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This is a superb condition Buffet Professional Contra-Alto Clarinet in Grenadilla wood to low Eb. The instrument is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct, and it has had one careful and fastidious London collector from new, who specialises in buying Contra-Bass instruments, more from his collection will be advertised shortly. This clarinet is ultra rare, probably the only example in recent years ever offered to the market. The design is a small bore one, which makes the Contra very easy to play, and in fact the Contra uses a standard Bass clarinet mouthpiece, which makes it very different from Selmer's design.
The instrument is in excellent condition, and the pads, which are finest Pisoni white leather are "as new". The Nickel Siver key work shows absolutely no wear and is well regulated. The matching serial nos. are 21588, which dates to 1972, in the middle of Buffet's so called "Golden Era". There is a repair to the upper part of the lower joint. Originally when the instrument cracked, it was sent back to the Buffet factory for inspection. Unfortunately they no longer had a length of Grenadilla long enough to replace the lower joint. Therefore a carbon fibre banded repair was done, which is probably the finest repair we have ever seen, much superior to the normal pinning and glueing. The repair has been stable for several decades. The case in excellent condition & protects the instrument well. The m'piece is a used Vandoren B45 in good condition.