Buffet / Auguste Buffet
Thanks to a reader for this information:Historical note regarding the Buffet Family from Wikipedia: 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.)
Serial #188 Thanks to George C in California for letting me review this instrument!
Barrel: not available. I used a 66mm barrel from a Vito clarinet. The original barrel with #126 was 60.8mm long. The bore measurements were the same as #188.
Bore LH joint top: 14.7mm
Bore LH joint at bottom: 14.7mm
Because of the chrome plated keys, I am guessing this clarinet was made from 1925-40. This means that it would be way past when Auguste was alive. This appears to me to be a Couesnon product. Clarinet buyers and sellers should be aware: Auguste Buffet clarinets were not made by Buffet Crampon.
Intonation results taken when playing loud and not lipping. See how to interpret these results on the Model Comparison Page.
For this test, I pulled 0 at the barrel and 0 in the center for #188.
For #126, because of the very short barrel, I pulled 3mm at the barrel and 2mm at the center tenon.
Key System: simple Albert System w/rollers
Brand Name: Auguste Buffet
Place of Manufacture: Paris, France
Approximate Date: 1925-1940
Body Material: Wood
Bore Type: standard, 14.7mm
Key Metal: chrome plated
Keywork Quality: soft
Serial Number: 188
Recommended For: beginner to intermediate
Value: up to $300
Intonation summary: This is intermediate intonation. This has the typical pitch problems of older, student level instruments. In this case, one might pull out in the center in an attempt to make the chalumeau register in tune. But then the corresponding clarion register would be flat. This could use a somewhat shorter mouthpiece. I don’t think that having the original barrel would help much.
Key work quality: The key work is somewhat soft, but OK as long as the player exercises care in assembling and disassembling. Treat this like an antique. It is.
This clarinet is most appropriate for: Beginning players who will enjoy a vintage instrument. Intermediate players could use this instrument also, as long as they do not play in groups where the intonation difficulties will show, and if they don't need to play loudly in the Chalumeau register.
This has the chiseled out area under the right pinkie keys, Buffet style left pinkie pin in hole keys. It really looks just about like a Couesnon or Thibouville of around the same era. This seems to have chrome plated keys, so it would be a later date, even though it has a very low serial number.
Phil's other Auguste Buffet Reconditioning:
17Jul2015, #126, for Janet M. in FL. This is a very nice-playing clarinet. No condition issues. The chiseled out place under the crow-foot is only big enough for the crow-foot itself, not the large and flat area like in #188 has.