Buffet R-13 Bb & A clarinets for sale

This is a pair of Buffet R-13 clarinets – one in the key of Bb and the other in the key of A. They were purchased in the early 1970s by a clarinet professor who played them regularly in recitals, orchestra concerts, and teaching from that time until his retirement from playing around 2010. I am handling the sale on the family’s behalf; you would be the 2nd owner of these fabulous instruments!

Bb serial #:114xxx (last three digits not given for security)
A serial #113xxx (last three digits not given for security)

Care, condition and recent refurbishing

I was a student of the owner from the 1990s and frequently played alongside him in orchestra concerts and other performances. He purchased them new, in a late stage of his graduate studies, as a matched pair. He was meticulous in making sure the bores and keys were oiled and cleaned as well as avoiding temperature extremes. At some point he purchased Buffet Chadesh barrels for both (65 and 66 mm); these are the only barrels provided with these clarinets.

Given that he had been retired from playing for the past decade due to health concerns, the instruments were in need of cleaning, adjusting, and repadding when I first looked at them. Southeastern Musical Services in Huntsville, AL has performed a complete polishing and repadding service, which includes all new pads and corks. Cork has been used in place of conventional pads on the register key, the C#/G# key, and the Eb/Ab side key on the upper joints for both instruments.

The case is original to the instruments, and is a typical Buffet double case of the era. The lower joints must be at least partially fit into the bells to seat those parts in the case. There is some wear on the latches and handle. Cosmetic condition is fair.

How do they play?

I have practiced with these instruments a few minutes each day since they’ve been back from the shop. Clarinet tone is very subjective, but I think they “feel” very similar (as you would hope from a pair of clarinets that were selected together by a professional), they have the clarity in the throat region you expect from Buffet, and the intonation patterns are very good for me. I’ve played them top to bottom from E to double high C and all the notes sound great. Well, maybe not the ones above sopranino G. But that’s probably more about me.

This is where the typical clarinet player starts throwing around terms like “youthful,” “woody,” and/or “dark,” but I don’t really believe those terms describe much except your state of mind. If you are a serious prospect, I will record and send some samples with each.


The new price on comparable instruments is around $9,000 if you buy from an online musical instrument warehouse. We are offering this well-maintained set of clarinets for $5,750.00. Please contact me for additional information and to set up a time for you to look at them. Because I believe we can sell them in the southeast, I am avoiding putting them on auction sites or agreeing to ship them across the country at this time.

if you open the images below in a new tab, you will see them somewhat larger. I can send the original higher resolution files upon request.