Buffet Vintage B Flat Clarinet
A rare early Buffet "wrap around" register key Bb clarinet, without serial number. These instruments have a larger bore of 14.9mm, and larger tone holes than the contemporary Buffet's. The result is a free and easy playing clarinet, with good intonation, and none of the third register problems inherent in the polycylindrical design. The drawbacks are flatter notes on low E and F, but to some extent this is corrected by the fact that, at this period, Buffet reamed the neck of the bell, continuing the flare of the lower joint: this does result in exceptionally even response across into the second register, a pity this is no longer standard practice.
This instrument is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct.
Buffet Crampon began to stamp serial numbers on clarinets from about 1885,
either this clarinet is earlier than this [which from the key work and bore
design is possible] or it is later, but with no serial number. Certainly, given
the keywork design, large bore, and small flare in the lower joint, this
instrument is pre-WW1. The wood shows some surface cracks, scratches and marks,
but for a clarinet of this age, it is in good condition. There is a full length
crack to the bell, which we have just re-sealed in our workshop. The pads are
all used fish skin, in good condition, apart from the register key, which is in
cork. The key regulation is excellent and there is no joint wobble. The thumb
rest has been replaced with a modern adjustable type with integral sling hook.
The mouthpiece is a modern ebonite example, which plays the instrument at A=440
Hz. The case is a Leblanc which dates to the 1950s and, for its age, is in good