Buffet Elite B Flat Clarinet
This is a rare Buffet Elite Bb clarinet. This instrument is one of the most innovative and futuristic designs ever marketed by Buffet. It features a light thin walled design to promote a lively resonant sound, which is free blowing and immediate. The wood is finest unstained hand selected African Blackwood, and because the clarinet is so thin, certain larger tone hole chimneys had to be mounted proud to the surface, for undercutting purposes. Several of these were made from "Green Line" material which was later used to make whole clarinets. Carbon Fiber tenon rings were used to save weight and strengthen thin tenons. Even a plastic thumb rest was fitted, which seems odd given that this clarinet cost far more than a Prestige model but this was partly due to the completely new key work design. Certainly even by the standards of today, the gold plated pillars and excellent quality Silver plated keys seem modern. Several other manufacturers copied aspects of the Buffet design.
This example has no cracks or repairs to the wood. The original pads, all with reflectors for resonance, are well used. Some will need replacing on the upper joint soon. The upper joint has S/N 389142, and the lower 377274, which dates the clarinet to 1993/4. There are 4 barrels, two with Buffet stamps, which measure 63, 65, 66, and 68mm. The original case, a double, is well used, with scuffs to the exterior and interior stains, it still protects the instrument well. This is an exceptionally well tuned and responsive clarinet which is the equal of, or superior to, much contemporary Buffet top of the range clarinets.