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 Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: ckol 
Date:   2018-08-14 08:36

I really enjoyed playing clarinet in high school and going into college, and bought, on the recommendation of my instructor, a Buffet R-13 from David Hite himself back in 1983. After not playing for many years, I passed it on to my son, who played it through high school, and now that he is done with it, I'm starting to play again.

Having my hands on it again revived an old mystery that I'm sure someone here can answer. My receipt for the clarinet says "Custom serviced Buffet R-13 Bflat clarinet, #xxxxxx. Includes complete key, bore, tone hole service, Moennig barrel, HITE mouthpiece (which I broke and replaced years ago), accessories, ..."

Does this language imply that Hite in some way changed the bores on the original clarinet? I have a vague recollection of my instructor saying that Hite "customized" the barrel, but I'm not sure I'm remembering that correctly. Hite never heard me play the instrument, so any "customization" certainly would not have been particular to me. Or does this language simply mean that he got the instrument from the Buffet factory and made it ready to play (i.e., he installed pads, tested it, etc)?

Any help solving this would be appreciated -- it's bothered me for years and I've never found an answer just Googling this on the web.

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 Re: Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: GBK 
Date:   2018-08-14 09:42

If it's anything like Hite's editing of classic clarinet etude books. the excessive clutter of Italian expressive terms is annoying, unnecessary and borders on the ridiculous.


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 Re: Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-08-14 14:50

I'd cut Dave Hite a little slack on horns though. He certainly measured the bejesus out of mouthpieces (he kept records of all the great players' mouthpieces he ran into over the years as well as the measurements of the mouthpieces he made for customers).

I was not aware of his Buffet "customization," but at that time I had a horn and was not looking for another. He probably executed more of a "hand selection" process since he lived in Florida (not a long drive from the pan handle to Buffet). Perhaps others have more direct experience with his horn work.

...................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: Steven Ocone 
Date:   2018-08-14 15:37

Buffet was not in Florida at the time.

Steve Ocone

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 Re: Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: Chetclar 
Date:   2018-08-14 18:45

David Hite, in my opinion, was an excellent clarinetist and teacher. He was very careful with his mouthpiece measurments and the early ones he made himself are excellent. He does use to much verbiage in the Artistic Studies , but he is responsible for many fine arrangements and editions of clarinet solos and ensembles for students. Just my two cents

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 Re: Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: RefacerMan 
Date:   2018-08-14 19:04

I think "customization" meant he got the instrument from Buffet and adjusted it as needed to make sure it was ready to be played. I understand he was a very good clarinet repairman.

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 Re: Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: Joseph Brenner, Jr. 
Date:   2018-08-14 23:28

While I never had the privilege of working with Mr Hite, I did buy an R13 from Hans Moennig. He wrote me the price and said that it would include his examinination of and adjustments to the instrument...which, he said, could make a big difference even in a Buffet clarinet. I know that he clipped the wings from the bridge key, applied tape to the inside of one of the second joint's tone holes, and replaced some of the fish skin pads with cork on the top joint. I expect that he also did some reaming of the bore. Most of this improved the tuning. Nobody ever told me that my instrument was out of tune! I'd tend to think that Mr. Hite did work of that nature on your instrument.

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 Re: Buffet R-13 custom-serviced by Hite?
Author: ckol 
Date:   2018-08-15 01:23

Wonderful! That sounds like the kinds of things implied by the sales receipt. I appreciate the added info!

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