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.

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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 Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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