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A very good condition Buffet S1 A clarinet in Silver plate. When the American investor Martin Tolchin bought Buffet Crampon in the mid 1970's 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 became the RC, were all attempts to make darker, more focused sounding clarinets. In the case of the S1 this is partly achieved by much less undercutting.
This A has matching serial nos. F143002, which dates to 1973 an exceptionally fine period of manufacture at Buffet Crampon, commonly referred to as "The Golden Era".   There is no wear to the plating, which is pristine throughout. Indeed the plating and finish on this clarinet is of such a high standard that it contrasts sharply with more recently manufactured professional models from Buffet. The instrument features a LH Ab/Eb key and unstained hand selected wood. In other words, this is exactly the same specification as a modern Buffet Prestige instrument, but at a fraction of the price. The clarinet has just been down to our workshop and the key regulation is tight, there is no joint wobble.  The wood is in excellent condition, but there is a carbon fibre band to the upper joint, see photos, 2, 3 5 and 11. Though this would seem to indicate a repair, we can find no evidence of a crack. This clarinet has good condition finest white leather pads throughout. The S1 clarinet plays with a robust, focused sound and excellent evenness and intonation. In the past players such as John McCaw and Mitchell Lurie played S1's. The double case is in fine shape, and comes with keys. This clarinet would pair very well with No. 19 on our list.