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Buffet E13 Clarinet - How old roughly?

#1
I have an E13 Buffet Clarinet which has a serial number starting with K73***
It has a very different type of wood grain to the usual ones you see and I wondered what this type of Woodgrain would be called if anyone can help?
Also it's rough age...
 

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pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#2
Around 1990.

As far as I'm aware, all E13s were made out of grenadilla and are black. So, I hate to say it but I'd call yours "badly worn grenadilla." @Steve can elaborate or another of the other repair folks on this forum.
 

TrueTone

Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History
#3
Around 1990.

As far as I'm aware, all E13s were made out of grenadilla and are black. So, I hate to say it but I'd call yours "badly worn grenadilla." @Steve can elaborate or another of the other repair folks on this forum.
Maybe the dye that Buffet put in the grenadilla was removed?
Part of the bell on my Buffet Evette master model (aka a Malerne) looks like a darker version of the finish on that.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#4
That's why I said "worn" :D.

I don't know enough about wood to tell someone how to achieve this look. I also don't know if this could be restored. I do know that there are a bunch of different techniques to bring new life to an old clarinet, like oil immersion. I don't know if it'd be worth it, though: the E13 is an intermediate horn -- not disrespecting that one bit; it's a good horn and I like some intermediate horns a whole lot -- but looking at the sold horns on ebay, it's a low $ unless it's a full overhaul or slightly used.

FWIW, if I could still play clarinet without blowing the back of my head off, I've read enough stuff about old wooden clarinets (I know; 1990 isn't that old), I think I'd go for one of the hard rubber horns or a good metal one. Unless I could playtest for a looong while.
 
#6
From my list it looks like manufacture year was sometime after 1987. My list stops at 1987/70191. From the somewhat blotchy appearance of the wood somebody has removed the black alcohol-based stain that Buffet apply to reveal the natural wood. This can easily be done with an alcohol dampened rag. What you find underneath the stain is pot luck. Sometimes its just very ordinary wood and sometimes you find something of great beauty. The E13 is an intermediate instrument and quality can range from indifferent to excellent. I sold one (wish I hadn't) that was better than most R13's I've tried, but that was exceptional. I could only quote Australian prices, which are in no way typical of US prices. Best check on EBay and see what they are selling for.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#7
I sold one (wish I hadn't) that was better than most R13's I've tried, but that was exceptional.
They're using the BC 20 design and, now, the RC bell. Stephen Howard is a bit lukewarm on his review, but he compares it to a Yamaha YCL650, which is Yamaha's low-range pro horn. However, the E13 is $2900 new and the Yamaha's $1900. In other words, the E13 is an intermediate horn that's close in price to the to the Yamaha YCLCSVR custom pro horn at $3100.

I was severely medicated yesterday and didn't look closely enough: the Stephen Howard article confirms that the wood on the E13 was dyed back in 2004 and probably still is. He also mentions how some people ask for the dye to be stripped. Sometimes it comes out really good ... sometimes it doesn't.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#8
The odd part is the tenons and sockets are black.
not just "wood" black, but they look kind of shiny black.
The bell you can see the "long streaks" of potential stain or something. And yet some of the toneholes are the same lighter color.

I wonder if this is a Chinese fake ??
I'd have to see it in hand to see for sure.

The odd part is the serial number with the K prefix. The K prefix was a Buffet made Evette-Schaeffer model or a more modern Buffet Limite(d) model.

I'm unaware of a "K" prefix in the E13 line.

But try using bore oil on the barrel and see what happens to the color.

Clarinets that are water damaged (think floods), then dried out Can look similar to this. But the tenons and sockets, etc would all have the same look. And the wood feeling would be grainy and rough. They can be brought back to life, very carefully. I had one from a flood and it took 6-8 weeks for re oil hydration to bring the wood back as it expanded and shifted around in light rounds of oiling. Then I let it sit for another 4 weeks as wood takes time to shift and stop shifting. I measured areas of the clarinet (outside and bore) too and noticed the wood changing shape, not visually but to a caliper and measuring tools.
 
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