Buffet B12 clarinet review

Getting a student clarinet can help you learn how to play this musical instrument easily. If you are looking for one, you should consider buying the Buffet B12 clarinet.

Joining the junior high band was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had while growing up. During those times, I could not afford my own clarinet. During my daughter’s 11th birthday, I was thinking of the best gift to get her, and the clarinet came to mind. After doing some research, I came across Buffet B12 clarinet and decided to buy it for her. Since I got her this musical instrument, she has been playing almost every day. We both enjoy the sound of this instrument. Here is why you should consider it.

Buffet B12 clarinet breakdown and review

Buffet Crampon has been producing valuable clarinets since 1825. It develops student clarinets, and professional ones that experienced musicians can rely on. One of the popular options that many people choose from this brand is Buffet B12.

This is a lightweight clarinet that is made from ABS resin. It is as strong and durable as clarinets made from grenadilla wood. Buffet B12 is better than most wooden clarinets since it can withstand changes in humidity and temperature. Be careful not to leave this clarinet in a vehicle when it is overly hot.

The body of this clarinet can also withstand rough handling. Even a clumsy person can use this clarinet without damaging it easily. You can use this clarinet even when you are a beginner since it is highly playable. The manufacturer of this clarinet has been making changes to it over the years.

Buffet B12 comes in a unique style and appealing design that is hard to find in plastic clarinets. It also features nickel-plated keys and skin pads. When it comes to the sound, this clarinet performs as expected. It delivers quality sound. The inclusion of a bell ring also enhances its performance.

When you choose it, you should expect the packaging to include some accessories such as a carrying case and reed. It may not be the cheapest clarinet in the market, but it can help you enjoy playing. The manufacturer even offers a two-year warranty for this musical instrument.

What we liked

  • It is durable and resistant to harsh weather conditions
  • Easy to play
  • Delivers quality sound
  • Decent mouthpiece
  • Comfortable keys

What we didn’t like

  • High price tag
  • It comes with limited accessories


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Buffet B12 clarinet specifications

Key of Bb
Key material Nickel-plated
Body ABS resin
Barrel length 65 mm
Thumb rest Adjustable
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Buffet B12 clarinet features


This clarinet’s body comprises the barrel, bell, upper and low joints. It contains a durable body. The body of Buffet B12 is mostly made from ABS resin which Is of good quality. ABS resin also makes it stable and gives it precision. It makes the clarinet resistant to most external elements, including rain and wind.

The material used in the construction makes it more long-lasting than most wooden clarinets. While most professional musicians prefer heavy-weight clarinets, beginners should choose lightweight models. The weight of Buffet B12 makes it easier to handle and can prevent you from getting tired easily even after long hours of playing.

The manufacturer has also polished this clarinet to give it a similar appearance as a wood clarinet. They brush this clarinet with a satin finish to give it an elegant look. Some users find the standard barrel of this clarinet too long.


The problem with some student clarinets is that they sound muffled and out of tune. Buffet B12 is different since it delivers quality sound. This is among the reasons why many beginners choose Buffet B12 over other models. It produces a consistent tone throughout various ranges.

Though this clarinet is not made from wood, it still retains the decent sound quality of most wood clarinets. Most users reveal that it sounds and feels good. Learning how to play this clarinet is also easy. It not only responds well but also produces sound effortlessly.


Buffet B12 is also equipped with nickel silver keys, resulting in excellent precision. The keys of this clarinet are induction soldered. The decent keywork can even stand up to a young player’s usage. Most users reveal that the keys of this clarinet feel smooth and are well finished. The keys do not feel rigid under your fingers.

Unfortunately, the left spatula keys of this clarinet use nylon pins which are not very solid. This clarinet also features metal levers that close and open the tone holes as the player’s fingers move to adjust the instrument’s tone. You should take the clarinet to a musical instrument repair shop to have the keys polished. Doing this from time to time can extend the lifespan of Buffet B12.


A good clarinet should feature an adjustable thumbrest, and Buffet B12 does not disappoint. This makes it easy for people with different hand sizes to play the musical instrument. This feature can give any player a more comfortable experience. Since the clarinet has a proper height to the thumbrest, you can maintain a good hand position and play the instrument without struggling.

Since this clarinet features a ring attached to the thumbrest, you can use a sling. This can offer some extra support for the clarinet’s weight. If you wish to buy this clarinet for a very young player, you should consider getting a sling too. This can prevent them from any pain during playing.

The problem with this clarinet is that the locking screw sometimes fails to lock the thumbrest entirely. Adding a nylon collar can give the thumbrest a more secure lock.


Buffet B12 also comes with double fish skin pads that offer a great seal. This refers to the air-tight pieces which attach to the clarinet’s keys, forming a seal on the tone holes. For this clarinet to give you great service for an extended period, you should maintain and replace these pads after some time. Since this clarinet comes with decent pads, not many users raise issues to do with leaks.


Apart from the major features of this clarinet, it also comes with some accessories that can help you start using it immediately. For instance, it contains a reed, hard case, and cork grease. The cork grease can come in handy when assembling or disassembling this clarinet.

The case is important since it can help you store the clarinet safely after use. It not only protects this musical instrument but also enhances portability.


When you purchase Buffet B12, you should expect it to come with a warranty. The manufacturer gives a two-year warranty for this model. This can cover the cost of repairing or replacing some of the faulty parts that the clarinet may come with. It can save you money in case you receive a defective clarinet. The warranty is good considering the high cost of this clarinet.

Who is it best suited for?

If you are a student or beginner searching for a simple to use clarinet, Buffet B12 is for you. The musical instrument is designed to play in tune and be highly responsive. You can either choose to play the clarinet outdoors in a marching band or indoors during practice. It is not suitable for advanced musicians that are used to wood clarinets.

Are there alternatives to Buffet B12 clarinet?

Yes. If you feel that the Buffet B12 is not an ideal fit, you should consider its alternatives. Some of them include Buffet Crampon E11, Jean-Paul CL-350, and Yamaha YCL250. You should find out how these models compare with Buffet B12 so that you can make a more informed decision.

Features of alternative clarinets

Name Buffet Crampon E11 Jean Paul CL-350 Yamaha YCL250
Material Grenadilla wood ABS body ABS-resin
Keys Nickel-plated Nickel-plated Nickel-plated
Pads Double fish skin pads Synthetic Synthetic
Weight 4.5 pounds 5.6 pounds 1 pound
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Verdict: So, should you buy the Buffet B12 clarinet?

Yes. If you are familiarizing yourself with the basics of clarinet playing, you should consider getting this model. It is worth considering since it is durable, delivers crisp sound, and has quality keys.

Though Buffet B12 is a bit more expensive than other clarinets, it is a great choice. You can enjoy using this clarinet for a couple of years. Once you learn how to play this musical instrument well, you can start considering switching to a more advanced clarinet.


Is Buffet B12 a good clarinet?

Yes. This is a better clarinet than most entry-level models. It has lots of useful features that can make it easy to play and does not compromise on quality.

How does a clarinet differ from a recorder?

The main difference between these two lies in the mouthpiece. A clarinet needs ligatures and reeds, while a recorder does not. It also needs more work than a recorder.

Charlotte Moore is a Clarinetist by profession and has over time offered lessons on how to play the clarinet among other musical instruments. And while a majority of clarinet players are well versed with the process of settling with a good clarinet among other accompanying features. There is little information about clarinets. The reason why Charlotte prepared comprehensive experts touching on the various facets of the clarinet. The consolidated information will offer more insight on everything clarinets including the best stand to use, and the best plastic clarinet that you can invest in, among other information. Charlotte Moore is a devoted mother of two and a professional clarinet player.

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