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Thread: Difference Between R13 and Prestige R13

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    Default Difference Between R13 and Prestige R13

    So looking at the descriptions on WWBW.com, it looks like the only major difference between the R13 with silver plated keywork and the Prestige R13 is the extra key (alternate Eb/Ab lever)? Did I miss something, because the price is a pretty steep difference between the two?

    I'm looking to upgrade, not quite yet, but maybe in 6-8 months of saving up some major funds

    And while we're talking about differences in models, is there really a functional difference between the nickel silver keywork and silver plated keywork? I know the silver plated keys are much easier to clean, as it only took a soft cloth, silver polish, and a couple hours of patience to clean up my Selmer USA CL210.
    Kris

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    well the wood is supposed to be superior too, hand selected high quality, tenons have rings on them, gore-tex pads, a (plastic) screw on the G# (per my notes but now I don't know what I meant), and maybe a helper return spring on the thumb ring lever. Plus what you read.

    I think the R13 can be purchased in silver plate too.

    ooh ... and a nice little highly polished metal "prestige" emblem
    http://www.ClarinetPerfection.com/cl...tm#R13Prestige

    was your CL210 silverplated or chrome plated ? The chrome plating is a breeze to clean up.

    as for the functional difference .... to me, no. No difference at all. I prefer the feel of Silver over nickel though. There are some people and marketing that reference tonal variation between certain post plating, etc. But subtle differences could also be subtle differences in setup too.

    Ironically, I have 2 E-11 "A"s. One sounds tonally clear and the other has much more tonal color to it. I'll be in the process of trying to figure out why it is ... other than the 1,000,000 serial number difference.

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    Default Do be careful with the polish...

    A little polish goes a long way, and it also minimizes buildup of the (slightly) abrasive polish in key work and the like.

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    [obvious] You're forgetting the most obvious difference: the word "Prestige" in the name. [/obvious]

    Anyway, content answer: Steve mentioned about some people reporting tonal variations based on how the keywork is plated. I hadn't heard any of that until a year or so ago when Yamaha (IIRC) started using gold-plated keywork on their Custom horns. Personally, I think this is hogwash, but if you can hear a difference, go for it.

    The most common reason to go for a different plating is if you are allergic to a specific metal or your sweat corrodes specific metals (generally, there's the qualifier of "faster than other metals").

    In the saxophone world, nickel-plated keywork was used because it's stronger. While flautists will tell you that nickel plate = student model, it's really just on flute: nickel plate doesn't necessarily = student model for any other woodwind.

    Note that keywork can also be replated, if necessary. One of the other luminaries here can talk about cost. I really don't know how much it is on clarinet. There's not that much keywork, so I don't think it'd be that much ....

    Final comment is that if your keywork is plated with a specific metal and you want to polish it, always use an abrasive-free, non-tarnishing polish that's for that metal (e.g. don't use silver polish on gold plate).

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    with the flute the primary reasons they use nickel is due to cost and nickel supposedly creates a faster response instrument. I wanted to test that theory in the past as I also noticed in my flutes that I owned .. Armstrong 103, 303, 80 of that situation too. But unfortunately the instruments were not created equal. The embouchure hole on each one was a different shape and size with the student 103 solid nickel one being the smallest and more circular up to the model 80 being much bigger. Add to that that the heads were not interchangeable (bore size difference) thus I would not test anything with certainty.

    with the Yamaha pro CSG clarinets they do a "Hamilton" plating where they gold plate the posts and silver plate the keywork. I've never tried one to compare against one without but of the yamaha players out there they say there is a difference. So I'll take their word on it until I get a chance to try and form my own conclusions.

    A close friend of mine at one time bought a Keilwerth nickel silver tenor sax. Due to my flute knowledge (a little can be dangerous) I advised against it. The horn was super fast response but it lacked tonal color and, for his reasons for a pro horn, it actually worked against him. he finally replaced it with a Ref36 and all was well again. I would often used the terms "kitchen sink" and "JK nickel silver sax" in the same sentence. I guess I was right.

    I wonder if additives to the silver plating would make a difference. For example, those 2 E-11 "A"s ... one has bright silver plating (additives) and the other darker nickelish silver plating (not so many additives). I wonder if i can swap the keywork as a test ??? I wonder if I really care ?

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    I believe we have someone that might want to volunteer, Steve. Check out http://www.woodwindforum.com/forums/...ead.php?t=3929


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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSklar View Post
    with the Yamaha pro CSG clarinets they do a "Hamilton" plating where they gold plate the posts and silver plate the keywork.
    Not exactly. The keys themselves have "Hamilton" plating which is an alloy og gold, nickel and copper. I've tried both models (in Bb and A) side by side a few times and can say there wasn't a consistent difference as a result of the plating.

    As far as the R13 and R13 prestige differences, I think it's what Steve mentioned. For many years I had an R13 Prestige as main clarinet and an R13 as a backup. I've also try many of both side by side many times. Sometimes there was some difference in playing between the models, sometimes the difference was more between individual clarinets. My conclusion was that the difference between the models in how they play was more or less a coincidence, as if it was real it would always be there.

    Prestige is only silver plating but you can buy R13 with either nickel or silver plating. I think you can buy the R13 with the extra Ab/Eb lever. The main difference are the wood (supposed to always be heart wood), the metal tenon rings and the metal logo. The Prestige also has unstained wood while the R13 is usually stained and looks more black.

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    Thanks for the great, and helpful responses! Both of my local music stores carry the R13 nickel plated but not the Prestige. The guy at the first store I looked at today, I believe, was full of, well.... never mind. He tried to convince me that the R13 was going out of style and I should only consider a Leblanc. Further questioning revealed he was out of R13s. He also wanted full retail for the clarinet. He said he sold at full price because he sold service. Yet he's also "in between" repair techs.

    The second store I looked at, which is my preferred source here in town, offers the R13 nickel plated for the same price as WWBW and is willing to get the silver-plated one in for me. They did the repad and tune-up on my current horn and did an excellent job. When I mentioned WWBW, he was very aware of the website and said they do their best to match those prices to encourage local business.

    When the time comes, I will do my best to buy local and support my local businesses, but I won't pay a premium price unless a premium service backs it up

    It seems there are more differences in the R13 and Prestige than I thought (thanks for the review, Steve). I am looking to upgrade my clarinet, but I don't think that playing in one community band necessarily warrants the highest level horn.. otherwise I would be interested in hearing more about the tosca
    Kris

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    Quote Originally Posted by clarnibass View Post
    My conclusion was that the difference between the models in how they play was more or less a coincidence, as if it was real it would always be there.
    I agree with clarnibass. I work at a Buffet dealer and I get to set up dozens of new clarinets. A good horn is a good horn, regardless of the way it is marked. There may be a few more great Prestige clarinets, but there are a lot of great R-13s.

    I like nickel plating on keys. It is more durable, stays shiny, and makes "gliding" from one key to another easier, due to the slippery surface. I respect the opinions of the many who disagree with me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groovekiller View Post
    I like nickel plating on keys. It is more durable, stays shiny, and makes "gliding" from one key to another easier, due to the slippery surface. I respect the opinions of the many who disagree with me.
    I agree, but the bright silver plating Buffet uses is awefully pretty. Plus I still slide from the spatula keys just that my fingers have more grip with they get there.



    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    It seems there are more differences in the R13 and Prestige than I thought (thanks for the review, Steve). I am looking to upgrade my clarinet, but I don't think that playing in one community band necessarily warrants the highest level horn.. otherwise I would be interested in hearing more about the tosca

    Here's some info on the Tosca with pictures
    http://www.ClarinetPerfection.com/clsnBuffet.htm#Tosca

    Now the Tosca, is a differently designed clarinet from the standard R13 design.
    But you are right ... the price difference to the Tosca requires a very deep wallet/purse.

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    Buffet did a good thing with the R13: they found a great design and kept it around. The Prestige might be more betterer than a plain R13, as far as specs go, but the only spec that matters is how good YOU sound on the horn.

    Overall, I'm partial to Yamaha instruments -- sax or clarinet. That's because their pro horns are very consistent in quality and generally offer a lot for the the price. The point I'm getting at is that it's possible that you'll find that there's a clarinet out there that suits you better. There are some pretty decent used ones, too. Just look for a reputable dealer that a) you'll buy from and b) will let you trial the horn. Hey, I'd rather pay (say) $1000 for a used Yamaha CSV than $2500 for a new one. Provided, of course, it doesn't need $1500 in repair .

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