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 old buffet
Author: # 
Date:   1999-08-12 06:57

I have the oppurtunity to buy a buffet serial #33000 (made in late 40's). My teacher says it is very good. Is it worth it. Price around 750. Can anyone help.

Are the older ones better than the new ones. Do they compare to the R-13's

Thnks for the help.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-12 12:09

This particular clarinet is not polycylindrical, so the intonation and sound will most probably not be close to the R-13. It may be better or worse, though!

I think 750 may be a bit high for this vintage - most people would pay around that much for an R-13 from the late 50s.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: bill 
Date:   1999-08-12 15:17

thank you mark, is the age mean its too old, the sound is sweet and the keys are very responsive. Should I instead be looking for an r-13 in this price range.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: S.W. Franklin 
Date:   1999-08-13 01:42

I think you should take a good look at this "old" buffet. I have one from 1937-8 SN 22516, and it plays beautifully. It is responsive and has a very good tone. I think too many people are enamored by the "new" R-13. The "old" R-13's played well and some of the most famous clarinetists from the pre-1955 R-13s played these instruments.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-13 02:37

bill wrote:
-------------------------------
thank you mark, is the age mean its too old, the sound is sweet and the keys are very responsive. Should I instead be looking for an r-13 in this price range.
----------
Oh, no! Please - consider the clarinet on its own merits - how does it play, what condition is it in, etc. Check it against a tuner to make sure that the clarinet is in tune with itself (within reason) and that it is near A=440. I think you may have some room to haggle on the price.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Lisa 
Date:   1999-08-13 12:59

I played on an old Buffet for about 4 years. With my experiences it started off as a great instrument. But as I became a better overall player the tone became very raspy. The clarinet became very hard to tune with itself and it became extremely hard to play well in tune in an ensemble situation. As time went on the keys began to click very loudly. I tried to get to fixed twice and when I first got it back it was great, but after 2 weeks of playing on the clarinet I couldn't tell that any work had been done.
But this is just my experience with an older Buffet. Oh and if the serial number is in the 33000 then it isn't a R-13. Buffet didn't start the R-13 line for many years after the clarinet was made. But the clarinet may be the top of the line Buffet of it's time.
Remember, this is just one experience with an older Buffet. The one you have may turn out to be 10 times better than mine. If your teacher is on a professional level and you respect his/her opinion and you feel the instrument is good for you go for it. Good luck!

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 RE: old buffet
Author: S.W. Franklin 
Date:   1999-08-13 22:09

Lisa,I believe you should look in the archives if you believe that Buffet did not make an R-13 clarinet before 1955. Please read the mesage from Alvin Swiney, dated May 1, 1999, Subject: The History of the R-13 Clarinet.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-08-14 00:05



S.W. Franklin wrote:
-------------------------------
Lisa,I believe you should look in the archives if you believe that Buffet did not make an R-13 clarinet before 1955. Please read the mesage from Alvin Swiney, dated May 1, 1999, Subject: The History of the R-13 Clarinet.
-------------------------------

Yes we've been through this before. The main point is that the normal person means the R-13 introduced in the mid 1950s that has the polycylindrical bore. Although there was a Buffet called the R-13 in this country long before that, it predated the polycylindrical bore and seems to have been a marketing convention for the American market only. It is *NOT* what most people mean when they speak of the R-13.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: S.W. Franklin 
Date:   1999-08-14 04:17

Dee,I am not trying to resurrect the R-13 designation discussion. Lisa's remark was that if the serial number was 33000 then it wasn't an R-13. This remark is totally incorrect. I agree with Mark. The clarinet should be considered on it's own merits. There are many R-13s that may not be as good as that "old Buffet" and there may be others that are better. In any case, the fact that the "old Buffet is not polycylindrical and therefore will not sound like a post 1955 R-13. According to Mr. Swiney's message, Mr. Moening stated that the bad bore Buffets were SN 39000 to 41000 and wre eventually labeled "Academy Model.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Lisa 
Date:   1999-08-14 04:37

I'm sorry you have a problem with a person making an incorrect statement. But I took my Buffet to a profesional repairman and he said it was before the company started calling them Buffets. I only relayed the info I was told.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-08-14 11:54

S.W., Neither am I trying to resurrect that argument. Nor did I imply that the bore was good or bad or that the instrument was good or bad. My intent was to emphasize the point that we must all be cognizant of and correctly deal with our audiences expectations. If the audience means the polycylindrical bore, then we are being deceptive if we say that the R-13 was made before without clarifying the difference in the two versions to that audience. The name being the same does not make the instrument design the same.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: S.W. Franklin 
Date:   1999-08-14 18:33

Dee, I believe we are in agreement. What bothers me so much is that so many individuals seem to believe that the only Buffet clarinets that have any tonal and/or playing quality are the polycylindrical R-13 and its derivatives. There were many professional Buffet clarinets made prior to the Robert Caree era that were and are still wonderful instruments with excellent qualities. Mr. Swiney has stated "However, according to Hans Moening, the original design of the 22,000 series R-13 Buffet that Ralph McLane used did play in tune from the factory without extensive set up work." The 22,000 series Buffets were made in the 1936-7 period. How many clarinets made today can one say will play in tune without extensive set up? I certainly don't know, but I would be willing to bet that there are not too many. I still say that the "old Buffet" should be considered on its own merits and not be compared with the Robert Caree model.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-08-14 19:22



S.W. Franklin wrote:
-------------------------------
... What bothers me so much is that so many individuals seem to believe that the only Buffet clarinets that have any tonal and/or playing quality are the polycylindrical R-13 and its derivatives. There were many professional Buffet clarinets made prior to the Robert Caree era that were and are still wonderful instruments with excellent qualities...
-------------------------------

Absolutely agree. There are, were, and will be many fine clarinets that are of different designs. I personally play a Leblanc Symphonie II made sometime in the early to mid 1950s.


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 RE: old buffet
Author: Lelia 
Date:   1999-08-15 01:56

I have a 1937 Buffet. IMHO, it's a first-rate clarinet. However, I do think $750 would have been much too high a price on it. I wouldn't have paid that. I don't know what the going rate is for these clarinets in restored, playable condition in music stores, but at estate sales, yard sales, flea markets, "junktiques" stores and so forth, Buffet clarinets made between the two world wars are not uncommon, and sell in unrestored, as-is, buyer-beware condition for under $200, often *well* under. I got mine for $100 last year. Sometimes they're in atrocious condition, sometimes too damaged to be worth restoring. Nearly all will be filthy from neglect, and will need pads and corks, at least, so figure the rehab job into the real cost. There's risk in buying an old clarinet that needs work before you can hear how it sounds (especially watch out for cracks and "marriages" of pieces from different instruments!), but you can get a great bargain in the junk market, if you're willing to gamble. For someone experienced enough to tell that there's basically nothing wrong with the instrument except pads, corks, etc., then I'd highly recommend saving a good vintage clarinet from getting hung on a restaurant wall or made into a lamp!


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 RE: old buffet
Author: bill 
Date:   1999-08-15 06:35

this buffet has all new pads, no cracks and no clicks, i think i could get it in the 500-600 range. My teacher thinks it is a fine piece. I as a novice have no place to go and I appreciate everyones responses. Thank you. My issue is will this be the one I will keep for a long time or should I be looking elsewhere.

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 RE: old buffet
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-15 14:12

bill wrote:
-------------------------------
this buffet has all new pads, no cracks and no clicks, i think i could get it in the 500-600 range. My teacher thinks it is a fine piece. I as a novice have no place to go and I appreciate everyones responses.
-----------
Bill, I'll go out on a limb here. If your teacher thinks it's good, and you can get it in a reasonable price range, then you've a pretty safe bet. I would have pretty much the same problem if I were selecting a new clarinet; in my case I can identify what I _don't_ like, but when it comes to nuances I'd be asking teachers and such for advice!

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