New Clarinet

I am going to buy a new clarinet. I an going to be getting a Buffet R-13. This will be my first Buffet. I have played Leblanc and Selmer in the past. I am 61 years old and have played clarinet since I was ten years old and plan on doing about two hours a day on this instrument. I am thinking about getting this instrument from a place in PA. He has someone, a symphony player, test each instrument before they are sold to the customer. Can you give me any advice or suggestions?



Hi Jim:

Many thanks for your question. I try to answer quickly, especially to someone who is in the same decade as I. The only thing you should be very careful with in buying an R-13 is the following:

They are indeed a wonderful and sweet playing and responsive instrument. The problem is that many hundreds are made, thousands, and with that amount, the quality can be uneven, especially as to intonation. Problems with response are almost always improper installation of pads. Get the seller to put cork pads in the top joint trill keys, it will save you problems. You have to try as many as you can stand to try to pick the one that YOU feel is the best, whether it be the easiest, the best legato, the intonation or all of the above. Who knows, the tester could have actually played in a symphony … or maybe he set up the chairs. No denigration meant, YOU are however the best judge.

Best of luck on the purchase and in all your clarinet playing.

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