Leblanc vs. Buffet – Part I

I have spent a little more on the clarinets I buy. For example I bought a Leblanc Paris rather than a Leblanc Paris Noblet. But it doesn’t mean I sound better than a great player with either of these. Here is an incomplete list from cheapest to most expensive are the Leblanc models:

Leblanc Vito – Beginner plastic
Leblanc Normandy – Step up from Vito, currently wood but the older ones are plastic and were beginner horns. Leblanc switched them to wood and made them a step up instrument when they introduced the Vito.
Leblanc Noblet 40 – Intermediate, comparable to Buffet E-11
Leblanc Noblet 45 – Intermediate, comparable to Buffet E-13
Leblanc Esprit and Leblanc Sonata – step up between intermediate and pro grade instruments
Leblanc Infinite – pro grade, comparable to Buffet R-13
Leblanc Concerto – a notch above a “standard” pro grade
Leblanc Ambiance – premium pro grade
Leblanc Pete Fountain – premium pro grade with extra “goodies” and more open bore
Leblanc Opus – premium pro grade with extra “goodies”

You see LL (top model ’50 – 60s), L7, L-series, and Symphonies periodically as vintage professional horns too. I know I’m forgetting some others.

Here is the beginning comparison of Buffet to Leblanc:

  • Buffet B-12 vs Leblanc Vito
  • Buffet E-11 vs Leblanc Noblet 40
  • Buffet E-13 vs Leblanc Noblet 45 or perhaps Leblanc Sonata
  • Buffet R-13 vs Leblanc Infinity or perhaps Leblanc Eternite

Some people compare the Leblanc Opus or Concerto to the Buffet R-13 which may not be a valid comparison as the Opus & Concerto fall in the category of premium pro instruments rather than standard pro instruments. However Buffet also makes premium pro instruments.

The Buffet R-13 is to the clarinet industry as the Selmer Mark VI is to the saxophone industry.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra), and enjoy time with family and friends.
This entry was posted in Clarinet, Statistics, Vintage. Bookmark the permalink.

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