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Hi,

Another guy who plays sax at the same practice rooms as me recently bought this Buffett alto. I plays really nice, and has really solid action. I’m wondering if it’s a Keilwerth made Buffet?

The serial number is: BCA 92583

It’s stamped ‘Buffet Crampton Paris,’ on the bell.

Here’s some photos. If you can help identify it, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.
 

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it doesn’t look like a Keillwerth made saxophone (they have a completely different type of Eb-C keys) .

The engraving is also very thin and shows only the logo, could this be a 100? I think it may be. In that case they are not European made Buffets. They are in fact Chinese made saxophones like the series 400 (which is more expensive the 100 was the cheapest series no no longer sold and replaced by the 8010 which looks very similar).

This is a Series 100 and looks identical to your friend’s example. There is nothing very special about these horns and aside bearing the Buffet name there is nothing else that is European about them, they cost a lot more than they could. If they were bought at the source, without the same name thinly engraved on it. Buffet charges a pretty premium for the honor to put their name onto a saxophone that they haven’t made.

Sorry, it is what it is..

 

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It is a 100. Mostly you see 'em with the model # 8101 next to serial, but I have refurbed some which had a serial sequence similar to yours. They seem to be a bit older. But it's the same horn model.

I am gonna disagree with MIlandro's assessment, however...having worked 4 of these up. (Brace yourself, I am about to say something NICE about a chinese-made sax).

I would in many instances recommend these over a Yama 21 or 23. They are built decently, feel much better under the fingers, and sound better. NO, not an upper-shelf horn, not as nice as their 400's - but at least they did some R&D and ended up with something respectable and better-sounding than most of the default-choice inexpensively-available models.

I see these (8101) for between $1000-1500 new; cheaper than a new Yama student horn ; or you can get one used for around $400-500; about the same price point as a YAS 21/23 in good tack.
 

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Milandro :) (pardon me the third person) doesn’t say they are bad but that there's nothing special about these and that they are priced way more than they cost without the Buffet brand.
https://www.sax.co.uk/buffet-100-series-alto-saxophone.ir

You can buy a honest Chinese Sax, neither better nor worse, for half that price new and way less secondhand.
 

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Thanks guys. I agree though: it’s not a bad horn. I played it for five or six minutes today, and liked it. Then again I also borrowed a Chinese alto with an unfamiliar name for about half an hour, a few months ago, played it with a borrowed mouthpiece, with a plasticover reed, and thought that was fine too. As far as I remember this Buffet is better than that unknown brand.

Milandro- presumably Buffet are still behind the design of the instrument though, and they would check the quality, train staff in China etc etc? They’re just manufacturing in China to cut production costs, right? So wouldn’t it still be better than other Chinese made saxes?
 

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I don’t think so, I think buffet has only minor changes made and retails the horns as they come from the Chinese factory, the 400 has probably a better quality control and to that effect I recommend reading Stephen Howard review. They did the same for years also with clarinets (before they bought the entire factory) from Schreiber.



Several years ago when model 400 hit the market I bought in Frankfurt, directly from a Chinese company at the fair the same horn (there were only a couple of differences ) the same tenor retailed as Buffet 400.
It was a nice horn (easily identifiable because if the special engraved keys).

But it came at a fraction of the price of the Buffet.
 

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I had one that looked very similar for a short time some years ago. I believe it predated the 100 and 400 series and was stamped ROC. This horn was nothing special and pretty early when it came to Chinese export horns.
 

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I own one of these also: a Buffet alto BCA70663. I'm gonna' agree with JayeLID's assessment. From what I've been able to find on the web, which is very little, these may be an older or early production model. My inquiry to Buffet Crampon went unanswered. Some of them may even punch above their weight in build and sound quality.

I took mine in to Bruce Belo, whose credentials in addition to servicing instruments for The Tonight Show and other pro players, also include being the Orange County School District's brass and woodwind tech for decades. So, a few saxophones of all levels of construction and makers have passed through his hands. His knowledge and skills are top notch as others on this forum can attest. He's also very matter-of-fact and forthright. Bruce plays a MKVI alto.

Bruce set up my alto when I first bought it while we talked. Then he played it for 10 minutes; a mini concert. The Buffet, and Bruce sounded pretty damn impressive in the cavernous room that is his workshop. Afterwords, I remarked on his playing and said that he got a fantastic sound out of a student horn. Bruce, who plays a MKVI remember, was immediate and firm in his assessment that the build quality and playability of this alto was not student level, meaning it was better. He said it twice. Some may disagree.

I paid $600 for mine. No regrets. It has great intonation up and down, no fussy or stuffy notes, excellent projection, and is mouthpiece friendly. Feels fast and smooth in hand. No issues in 3 years since Bruce set it up. My only beef is that it's heavier than my cherished Big B and my '45 silver Zephyr. But it's an alto so . . . . YMMV.
 

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Another Buffet 100 owner here. Mine looks exactly like this. Very high quality, solid horn, better than equivalent Yamaha model. I'll check the serial tonight.

EDIT: My serial is BCA 9648 something, close to yours. I like it better than any intermediate model Yamahas I've owned. Tone and build-wise, it's on par with an old Selmer USA I used to have. Both are very heavy, solid horns, with a somewhat dark sound. Lots of nice pro-level touches - steel springs, plenty of adjustment screws, mother of pearl keys.

Here it is on Buffet's website:
https://www.buffet-crampon.com/en/instruments/saxophones/alto-8101/
 

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You can buy a honest Chinese Sax, neither better nor worse, for half that price new and way less secondhand.
:|....

Still puzzling over this comment (???) What :| can it mean ??? :bluewink:

This model is a pretty good, chinese-made sax with a good price-point, new or used. As I read this - you are stating you can get an equal-quality new Chinese horn for $600-ish new, or significantly less ($300-400ish ?) used.

If you are saying you can buy a chinese-made model just as good for the significantly less $, new or used, than a 100....I'd be curious if you'd identify some of those models.

I haven't stumbled across any, myself....



From what I've been able to find on the web, which is very little, these may be an older or early production model. My inquiry to Buffet Crampon went unanswered.
I can tell you this much: I worked up an 8101 and sold it in the midst of the Holiday crunch, then literally a few days later got an inquiry from a prospective client to buy the one just sold... I suggested he go for the older BC I had and he agreed, so I started in on another one with a similar serial to the OP.
So I basically worked on these two horns within less than a week of one another. I would say they were identical, at the time I was into the second one it seemed an identical design to the 8101; when done, it responded & sounded like the 8101 (although granted I did not take body measurements of either).
 

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I had one that looked very similar for a short time some years ago. I believe it predated the 100 and 400 series and was stamped ROC. This horn was nothing special and pretty early when it came to Chinese export horns.
that one was an Evette made by Jupiter hence ROC (Republic of China= Taiwan as opposed to PROC people’s republic of China = China).
 
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