Being basically a sax player, I only think of clarinet when the gig calls for it. Sorry, I just do not think much of the instrument. I am, however interested in having a decent instrument, for tonal purity and intonation, etc.

I have played a Buffet clarinet for about 8 years and I am still at a loss as to the type or model of clarinet that I have. The E or R-13, etc. means nothing to me (yet I can name every model that Selmer produced in the saxophone line!) It is a Buffet Crampon & Co. Paris with a “222##” serial number, which places the manufacture at 1937, according to the lists on Woodwind.Org. There is substantial additional keywork to this instrument, of which I am not sure s a benefit to my playing or a curse.

Keywork which allows the Eb to be played with 1st & 3rd finger (a ring is in place of the bare hole for the ring finger as well as and alternate C# ingering (the C# is articulated as well). The purists that I play with usually sneer … I would welcome some serious advice on sticking with this particular instrument or to change. It is in good playing condition with the appropriate cork pads and a mirror-smooth bore and no cracks …


Thanks for your letter. Do not ever worry about “purists”. I have had a long experience with them of many nationalities in different countries as well. One thing identifies them They act pompous and stupid. Most of them have little musical knowledge. They know only the music of about 2 or 300 years, and nothing else, only clarinet music. Playing with them is worse and only proves the former information.. Most of this results from teachers that they emulate. If their teacher had two left shoes on, they would also. If the teacher also plays flat, so too will these students.

If your clarinet is in good shape, you have got a thousand dollars, quite easily. It is a buffet “full-boehm”, which means, if it stays in adjustment and there is no reason for it not to, you can do many things much easier: The ring, the 7th ring as it is called, saves all kinds of horrible hassles. The articulated G# means that when you play in sharps you simply keep it down and every time you encounter G, it becomes G#, as you want it, and it is frightfully easily to habituate.

The sax is great, I happen to prefer the clarinet, however that is a preference only.

I had a full-boehm Buffet once. Bought it brand new. The damned thing was perfect, perfect, and I still bemoan letting it go.

Best wishes


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