Buffet Crampon: The Kings of the Clarinet World

Buffet Crampon makes some of the most popular clarinet models and, as a result, sells the lion's share of clarinets to musicians. Throughout its history, Buffet Crampon has also provided musicians at every level with the most complete range of clarinets. Buffet Crampon instruments are known for features and innovations inspired by the exacting requirements of the people who know instruments: musicians, conductors, music instructors, band directors, and composers.

Back in 1825 - a time when skilled craftsmen made clarinets entirely by hand, Denis Buffet-Auger developed a quality 13-key clarinet in his Paris workshop. Denis's son Jean-Louis Buffet followed in his father's footsteps as a musical instrument artisan. When in 1836 Denis married Zoe Crampon and took over the business, he gave it the Buffet Crampon name.

Many design ideas that have gone into Buffet Crampon clarinets have come from virtuoso musicians requesting improvements in their instruments. An example of this is Paris Conservatory of Music instructor Hyacinthe Klosé's suggestion that Buffet Crampon adapt the moveable rings used on flutes to the clarinet. This successful new clarinet system, first exhibited in 1839, proved so popular that Buffet Crampon built a larger factory to keep up with demand. This increase in manufacturing capacity allowed Buffet Crampon to expand into producing saxophones as well as clarinets.

Buffet Crampon instruments first reached the United States in 1918, making the company a world leader in professional clarinets.

Musical instrument manufacturing techniques have changed significantly since those earlier days, but the tradition of craftsmanship inaugurated by Denis Buffet Auger and carried on by his son Jean-Louis remains a Buffet Crampon hallmark

Today, the majority of clarinets in use by students and professional musicians alike are Buffet Crampon instruments. The R13 and E11 Buffet Crampon clarinets are two of their most popular. A large majority of professional clarinetists today purchase Buffet Crampon R13s. Among those who purchase intermediate clarinets, a good number of them choose a Buffet Crampon E11 model. Other popular Buffet Crampon clarinets include the B10 and B12 student models.

Buffet Crampon R13 Clarinets: The Professional's Choice

Buffet Crampon professional instruments like the R13 Clarinet are still made in the fine French musical instrument tradition at the company's historical production site in Mantes-la-Ville, France. Designer Robert Care originally developed the Buffet Crampon R13 Clarinet in the 1950s, and since then this highly popular clarinet has been improved and upgraded while remaining a favorite with both professional and advanced amateur musicians. 

In the 1970s some of the R13 Clarinet's tone holes and keys were moved and the register vent was enlarged and lowered to improve the sound of a throat B. Following a revamping in 1995, the Buffet R13 has maintained its reputation as one of the most playable and best liked clarinets on the market.

Among the qualities that have helped the Buffet Crampon R13 retain its popularity is the horn's reputation for superb construction and tone as well as its ability to produce lively, rich, rounded, and powerful sound in all registers. With all this marvelous sound, R13 Clarinets remain easy to blow, earning the respect and appreciation of musicians.

Buffet Crampon makes most of their R13 Clarinets from grenadilla wood that is selected for acoustic suitability as well as visual attractiveness. To retain and display the beauty of this wood, some R13 models are not stained. A recent innovation has been the introduction of R13 Clarinets made with Buffet Crampon's proprietary Greenline. This material, introduced in 1994, is made by bonding ebony wood powder and carbon fiber. The result is a melding of the acoustic qualities of wood with an ability to withstand changes in temperature and humidity. The resulting Buffet Crampon Greenline Clarinets are not only more durable and resistant to cracks, but they also help make the rare grenadilla wood go much farther.

R13 Clarinets are available with either silver-plated or nickel-plated keys, each offering their own different, unique tonal sound. The Buffet Crampon R13 Prestige Clarinet has an added alternate left-hand E/A lever and is made from the best unstained wood by Buffet's most experienced and successful craftsmen. The R13 Festival Clarinet is similar to the R13 Prestige with a modified upper bore and a register key that is slightly higher than on the standard R13. Another variation is the Buffet Crampon R13 Vintage Clarinet with a bore closer to Robert Caré's original design

Buffet Crampon R13 Clarinets are suitable for all musicians: professionals, students, amateurs, soloists, teachers, and those who perform in marching bands, symphony orchestras, or chamber ensembles.

Buffet Crampon E11 France B Clarinet: Step Up to a Quality Instrument

For those who insist on the quality of a Buffet Crampon clarinet while needing to stick to a budget, the Buffet Crampon E11 France B instrument solves the problem.

The Buffet Crampon E11 Clarinet is a widely recommended instrument for intermediate players that has been popular with music instructors for many years. When a clarinet student graduates from his or her beginner instrument - one usually made of plastic – to a wooden intermediate clarinet, the Buffet Crampon E11 is the clarinet most commonly suggested for serious consideration.

Students stepping up from a plastic clarinet may feel that their Buffet Crampon E11 Clarinet takes them most of the way to a professional quality instrument. Attention to detail, where top quality instruments distinguish themselves from lesser clarinets, is outstanding in the design and assembly of the E11. For example, the E11 clarinet's toneholes are undercut – a Buffet Crampon innovation that improves tone and creates faster response. The Boehm-system keys are forged, not stamped. Then they are copper-plated and finally, they are silver-plated using a method developed by Buffet Crampon. 

The E11 Clarinet's key movement is made precise and easy by the use of pointed stainless steel needle springs rather than springs of lesser quality. You'll notice the difference when performing rapid phrases. Even the E11 Clarinet's pads are superior. They are fashioned from double fish skin, a premium choice in clarinet pad material that insures excellent air sealing. You'll find that the E11 Clarinet's intonation is fantastic even for the throat tones B and A.

The grenadilla wood E11 Buffet Clarinet was made until recently at the Buffet Crampon factory in Germany. Now Buffet Crampon offers E11 clarinets made in France - where Buffet's professional instruments are crafted.

The E11 France B Clarinet has a new bore inspired by Buffet Crampon's professional clarinets, but adapted for student players. The expert craftsmen of Buffet Crampon use unstained African blackwood to fashion the B France Clarinet. After shaping, the durable wood is treated and lacquered by hand for protection and to ensure years of trustworthy use. The new E11 France B Clarinet, with its ringless bell, is equipped with a new model Buffet Crampon mouthpiece and a Vandoren reed and is delivered in an ergonomic, practical and protective backpack.

Buffet Crampon E11 Clarinets are intermediate instruments of truly outstanding quality on which any budding musician would be proud to perform.


Clarinets Content Provided by: Buffet Crampon