A New Buffet R13 and a Selmer 10S

Hi Mr. Friedland…

I enjoy your column very much…I have played a Selmer 10S for over 25 yrs.. Prior to that I played a vintage 1940 Buffet (R 13, I think)…..I recently purchased a new R13…( I must admit it isn’t made a s well as I had hoped)….I find myself gravitating back to the Selmer, when I play jobs…Needeless to say I feel a little guilty going back to my “old” Selmer when I have a new Buffet…..

My question is…Can you compare these 2 instruments….I know you like the 10S….Is the R13 something I have to get used to ?
Thanks and keep up the great work on the site..

Hi DS: Thank you for your note and for the compliment. I like to write and to answer such questions as yours.
It is however difficult to compare the two instruments, especially the two which you own. Most instruments differ in many ways and the latest Buffets seem to have a large number of problems associated with them, such as poorly fitting keys, some plating wear, bad dowel rods made of delrin which can break during a rehearsal or a performance. (These are the rods that handle the little finger keys and repairing a broken one is something you don’t ever need.
But the biggest thing about the ordinary Buffet is that it is not in tune, specifically, the throat is sharp the low E flat and the high F as well.
Many who buy them select from perhaps five or six before they choose the one they buy and many of these have the instruments “tweaked” for tuning.
The ordinary Selmer Paris is entirely different, being basically in tune, the keywork being the industry hallmark and they all play well, at least this has been my experience. I have never had a dog of a Selmer Paris clarinet.

Your particular R13 is a horn that you may get used to, but it may be difficult if it has some or all of the usual Buffet trademarks.
In any event, good luck with your clarinets and keep practicing.

Sincerely, Sherman.


Perhaps if the Buffet is a new purchase, you can bring it to the dealer to try some others and/or to change it for a new Selmer or a Leblanc OpusII, or the best and most affordable: the Lyrique

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