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BUFFET R13 A CLARINET, 1295

An extremely rare and fine Buffet R13 A, which is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. This instrument has been most recently owned by a Music Graduate of Oxford, who has just completed a further year of study at the Royal Academy of Music. The instrument has 7 rings, which enables a fork Eb/Bb fingering in the left hand. The matching serial nos. are F56339 which dates to 1957. At this time the sole UK importers for Buffet clarinets were "Dallas", a London dealer, and their stamp is on the bell, see photo 10. This period is commonly referred to as the "Golden Era" of R13 manufacture. Back then this was the finest professional instrument Buffet made, with unstained, matched wood. This was before the introduction of the ""Prestige" range, which effectively downgraded the standard R13 considerably. These days R13's are made from inferior quality wood, which is stained to hide imperfections. Buffet are currently attempting to recreate this Gold standard of manufacture in their current "Vintage R13" range, please go to www.buffetcrampon.com for more details. Certainly this instrument will not disappoint; the quality of scale and intonation are everything one has come to expect from this period of careful hand manufacture. In fact, this A plays so much better than contemporary R13 A clarinets, which often feel very "stiff": the response is lively, and it is much closer to the feel of a Bb clarinet.
The leather pads are all sealing well, though mostly they are not new. I understand from the vendor that this instrument was last overhauled very recently, and any necessary pads replaced. The wood is crack and repair free, indeed in excellent condition throughout. The German Silver key work shows no wear, only a "patina" commensurate with its age. There is one old solder repair to the register key, see photo 11. The Pro Tech double case in black shows some scuffs to the exterior corners, and wear to the interior, but it is fully serviceable.