The Return of… the Buffet E11 Bb Clarinet
Klarinette auf einem Notenblatt The E11 clarinet has been a recurring model from Buffet over the years, and about 2 years ago disappeared before making a return in early 2016 with a new refined design. The E11 is thought of as Buffets “entry-level” wooden clarinet; the clarinet is designed with students in mind, and offers a step up from plastic models such as the Prodige. The E11 sits nicely between Buffet’s plastic student clarinet, the Prodige, and the intermediate E12F and E13 models, giving people who are looking for an upgrade instrument more options to choose from depending on their needs. The reintroduction of the E11 means there is again a wooden Buffet clarinet for under £700*, allowing more people the chance to own a wooden clarinet. (*Price as listed in October 2016) The Clarinet The newest version on the E11 clarinet is made in Buffet’s German factory, and has a stained African Blackwood body and sterling silver plated keys. It comes in a backpack-style case, which offers a good level of protection for the clarinet, and has a big pocket for your accessories. It has a slightly wider bore than Buffet’s other wooden clarinets, which is based on German clarinets and said to be freer blowing and therefore have an easier response for students who are in their early years of playing. The clarinet is also supplied with a Buffet mouthpiece, ligature, reed, a pull-through and some cork grease; everything you need to get playing! 9197 When playing the clarinet, the ease of response is quite noticeable, and this is a positive for the E11 as it is marketed towards the progressing musician rather than more intermediate/professional players. The easy response of this instrument should no doubt encourage the younger and less experienced players as they should find the clarinet blows almost as freely as their plastic clarinet, but with a more refined “wooden” sound. This combination of flexibility and rounded sound will allow a student to work on perfecting their own sound, preparing them for a higher level of playing. The keywork also feels pretty solid under the fingers, and the key layout is pretty much the same as Buffet’s other student and intermediate models, so will feel familiar under the fingers to someone who started their playing on a B12 or Prodige clarinet, making it a good upgrade option. Overall, I would recommend this clarinet to players working approximately between grades 3 and 6 as an upgrade to their first plastic student clarinet, and you would certainly be able to play this clarinet up to grade 8, and keep it if you carry on playing as a hobby later in life. However, if you are planning on playing the clarinet to a high level, and possibly going onto further studies then I would recommend the E11 as a “stepping stone” between your first student clarinet, and a professional outfit such as the Buffet R13 or Yamaha YCLCX. 9197_2_ 9197_3_ If you would like more information about the Buffet E11 then you can email us at or call us on 01283 535333 (option 1).