post is common to the E/B key, not threaded and with post lock screw, with the lower post , not shared, same (non threaded and post lock screw). Anyway it's fixed and the customer is very happy.

jbutler

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-03-15 00:28

I'm curious, how did you fix it? Did you lengthen the key arm or did you cut out material from the wood to give the key clearance? Also what model was it?

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: HANGARDUDE 
Date:   2018-03-21 14:50

I have to agree with Chris, Buffet's build quality seems to be inconsistent in my experience.

While both my current Bb and bass clarinets are Buffets(RC and Prestige respectively), I'd say my luck with Buffet is 50/50. I used to own a Festival Bb which had build quality issues that hindered the development of my clarinet skills. This particular instrument felt very hard to play, and the keywork wasn't the most robust. Worse still its sound wasn't too good either. My backup E13 is somewhat better, but the altissimo is often unstable compared to my RC. I stuck with these 2 problematic horns for 3 years as I was told these horns would play better after breaking in, but they didn't. So I sold both of them.

That said, I chose my current RC Bb after repeated testing against a number of other Bbs. I consider myself very lucky to have come across it, as it is absolutely great.

I really wish Buffet would do something to improve the consistency in their insturments' build quality.

Josh


Reply To Message
 
 Re: Buffet's Build Quality...
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-03-21 15:18

The fact is that as long as they control the market share as they currently do there is no incentive to improve their build quality and final adjustments.

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