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Author Topic: Old Wooden Clarinet - Buffet K489  (Read 328 times)

Offline ksuderman

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Old Wooden Clarinet - Buffet K489
« on: December 03, 2023, 03:52:40 AM »
Good Morning,
My eleven-year-old just started playing bassoon, and I wanted to do more than just tell him to practice - so I pulled out my old plastic clarinet. The corks were dried out and had fallen off, so I wrapped the joints in athletic tape and coated them in chapstick. It was a little rough...

But yesterday, I got a fantastic surprise. My sister found what our family calls the "old wooden clarinet" and sent it to me. My parents bought it for me circa 1982, used, for either $225 or $250. When my niece started playing clarinet, my Mom had it refurbished for her to play (but not in marching band!!). When she stopped playing, it got lost for several years. Anyway, it arrived yesterday, and it is an amazing improvement over the old plastic one. I don't ever remember being this excited about the clarinet in high school!

Now I'm trying to identify it. It seems to be stamped Buffet Crampon, Paris France, serial number K489. https://www.woodwindforum.com/clarinetperfection/snbuffet-serial-numbers/ indicates that's an 1896 model. Is there any chance I'm reading that right??

Thanks in advance,
Keith


Offline ksuderman

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Re: Old Wooden Clarinet - Buffet K489
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2023, 11:52:08 AM »
The folks at Clarinet Perfection asked me for some better pictures and identified it as an Evette-Schaeffer model - and that serial number tracks to circa 1951. So, I guess that makes is more of a "family heirloom" than a "priceless work of art" (which is good, considering how we've treated this thing...).

Okay - back to practicing "Nicholas Variations" with my kid and wondering how my emboucher got so weak in only 38 years...

Thanks!
Keith

Offline Squeaky

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Re: Old Wooden Clarinet - Buffet K489
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2023, 05:19:08 PM »
I'd be excited, too, to have a nice Evette & Schaeffer (E&S) clarinet in my hands.  The early K-series E&S clarinets, such as yours, are highly regarded by some clarinetists.

Please, have it serviced regularly--and preferably by a technician who specializes in Buffet clarinets.  You'll pay extra, but unless you have a poor specimen of this model, you shouldn't have to buy him a better clarinet unless he decides to study at the collegiate level.

Judging by the condition of the bell logo and overall graininess of the wood, the clarinet appears to be in need of oiling.

And..it should go without saying that this clarinet as nice as yours should never be used for marching band.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Old Wooden Clarinet - Buffet K489
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2023, 10:36:02 AM »
Oh yea these older E&S models are great! Legend has it that Buffet R13s that failed quality control for one or another MINOR reason (flaw in the wood, slight imperfection, etc) were rebranded at E&S.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Virginia Beach, Virginia