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1950s Buffet Crampon Bass Clarinet a good buy?

Discussion in 'Bb Bass Clarinet' started by evinjaq, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Was this old Buffet Bass a good buy?

    https://m.ebay.com/itm/272842017330

    Only got it for $999

    Seems to have all the parts, the neck piece looks strange and compact.

    What are your thoughts on this Bass?

    Which model would this one be?
     
  2. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

    Ohey I explained to the seller what that was back when they wanted $2600. =P
    It looks like it's a nice horn, but I don't know much about Buffet basses.
    @Steve, do you know?
    Hope you enjoy it!
     
  3. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    How does it play? Do you need to put money into it so that it's the horn you can really use?
     
    TrueTone likes this.
  4. So it just arrived today,

    Looks like the Low Eb keys was bent (the part that closes the hole has stopped working, so when I press down the low Eb key it does not budge.

    Overall I'm suprised in what good shape the wooden body is. I can see the brown wooden tone color of the wood throughout as well as the black.
    The horn is suprisingly more lightweight than the Selmer Paris that I had.

    The keys are sluggish and I'm sure adjusting will have to be done, padding looks ok but old.

    But interestingly, the Bass came with cool stuff.
    Vintage Selmer neck strap with 2 hooks, a Selmer Paris C* mouthpiece, vintage Selmer Reed cap, vintage Selmer metal ligature and some aged good looking Vandoren reeds.

    Only thing I'm concerned or is whether the bell of the Bass is original or not. It doesn't have a Buffet Crampon stamping on it. And it looks a shinier than other nickel silver parts of the Bass. I could be wrong though.

    I'll take even more pictures to show what I'm talking about.

    I need a better tech to look at it.

    Who do you recommend who has a lot of knowledge on Clarinets and other Instruments in the Clarinet family who works on Bass Clarinets?
    I'm in the NYC area.
     
    TrueTone likes this.
  5. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

    A thread from the clarinet BBoards has some recomendations: http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=433549&t=429203
    When I talked to Greg Smith about the Buffet Eb I have with; I'll put it as "narrow twelfth problems" to be kind to the problem's level of severity in the instrument, he recommended Guy Chadash like rmk54 in that thread did, and added that fixing that definitely wouldn't be cheap.
    (also, anyone here know if Greg is doing okay? I know he was sick earlier this year and he also didn't show up to clarinetfest...I suppose I could email him then...)
     
    Gandalfe likes this.
  6. Thanks, so many woodwind techs working on saxes and flutes, not many know the inside out of a clarinet, let alone a Bass Clarinet.

    Hopefully the repair costs don't total to more than 500.
     
    TrueTone likes this.
  7. JfW

    JfW

    That is my impression as well. I couldn't help but notice but it looks very similar to the bell that came with my Noblet, which I also think is not original. Our bells look like the ones that come with Selmer Bundy instruments.

    I'm hoping it doesn't matter much because replacement looks expensive.
     
    TrueTone likes this.
  8. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    Seriously, who cares what the bell looks like if the instrument plays well. Maybe once you have the instrument playing the way you like and decide this will be your main bass clarinet axe you might look at getting the kinda bell you want. Maybe a black satin metal one? :)
     
    TrueTone likes this.
  9. JfW

    JfW

    I know less about this stuff than most, but from what I gather clarinet players don't seem to be as concerned with provenance as Saxophone players. Sure, some sax players prefer a different neck with some horns other than the original, but they are certain to keep it with the instrument in case they ever sell the thing. From what I gather, a saxophone with a model-correct neck, but not the original one loses tremendous value. i don't see the same fall off with non original bells or barrels on the clarinet side, or am I wrong?

    FWIW, I agree with Gandalfe, I am going to play that Noblet Bass with a Bundy Bell and hope the tuning doesn't suffer much without sweating the provenance issue because I can either get a model correct replacement from Votaw for $700 or hunt ebay for months and come across something someone wants probably $300 for
     
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  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Agree with the other folks: provided you can play notes lower than, say, a low G, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    I'd value the horn less, no matter the instrument. How much less is probably dependent on what the instrument is (instrument family, make, model, pitch). I also rarely see a completely overhauled horn with near mint cosmetics that doesn't come with the original neck.

    Bb soprano clarinetists quite often change out barrels, which is the rough equivalent of changing out a sax neck. Some clarinets are even sold with an extra barrel from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer), just like some saxophones do (making it easy, any model that had more numbers than 901 or 991 is just swapping parts and/or finish). You can also change out the bell, which you can on some saxophone models, but I don't know of any 3rd party company that would do so.

    FWIW, I probably wouldn't have paid that much for this horn. It's got a bunch of problems and bass clarinet isn't my primary instrument. I would have waited a bit to see if Quinn had something a bit better. I also know that Kessler Music has a decent new bass clarinet that has range to low C and costs $2K.
     
    TrueTone likes this.
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