Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 What's the S1?
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2001-07-30 13:55

Ok, all you experts out there, what's Buffet's S1? It's an oldie, but is it a goodie? Look at this on eBay http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1450872818

The price seems a bit high. Tell me about this particular model and if you've played one--that would be great. I'm not planning on bidding--just curious.

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: Jesse Rogers 
Date:   2001-07-30 17:18

I bought an S1 in 1974 or 75, the dealer said it was their brand newest and best, they claimed it had a brevete bore and other changes over the R13, I don't remember. Mine was decent but a little stuffy. I sold it in 1980 and bought an R13.

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-07-30 17:45

Based upon everything I have read, the Buffet S1 was a model that Buffet came out with that attempted to improve upon the R-13. Unfortunely, I don't think it was very successful. Some say they are stuffier. As usual personal opinion never supplants one's own playtest. YMMV. Best, mw

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   2001-07-30 17:49

Brenda -

The S-1 was, I think, a prototype of the RC. It was introduced in the early 70s with much trashing of the R-13 and claims that the new model solved all its problems, if only the superstitious and hidebound Americans would get away from their idolatry of the R-13.

I tried several and hated them. They were impossibly stuffy and had nothing of the color that, for me, continues to make the R-13 my choice of instrument, in spite of its well known problems. Buffet withdrew the S-1 after only a few years, and there are relatively few of them around.

S-1s have appeared on eBay several times over the last couple of years. I think it's just a couple of them, being offered over and over. Each time, the seller has wanted significantly more than an R-13 of equivalent age would bring, and I don't think any of them have sold.

Unless you want it as a collector's item, I wouldn't pay the price, and if I were interested in it as a player, I'd want an ironclad return option.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: Fred 
Date:   2001-07-30 18:44

Oddly enough (considering the stuffy reputation), the only S1 I've heard someone rave about (I think on this board) was an A clarinet.

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: ron b 
Date:   2001-07-30 20:09

Well, Brenda... it seems to have been hanging around somewhere for twenty to thirty years. No one has bought it yet :| What's that mean?
Maybe nuthin but, still... makes me wonder why. I'd consider the above experts' posts to be well worth noting. I wouldn't take a $1250.00 chance on it, would you?
- ron b -

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: jbutler 
Date:   2001-07-30 21:41

A very good orchestral clarinet player in this area plays a Bb S-1. He claims it makes a good match to his R-13 A. He plays with a Vienese setup, Black Masters (4.5 and 5.0) and custom mouthpiece, rather close I think. He does sound very good with this setup.


Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2001-07-30 22:45

Well it seems we're all about the same opinion on this item. Glad to hear all the input. I'd heard a few things (all negative) about these clarinets and since I found this just "skimming" over the eBay page I thought I'd ask. I agree that $1,200.00 seems way, way too high for a clarinet of such an undistinguished reputation. Yes, you could get a very nice R-13 for that price and would prefer it over the S1 any day of the week.

I'm not looking for myself, but am always "looking" if you know what I mean. I buy when I find something that looks really great.

Stuffy clarinets are not my idea of a great buy. I just returned a Selmer Signature I had on approval for a friend because it was "stuffy." Seems like the S1 has the same plague.

Still love my Greenline R-13. Wow! What a great tone! I've heard there are professionals cropping up everywhere with them for studio work! I can see the benefits--not as prone to temperature changes as the regular wood R-13. It's very smooth also! Gotta get one of these, guys!

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2001-07-31 01:06

According to the information I have picked up over the years, (mostly from an old time player who had retired and had one for sale in the paper) the S1 was not a prototype to the RC, nor was it an attempt to improve on the R13. I believe the true story is that, when Buffet introduced the Robert Caree (re)designed R13 (i.e., polycylindrical bore with undercut tone holes, etc.,) around 1955, they were surprised to meet with resistance from some long-time Buffet players who preferred the pre-Caree bore design. Not wanting to alienate some good established customers, Buffet restored the older design to their product line and (since they were already now using the designation R13), they designated the instrument the S1. In effect, the S1 has the design of the R13 before Caree's radical design changes (and BTW, while it tends to add to the confusion, it is technically not incorrect (the double negative is a subtle editorial comment ;^) ) to refer to (certain) Buffet professional clarinets prior to the polycylindrical model as R13's. Buffet officially adopted this designation first when it introduced the polycylindrical models. However, prior to that (and as early as the 1930's according to a message in the Klarinet archives from someone who had an old catalog), Buffet's importer (Carl Fischer) designated the 17-key, 6-ring professional model as -- you guessed it -- the R13. Eventually (as I recall, the early 80's) demand for the S1 shrivelled up (maybe by then all the older players who didn't like the R13 had retired or died) and Buffet dropped it.

Thus, the S1 was an alternate professional model to the R13 and later RC. A "brevete" bore would simply be a "patent" bore and probably merely referred to Buffet's "original" patent bore design. My recollection is that the S1 had a cylindrical bore slightly larger than the R13 (probably not enough to be considered a "big bore" clarinet). As a result, it undoubtedly had a different set of tuning peculiarities. Since the bore of the R13 A is smaller than the bore of the R13 Bb (to reduce the finger stretch), the A's tend to be more resistant. The S1 A probably has a larger bore than the R13 A making it easier to blow. This may be why the person mentioned above preferred it.

I seriously doubt that Buffet would have "trashed" the R13 model when they introduced the S1. After all, the R13 was their flagship and they were hardly looking to replace it at the time. It would be like trashing the current model R13 when they introduced the "Vintage" model.

There is probably some information on this model in the Klarinet archives but I can't find it quickly. For some reason searching on "Buffet S1" (without the quotes) yields thousands of hits.

Best regards,

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: MartyM 
Date:   2001-07-31 08:28

I own four different buffet clarinets and am a buffet clinician.and yes,I do have an S-1. There is so much mis-information on this board sometimes it seems people just make stuff up . About 1974 Buffet came out with the S-! and the RC
to offer three different bores and clarinet models along with the R-13.
The true difference is the speed of the taper in the bore of the left hand of each of the different models. They are all poly. The S-1 like the rc sold more elsewhere besides the U.S. And due to poor sales was dropped.
I have worked in a retail music store for twenty five years and have played some great S-1 clarinets. Mitchel Lurie played one for about 10 years.

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-07-31 13:02

Marty, the RC has a CONICAL Lower Joint, how is that for correct info?

Rather than be a detractor, why don't you help?

It's easy to sit on the fence and take pot shots with little pebbles.

trying our BEST,

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2001-07-31 13:34

Ok, if we sift through all the info above and say--the S1 could be a great instrument for someone wanting that particular instrument. What would a reasonable price be for one in similar condition to the one shown on eBay at the beginning of this discussion?

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: mw 
Date:   2001-07-31 15:35

If it truly is new in the wrapper, the price is NOT unreasonable. $1200+ may well be in the upper range of value. AND, it might be worth more.

There is no question that the S1 was not a success as a model; if it was Buffet would still manufacture it. (easy, let's not shoot the messenger, OK?)

Any number of clarinets appeal to any number of perople. DSFDF.

Caveat: When people write narrative detail for auctions their use of written, descriptive prose may be a reality to them, and NOT to others. For every clarinet or Sax that the Seller claimed was "new/never touched, virgin, only played at the factory" and had been "lost in the backroom or buried in the store room"

The Clarinet's wrapper or plastic bags that originally housed easch separate part of the clarinet may still be in the case. Some people never throw anything away.

I am usually _leary_ of situations where a 25 y/o (GREAT) instrument was never sold. Of course, it would have nothing to do with the dreaded curse (intonation deficiency) ! On the other mano, it is entirely possible that everything I doubt is actually true. It may still be in the wrapper w/lovely intonation.

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2001-07-31 16:32

Hmmm. So, what you're saying is the old rule---buyer beware--you get what you pay for, etc.? I think I'll keep my $1,200.00 for now.

Another thing I look for on eBay is if the seller is willing to give you your money back after you get the thing and don't like it. Of course, most of the time you're still out shipping and possibly eBay fees. Not to mention frustration.

But, to someone looking for one--it might be worth the risk. I bought a Selmer 10S that was new/old stock last year and it was an excellent clarinet. I did have to buy new pads and have some adjustments ($40.00), but it played really well with an excellent tone. Sold it right away to a guy in El Paso who thinks it's fantastic. Apparently the seller (from whom I purchased) was a genuinely honest dealer who went broke and had some stock left over from God-Only-Knows-When.

Reply To Message
 RE: What's the S1?
Author: coaster14 
Date:   2005-02-08 01:39

I own a Buffet S-1 and love it. It plays very well and with a nice tone. It also plays very easily between octives. Our first clarinet also plays an S-1. The principal isn't even playing a Buffet at all. So don't go by Brand and model alone. If you can give it a try. Have had no problems with mine at all.

Reply To Message
 Re: What's the S1?
Author: Ralph G 
Date:   2005-02-08 01:50

I know this one's probably not even close, but does anyone know the record for the "oldest resurrected thread?" I think Ken Shaw's Concertino thread is pretty near the top.


Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.

- Pope John Paul II

Reply To Message
 Re: What's the S1?
Author: donald 
Date:   2005-02-08 10:06

Charles Neidich played a pair of S1 clarinets.... until he left them in a taxi one day (did i get the story right? apparently it's true)
my first pair of professional clarinets were S1 (sold in 1986)
i'm sure Lee Gibson said/wrote they had smaller tone holes (than R13) in the left hand- giving them a very "sweet" sound.....
after all these years i couldn't comment on how good they sounded or played in tune

Reply To Message
 Re: What's the S1?
Author: MTZMichael 
Date:   2010-06-22 17:01

Hi Brenda,

I've owned my S1 since 1978 and I never have considered it stuffy. I get a clear, sweet sound, even from the first time I tried it out with my old Mitchell Lurie mouthpiece that I used in High School in 1978.

When I've sought to change my mouthpiece/reed combo I have had stuffy moments, which I chalked up to just to needing to work out the new combo or scrap that new combo.

However, your decision not to buy it makes total sense to me. My opinion about buying the one on Ebay is that since it's not as well known, that if you did find you didn't like it, it would be more difficult to resell and recover your costs.

I know my post comes 5 years later, but I wanted to add my 2 cents anyways....


Reply To Message
 Re: What's the S1?
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2010-06-22 19:54

Actually that's 9 years after Brenda posted the original question!!

Reply To Message
 Re: What's the S1?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2010-06-22 19:57

Plonk wrote:

> Actually that's 9 years after Brenda posted the original
> question!!

Some topics are timeless. [tongue]

Well, we can't motivate folks to use the search function and at the same time suggest they open a new thread then, no?


Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Remember my login:
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org