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 Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: M3nsion 
Date:   2022-06-16 12:24

Can anyone help me identify this old A clarinet? It’s a family heirloom from my great-great-grandfather, who was a professional woodwind player and ran a music shop in New York in his time. My uncle (another woodwind player) had it for many years and said that it was a Buffet and that nobody he had ever taken it to had been able to identify it.

The strange thing is that the Buffet logo doesn’t appear anywhere on the instrument except the barrel, and the barrel fits the instrument a little strangely and makes me wonder if it’s the original barrel at all, and if this is a Buffet or not. The only markings I can see are an “A / L.P” stamped on both joints and the bell, and “K / 4” stamped just above the bottom post on the lower joint (I’m using slashes to indicate one line above another).

Notable distinct features that I see are the single post for the left pinky keys on the lower joint and a lack of an inset into the wood for the register key spring.



Post Edited (2022-06-16 23:06)

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: M3nsion 
Date:   2022-06-16 12:35
Attachment:  EABB7683-6A5F-4E88-B7F2-6A5A851AD3C9.jpeg (737k)
Attachment:  F59AD9DE-BE74-404D-BFE6-0D1394284E73.jpeg (687k)
Attachment:  9FA40A14-7829-46DE-A5D9-ADFFC676D968.jpeg (709k)
Attachment:  27631C13-D953-4C15-BFA7-7B141A9232F9.jpeg (750k)
Attachment:  F3F99A9A-BA91-42F5-B149-30702380E49E.jpeg (778k)

Photos here:

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2022-06-16 16:10

If it is missing the logo it is almost certainly not a Buffet. The most obvious defining feature I see is the trill key guide which has parallel edges as opposed to the more traditional triangular shape. This is something I have mostly seen on old Couesnon clarinets. This a reasonable conclusion as I have seen unmarked Couesnon clarinets before, including an A. The barrel was likely added at some point later, possibly to improve intonation or response.

-JDbassplayer

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: m1964 
Date:   2022-06-16 16:15

please see my post below



Post Edited (2022-06-16 16:23)

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: m1964 
Date:   2022-06-16 16:22
Attachment:  Old Buffet 2.jpeg (1324k)
Attachment:  Old Buffet.jpg (1371k)

Hi,

I am not an expert, but this is what I think:

Try to take pictures of the “A / L.P” and "K/4" stamps and post here.
Also, check the areas outlined in red on the pictures I attached.
Usually, logos placed on top of the upper joint and bottom of the lower joint.
I did have a french stencil clarinet that only had logo on the top joint and that was barely visible.

The shape of the thrill key guide on the upper joint (which I circled in blue) is different compared to pre-R13 Buffets.

Hope it helps



Post Edited (2022-06-16 16:24)

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: Steven Ocone 
Date:   2022-06-16 18:54

I have a similar A clarinet that was supposedly made by Buffet (and came with a Buffet barrel when I bought it). It has the same trill key guide, and a single post for the LH pinky keys. It is a Fischer (which was a store in New York and an importer of Buffet clarinets. Mine does not have an adjustment screw on the A key (is yours original?) and it has a wrap-around register key. Buffet or not? Who knows. Plus, even if it was imported from Buffet it could have been made at another shop (or multiple shops).

Steven Ocone


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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: M3nsion 
Date:   2022-06-16 23:20





Post Edited (2022-06-16 23:32)

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: M3nsion 
Date:   2022-06-16 23:30

There are two very faint dot patterns that may trace part of the oval of the Buffet logo on the upper joint (you can see one of them on this picture, but I couldn't get a picture where you can see both at once). The shape matches in size with the stamp on the barrel, but the dots are smaller (they're also smaller than the one on my Bb Festival—I'm not sure how the Buffet logo has changed over the years). I haven't been able to find a good picture of the Couesnon logo to compare to.

I can't see any indication of a logo on the lower joint.

There's also a 'FRANCE' marking stamped into the lower joint, which I had missed previously.



Post Edited (2022-06-17 00:08)

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: M3nsion 
Date:   2022-06-16 23:32





Post Edited (2022-06-16 23:38)

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: M3nsion 
Date:   2022-06-16 23:37
Attachment:  1E840057-3289-4E9D-A0A0-E5640A115652.jpeg (429k)
Attachment:  AC3A98B5-5108-4C59-A294-C2D349194D40.jpeg (433k)
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Attachment:  86DE8584-4BEA-463E-BC23-A835C8B7E4CC.jpeg (442k)

Pictures seem to be having trouble, trying again

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: Bennett 2017
Date:   2022-06-17 00:32
Attachment:  3-Couesnon Bell.jpg (1024k)

FWIW, I've found that rubbing some 'blackboard' chalk into the stampings sometimes let you read them. Attachment is an example

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 Re: Help identifying an old A clarinet
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-06-17 01:54
Attachment:  masspacher.jpg (151k)

I've got an old Masspacher C clarinet which was made by Couesnon. See attachment.

It originally had just the one pillar for the LH E/B and F#/C# levers until I added another one for the new LH Ab/Eb lever (as well as the top joint forked Eb/Bb mechanism) and the top joint trill key guide is the same shape as the one on your clarinet as are many of the touchpieces and ring keys.

Chris.

Post Edited (2022-06-17 02:01)

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