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 Buffet care instructions
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-07-07 03:47

Some people have mentioned in the past that they've failed to receive a Maintenance Leaflet with their new Buffet clarinets. I just ordered and received a new B-12 for a young friend, and it came with the leaflet.. Here's a reprint of the care page:
Daily care

a) To prevent corrosion, wipe the keywork with a dry polishing cloth after each performance.

b) Always use the Buffet Crampon case provided for the instrument. Too tight or too loose a case may cause bending of keys.

c) Under no circumstances use oil, solvents or anti-corrosive products.


The pitch of a wind instrument is greatly affected by temperature. The Buffet Crampon clarinet is designed to reach its pitch when it is played a four minutes in a room of average temperature (20' C).

Pitch adjustment

1) When the barrel - top joint is pulled out :
The pitch of the instrument generally lowers, but especially the notes in the upper part of the top joint.

2) When the top - bottom joint are pulled out:
The pitch of the instrument generally lowers, but especially the notes in the upper part of the bottom joint.

To prevent cracks on the body

a) In the case of a new instrument, do not play it continuously for more than 30 minutes daily during the first month.

b) Avoid any rapid change of temperature and humidify. For instance, do not leave the instrument in the blazing sun, out-door in winter, or near an air-conditioner, or heater.
c) Apply cork grease on the joint cork.

d) Before putting the instrument in the case, dry the bore completely with your pull-through (swab).

e) No bore oil, etc, needs to be used to prevent cracks in a new instrument. Observing the precautions in a) to c) is sufficient.

Note : Should any wooden instrument crack, it will never affect the intonation and tone quality if the instrument is property repaired.

Use of a swab

a) Whilst playing the instrument, use a swab frequently (every 10 - 15 minutes). If water collects in the tone holes, bubbling and swelling of pads with consequent leakage will badly affect the performance. If so, dry pads with cigarette paper.

Note : Pass a swab through the barrel towards the bell. It may otherwise be caught by a tube protruding inwardly in the upper part of the top joint.

b) When the swab is soiled, replace it with a new one. If a soiled or a fluffy one resulting from over washing is used, dust may collect in the tone holes.

c) Do not put a wet swab in the case together with the instrument. The wet swab may cause rust on the springs and the discoloration of the keywork.

Reply To Message
 Swabbing - which way?
Author: Drew 
Date:   1999-07-07 14:51

Thanks for this information, its always good to refresh on proper care of instruments.

However, I'm wondering about the instructions regarding swabbing from "barrel to bell," VS more usual "bell to barrel" direction. In Stein's book (The art of Clarinet Playing?) he recommends the bell to barrel direction, so as not to "pull" moisture further down the bore. Buffet recommends the opposite. Which is more correct? Does it matter?

Reply To Message
 RE: Swabbing - which way?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-07-07 14:56

Buffet recommends that particular direction so that you'll have plenty of swab to grab onto if it gets stuck. I personally don't believe the direction makes all that much difference to the moisture, as long as you swab it well and often.

Reply To Message
 Thanks for the Information
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-07-07 15:38


Thanks a bunch for the information. Would it be possible to get permission from Buffet to permanently post this information in an appropriate area of your BBS for future reference?

I always swab from barrel to bell on my Buffet horn, keeping in mind Buffet's preference and the possibility of getting the swab stuck in the upper joint. Buffet also brings up a good point about not leaving a soggy swab in the case with the horn. If I have a very wet swab, I leave it out to dry for an hour or so before storing it in the case. I know that you have instructions for the B-12 including some minimum care instructions for the keywork, but does Buffet have recommended care for silver keywork?


Reply To Message
 RE: Thanks for the Information
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-07-07 18:18

paul wrote:
Thanks a bunch for the information. Would it be possible to get permission from Buffet to permanently post this information in an appropriate area of your BBS for future reference?
Paul, good idea. I just popped an email over to Boosey & Hawkes asking permission to reprint. We'll see if they'll let me do the whole thing - there's a nice section & picture on assembling/disassembling.

Reply To Message
 ...and getting better by the minute...
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-07-07 19:47

Looks like the idea is getting better by the minute...

One of the things that I always took for granted, yet saw young players have a problem with was the technique for properly assembling and disassembling the clarinet. Many novice level and young players don't understand the need to slightly twist the parts together and apart on a properly greased cork. I saw many a young student mash the parts straight on and then try to pull them straight off - often with less than desirable results. I hope that the instructions you have from Buffet show the proper technique for this problem.

Perhaps having a special area for this subject so BBS visitors can go to it quickly and directly might be a good idea, too.

Reply To Message
 RE: Buffet care instructions
Author: David 
Date:   1999-07-08 01:40


Yamaha also recommends to swab from barrell to bell. It does recommend the use of bore oil! So, what is a person to do?

Reply To Message
 RE: Buffet care instructions
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-07-08 02:06

David wrote:
It does recommend the use of bore oil! So, what is a person to do?
Follow the manufacturer's recommendation!

Reply To Message
 RE: Thanks for the Information
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-07-12 15:23

I just received permission to reprint the Buffet care manual. It should be up within the next day or two.

Reply To Message
 Don't Forget the Bass Clarinet
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-07-13 13:54


Please tell us where you permanently posted your Buffet care instructions on your BBS. I have to assume that these instructions apply to the soprano clarinet. Therefore, should these instructions be labeled as such?

Also, would most of these same instructions work for the bass clarinet? If there are differences, do you think that Buffet (or Selmer, or LeBlanc, etc.) would give you the right to post bass clarinet care instructions on your BBS?

I believe that once you have the soprano and bass clarinets covered for this subject, most other clarinets would fall into these two basic categories, at least for care and cleaning instructions.

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