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Author Topic: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux  (Read 642 times)

Online modernicus

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1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« on: January 23, 2021, 09:49:33 AM »
Well, the spree has brought forth fruit- here's pics of the latest  Buffet Crampon & Cie clarinet from sometime between around 1860 and 1884 (the last year before serial numbers).  Let's say circa 1870.  Unplated brass keywork and fittings, integrated barrel.  Non-original, but very early Evette & Schaeffer bell.  Lower joint socket ring, ring key stack, and one post have been replaced with nickel silver pieces adapted to fit (soldering loose on one ring). Some hairline cracks in lower joint but nothing terrible.  A few pad cups have some dropping damage, a few keys bent a bit. Unmarked wood mouthpiece has a broken tip, of course.
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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 05:02:16 PM »
Um, well I started to measure and compare this clarinet to others I have, and the length is absolutely "bonkers" as they might say across the Atlantic.  Not having the original bell makes things more difficult.  I will get some good pics and measurements.  It's so far looking somewhere between the "high" and "low" pitch clarinets.  That makes NO sense.  I did get this clarinet from Germany.  Apparently the Vienna (Austria, I know) Opera in the 1870s played at A=447hz, yeah, about halfway between what we might call "low" pitch and "high" pitch.  BUT, they wouldn't have been playing Boehm system, RIGHT?!  Apparently, there was something called "middle" pitch in the UK between the 1860s and later 19th century which varied a bit, but was between A=444hz and 446hz.  I guess I'll have to get it playing.  Too bad that the mouthpiece that is with it is broken as well.  I do have a playable wooden Buffet Crampon mouthpiece, and several broken tipped or over-refaced ones that might be able to be made to play again, but only by somebody that knows what they are doing.

http://pianotuninginyork.blogspot.com/2018/11/a-history-of-pitch-standards-in-piano.html?m=1
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 05:52:31 PM by modernicus »
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Online modernicus

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 06:35:13 PM »
Clarinets left to right, T.Berteling (playable at modern pitch), Camille Thibouville, Buffet Crampon I already had (all original parts), new Buffet Crampon, J.T.L. high pitch (all original parts).  With its current bell, it's about 22 7/8" long.  What the hell?  The other Buffet I already had is almost exactly 23 1/2" long. Measurements as shown, no mouthpieces. 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 06:47:54 PM by modernicus »
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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2021, 07:17:17 PM »
Here's a picture with the three lined up at the top, left to right:
 J.T.L. high pitch, new Buffet, old Buffet.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 07:29:47 PM by modernicus »
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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2021, 08:18:26 PM »
Vintage clarinet doctor says 22 7/8" is the threshold for high pitch,  low pitch Bb clarinets should be 23 1/4"  +/- 1/4".  Hard to tell on that alone, since the original bell could have been 1/8" longer. When the tops are lined up, the first side key tone holes line up between the HP J.T.L. and this new Buffet.  Seems like HP is the most likely scenario.  I'm not upset at all, they're actually hard to find for reasonable prices anymore.  I actually look for HP Boehms on purpose!  I still kick myself for not buying a HP A or C when I ran across them.  Most every one I can find is trashed and broken of any type, or the seller wants more than a good LP equivalent.

https://www.thevintageclarinetdoctor.com/-blog/the-difference-between-lp-and-hp-clarinets
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 04:46:10 AM by modernicus »
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Offline LarryS

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 03:46:56 AM »
Here's a picture with the three lined up at the top, left to right:
 J.T.L. high pitch, new Buffet, old Buffet.
I like the key design on the one on the left, they remind me of plateau flute keys
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Online modernicus

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2021, 04:49:17 AM »
Oh yeah, I should do a post on that one here.  I've seen one similar Boehm system for sale in Poland, slightly different, but same pad cup design, and an Albert system with it- all J.T.L. from the same model series.  This particular one I believe was their absolutely top model with metal lined sockets on the barrel, body and bell as well as  the special pad cup design.  Also, the lowest pads have screw on retainers that go through the center.  I think it was made about 1890s to maybe 1910s, it'll require more research.  Unfortunately it has a broken G# key touch piece as I received it.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 05:03:00 AM by modernicus »
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Offline LarryS

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2021, 08:42:51 AM »
I feel I've missed something, who was JTL?
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Online modernicus

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2021, 09:19:14 AM »
Oh, sorry,  J.T.L. is Jerome Thibouville-Lamy.   A very prolific French instrument manufacturer of the 19th and early 20th century and of course, a relative of the other instrument making Thibouvilles.  Sometimes abbreviated this way on the instruments themselves, to the point where pronouncing the abbreviation became its own brand or line "Jetel".
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 05:28:29 PM by modernicus »
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Offline LarryS

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2021, 06:15:17 AM »
Ah thanks!
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Online modernicus

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2021, 12:52:54 PM »
I'm already tearing it down, all but the register key are removed and polished on the top joint- they look amazing now! A couple screws were stuck, but nothing I couldn't handle.  On one of the register key posts, it looks like it was dropped and the brass is soft enough to get squished over the end of the rod screw- still formulating a good strategy for this.  I've already bought some brass stock and tools- I'm going to try to build a new ring key stack for the lower joint.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 01:11:36 PM by modernicus »
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Offline Windsong

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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2021, 05:46:05 AM »
Another 150 year old survivor, and in good hands!  Thanks for that.  You've amassed quite the collection of historically significant French Clarinets, there.
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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2021, 07:54:31 AM »
Another 150 year old survivor, and in good hands!  Thanks for that.  You've amassed quite the collection of historically significant French Clarinets, there.

Thanks, I'll keep the posts and pics coming!  I was surprised  early Boehm clarinets weren't getting the attention I felt they deserved and so started to try to find and get them, then start showing how interesting they can be.  The 17/6 Boehm is a design masterpiece, as witnessed by it's longevity and ubiquity- many have tried to "solve" the compromises made, but the added complexity never seems to justify itself.  Absolutely genius.
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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2021, 02:02:12 PM »
Agreed on that.  Simply a near perfect design.  Everything is a compromise, and while I have come to develop a fondness for Albert system clarinets, they are not nearly as versatile or common-sensical, (though they are noticeably lighter in the hand.  Flipping from one system to the other is proving tiresome for my brain.  I'd rather play Boehm, though I love to restore and collect Alberts.
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Re: 1860s-1884 Buffet Crampon, deux
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2021, 05:48:29 PM »
Oh yeah, I would collect everything if I could, I love the purity and simplicity of Albert/Mueller, classical clarinets, etc...but you're right, the intuitive human factors and ergonomics aspect of Boehm are nearly unbeatable. I do have a J.T.L. Albert high pitch I would never part with, incredible materials and beautiful workmanship. I do wish Boehms were lighter, though!  I have problems with my wrists and thumbs that I felt always held back how long I could practice.  The only instrument I that didn't fatigue my hand too much, where I could just play for hours, was a very old and extremely light metal clarinet.  If I could take the clarinet anywhere, it would be to lighten it with modern materials, overall
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 07:08:01 PM by modernicus »
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