Please read the following which was written prior to me receiving the email and photos, and needs to be read with the caveat that the horn can and does, and did break. (A point one might make is that hard rubber will never break, is more stable than dust and fibres and costs about a third. IMO the sound runs circles around most other materials).
I’ve been enjoying myself all morning today reading your Clarinet Corner,
and because you seem to know what you’re talking about, I thought I might
ask you a couple of questions myself. I’m 48 years old and have just
recently started playing the clarinet again after a break of 28 years. My
old clarinet is long gone, so I bought a new Buffet E11 Bb clarinet in September last year, which I thought might be just about good enough for me.
However, I’m already thinking about upgrading (it sounds crazy and it
probably is), because I thought I might as well go for something that I could be happy with forever (relatively speaking), and I can afford an upgrade, especially because I would get most of the money spent on the E11 back from the Internet shop I bought it from. I think maybe I settled for the E11 because I didn’t quite muster up enough courage to get something more expensive and better, and wasn’t perhaps entirely sure I would stick with it. It’s clear to me now however that I do want to stick with it for as
long as I may live, and that makes a difference.
Dear Professor Friedland:
I’m really hopiing you might be able to help me out here. Today
I slipped backwards on the carpeted steps in my university’s bandroom
just before band class, coming from the practice rooms upstairs with my
clarinet in my right hand. The clarinet didn’t actually hit the
ground, but the my right hand did, and apparently the impact was enough to break the lower part of the top joint off inside the top recess of the bottom joint.
It is a Buffet R13 Greenline with silver-plated keys that was purchased
new about 6 years ago.
I would like to know what my options are, and if it can be repaired,
who should I send it to? I love my clarinet and I want to make sure it
is well taken care of (I would rather spend the money to be sure I get
the best possible fix for it). I appreciate any advice or
recommendations you might be able to offer me.
The joint may be replaced by Buffet at their option, or you can attempt to have it repaired, which is possible, with no assurance that you will still love it .
I am told that the Greenline clarinet is much less prone to cracking and/or swelling or shrinking than wood. This stability is worth something and you do a bit of good for the remaining supply of grenadilla wood.
I think it probably plays well, at least I have heard it does, and the opposite as well.The combination of carbon fibers and grenadilla powder of some sort makes for the bonding.
What I really think is that the clarinet is made of a more stable material and that it is machined to a much higher degree than many other instruments constructed of artifical ingredients.
It costs the same as an R13 and will probably last longer if what I read is correct. I see it listed for almost three thousand dollars.
Still all in all, if you place value upon a clarinet made from grenadilla, then of course you should go there, (thats IF the clarinet contains any grenadilla)
For me the end machining is much better and the carbon fibres may be more stable, it is an instrument made from some powder and fibres.
You should schedule a trial to see if you like it in comparison to your current Buffet. If so, it will probably last you as long as you wish to keep it, if it doesn’t crack, which unfortunately for many, it does, and has.This is not a great recipe for a clarinet costing three thousand dollars.
Good luck, be well, and do good work.
( Garrison Keilers line, but I like it, and respectfully borrow it.)