Buffet Antique Unibody A


This Buffet A clarinet (not owned by me) was a joy to work on— to make it playable after long years of laying silent. The serial number is 1G80x, which might make it as early as 1892. It is also possible that it is just before 1913. (The serial number kind of hangs off the end of the keyed joint, so the last number is unreadable.)

This is a full Boehm system with all the extra keys, and with a couple of unusual features. Note the open-hole pancake key, like those of an open-holed flute. Note the articulated g#/c# key. This is possible because the instrument is one very long piece of wood, with no cracks in it anywhere. (Normally a clarinet has two keyed sections. The unibody is one long piece.)






















Note the left hand E flat/A flat key, the extra trill key between the rings, and especially the low E flat key. This gives the A clarinet a bottom range of a concert low C!


No one can tell me that clarinets have improved in recent years. This horn is wonderfully in tune with A440, and has response unequalled to any A clarinet I have played. This horn really has a lovely resonance due to this being made of one long piece of wood. It is the Stradivarius of A clarinets.

The original case shows that originally this A clarinet was put in the case with a B flat and a C clarinet. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the whole set had stayed together?

As a hobbyist, this is the kind of project that excites me.
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