Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb Clarinet review

Do you have experience in playing the clarinet and wish to upgrade your musical instrument? If yes, you should consider getting the Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb Clarinet. This model can give you great satisfaction during playing.

My passion for music began when I was 15 years old. I started by learning how to play different musical instruments, including the clarinet. After college, I was ready to get my own clarinet when I joined a jazz band. My mentor recommended I get the Buffet Crampon R13 Bb clarinet. Though I struggled to assemble it, I have been enjoying playing it ever since I bought it. I find it easy to play and love the wonderful sound it produces. Here is why you should consider this clarinet.

Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb Clarinet breakdown and review

A clarinet is a musical instrument that comes in the form of a cylindrical pipe which is closed on one end. It is one of the major instruments used in military bands and concert bands. If you are not new to using such musical instruments, you have probably heard about Buffet Crampon.

This is a reputable brand that has been introducing different clarinet models over the years. It focuses on producing clarinets that can meet the needs of different musicians. You can find clarinets for beginners, intermediate players, and professional musicians from this manufacturer.

The R13 Bb clarinet was developed in 1955 by Robert Carree. Since its development, it has been a top choice for most professionals. Most musicians who choose this model are impressed with its rich sound. This is also a well-made clarinet that is crafted from grenadilla wood which is a form of stained Blackwood.

This clarinet comes in an uncluttered design that makes it more user-friendly. It contains six rings and 17 keys. It not only features nickel-plated keys but also has undercut tone holes. The addition of double skin pads enables the clarinet to offer a great seal. Apart from that, this clarinet also comes with steel springs that deliver an excellent feel.

This is an elegant musical instrument that has excellent tonal characteristics. The poly-cylindrical bore helps in improving tone. This clarinet also comes with an adjustable thumb rest. Though this clarinet has a well-balanced feel, some musicians don’t like the nylon pins included in the key design since they can lead to breaking from vigorous playing.

Despite this, the clarinet is versatile since it responds well to different mouthpieces and offers some level of resistance. You can use it to play different genres and music styles, including orchestral and jazz. It also comes with a well-padded case that keeps it safe after use makes it easy to move with.

Compared to other clarinets, this is an expensive model that will cost you more. Though most intermediate players don’t like the cost, it is better than choosing low-quality clarinets that may not produce an excellent tone and may not last for long.

What we liked

  • It contains highly responsive keys
  • Delivers rich and warm tones
  • Includes a leather-covered case
  • It does not cause wrist strain
  • Solid construction

What we didn’t like

  • High price tag


View price here


Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb Clarinet specifications

Material Metal, Grenadilla, wood
Bore size .577’’
Keys Nickel-plated
Thumb rest Adjustable
Check price Check price here

Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb Clarinet features


Clarinet bodies are often made from different materials such as wood, hard rubber, ivory, or wood plastic. This specific model is made from grenadilla, also referred to as African Blackwood. Most manufacturers of clarinets choose this material since it produces a rich and warm sound.

The wood is picked for acoustic suitability and for visual appeal. Due to the solid construction of this clarinet, it can play a wide range of sounds. You can tell that the body of this clarinet is well made since it has an elegant finish and contains some neat edges.

Some musicians are, however, not impressed with its sticking joints. Despite this, the uncluttered design makes it user-friendly. The point screws of this clarinet are fitted using a nylon collar to keep them secure.

Poly-cylindrical bore

We mentioned that this clarinet features a poly-cylindrical bore. This means that the upper joint of the clarinet is made up of at least two cylindrical sections. A short taper is used to link the cylinders. The poly-cylindrical bore enables this clarinet to offer excellent intonation since it centers the tone. The bore size also enables this clarinet to offer the great resistance that most professionals prefer.


Apart from the bore, this clarinet also features well-built keys. The keys of this model are finished using nickel plate. These forged keys are designed to last for a longer time. Since this clarinet model is based on nickel plating, it is more durable compared to models made using silver keys and does not tarnish easily.

Most users reveal that the key fit under the fingers comfortably. The design of its ring keys also makes this clarinet easy to slide. Unfortunately, Buffet Crampon R13 Bb clarinet uses nylon pins on the keys. This is not the best type of pins to use since they can bust on you if you play the instrument vigorously.

Adjustable thumb rest

The problem with most clarinets is that the thumb rest is usually placed at a low angle, thus causing pain after playing for a while. This R13 model is different and will not cause such issues. Since the body setup of this clarinet includes an adjustable thumb rest, it is well balanced.

You don’t have to experience fatigue during playing since this offers room for customization. It also prevents your wrist from straining as you play the clarinet.

Undercut tone holes

Like most professional clarinets, the Buffet Crampon R13 model comes with undercut tone holes. This makes the diameter of the instrument’s bore larger. They, therefore, result in better intonation flexibility and a bigger dynamic. Undercut tone holes stabilize the pitch of this instrument leading to better playability.


You can easily carry around this musical instrument with you from one concert to the next since it comes with a casing. The wood shell case is designed to protect the clarinet while on the move and also enhance portability. It is well padded and feels sturdy. Feel free to fit the case that comes with this clarinet in a bag since it is not very big.

Who is it best suited for?

Playing the clarinet can boost both your physical and mental well-being. Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb clarinet is ideal for professional and intermediate musicians. If you have already developed your own mouthpiece preference, then this is an ideal clarinet that you should consider getting.

This is a good model for teachers, soloists, and musicians in marching bands. If you are learning how to play this musical instrument, you should look elsewhere.

Are there alternatives to Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb Clarinet?

Yes. If you feel that this is not the right clarinet for you, you should focus on its alternatives. Some of them include Buffet Crampon E11 Bb, Yamaha YCL-650 Bb, and Noblet Model 45. Comparing the features of these alternatives is important before choosing any model. Though some of the features in these alternatives are similar to that of R13, some differ. Check out the table below.

Features of alternative clarinets

Name Buffet Crampon E11 Bb Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Noblet Model 45
Construction Grenadilla wood Grenadilla wood Grenadilla wood
Keys Silver plated Silver plated Nickel plated
Bore size 15 mm 65mm .584’’
Weight 4.8 pounds 5.1 pounds 3.5 pounds
Check price Check price here Check price here Check price here

Verdict: So, should you buy Buffet Crampon R13 Professional Bb Clarinet?

Yes. This is a highly performing clarinet that professional musicians should consider buying. It is well constructed and produces quality sound. Though it has some flaws, such as the use of nylon pins, it has a lot of benefits that make it worth considering. Investing in this clarinet can give you value for your money. It can help you improve your playing performance.


How does the R13 Bb clarinet differ from the E11 Bb model?

The R13 model was designed for professional musicians when the E11 Bb clarinet is ideal for students that are still learning how to play. These two also differ when it comes to price since the E11 model is cheaper.

How long can I depend on the R13 clarinet?

This is a high-quality clarinet that can last for decades. You have to maintain it properly to extend its lifespan. The mouthpieces of the clarinet may not last that long. The tip starts cracking within three years of everyday use.

Is it easy to learn how to use the clarinet?

Yes. This is a simple musical instrument that anyone can learn how to play. You should learn how to move your fingers fast and with precision. It also requires hand-eye coordination and breath control.

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.

Leave a Comment