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Buffet R13 vs Buffet RC – Which to Choose

30th January 2014

For many years the Buffet range of clarinets has been quite dominant in the upgrade and professional clarinet market. Whilst the competition has certainly come on strong in the last few years (Bliss & Yamaha in the mid range and Selmer & Yamaha CSG in the pro range) it’s fair to say that for many players and teachers the Buffet is still first on the list to start the comparisons.

So, in the pro range Buffet start with the R13 and RC. These two clarinets are the same price, made of the same quality materials, made by the same team etc so what differentiates them?

Before we get onto personal opinions let’s deal with the facts: The bore design is different; the shaping of the internal design of the two models vary. Manufacturers use tooling to create cylindrical and conical shapes within the internal bore of the clarinet. Depending on the positioning, shape, speed of taper and size of these adjustments it will have an affect on the overall tone, response and intonation of the instrument. The R13 has a poly-cylindrical bore which consists of mainly cylindrical shapes that reduce in size towards the middle joint and then back out again. The RC has cylindrical sections similar to the R13 but the bore is mainly conical, especially in the lower sections and this gives the RC a different playing feel.

Buffet RC

Comments we hear back from players suggest they feel the R13 is a little brighter and more ‘punchy’ whereas the RC is a little rounder, and sweeter perhaps. Of course all these adjectives describing ‘tone’ are quite subjective and we would of course encourage all players to come and make their own mind up, it helps if you have a good idea in your head of how you sound now and what sort of sound you wish the clarinet to help you express. The differences in the bore don’t just affect the outward tone, the response and resistance the player feels can modify slightly which can lead to the player being more comfortable and ultimately in using either instrument to articulate their musical ideas accordingly.

Here is our very own Prof Anton Weinberg giving a short demo on both instruments…can you hear the difference?

Related Buffet R13 Clarinet links: New R13 Bb Clarinet     Buffet R13 Spares

Related Buffet RC Clarinet links: New RC Bb Clarinet     Buffet RC Spares