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When the American investor Martin Tolchin bought Buffet Crampon company he felt that though the R13 sold well in the USA different models would be more successful in Europe. The S1, Continentale and BC20, which evolved into the RC, were all attempts to make darker, more focused sounding clarinets.
This is a rare Continentale Bb clarinet with upper joint serial no. F102076,and lower joint, F132904, dating to the early 1970s. The Continentale design features higher placement of the speaker tube, and significantly less undercutting of the upper joint, this results in a darker, more focussed, tone than the R13, with a typical Buffet "sweetness". Buffet Crampon advertised the Continentale as ideal for Chamber Music. This instrument was manufactured, right in the middle of Buffet Crampon's so called "Golden Era", and the intonation and response are much superior to contemporary Buffet manufacture. The Silver plating is in very good condition, with no wear. However the register key has a solder repair to the bridge, see photo 11. The Grenadilla wood is in excellent condition throughout: No cracks or repairs. The key regulation is tight and there is no joint wobble. The instrument has white Pisoni Premium Deluxe leather pads all of which are in very good condition. The m'piece is a Selmer HS**, in ebonite. The Buffet case is also in good condition, and is of modern light weight type. .