Jean Louis Buffet was already making musical instruments as early as the 1840's. In 1871, Leon Crampon became a partner. If you come across an "F" preceding the serial number of an R13, this indicates that the instrument has been built to an A442 - A444 and is intended for use by European ensembles. The R13 was designed by Robert Carree, the head acoustician for Buffet (c. 1950). This may have been the first intentional use of the so-called "poly-cylindrical" bore design of the Buffet clarinet. It became the prototype for all future Buffet clarinet designs from that point onward. As a result, it may be safely assumed that anything from #61,000 was manufacturered with this design in mind. Many of the documents which contained accurate information regarding serial numbers have been lost and as a result, there is a gap from 1946 - 1957. Buffet states, however, that approximately 3000 units per year were manufactured during this period.
With Buffet clarinets long history, sometimes figuring out the model and serial number can be exhilarating, principally for the potential thrill of discovering that the Buffet clarinet in your hands might be a rare and valuable model! In 1825, Denis Buffet-Auger began a clarinet workshop in Paris. In 1871, Leon Crampon became a partner and the name was changed to Buffet Crampon. Buffet clarinets reputation spread quickly and became recognized for their quality, winning awards at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889. The first Buffet clarinets came to the US in 1918 and have cemented their place ever since.
Buffet's finest bass clarinet. Range to low C, high Bb, Eb-Ab lever, and second speaker key. This fine instrument is made of unstained grenadilla wood with silver plated keys and bell. Comes with a deluxe case and a Buffet mouthpiece.
Used under Toscanini's baton. This instrument from 1924 boasts a sound that is unobtainable in today's instruments. Cherished, cared for and used with reverence, this bass remains in excellent condition. With a double octave key, this instrument pre-dates the automatic octave now found on bass clarinets. Serial # 1R302
Selmer T-Series Alto Clarinet. We are researching the details for this beauty. We believe it's manufacture date to be pre-1931. Even tough there is a "T" preceding the serial number, we do not believe it to be the 1963 vintage. We've noticed that earlier alto clarinets used the "T" prefix; we're attempting to get some accurate info. This clarinet with silver plating is in glorious condition. The upper and lower joints have matching serial numbers. The neck has a 24 stamped and the bell has a 4 stamped.. The wood is amazing and sets a standard for what 'pemium' means. A repad would certainly be recommended if you are going to put this one into regular play. The only negative is that the original owner removed (and lost) the lyre holder so, marching with this may be a chore.
Older clarinets may have H or L stampedby the serial number; L indicates pitched at a'=440, H is a'=452. Buffetclarinets may have F stamped in front of the serial number indicating a higherpitch (ca. 442-444?) intended for European use.
The larger tone holes do produce a morerobust tone, but the twelfths are "short" and tend to be very sharpin the fundamental when playing pianissimo. Adding keys to bring down pitch inthe chalumeau is a good solution and one that I use some times when playing mySelmer bass clarinet. Another option is to pull the center tenon about .5mm.
If the emblem stamped on your clarinet has no extra markings, stamps or plaques, it could be one of the highly regarded R13 models. Check your clarinet's serial number, located on the case or on a small stamp on the back of the barrel. If the number is above 50,000, it is likely an R13. You can also look at the "A" and "A" flat keys near the top of the clarinet. If the two keys are fused onto a single joint, your clarinet is not an R13.
An excellent condition Buffet E13 clarinet in Silver plate. The E13 is the top selling student wooden clarinet worldwide. The matching serial numbers are K93795, making this an example dating to the late 1990's. All main pieces are original with Buffet stamps. There is no damage to the wood, which is in pristine order throughout. The Silver plating is excellent, with no wear. The instrument has just had a re-pad in Pisoni deluxe fish skin pads, in our workshop and is sold with our full 1 year warranty. The case is an up-grade to a BAM in very good condition. The m'piece is a stock Buffet in excellent condition.
There are currently a wide variety of professional models that have developed since its inception. Other professional level instruments include the: Prestige Basset, Prestige Alto, Prestige Basset Horn, Prestige Contra Alto. There are currently four bass clarinet models: three professional and one student model.
Buffet Website-Serial NumbersAuthor:Date: 2010-12-30 18:53Ok, what a confusing blur of information.when I look up serial numbers, sometimes two options come up for the same serial number. Also, so many designations- BC1131-2, R13, RC, etc. How can you really tell what is what? Thanks!Re: Buffet Website-Serial NumbersAuthor:Date: 2010-12-30 21:42go here:R13, RC, are the different models.click through one of the models and select 'specifications' and you'll find the model numbers.
Why don't they update the database to include more recent numbers? They probably have better things to do with their time than keep a public database that is of very little value to them internally up-to-date.Best regards,jnkBuffet bass clarinet serial number 19th CAuthor:Date: 2014-09-02 22:48I am looking for the year of manufacture of a Buffet Bb bass clarinet, German/simple system, to low E. Buffet-Crampon logo is clear and the serial number is also clear, 1584. I can't find this in the lists of Buffet serial numbers referred to on the Bulletin Board. Anyone got a clue?Keith BowenKeith BowenEmeritus Professor of Engineering, Warwick University UKRCM Scholar supported by Pamela Weston AwardRe: Buffet bass clarinet serial number 19th CAuthor:Date: 2014-09-03 00:01Keith Bowen wrote: I am looking for the year of manufacture of a Buffet Bb bass clarinet, German/simple system, to low E.
Buffet-Crampon logo is clear and the serial number is also clear, 1584. I can't find this in the lists of Buffet serial numbers referred to on the Bulletin Board. Anyone got a clue? Keith Bowen1584 would correspond to the year 1928Re: Buffet bass clarinet serial number 19th CAuthor:Date: 2014-09-03 00:14Many thanks.
Can you point me to the source of this information, please?Best wishesKeithjdbassplayer wrote: Keith Bowen wrote: I am looking for the year of manufacture of a Buffet Bb bass clarinet, German/simple system, to low E. Buffet-Crampon logo is clear and the serial number is also clear, 1584. I can't find this in the lists of Buffet serial numbers referred to on the Bulletin Board. Anyone got a clue? Keith Bowen 1584 would correspond to the year 1928Keith BowenEmeritus Professor of Engineering, Warwick University UKRCM Scholar supported by Pamela Weston AwardRe: Buffet Website-Serial NumbersAuthor:Date: 2014-09-03 03:32Here it is:I could help!Re: Buffet Website-Serial NumbersAuthor:Date: 2014-09-03 10:49Many thanks, jd. I did not look that far in the list as I thought the instrument was 19th century! (and so did the very distinguished period performer for whom I am reconditioning it).
Do you (or anyone) know if this list includes all instruments made by Buffet? Just wondering if there were separate lists for bass (or other) instruments.ThanksKeithKeith BowenEmeritus Professor of Engineering, Warwick University UKRCM Scholar supported by Pamela Weston AwardRe: Buffet Website-Serial NumbersAuthor:Date: 2014-09-03 20:12Starting at least in 1950, Buffet does indeed have a separate list for its low clarinets. If you scroll down the page jdbassplayer referenced, you will find a list for 'harmony' clarinets. This list pertains to bass clarinets, alto clarinets and probably basset horns.
The odd number that it starts on suggests that it may be a continuation of an earlier sequence. If so, the earlier list is not publicly available (to my knowledge) and may have been lost during World War II or during the financial upheaval the company suffered shortly after the war or perhaps such a list was never compiled from the detailed factory records Buffet maintains for each instrument it produces.It's possible that early Buffet bass clarinets are included in the list jdbassplayer referenced and that a separate sequence came later but that is certainly open to question. And 1928 seems very late for Buffet still to be making simple system clarinets (though there is always the unlikely possibility of a special order). You could try contacting Buffet directly with your question. They have factory records that are not publicly available and, in the past, have been happy to respond to requests such as yours when they could.You mention a Buffet Crampon logo so I assume that's what you have. Just to cover all the bases, though, I will mention that Auguste Buffet was a different company in the late 1800s and early 1900s, in case that's what you actually have.If you do contact Buffet, please let us know what you find out.Best regards,jnkPost Edited (2014-09-03 20:16)Re: Buffet Website-Serial NumbersAuthor:Date: 2014-09-03 20:45JackThanks, I will. The instrument does seem earlier than 1928 for a number of reasons.best wishesKeithKeith BowenEmeritus Professor of Engineering, Warwick University UKRCM Scholar supported by Pamela Weston Award. 2b1af7f3a8