Buffet E-13, care and feeding


After a few years of only playing sporadically, I am getting back into my instrument. There is a community concert band I have joined and so I’m trying to get my chops back. I played in high school and a little in college. I have a buffet E13, still has original mouthpiece that came with the instrument, and I usually use a Vandoren 3 or 3.5 reed. I had two questions.

1. what kind of regular care does my instrument need? All pads are present, and I check on the screws and keep it clean, but I was wondering if I had to send it in for “service” every now and again.

2. What kind of mouthpieces do you suggest I try. What do I look for in selecting a mouthpiece. i have only had 3 mouthpieces ever: 2 on my first vito clarinet (couldn’t tell what kind), and this one on the buffet. I have never had a problem getting a full sound, although a couple of notes do get that airy sound. (G, B/B flat)

Hello Vanessa:
Thank you for your note with its questions. The E-13 is one of Buffets intermediate instruments in grenadilla and should last you a good long time. The only problems you may encounter would be that the joints bind from too much moisture and the fact that they are made too thin. However if you do not have the problem you needn’t worry about it. I would be sure to make sure the clarinet is dry before you put it away and that you allow it to “breathe” in the rooms temperature

If you are careful you should have no trouble for quite a while, or perhaps not at all. If it is not broken or in need of repair, the thing to do is nothing. It does not need a periodic tuneup.
If you are happy with the mouthpiece which came with the clarinet, there is really no reason to change it, none whatsoever. However if you have difficulty with the mouthpiece, it would be wize to think about changing it. Van Doren makes many different mouthpieces, all quite reasonably priced, but only if you are unhappy with your current mouthpiece.

Good luck in getting back your chops.
best wishes, Sherman



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