Heritage & History
From humble beginnings in 1825 the Buffet Crampon Paris company began life with instrument maker Denis Buffet Auger setting up his working in the heart of Paris. Due to his knowledge and expertise the workshop became highly regarded in the musical community, especially for his excellent 13-key Clarinets.
In 1836 Jean-Louis Buffet (Denis’ son) married Zoe Crampon and thus the famous Buffet Crampon name was born. The next major milestone for the growing company was in 1850 when they established the Buffet Crampon workshop and factory in Mates-la-Ville where they still have their main production facility. At this factory they created the first Buffet Crampon Boehm system Clarinet and latterly (in 1866) the Buffet Crampon Saxophone.
Company Growth & Expertise
As the Buffet Crampon company continued to grow into the next century, they added double reed instruments in the early 1900’s. However, it wasn’t until 1918 when Buffet Crampon started their expansion into the USA that the brand became respected globally.
In terms of personnel that were key to Buffet establishing themselves as Clarinet experts was the French luthier and acoustic technician Robert Carree. Originally joining as an apprentice, he went on to have a major influence on some of the most popular Clarinets ever designed including the Buffet RC which bears the initials of the designer himself.
In 1975 the RC model was launched – the core design later gave birth to the modern-day Festival and Prestige models. Later in 1975 the first Prestige line was launched across B♭, A, E♭ and Bass Clarinets.
With their position as a world leader in Clarinet production Buffet have pioneered various new and interesting developments in the field. One such development is their range of GreenLine clarinets which came into existence in 1994. The GreenLine material is a composite of reconstituted ebony from Mozambique. It retains 100% of the tonal and acoustic qualities of grenadilla wood but with the advantage of enhanced stability of the core material and longevity. The material was perfect for various markets where high humidity and heat can cause major issues with normal grenadilla wood clarinets swelling and cracking.
Since 2004 onwards the professional line of Buffet Clarinets has seen particular growth. Models such as the Tosca (a ‘child’ of the R13 bore family), Divine, Gala, Tradition and Legende have all been introduced to the market. This extensive professional clarinet range offers players of all types a solution within the Buffet family. All the while the classic E13, R13 and RC models continue to sell extremely well to students and advancing players. At the student end the Prodige model replaced the ever-popular Buffet B12 and has shared its enviable reputation as the no.1 beginner clarinet on the market.
Why Choose a Buffet Clarinet?
Put simply Buffet remain the world’s leading Clarinet specialist manufacturer. Their recent expansion of the range and coverage from Eb down to Bass ensures there is a Buffet solution for every player. The Clarinets are developed in conjunction with leading professional players and combined with more than 150 years of Buffet expertise this is a winning combination.
Our 'Recommended Choice' products are proven favourites with players, teachers and staff. They are selected on a variety of criteria including; quality, value for money, customer reviews & feedback, and best-in-class performance features. These products are regularly reviewed to ensure our recommendations are current and relevant.