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This extremely rare and unique custom order Buffet R13 Prestige Bb clarinet is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. It belonged to the late Tommy Whittle, one of the UK's finest Tenor Sax players, and has been very well cared for. Tommy told me that this was a "special order" instrument direct from Buffet. He specified the articulated C#/G# key because of the similarities to the mechanism on the sax. After the 1981 take over by Boosey and Hawkes, the Prestige range represented an attempt by Buffet to recapture former high manufacturing and quality control standards. To that end the Prestige clarinet went back to the earlier specification: Unstained, hand selected Grenadilla wood was used, and more time was spent on hand finishing the instrument. In addition an additional Eb/Ab lever for the LH was fitted.
This Bb has matching serial nos. 318985, which dates to 1989. There are no cracks or damage to the wood, which is pristine throughout. The Silver plate throughout is in very good condition, with only minor spot wear to the register key, see photo 11. The instrument has just had a complete overhaul in our Clarinets Direct workshop and is sold with full 1 year warranty. The key regulation is very good. The 2 barrels are of 66.0mm and 65.0mm All pieces are matching and original. The case is the original custom Buffet in good condition. The mouthpiece is a Vandoren 4V.