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 buffet b12 clarinet
Author: bandk ( - (Road Runner) Mason, OH United States)
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 ( - (Comcast Cable) Charlottesville, VA United States)
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 ( - (SBC Internet Services) Saint Louis, MO United States)
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 ( - (Oakland Community College) Bloomfield Hills, MI United States)
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 ( - (Road Runner) Mason, OH United States)
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: Norman Smale ( - (Be Un Limited) Southampton, M4 United Kingdom)
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 ( - (SBC Internet Services) Saint Louis, MO United States)
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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