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Buffet Crampon et Compagnie is a manufacturer of woodwind instruments including oboes, flutes, saxophones, and bassoons. The company is perhaps most famous for their clarinets, as Buffet is the brand of choice for many professionals.

Contents

History

Denis Buffet-Auger, of the Buffet family of French musical instrument makers, began making quality clarinets in Paris, France in 1825. The company expanded under Jean-Louis Buffet and his wife Zoé Crampon and became known as Buffet Crampon. (Another family member, Auguste Buffet jeune, who worked with famous clarinetist Hyacinthe Klosé to develop the Boehm system for clarinet, had his own business separate from Buffet Crampon.)

In 1850, Buffet Crampon established its headquarters at Mantes-la-Ville. The company continued to expand its range and quality in instrument production, beginning saxophone production in 1866, and winning numerous awards. The company began to take root in the American woodwind industry during the early 1900s.

In 1950, the company developed its famous R13 clarinet, an extremely popular professional-level clarinet. In 1981, Buffet joined Boosey & Hawkes, which sold the French company to The Music Group in 2003. Two years later Buffet was bought by a French group. In 2006 Buffet Crampon acquired two brass instrument manufacturers, Antoine Courtois Paris and Besson. In 2008 Buffet Crampon continues to pursue its strategy by the acquisition of the Leblanc clarinet factory in La Couture Boussey, Département of Eure, Haute-Normandie in France.

Recently, Buffet has made efforts to protect the African blackwood trees, which provide grenadilla wood for clarinets, from being eliminated. In its effort to protect the over-harvesting of African blackwood / grenadilla, Buffet has started making several models of "Greenline" clarinets. These are made of a composite of 95% Grenadilla (ground up scraps from other manufacturing processes) and 5% carbon fiber with an epoxy binder. As these do not have the grain structure of a true wood product, they do not have the issue of cracking due to environmental changes that are typically seen in clarinets and other wood instruments. As of 1999, Buffet offered Greenline versions of the R13, RC, RC Prestige, and Festival clarinets.

Evette and Evette & Schaeffer clarinets

Until the 1980s, only professional level clarinets carried the Buffet name. Lower priced clarinets for the beginner and intermediate market were branded "Evette" and "Evette & Schaeffer", respectively. For a time the Evette clarinets actually were built by other manufacturers under Buffet's sponsorship, and these instruments are marked "Evette sponsored by Buffet". By the early 1970s Buffet was making the Evettes in their own factory in Paris, and about 1979 manufacture was moved to a Buffet-owned factory in Germany. Evette & Schaeffer clarinets were made in Paris. Use of the Evette and Evette & Schaeffer brands ended about 1985, when the company began using the Buffet name on all its clarinets.

Clarinet models

Current and recent Buffet clarinet models include (in approximate order from least to most expensive):

Plastic clarinets

  • B10 - a lightweight beginner model, entirely plastic apart from the keys
  • Evette (no longer in production, succeeded by B12)
  • B12 - a good quality beginner instrument, as demonstrated by its enduring popularity.

Intermediate clarinets

  • Evette (no longer in production, succeeded by E11)
  • Evette Master Model (no longer in production, succeeded by E12)
  • Evette & Schaeffer (no longer in production, succeeded by E13)
  • Evette & Schaeffer Master Model (no longer in production)
  • E11 - intermediate, entry-level wooden instrument. Very popular with high sale rates
  • E11 France - intermediate, similar to the E11, but made in France as opposed to Germany, with an all new bore, ringless bell, and numerous other features.
  • E10 - as E11, but with a lightweight bell made of ABS
  • E12 - as E11, but with "special wood treatment to improve sound quality". Prior to 1992, this particular model was referred to as the E-45.
  • C13 "International"
  • E13/Limité - More expensive E11 model, in the intermediate range.

Professional clarinets

  • C12 "Conservatoire" model - A semi-professional model C12 was produced only from 1984 to 1992. Essentially it was an R13 with lesser keywork, lacking the R13's wood cutout above the lower tenon "pinky keys".
  • R13 - Buffet's most popular professional model, something of an institution in its own right. The R in R13 Stands for the name of its designer, Robert Carrée. His name is born out in his later model, the Buffet RC (RC standing for his initials)[1].
  • RC - an R13 equivalent model but with distinctive barrel and bell shape intended to improve tone, developed in 1974 with the assistance of the luthier Robert Carrée. Noted for sweetness of sound.
  • S1 - another alternative model to the R13, manufactured in the 1970s and early 80s. Designed to have an inverse taper barrel and a bore similar to the original 1950s R13.
  • R13 Vintage - Closer to the original 1950s bore design.
  • Festival - Very similar to the R13 Prestige. Slight differences in the upper bore. Register key is 1 mm higher than on a standard R13. Also has the addition of an alternate left-hand Eb/Ab lever.
  • R13 Prestige - A higher level of R13 clarinet. Made from only the best unstained wood by Buffet's most senior and successful craftsmen. Also has the addition of an alternate left-hand Eb/Ab lever.
  • RC Prestige - Slightly smaller bore than the R13. More popular in Europe. Also has the addition of an alternate left-hand Eb/Ab lever.
  • Tosca - introduced in 2003, features include a new bore design, ergonomically reshaped key work, an auxiliary Eb key and low F correction key.
  • Elite - no longer in production, having been replaced by the Tosca. All of its reinforcing rings were of black polycarbonate fiber - other than the silver keys, it was entirely black.

The Buffet range has been developed and extended over the years with various new models being developed, occasionally replacing older variants. Within the range there is a central core of 3 or 4 models favoured by teachers and pupils alike: the entry level B12 (although the B10 is an increasingly popular alternative), the E11 as an intermediate wooden model and the R13 or RC as a professional-standard instrument. The Festival is of the R13 family, sharing a bore design with its slightly less expensive counterpart; it is made of denser, more select wood. It also has an auxiliary left hand Ab/Eb key, and is sold with two barrels of different lengths. The R13 Prestige and the RC Prestige are more expensive counterparts to the R13 and RC (respectively) made of only the finest wood and craftsmanship. Both models come equipped with an auxiliary left-hand Ab/Eb key and with two barrels of different lengths.

References

External links


Buffet Crampon et Compagnie is a manufacturer of woodwind instruments including oboes, flutes, saxophones, and bassoons. The company is perhaps most famous for their clarinets, as Buffet is the brand of choice for many professionals.

Contents

History

Denis Buffet-Auger, of the Buffet family of French musical instrument makers, began making quality clarinets in Paris, France in 1825. The company expanded under Jean-Louis Buffet and his wife Zoé Crampon and became known as Buffet Crampon. (Another family member, Auguste Buffet jeune, who worked with famous clarinetist Hyacinthe Klosé to develop the Boehm system for clarinet, had his own business separate from Buffet Crampon.)

In 1850, Buffet Crampon established its headquarters at Mantes-la-Ville. The company continued to expand its range and quality in instrument production, beginning saxophone production in 1866, and winning numerous awards. The company began to take root in the American woodwind industry during the early 1900s.

In 1950, the company developed its famous R13 clarinet, an extremely popular professional-level clarinet. In 1981, Buffet joined Boosey & Hawkes, which sold the French company to The Music Group in 2003. Two years later Buffet was bought by a French group. In 2006 Buffet Crampon acquired two brass instrument manufacturers, Antoine Courtois Paris and Besson. In 2008 Buffet Crampon continues to pursue its strategy by the acquisition of the Leblanc clarinet factory in La Couture Boussey, Département of Eure, Haute-Normandie in France.

Recently, Buffet has made efforts to protect the African blackwood trees, which provide grenadilla wood for clarinets, from being eliminated. In its effort to protect the over-harvesting of African blackwood / grenadilla, Buffet has started making several models of "Greenline" clarinets. These are made of a composite of 95% Grenadilla (ground up scraps from other manufacturing processes) and 5% carbon fiber with an epoxy binder. As these do not have the grain structure of a true wood product, they do not have the issue of cracking due to environmental changes that are typically seen in clarinets and other wood instruments. As of 1999, Buffet offered Greenline versions of the R13, RC, RC Prestige, and Festival clarinets.

Evette and Evette & Schaeffer clarinets

Until the 1980s, only professional level clarinets carried the Buffet name. Lower priced clarinets for the beginner and intermediate market were branded "Evette" and "Evette & Schaeffer", respectively. For a time the Evette clarinets actually were built by other manufacturers under Buffet's sponsorship, and these instruments are marked "Evette sponsored by Buffet". By the early 1970s Buffet was making the Evettes in their own factory in Paris, and about 1979 manufacture was moved to a Buffet-owned factory in Germany. Evette & Schaeffer clarinets were made in Paris. Use of the Evette and Evette & Schaeffer brands ended about 1985, when the company began using the Buffet name on all its clarinets.

Clarinet models

Current and recent Buffet clarinet models include (in approximate order from least to most expensive):

Plastic clarinets

  • B10 - a lightweight beginner model, entirely plastic apart from the keys
  • Evette (no longer in production, succeeded by B12)
  • B12 - a good quality beginner instrument, as demonstrated by its enduring popularity.

Intermediate clarinets

  • Evette (no longer in production, succeeded by E11)
  • Evette Master Model (no longer in production, succeeded by E12)
  • Evette & Schaeffer (no longer in production, succeeded by E13)
  • Evette & Schaeffer Master Model (no longer in production)
  • E11 - intermediate, entry-level wooden instrument. Very popular with high sale rates
  • E11 France - intermediate, similar to the E11, but made in France as opposed to Germany, with an all new bore, ringless bell, and numerous other features.
  • E10 - as E11, but with a lightweight bell made of ABS
  • E12 - as E11, but with "special wood treatment to improve sound quality". Prior to 1992, this particular model was referred to as the E-45.
  • C13 "International"
  • E13/Limité - More expensive E11 model, in the intermediate range.

Professional clarinets

  • C12 "Conservatoire" model - A semi-professional model C12 was produced only from 1984 to 1992. Essentially it was an R13 with lesser keywork, lacking the R13's wood cutout above the lower tenon "pinky keys".
  • R13 - Buffet's most popular professional model, something of an institution in its own right. The R in R13 Stands for the name of its designer, Robert Carrée. His name is born out in his later model, the Buffet RC (RC standing for his initials)[1].
  • RC - an R13 equivalent model but with distinctive barrel and bell shape intended to improve tone, developed in 1974 with the assistance of the luthier Robert Carrée. Noted for sweetness of sound.
  • S1 - another alternative model to the R13, manufactured in the 1970s and early 80s. Designed to have an inverse taper barrel and a bore similar to the original 1950s R13.
  • R13 Vintage - Closer to the original 1950s bore design.
  • Festival - Very similar to the R13 Prestige. Slight differences in the upper bore. Register key is 1 mm higher than on a standard R13. Also has the addition of an alternate left-hand Eb/Ab lever.
  • R13 Prestige - A higher level of R13 clarinet. Made from only the best unstained wood by Buffet's most senior and successful craftsmen. Also has the addition of an alternate left-hand Eb/Ab lever.
  • RC Prestige - Slightly smaller bore than the R13. More popular in Europe. Also has the addition of an alternate left-hand Eb/Ab lever.
  • Tosca - introduced in 2003, features include a new bore design, ergonomically reshaped key work, an auxiliary Eb key and low F correction key.
  • Elite - no longer in production, having been replaced by the Tosca. All of its reinforcing rings were of black polycarbonate fiber - other than the silver keys and gold-plated posts, it was entirely black.

The Buffet range has been developed and extended over the years with various new models being developed, occasionally replacing older variants. Within the range there is a central core of 3 or 4 models favoured by teachers and pupils alike: the entry level B12 (although the B10 is an increasingly popular alternative), the E11 as an intermediate wooden model and the R13 or RC as a professional-standard instrument. The Festival is of the R13 family, sharing a bore design with its slightly less expensive counterpart; it is made of denser, more select wood. It also has an auxiliary left hand Ab/Eb key, and is sold with two barrels of different lengths. The R13 Prestige and the RC Prestige are more expensive counterparts to the R13 and RC (respectively) made of only the finest wood and craftsmanship. Both models come equipped with an auxiliary left-hand Ab/Eb key and with two barrels of different lengths.

References

External links








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