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 Buffet R13 Bore sizes
Author: Ken. 
Date:   2019-05-28 09:01

I recently bought a 50's Centered Tone and like the darker sound compared to my Series 9 which I played for many years. I am thinking of trying an R13 as they seem to be preferred by some Jazz players.

I read a post on the SOTW forum where someone recommended for jazz to get an R13 from the 50's or 60's as they had a larger bore than the later ones. Does anyone know what year they changed to a smaller bore?

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 Re: Buffet R13 Bore sizes
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2019-05-28 13:19

Ken: there's much discussion on bore dimensions here, which can be accessed by searching. In brief, Buffet's bore design changed around 1955 from the nearly cylindrical "master bore" to Robert Carree's "polycylindrical" design, in which the upper joint tapers down going from top to bottom. Things did not seem to change much following the redesign. I have R13's from 1959 and 1982, and their bore dimensions are as follows (top and bottom of upper joint):

1959: 14.90mm/14.69mm
1982: 15.01mm/14.76mm

I also recently had the chance to measure a modern "Vintage" model, which allegedly tries to recapture the early polycylindrical design. This gave 14.99mm/14.71mm. So not much sign of bores becoming smaller in the way you suggest. It remains a possibility that 1960s instruments may have used a larger bore than 1959 or 1982, but I doubt Buffet changed things that much. Other readers will be able to send their measurements from this period.

In comparison, pre-1955 instruments are more like a uniform cylinder of around 14.90 mm top and bottom, and they do have a distinct character from later models (although less good tuning, which was one of the motivations for the polycylindrical redesign).

For what it's worth, I find my 1959 instrument to be more resistant and darker in tone than the 1982 one. But I don't play jazz, so this observation may not be very helpful to you.

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 Re: Buffet R13 Bore sizes
Author: Ken. 
Date:   2019-05-29 08:58

Thanks John. About your 1959 one being darker than the 1982 one, I wonder whether that was a general trend. That is if I go for an earlier R13 would it be darker than a later one? I also find my earlier Selmers from the 50's and early 60's to be darker than my mid 70's Series 9.

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 Re: Buffet R13 Bore sizes
Author: Clarinet_GAS 
Date:   2019-06-02 21:56

I bought my 1948 Master Bore after reading into the whole "large bore equals great jazz clarinet" claim. Plus Artie Shaw allegedly played on a Pre-R13 with his Gramercy 5. And also, pre 1955 models are just so much cheaper.

Funnily enough turns out my Buffet has indeed a cylindrical design bore, but measured at 14.6mm, hardly a large bore, or even a medium bore for that matter!

Beautiful sound... Crappy Intonation though to the point that I preferred my enhanced boehm CT for ORCHESTRAL work.

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 Re: Buffet R13 Bore sizes
Author: jthole 
Date:   2019-06-17 12:11

For a darker sound in the Buffet range, I would go RC (or a family member).

To be fair; I have a BC20 (precedes the RC) and a R13 (both with "F" serial numbers), and the differences are only small. The R13 is more "precise", while the BC20 has a bit more "colour".

Post Edited (2019-06-19 20:31)

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 Re: Buffet R13 Bore sizes
Author: Ken. 
Date:   2019-06-22 09:37

I just bought a Buffet R13 from 1970. I've only played it a couple of times but I am happy with it. It has a more classical sound and ring to the tone than the Centered Tone but I feel like it will work for both classical and jazz.

The tech I took it to said that there was a change in the bore design around 1970 to fix sharpness in the high notes. Does anyone know exactly what year that might have been? I've read a couple of posts about it here. One said there was a change in the early 70's, another said the late sixties.

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