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BUFFET VINTAGE Bb CLARINET, 495

An early Buffet clarinet, which is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. These instruments have a larger bore of 14.9mm, and larger tone holes than the contemporary Buffet's. The result is a free and easy playing instrument, with excellent intonation, and none of the third register problems inherent in the polycylindrical design. The drawbacks are flatter notes on low E and F, but to some extent this is corrected by the fact that, at this period, Buffet reamed the neck of the bell, continuing the flare of the lower joint: This improves response across into the second register, a pity this is no longer standard practise.
The Bb may have serial number 1J31, dating to 1896, it is extremely difficult to read. This clarinet has been much used, and repaired: The upper part of the lower joint, which is in a single piece with integral barrel, has been repaired in the past, and a new receiver tenon made, see photo 10. Also the thumb rest has been moved and replaced with a more modern example. A similar job has been done on the lower tenon of the upper joint which has been sleeved and re-made. And the upper tenon of the upper joint, has been re-lined in metal. So thought this clarinet has seen much use, it has also been well maintained. The excellent quality key work is mainly of German Silver, though some of the key barrels are actually solid silver. The stamps read "Buffet Cie". All pieces are matching and original. Curiously the lower joint has been stamped twice, once underneath the long rod, in the usual place, and again to the side. The case is a more modern replacememnt, in good condition.