The R13 Family
The current Buffet R13 clarinet was developed in 1995 with the help of long-time clarinet maker Robert Carre. He has a long history of working with Buffet and even has a model (the RC) named specifically for him.
While it incorporates many of the characteristics of the original R13 clarinets made in the 1950’s the current model does have some differences. The R13 family of clarinets, so-called because they share a bore design, is also available in other model designations, each said to have their own unique personality.
After the 1995 release of the new R13 there were calls for a re-release of the original design. Introduced in 1996, just a year after the ‘new’ R13, the R13 Vintage was made specifically to offer the same sound and response as the widely-sought-after original R13s. What’s the difference? Placement of some tone holes and the design of the bell, and perhaps a few other secret modifications!
Another instrument currently available in the line of Buffet R13 clarinets is the Prestige. Made from premium quality wood and featuring silver plated keywork. Buffet Crampon describes it as for the virtuoso, and with a powerful sound and flexible tone.
Not a model in and of itself, but rather a material that is available with several R13 clarinets. The Greenline models are made through a process of combining granadilla wood powder with carbon fibers, a manufacturing process with two main benefits. It helps reduce use of the dwindling African granadilla wood sources, since small pieces that would otherwise be discarded can now be used. It also leads to a clarinet that holds up very well to changes in temperature and humidity, which are major causes of cracking in solid wood clarinets.