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A rare early Buffet Bb clarinet, serial number L727, which dates to 1898. These instruments have a larger bore, and larger tone holes than the contemporary Buffet's. The result is a free and easy playing instrument, with good intonation, and none of the third register problems inherent in the polycylindrical design. The drawbacks are flatter notes on low E and F, which is down to the shorter lower flare which was reamed by Buffet at that time. This clarinet features the "do-nut" LH 2 ring, which, though complex to manufacture and regulate, is perhaps the nicest option for the player with regards to a fork Eb/Bb fingering. It also has a single piece top joint, i.e. no barrel.
This instrument is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct, and it has been partially overhauled and restored to bring it back into good playing order. The pads whilst not new, are all sealing well. The wood shows surface dings, scratches and marks, the worst of which is shown in photo 10. Though the instrument has many cosmetic flaws, there are no cracks or repaired damage. The German Silver key work, with some solid silver barrels, shows a patina consistent with a clarinet which is 115 years old. The stamps read "Buffet Brevette SGDG". All pieces are matching and original, and there is a further number "2" stamped on the lower joint and bell. The mouthpiece is a Vandoren M13 in very good condition, the instrument playes easily and sweetly at A=440 Hz. It is a perfectly usable clarinet, as is, or it could a useful addition for a collector. The case is appears to be the original, though showing much wear, it still latches and protects the instrument.