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Author Topic: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?  (Read 672 times)

Offline Abraxas

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Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« on: December 31, 2020, 06:37:53 PM »
Hello.

Getting my daughter ready for school and she has been assigned clarinet for band. I have a pretty decent playing Buffet, but I'm not sure of the model. It has the Buffet Crampon & Cie, etched into the wood and is also marked Made in W. Germany. The serial number is 250992. I thinking this is probably an E11 but can't seem to find a page on differentiating the models, by features.

Also, I have VanDoren MPCs model 2RV and V45. Which would you think would be a suitable MPC for a beginner ? I love my Plasticover 1.5 reeds and VanDoren Optimum lig.

PS... I have near disposable Evette junker and a B12 in the mail that I will cycle her through first so I don't go through the roof when she comes home with what used to be a clarinet. I'm thinking the Evette for say first 3 weeks until she can do half a major scale, the B12 for maybe half a year and then this whatever it is.... E11 I think.... or whatever her teacher suggests.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 03:25:03 AM by Abraxas »

Offline Airflyte

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2020, 06:54:39 PM »
David Kessler has a great write up on the E11 models.

https://www.kesslerandsons.com/blog/the-confusing-history-of-the-buffet-e11-clarinet/

Having your daughter start on the junker may sound like a good idea as a father, but make sure it's playing at the highest level possible. I do feel sorry for the kids who get stuck with a bad instrument.

I saw first hand how my son struggled with a trumpet shaped object and then the look of amazement when he tried a good student Yamaha.
"The Clarinet - in a class of its own"

Visit Phil Pedler's Clarinet Pages NEW website!
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Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2020, 08:01:22 PM »
Thanks.. The Evette "junker" is only for the first 2 or 3 weeks to show her that they do break when knocked over. I wouldn't call a B12 a junker and certainly the E11, if that is what it is, is a great horn.

I had already read Kessler's article and it wasn't of any real use. First of all, I've owned this clarinet for about 20 years and it was well used when i got it, so no point in considering anything from this millenia. The 6 digit serial suggests a date of 1984 and I'm open to that possibility. Other sources suggest that if it has no model number below the logo then it's an R13. Other sources say the R13 did not get anywhere close to that serial number 250 992. Furthermore, Kessler starts his article with mention of a "transfer" logo which I assumed to mean a decal. My logo is embossed into the wood. At least when I run my fingernail over the logo, I feel ridges.

In the absence of reliable serial lists, I'm hoping for some clues in the keywork. I do have some precision measurement tools too, if there was some measurement that distinguished itself belonging to a certain model. Cheers and Happy New Year.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 08:13:25 PM by Abraxas »

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2020, 11:30:54 PM »
Here's my convenient guide to identifying Buffets!

https://clarinetpages.info/smf/index.php?topic=1676.0

My thoughts on models:
Evette is okay, but you could always do better. Evette ranged from good to bad, it all depends on the material and the model. In the bass clarinet world, you often see lower-grade Evette logos on decent Malerne products, so its sort of a crapshoot sometimes.

The B12 is decent, as is the B11. I don't really know what the differences are beyond the fact that B11 has black rings while B12 has silver. I believe both have been discontinued by now, but I could be wrong.

The R13 always, as far as I know, has an stamped (sunken-in) logo. It is often rather shallow and the gold wears off quickly, so its sometimes hard to tell without having it in-hand.
But, if you go by my guide, it should be pretty good at helping you get the feel of things.

The transfer logo that wears off in seconds is usually on the E11. Once it's worn off you're pretty much never going to see it again except in certain angles with strained eyes. (And ain't nobody got time to hand-paint the logo back on.)

Anyways, see if my guide helps. If it doesn't, please feel free to email me some pics. I can generally tell by keywork if its a Buffet product. Sorry about the images not uploading, we're hard at work fixing the problem.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2021, 03:23:33 AM »
Thanks Dave.

 I had seen your page as well during my research. This has an embossed logo. Everytime I run my fingernail over any of the lines in the logo, there is a shallow ridge. There is obviously no model number stamped on it nor any sign of ever having a tag. Made in W Germany, I would conclude it's an R13, however the thing that bars me from that conclusion is it's serial number. Someone has published that they never saw an R13 with a serial number above xxxxx. Mine has a significant 6 digits at 250992. I can wait until you get the photo uploading functionality happening and post some photos.

It's not a big deal. More curiosity at this point. I know quality when I'm holding it in my hands and this is more instrument than sub College or University students deserve. It plays very well.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 03:27:45 AM by Abraxas »

Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2021, 11:48:19 AM »
OK, finally took some photos and i regret not of the very faint stamp. It is a stamp and not a decal. Whatever it is, it play really well.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2021, 11:51:55 AM by Abraxas »

Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2021, 11:52:49 AM »
one more photo

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2021, 01:29:05 PM »
Based on the W Germany production, I don't think it can be an R13. Far as I am aware, R13 were ALWAYS made in France.

I would probably say this is more likely an E11, which was always made in Germany and never in France, far as I know.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2021, 05:57:29 PM »
OK so we call it an E11, but that means some of the ID info I've read online is not correct. The logo is NOT a decal. It is embossed or etched into the wood. I can't remember now the other things that seemed to disqualify it from being an E11. Too bad some of the Buffet old timers from the factories wouldn't step up to the plate.

I'm not alone is this dilemma either as I've seen a pile of other posts from other Buffet owners who had these mystery German clarinets that they could not determine the model number one. You seem to be saying, if it's German buffet it has to be an E11 ??

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2021, 12:02:19 PM »
I'm not alone is this dilemma either as I've seen a pile of other posts from other Buffet owners who had these mystery German clarinets that they could not determine the model number one. You seem to be saying, if it's German buffet it has to be an E11 ??

Not entirely; rather, if it's German it is NOT an R13.

German models evidently include: E11, E12, E13, (some) C13.

The C13 was usually made in France and had a stamped logo. However there are reports of German C13s as well.

All that being said, I suspect that your clarinet, if it has the stamped logo is probably not an E11.
My money is on the E12 or the C13 as those seem to have the stamped logo where all E11's I've seen had the decal/paint.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2021, 01:00:12 PM »
OK E12 or C13... any hints on telling those 2 apart ?

Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2021, 08:11:05 AM »
I still haven't gotten any closer to identifying this but there are others out on the internet that appear identical and are quite close on serial numbers. Help, anyone please !!!

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/254634117545?hash=item3b496049a9:g:gzcAAOSwxKFd2GdA

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2021, 01:38:48 PM »
Honestly, I have no idea how to tell the E12 and C13 apart. I don't have enough of a repertoire of confirmed serial numbers to go off of. I suppose a next step would be to scour the internet for E12 and C13s for sale, find those with the W-Germany (pre-1989) stamps, and try to see if there's a serial number series that more closely matches yours.

Sorry I can't be of more help here.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Offline Abraxas

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Re: Help in Identifying a West German Buffet Model ?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2021, 02:13:03 PM »
Unfortunately, there are serial numbers that come very close and the clarinets shown, as I posted in that Ebay listing' are identical. I say "Unfortunately" because they too, do not know what the model number is.