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Discussion Starter #1
I've done some research but haven't gotten a definitive answer so I thought a post here would be the right place to get help identifying the model of my Buffet Crampon clarinet. It has the golden "Buffet Crampon A Paris" stamp but no model designation like E11 or R13 or any other markings I can discover other than the serial number, 2509xx and "made in W. Germany" etched below the serial number. It is all wood, I assume grenadilla, and I've always thought it was an E11, but recently, when asked, didn't really know how to tell. I bought it used maybe 15-20 years ago.

It plays fine but is about due for a repad and I would like to have better information before I decide how to proceed. Thanks for any help you can give.
 

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an r13 does not say anything..... an e11 would say e11 and be made in Germany i think...so its an intermediate horn most likely.
 

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also the e11 has plastic inserts in the tone holes
 

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All r-13's are and were made in France. The horns farmed out to W. Germany were intermediate to student horns, some very good. I think made in the Schreiber facility, but someone else will know for sure.
 

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I think you're going to need to provide some photos. Also, I wouldn't let the model # of the horn determine how the work is done. Get the best tech you can find to do his/her best. If it's a good enough instrument to do more than replace a pad when it falls out, it's good enough to be put in optimum playing condition. With a pro mouthpiece on it, it's hard (and expensive) to beat a good intermediate clarinet in top condition, and E11's are good horns.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks you guys, especially Buck for the link. When I enter my serial number it says it is a BC1111 manufactured in January of 1984. Do you think this thing is pretty accurate? Anyone else have experience with entering serial numbers at this site? If this is accurate then this is WAY more horn that I've thought all these years. The BC1111 was/is a premiere horn of Buffet Crampon and worth quite a few $$$. I'm wondering how I might confirm this information. Any further suggestions?

You guys are great, as always! Thanks for any further info about how I might confirm or deny if this horn is in fact a BC1111.
 

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That model is not a BC1111. The poster who suggested you check the Buffet site probably did not know, but Buffet only has references for their Paris made horn on that site. It can be very confusing as the German made and French made instruments have overlapping serial numbers. If its made in Germany it is an intermediate model. If it is made in France, then its probably a professional model. Look in the tone holes and see if their are plastic inserts. That a quick check for an E11. But for future reference, keep in mind that the site is only good for French Made Buffets.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Raphyel. That seems right to me and I appreciate your knowledge of such things. It does have the plastic inserts in the tone holes so an E11 has probably been the right designation all along. I'm happy with the clarinet, just curious about its history. Oh, by the way, I picked up an old 444N Conn clarinet last week that is in great shape. I think Artie Shaw played one of these but I don't have solid information about that. It's always fun to figure out the history of an older instrument. Once I get the 444 in good playing condition I'll see which I like best and probably sell the other.

Thanks again to all of you for your willingness to share your insight and knowledge about these things. You guys are terrific!
 

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There are a few exceptions to the Germany=Intermediade, France=Pro....

I have a 1973 Buffet Evette Master Model that some would say is an E12/13 Intermediate clarinet. It was made in France.
That would make it a Professional clarinet and every bit the equal of the 'famed' R13. Some say that the Master Model is in fact an R13 that didn't 'quite make specs'.
All I know is, is that it plays better than the NEW R13s' I tried before purchasing my Selmer.
 

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I was talking with Francois Kloc of Buffet, many years ago, about my own Evette Master Model, purchased for a mere $100.00US. He told me that, acoustically, it is an R13, but had some finish blemishes that prevented it being trademarked as an R13. The horn does play as well as vintage R13s. Been very happy with it.

There are a few exceptions to the Germany=Intermediade, France=Pro....

I have a 1973 Buffet Evette Master Model that some would say is an E12/13 Intermediate clarinet. It was made in France.
That would make it a Professional clarinet and every bit the equal of the 'famed' R13. Some say that the Master Model is in fact an R13 that didn't 'quite make specs'.
All I know is, is that it plays better than the NEW R13s' I tried before purchasing my Selmer.
 

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In 1985, I bought a new Buffet RC Prestige Bb soprano clarinet from Howarth's in London. Just now, I put my clarinet's serial number into that link. It came back as a model BC1106, made 4/28/1982. I have no idea what that means other than the date of manufacture. Buffet must be using in-house model numbers and outside model names to differentiate among their various models. DAVE
 

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I've come upon a Buffet-Crampon with a serial number 249xxx. It's clearly marked to have been made in W. Germany (really small print). Is it an E11? It doesn't look like it has plastic inserts.
 

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Just FYI, when I interviewed Shaw at length in the 1970's and asked him which instruments he owned during his career, he told (and showed) me three: two Buffets, and one Selmer. As he said in my interview and numerous others, he used his Selmer for "live" performances where its "shout" (as he referred to it) enabled its sound to project very well. He said one of his two Buffets had ample "shout" but sufficient subtlety that he sometimes used it for "live" appearances as well as for recording sessions. His other Buffet had more cork and supplemental pads to keep they key noise to a minimum. He said he used that "quiet Buffet" for his intimate solos on his small-group recordings.
 

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if it says made in W germany, it is most likely an E11, but could be an E13 if unmarked. Most E11s are marked below the logo, but the germany factory did manufacture their entire student line.
 
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