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How does a Buffet E13 compare to a Boosey and Hawkes Emporer


This is my first time posting here. I played the clarinet when I was in school and had a Boosey and Hawkes Emporer. I now have two children who play clarinet - The eldest has the Emporer (it is in good condition and has been recentle overhauled), the youngest has a Yamaha student model which belongs to the County music service and which he is going to have to give back because his school no longer subscribe to the county service (budget cuts!).

So we have decided that now is the time to invest in a clarinet for him. He has just passed grade 3 and his elder sister will be doing grade 5 in July. Their teacher has suggested getting an E13 and giving it to the eldest and the youngets can have the Emporer. But from what I can remember, isn't an Emporer a very similar model and wouldn't she be better off sticking to what she is used to (She gets a lovely sound out of the Emporer)? Or should I let her try both out and see what she prefers?

Aditionally, if they both continue to play, I don't particularly want to buy new clarinets for both of them in a few years time because they have got too good and I wonder if we would be better going for the model above the E13. Or are E13s/Emporers gooed enough to get them beyond grade 8 (I did grade 8 on the Emporer)?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you


Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
A Buffet E-11 is a very nice starter clarinet that for most kids would last them a lifetime of school and community bands.

Being a semi-pro instrument I tend to buy my kids/gkids nice instruments. This is what I bought my granddaughter a couple of years ago:


Buffet is a well recognized manufacturer, especially for clarinets. You can buy cheaper instruments but it's a dice roll where you have to deal with intonation and maintenance problems in the long run. I tend to get my money back if and when a youngster decides she/he'd rather play guitar. :eek:

I also wonder if you've had a chance to talk to the band teacher. That too can be a dice roll, but she/he could look at your child's instrument and make some suggestions too?


College Student who likes wind instruments & music
What sort of budget do you have? You might be able to get a better clarinet for the same or less money.
And I'd say the E13 would be better than your Emperor. As you seem to be in the UK based on your using what seems to be ABSRM levels, a used B&H 926 could also be a good idea to get instead, that's probably not that hard to find over there, and would be similar playing to the Emperor, however it would have had more care in manufacturing and therefore probably play better. However you'd probably have to have some work done to it to get it into the best shape it can be.
As Gandalfe said, your kid's band teacher could probably also see it and see if there's any problems with it.