The recent discontinuation of the long standing and ever popular Buffet B12 Student Clarinet may have left a few people wondering what offering the famous clarinet makers will have as a replacement….

8980Well say hello to the new Buffet Prodige!

In the words of Buffet, they have “revolutionised the student clarinet! Now, beginners on a budget can start out with a professional sound”; a bold statement from the company. If you are looking for your first clarinet, or are simply a bit of a clarinet geek and want to know what’s what with this new instrument then keep on reading to find out more.

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The Basics

Like its predecessor, the Prodige’s body is made from a lightweight ABS plastic, to make it comfortable and easy to hold for young players. The keys are silver plated to make them durable and tactile under the fingers, and the thumb-rest is adjustable and features a ring so that a neck sling can be used for extra support. The Prodige is also supplied in the same backpack-style case as the B12 was, making it easy to carry to and from school or your music lessons!

Along with the case, your Prodige Clarinet will come with a mouthpiece, ligature, cleaning accessories, and a reed to get you started!

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New Features

Building on their legacy of clarinet making, Buffet have given the Prodige an E13 inspired poly-cylindrical bore to give the instrument a richer tone colouring and a good projection of sound. The bell has also undergone a redesign, losing the silver rim from around the base and gaining a textured bore which is thought to stabilise the sound produced and give consistency throughout the note range. Having tried out the clarinet, I feel that the sound produced is clean and stable, and in comparison to my trusty E13 there were some similarities in the ease of blowing and sound production, which can probably be attributed to the copied bore.

The clarinet also comes with a brand new mouthpiece from Buffet, called the Urban Play. The first accessory inspired by Buffet Group’s Urban Play App, the mouthpiece is designed to be free blowing and easy to produce a sound from to encourage young players with their music making. Again I tried this mouthpiece out with the Prodige and the combination worked well together, and I think a student in the early stages of their playing would be encouraged by the sound that can be produced from this clarinet.

Replacing the old double fish bladder pads of the B12, the Prodige comes fitted with white leather pads as standard. Leather is a more durable material for pads to be made from, and provides a good seal against air leaks and moisture. As long as you look after and take good care of your clarinet (including using a pull-through swab to remove moisture after every practice!) these pads should last a good few years until you have to think about having them replaced.

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So, although we will be saying a fond farewell to one of the most popular student clarinets in the form of the Buffet B12, having tried and tested it’s replacement I think it’s fair to say that the Prodige is a fitting replacement for budding clarinettists.

If you would like any more information about this clarinet then please call our sales team on 01283 535333 (option 1) or email us at sales@normans.co.uk.

About the author

A graduate from the University of Huddersfield Music Department, Isabelle has played both Clarinet and Saxophone for over 13 years, in many ensembles both in the Staffordshire area and at university, and currently performs in a function band. With her experience of woodwind and performance, this is obviously what she loves to write about.

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