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 Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: Al_Martinez23 
Date:   2020-03-08 00:43

Hello everyone,

I recently bought an R13 A clarinet from 1962 and it plays great. It almost feels like playing on my Bb R13 but I did notice two problems. My thumb C (C6) and my Altissimo D (D6) are quite sharp compared to the rest of the notes. Everything else is fine but it’s just those notes and even the C# (C#6) that are quite sharp. Anyone know how to correct it or bring it down so it can be manageable?

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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2020-03-08 01:29

I think those two notes are notorious for being sharp on Buffets, especially A clarinets.

If you try enough barrels, you might find one that reduces the sharpness without changing the rest of the tuning.

For D6, if you're using the pinky Eb key, don't.
For C6, you can try TR oox | ooo plus the LH pinky Ab/G# key. It isn't especially convenient in technical passages, but for a sustained note it's lower than T/R by itself.


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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-03-08 02:03

If you swap the register vent with a longer one it will solve your issue.


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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: donald 
Date:   2020-03-08 05:20

Changing the register vent is an easy adjustment that MAY help the problem, but will probably also cause other changes (throat B flat will probably lower in pitch, instrument will become more resistant, long B natural will become stuffier... maybe- it's different with every clarinet).
So, give it a go- it might be the solution.
Here's another solution.
This will help for long exposed high C's, but is hard to implement in some fast scale passages (easy in others...)
Get a tech to make a link from the left hand bridge key to the pad cup for C#/G# (an adjustment screw will be useful) so that pushing the C#/G# key also lowers the left hand ring key.
The first application of this is that you can finger high B flat like this....
TR X0X C#/G#
This has the initial benefit of making transition easy from G# to A# in the left hand upper register.
It also means you can finger a high C like...
TR X0X C#/G# plus the 2 Rh trill keys for chrom F#
This C is lower in pitch than the standard fingering, and very useful on clarinets with a sharp high C. Not always easy to utilise in fast passages, but the more used to it you get the more you will find you can sneak it in on exposed high C's....
Plus, you can now trill from G# to A# or C# to D#

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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2020-03-08 20:20

I have a 1960 Buffet R13 A. I noticed the same issue with the sharp C, and I fixed it by filling the hole for the LH first finger very slightly, using a small amount of bluetac. This is a perfect material for such things, as it adheres well to the side of the tonehole and you can work it with e.g. a small screwdriver until you have the perfect amount and shape in place.

But I find it hard to believe you can really have a sharp D. This note seems to be flat on just about every A clarinet I've ever encountered - but on the good ones it's within lippable range. Maybe, as commented above, you've using the RH Eb key with that note. All I can say is that I hate to do that as it gives the note a strident character that seems most undesirable. I play the D without the extra key on all instruments - and on the 1960 Buffet A the tuning is acceptable.

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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2020-03-09 04:44

John Peacock wrote:

> I have a 1960 Buffet R13 A. I noticed the same issue with the
> sharp C, and I fixed it by filling the hole for the LH first
> finger very slightly, using a small amount of bluetac.

As with most instances of adding material to the top of a tone hole to make a clarion note flatter, you have to be careful that you aren't making the chalumeau note a twelfth lower (in this case F4) too flat.


Post Edited (2020-03-09 04:45)

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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: donald 
Date:   2020-03-09 13:40

I owned a Buffet Tosca that had a perfectly tuned upper register - right up to thumb C it was bang on 440. In the lower register both E and Fs were quite ridiculously flat. When you first played this instrument you noticed the even tuning up high, and as those lower notes are USUALLY a BIT FLAT you kind of forgave them. Actually using this instrument in a group was another thing altogether- thumb F in particular was extremely problematic in a "real life" situation.
Having the top notes "a bit sharp" and the lower ones "a bit flat" really is quite manageable, and certainly preferable to the tuning I described above!
btw the key alteration I suggest above was first suggested to me by Rosario Mazzeo, and I recall he had it on his personal customised instrument.

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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2020-03-09 16:38

Karl: agreed you mustn't overdo it. Out of tune notes are more noticeable in higher registers, which maybe favours limiting the sharpness of the C at the expense of a slightly flat F. But against that is the fact that it's easier to lip a sharp note down than vice versa. So generally I'm happy with a slightly sharp C6, as Donald recommended - but on the 1960 Buffet A the discrepancy was too large for comfort, which I think was one of the points of the original post. After adjustment, I felt the compromise between C & F was as good as on a modern instrument.

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 Re: Buffet R13 A tuning
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2020-03-10 02:07

This is when the barrel bores are important. This is why Hans Moennig used a reverse taper, thin fine tuned the horn carefully. Sadly the Moennig reverse bores are not always made correctly by Buffet.

I am also guessing that the bore of your mouthpiece is too small.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

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