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An exceptionally rare pair of Buffet clarinets. 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 pair, 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 does result in exceptionally even response across into the second register, a pity this is no longer standard practise.
The Bb has serial number O463 dating to 1900. It is in very good condition, but with the following faults: 2 repaired, sealed cracks to the upper joint. One running down through the first two trill key holes and the other crack at approximately 180 degrees to this, but not running near any holes [see photos 2 & 3]. The original barrel has a sealed repaired crack and the original bell, also has 2 repaired cracks. Despite these the instrument plays excellently. The stamp reads "Buffet Brevette SGDG" There are new tan leather pads throughout, all cork and touch corks are tight, the key regulation is excellent and there is no joint wobble. Please note the thread repair to the middle joint tenon. The mouthpieces are Edward Pillinger copies of an original Buffet wood m'piece. The first is relayed to 1.08 by 17mm, the second 1.05 by 17mm.
A, S/N 940C1, dates to 1906. Is is in excellent condition throughout, with no cracks or repairs to the wood. Some of the key work on the lower joint has been replaced with more modern Buffet key work. The correspondence arm is modern Buffet, also the lowest pillar has been replaced with a modern Buffet pillar of "anchored type". The instrument is padded throughout in white leather pads, the finest Pisoni, in superb condition. The bell on the A is stamped "Cundy Bettoney" an American importer's stamp. The top joint is also stamped LP. The barrel is of more modern Buffet type re-bored to the correct dimensions for this type of early Buffet. Both instruments play at A=440 Hz with the supplied barrels, of 66.3mm and 66mm. The case is a modern Buffet, in good condition with keys.