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 Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Musikat 
Date:   2019-11-20 17:32
Attachment:  Clarinet.jpg (72k)
Attachment:  Clarinet2.jpg (105k)
Attachment:  Clarinet3.jpg (186k)

I like to troll my local online yard sale sites for deals and periodically look up clarinets just to see what is there. Yesterday I found a "wooden Buffet" for $180. When I looked at the pictures they included what can be seen of the serial number, which starts with 107 but I can't tell if there are 5 or 6 numbers total. I contacted the seller and he is going to check tonight after work. He said he thought the numbers had been filed but it just looks faded from the picture (attached). IF there are six numbers, I think it would be a 1969 R13, correct? There are no visible logos on the instrument in the picture, but I know my 1977 R13 logos had faded to the point where only one was slightly visible before I got it restored, so that may not mean anything.

I have a 7th grade son that plays clarinet and currently has a plastic Yamaha and an intermediate wooden Selmer my dad got used for $200 that isn't that great. Assuming this is an R13, would it be worth buying for that price and having it overhauled as a Christmas present, or is there too much risk not knowing the history? The seller says it was his mother's and that it is playable so I could at least try it, but am no tech. I wouldn't be able to spot anything but the obvious bent key or crack and check the seal.

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2019-11-20 17:40

This is an E11, not an R13 (the case is a dead giveaway). Still a good instrument but still a "student" instrument. I think $180 is a fair price but keep in mind you may need to pay up to a few hundred more dollars to get it fixed up depending on the condition.

-JDbassplayer

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Musikat 
Date:   2019-11-20 17:55

Out of curiosity, what about the case gives it away?

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-20 18:08
Attachment:  CBB Clarinet Crop.jpg (99k)

Did a little image enhancing. Definitely 5 digit serial number and it looks like 'Faux' wood, not wood but made to look like wood.
Maybe letting the seller that it isn't wood and point out what work it will need to get it to play, you can bargain it down - your choice.

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2019-11-20 18:17

It's a brown rectangular vinyl case. The modern R13 comes is a more rounded case with black synthetic leather. Also notice how there is no logo on the upper joint. The logos on E11s are notorious for wearing off as they are only painted on. The logos on the the R13 are stamped and do not wear off so easily.

I'm not sure what Ken is talking about though. It's definitely wood. "Faux wood" has a brushed finished while this instrument clearly shows wood grain.

-JDbassplayer

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Musikat 
Date:   2019-11-20 18:52

I honestly can't tell from the pictures whether the case is brown or black. It could be either. As for rounded corners, if this is truly a 1969 instrument would it be a "modern" R13 case?

Regarding logos my 1977 R13 logos wore off to the point the only way it could be identified as a Buffet was through the serial number. Although the lower joint one was still faintly readable, as it doesn't appear to be here.

So far, the most likely reason it isn't an R13 is Ken's enhanced photo that seems to show the serial number as 5 numbers, not 6.

It is probably too good to be true, but I appreciate everyone's input! I would only buy it if it were an R13, since he has a wooden intermediate Selmer. What I really want is a new instrument for ME (I tried the Uebels recently and really loved them!) and to pass down my R13, but I don't have the funds for that at the moment. :(

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-11-20 20:52

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,6536/Clarinet.jpg

It should have a six figure serial number and not a five figure one starting with 1 - looks like the first number isn't visible from that view. I'd hazard a guess going by the keywork it's from the late '90s to mid '00s. The (full) serial number on these won't relate to Buffet clarinets as this one (like the majority of E11s) was made by Schreiber.

It appears to be a genuine E11 but is looking very tired - chances are it'll need a full overhaul.

Chris.

Post Edited (2019-11-20 20:57)

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-11-21 17:33

Definitely looks like a wood E11. Will need work but could still be a good buy at that price. A student level instrument, and not necessarily an improvement on the Selmer.

Tony F.

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-21 21:45

Yes buy it! Even though I'm a Yamaha Artist I'd probably like to fix this up and then compare it to your Yamaha. You will hear a sound and pitch difference, so pick your favorite horn.


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


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2019-11-22 14:50

I don't know much about Schreiber (German E11) serial numbers so not sure what it should be. If it was a French made Buffet model with a 107XX S/N it's from the early 1930s and this doesn't looks like that at all.

The back of the Eb/Bb key and the left pinky levers show they are made of brazed parts vs. one piece of the pro (e.g. R13) Buffet models. I can't remember at the top of my head if Buffet has ever made brazed keys for those but I don't think they have.

Re the brown case that was mentioned, I've seen R13 and other models come with that case. Maybe ordered that way by a distributor, etc.

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-11-22 15:22

Buffet themselves haven't made the LH levers in two pieces, but Schreiber have been doing this on the B12 and E11 since the late '90s.

The case is a rectangular wooden one with a textured vinyl covering which was the model between the moulded plastic case the B12 was supplied in and the wooden case with two rounded edges the E13, C12 and R13/RC clarinets were supplied in.

Chris.

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 Re: Would you take a chance on this used Buffet?
Author: Musikat 
Date:   2019-11-22 20:33

It seems the consensus is E11 and I am not interested in another intermediate or! beginner model, so I am going to pass on this one. Thanks to all for the detective work analyzing the pictures for clues to determine it definitely wasn't the find I was hoping for

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