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 buffet b12 clarinet
Author: bandk 
Date:   2011-09-12 05:06

please help, I just purchased a used clarinet for my daughter, and I want to know if is a fake, and if not, how old is it? It has the serial #311012, the buffet crampon logo seems to be engraved , it has a fixed , not adjustable thumb rest, and it is not in a buffet case (it is in a selmer case, great condition ).

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2011-09-12 13:11

Hi Bandk -- I wish I could confirm what you would like to know, but I don't know the particulars of the B12 as some others do. Hopefully you'll find someone who can help based solely on your description. I would suggest that anyone who would like to help you would be greatly enabled if you could provide a pic or two.

Good luck!


Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2011-09-12 18:39

Almost zero likelihood your instrument is a fake. I have a B12 with serial number 4xxxxx. It is one of the older ones, shiny plastic, fixed thumb rest, "engraved" logo. There are no serial number lists for this instrument that I am aware of but mine says Made in W. Germany which would suggest it was made prior to 1989 - probably 22-28 years old, would be my guess. Yours is older - maybe 25-30 years old? At that age, it's not so surprising that the case may have been replaced. IMO, in good condition, these older B12s are good student model instruments. I'm not sure if the "great condition" you mention refers to the case or the instrument. In either case, considering the clarinet's age, I recommend, no I implore you to have it checked over by a good repair tech to make sure it's in good playing condition. Some problems aren't immediately visible to the naked eye. A leaky horn could sabotage your child's experience and she'd probably blame herself or simply conclude that clarinets are too hard to play and give up.

Best regards,

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2011-09-12 18:50

If you want a definitive answer, you could check woth Buffet-Crampon USA:

Buffet Crampon USA, Inc.
14125 Beach Boulevard
FL-32250 Jacksonville - USA
Phone +1 904 821 0234
Fax +1 904 821 0315

(Cut and pasted from their website)

Otherwise, pretty much what Jack said. :)


“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: bandk 
Date:   2011-09-12 19:41

Thanks for responding. The salesman said he had no way to know how old it is, but gave the impression it is 5+ years old, but on researching when I got home, I see that newer ones have the adjustable thumb rest and a wooden appearance. This is not what we have. This , as I said, has a fixed thumb rest, and it is a shiny black plastic. The engraved logo is not gold (at least not anymore) , it has the serial number engraved also, but this one does NOT have a country engraved on it anywhere. The silver finish of the keys is a bit worn, maybe showing evidence of # of years of use, or else cheap quality? There are some very minor scuffs, or scratches on the finish, but I would not have thought this is 25-30 years old. Is it possible to look so good and be so old? My daughter tried it out, and liked it, but she is no expert, nor am I. I had no way to see if it is in tune or not, so I am hoping she will have that checked at school today. The music shop salesman said that it looks at though it has been recorked, and some pads replaced. It looks to be in very good shape. I emailed Buffet Crampon in florida this morning, and received note from Francous Kloc, asking for photos, which I still need to take. He mentioned that their older instruments (15 years ago) were shiny, and that the country where it was made should be engraved on it (germany), which is not on this one at all. Does this still sound to you that it is not a fake? I also will try to find a tech to check it's playing condition - if it is a "leaky horn", is that fixable, or reason to return to seller?
Thank you,

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2011-09-12 19:49

There are plenty of "fake" Chineese B12s around but these are of recent origin and copied from the most recent B12 models.
It is extremely unlikely that yours is a fake but is most likely a genuine older style B12 made by Schreiber in Germany for Boosey and Hawkes who owned both Buffet and Schreiber in the 1980s.
These older B12 are actually better made than some of the newer models and make a good student instrument.

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2011-09-13 04:39

I still doubt it's a fake. What would be the motivation to counterfeit a 25 year-old student instrument? The country of origin could be worn off from use. If you haven't already, look very carefully above the serial number on the lower joint (right below the metal ring), perhaps with a magnifying glass and you may pick up a hint of what was there. On mine the "Made in W. Germany" is extremely small (but also quite clear).

Actually, in some ways the older B12s were more sturdily built than some of the newer ones. After the reunification of Germany, B12s were marked "Made in Germany." Prior to reunification, B12s were marked "Made in W. Germany." That's how I know roughly how old mine must be and your serial number is over 100000 lower than mine. Prior to being designated the B12, these clarinets were marketed under the Evette model name. I'm not sure when the B12 designation started. The earliest I've heard is 1981 but I've also heard 1983 or 84. FWIW, mine still looks great. I'm not at all surprised that a clarinet as old as yours would show some wear to the nickle plating on the keys.

Best regards,

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: lordraptor1 
Date:   2015-06-29 07:50

i didnt get it and never will purchase a buffet clarinet because multiple sources state they are the WORSTE clarinet you could buy and as such i no longer give a shit about this thread and am also leaving this forum because it proved utterly useless. i also advise other to avoid the buffet clarinets.

Post Edited (2016-03-29 09:28)

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2015-06-29 22:40

You don't give digit count of serial but assuming it's 24xxxx then if it is a Buffet (well Schreiber actually) it clearly is a very early one.
Most of the older B12s had the logo stamped into the plastic so less likely to have worn off.
Suggest the easiest way to check it out is to compare closely with another B12, preferably of similar vintage.

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: knotty 
Date:   2015-06-29 23:05

I have a B-12, #512830 stamped on both joints. It has a engraved logo on the barrel, upper joint, and bell. Made in Germany on lower joint. The thumb rest is as you describe, black plastic, fixed. It also has fine parallel lines to simulate wood grain I guess.

Among my plastic clar's, the key layout fits perfectly to my hands and plays very nicely.

~ Musical Progress: None ~

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: lordraptor1 
Date:   2015-06-29 23:07

i am guessing it is a clarinet manufactured in 1983 going off all i can find serial number wise the only other ones i found starting with 24 were made in 1938 and this would be ruled out with the made in W. Germany stamp. so with the age basically determined i just need to find out how to tell if it is actually a B12 or a different student model, it looks like it is made from ABS BUT, i have seen laquered wood clarinets and flutes that look like plastic.

sadly all references i can find are for current models and according to current models a B12 and E13 have adjustable thumb rests, while an E11 has a fixed thumb rest and this one has a fixed thumb rest.

also had a "silver test" ( type done to test silver jewelry) done on the keys and the test came back as positive ("about 50% silver" which is a quote of what i was told), so i am having a difficult time positively identifying the instrument for age and model number but as previously stated i have pretty much figured it is a 1983 clarinet but model is eluding me.

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: lordraptor1 
Date:   2015-06-29 23:22

i only see a serial number on one joint, and there is no simulated wood grain it looks like shiny plastic but i have seen wood intruments before that have been laquered where you dont see any wood grain at all, but i am betting it is actually plastic ( dont have it in my hands at the momet to look at it). so older models of B12 did have a fixed thumb rest so that puts me back into thinking it is a B12 with silver plated keys, abs plastic and a 1983 time frame but there are no model number or buffet crampon logos anywhere on it the only thing indicating it is a buffet is the case adn the W.Germany adn serial number ( which the w.germany and serial are etched in and in extremely tiny charachters LOL).

my only issue now is to try and figure out what it might be worth after i finish doing an overhaul and polish on it factoring in the wear on the plating from use but i wont know really how bad the plating actually is until i get it tore down and parts buffed LOL.

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2015-06-30 03:25

Be aware that the serial numbers for B12 (Schreiber made) clarinets have NOTHING to do with the Buffet serial list which only relates to the professional models made by Buffet in France. Even the E13 (and earlier Evette) type intermediate models made in France have a totally different serial list being either Knnnnn or Knnnnnn.
The number you quote is same as the "real" Buffet made about 1983 but not the B12
The earliest B12 number that I can positively date from instruments passed through my workshop is 36xxxx from 1989 but not enough data to project that back yearwise to 24xxxx.

The student level B12 is a perfectly sound instrument but I would think the value of a 30+ year old one, even when overhauled would be quite low.
I would never personally overhaul one for sale from a financial view. Only really make sense for an already family owned model being passed down the generation.

Reply To Message
 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: lordraptor1 
Date:   2015-06-30 04:22

ok, well i have seen some listed ranging from 15 to 250.00, and to be hinest all of them are listed as B12 because buffet doesnt have older or discontinued models listed, this is why i was registered and posted here because all buffet student model clarinets i see listed (including the older ones) are all listed as one of the 3 current model numbers, as far as referbing the clarinet goes, it doesnt cost much for pads or a kit ( like 25 to 30.00 for an entire kit) and i would do the job myself so i figure 30 into it for pads and cork, plus what i gave and anything i could get over that would be gravy LOL.

with that said i want to have accurate descriptions of items when i sale them and you dont get correct info if you dont ask ;). i have repaired guitars, basses, amps, and effect pedals for resale and i am just getting into band instruments as a test to see if there would be a market for it. not everyone has alot of cash especially parents and students, and if i can find an instrument that i could buy, clean service, and resale for cheap enough to help someone save some cash while making a little bit of money then im all for it but if cost + service = break even or less then it isnt wroth it to me. i dont make alot on anything to be honest because people on forums, boards, FB groups, and fleabay are cheap wanting good quality at inferior quality chines made pricing. but again i just want accurate information about items i have so i dont get a bad reputation of being a scammer or a crook ( know what i mean?).

anyway thanks been helpful, i know have a general idea of what i have, and how much i would be willing to put into it in order to "flip" it, worst case scenario is i list it as/is, for a little more than i gave for it.

with that said do you think it haveing a DEG accubore S62 aluminum barrel would add any value to it? i have seen those barrels listed on occasion for 20 to 75.00 but NONE of them have been an S62.

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 Re: buffet b12 clarinet
Author: hopeqing 
Date:   2016-03-29 07:25

Hi, I have a similar question. I bought my daughter a new b12. The first one shipeed to me has "Made in Germany" stamped on the lower joint. It's got a sluggish key. I ordered a replacement. Two times in a row, the b12 clarinets seriel numbers all starts with "C" with no country of origin stamped on the lower joint or anywhere of the instrument. I ordered these instruments from WWBW, a reputable online dealer. Does anyone know where the clarinets are made that has a "C" in the beginning of the seriel number? WWBW swears that they are all made in Germany. Please help. I called the corporate of Buffet. No one returns my phone call.

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