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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 an additional RH Ab/Eb lever, which makes it specified as a modern Buffet Prestige. Like the modern Prestige model it also has hand selected unstained wood. 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", with matching serial nos. F123902, dating to 1971. The intonation and response are much superior to contemporary Buffet manufacture. The Silver plating is very good throughout. The Grenadilla wood is in good condition throughout, with only minor surface marks and scuffs. However there is a small chip to the outer tenon edge of the upper joint lowest tenon, see photo 12. The key regulation is tight and there is no joint wobble. The instrument has had a complete overhaul & re-pad in Pisoni Premium Deluxe fish skin pads and is sold with a full years' Clarinets Direct warranty. The m'piece is a stock Buffet in excellent condition. The original Buffet case is in very good condition, the interior is stained, but the exterior and latches are in fine shape. .