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Buffet Crampon

Buffet E12F Bb Clarinet..


Buffet E12F Bb Clarinet..

Manufacturer: Buffet Crampon



This product qualifies for free mainland UK delivery - Scottish Highlands and Islands contact us for details

The Buffet E12F is highly recommended for student clarinettists looking for their first proper wooden clarinet.

In my opinion, despite the best efforts and claims of manufacturers, plastic clarinets are just not capable of the rich complex tone of a wooden instrument and, until that changes, I strongly believe that any student clarinettist serious about progressing on their instrument will at some point have to invest in a proper wooden clarinet.

The Buffet E11F has for some time now been a very good choice as it provided a well-built, easy-blowing wooden clarinet for a sensible price and so we should expect good things of its successor, the new E12F.

The ‘F’ in the name stands for France and it was a reassuring fact to know that the E11F was built in Buffet’s French factories where they have been building clarinets for nearly 200 years.  We were therefore surprised to see “Made in Germany” stamped into the back of the E12F. 

The Buffet website explains that the E12F was “Developed through industrial synergy between our Research & Development arm and our Production facilities based in France and Germany…. Its body is derived from professional models and made in Buffet Crampon’s French workshops; the key assembly and quality control are carried out by our German teams in Markneukirchen.”  This change in production has certainly not been detrimental to quality and the example I am looking at is a credit to Buffet’s craftsmanship.

The most immediately obvious difference between the E12F and its predecessor is that the natural Grenadilla used for the body has been treated and varnished, rather than stained black, so you can clearly see that you are holding a real wooden instrument.  This approach has become something of a trend in professional clarinets and adds to the E12F’s air of quality.

The most important differences, though, are less obvious but more significant to the E12F’s performance, particularly the re-designed bore which is intended to improve intonation and ease of blowing.  The result is a very easy-blowing clarinet with a pleasantly woody tone and very good intonation.  Compared to the E11F, the E12 is a little rounder in tone, especially in the clarion register and more even around the break.  The differences are subtle enough to avoid completely changing the character of the instrument, but add enough of a touch of class to justify the slightly higher price.

In summary, the E12F is a worthy successor to the E11F with some sensitive tweaks adding to the accessibility and ease of playing and is highly recommended as a first wooden clarinet.

The Buffet E12F is supplied with a lightweight backpack style case and a care kit.