Rare 1973 Buffet R14-1/2 R13 Upgrade Clarinet!
One of several Buffet Crampon clarinets we are selling! This one is an R13 in Bb with nickel plating, serial number 1384XX, 1973, making it right at the sweet spot in Buffet’s Golden Era. It has some nice factory upgrades from the base model R13, including the articulated C#/G# to facilitate low B to C# trills and others, and a forked-Eb mechanism to allow the forked Eb fingering and additional trills and tremolos, and another extra trill key on the lower joint. Note that this is a true, polycylindrical R13, not a pre-R13 as is so often seen with this key work, and it’s by far the latest example of this that I’ve ever seen. The old Fischer catalogs listed this variant as an R14-1/2—which was their designation rather than Buffet’s—but the model number is often still used, since it’s a lot easier than saying, “The R13 with 18 keys, 7 rings, articulated C#/G# and forked Eb/Bb.”
The horn is in immaculate condition. Exceptional billet of grenadilla with a nice, tight grain typical of the period, no chips, cracks or repairs, meticulously cleaned and treated with sweet almond oil. Tenons are nice and tight, and it looks like sometime in its history a master technician installed an external metal ring on the middle tenon to square up the edges to prevent wobble between the joints. The nickel plating is in excellent condition, with the first layer of nickel just starting to show some wear on three of the spatula keys, but of course this is two layers of nickel over a layer of copper, and will be good for another 40 years. Just had a masterful overhaul: All new cork pads on the upper and a combination of cork and white kangaroo leather on the lower. All new tenon and key corks. Keys, rods, and screws ultrasonically cleaned, lubricated, and lost motion removed to nice, tight tolerances. One of the best-playing and best-sounding clarinets you’ll ever own. Comes in the nice black case with the padded exterior, also in excellent condition.
By far the nicest vintage R13 you’ll find for sale right now, and practically impossible to find from the Golden Era with this keywork in this condition.