Author Topic: Buffet Identification Guide  (Read 30 times)

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Buffet Identification Guide
« on: May 16, 2019, 05:25:04 PM »
One of the most common questions I get is to identify someone's mystery Buffet clarinet.

Here's a quick guide, and PLEASE comment with any update/clarification/additional info.

Buffet clarinets are generally produced in one of two places: France and Germany.

French-made clarinet are usually wood, and usually of a more premium quality. These are often made by Buffet themselves.

German-made clarinets are either wood or plastic, and of a relatively lesser quality (at least, compared to top-of-the-line French ones). These are usually made by a stencil manufacturer, often Schreiber.

That being said, let's ID your Buffet.

If it says MADE IN FRANCE it could be:
Buffet R13
Buffet "pre"-R13
Buffet C13/International
Buffet E13
Auguste Buffet
Most modern and vintage premium line instruments (RC, Divine, Legende, etc)

Is your Buffet an R13?
1. look for is any indication of a metal or other kind of tag attached to the upper section. The premium line clarinets often have a metal tag (such as the RC or Tosca).
IF there IS a tag, it is NOT an R13.

2. Look for any indication of a PHYSICALLY STAMPED Buffet logo. R13 always had a stamped logo; the E11 for example often used a transfer-stamp that did not physically alter the wood.

3. Look for PLASTIC/composite tone hole inserts. If the tone hole inserts are NOT wood, it is NOT an R13.

4. Check out this serial number chart:
If the date appears to be earlier than 1955, it is NOT an R13.

If your Buffet is made in France and is NOT an R13, and is NOT modern (ie, within the last 20 years), and it DOES have plastic tone hole inserts, then it is either a C13 or E13. Flip a coin on this one, although E13 seems to be slightly more common than C13, since many C13s were marked "International."

Buffet B10
Buffet B12
Buffet E11
Buffet E12
Buffet Prodige

German-made clarinet can be either plastic (B-series) or wood (E-series).

Is your plastic Buffet a B10?
1. Look for BLACK rings on each body section and the bell. If the rings are black, then you almost certainly have a B10

Is your plastic Buffet a B12?
1. Look for SILVER rings on each body section and bell. If the rings are black, then you almost certainly have a B12.

Is your wooden Buffet an E11?
1. Look for a transfer-stamp-style logo. There will be a small "E11" directly underneath the logo.

If you KNOW it's a Buffet and simply cannot see the logo and/or model designation, then there's probably a 80% chance it's an E11, since E12 seems to be significantly less common than the E11.

Finally, if you purchased your buffet NEW for less than $200 then it is a Chinese counterfeit.

David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages

Offline Airflyte

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Re: Buffet Identification Guide
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 06:47:34 PM »
Good info here Dave. Thanks for posting!
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