Some time ago I received a question about Evette & Schaeffer Clarinets. I happen to own one myself, with a similar serial number, and I also had trouble at first finding out much about it – there seemed to be a lot of conflicting information about Evette & Schaeffers and a lot of confusion about whether they were the same as Evette clarinets.
Here’s the question I was asked, and some of the information I found from both official and unofficial sources.
Question: I am looking for the history of my clarinet and cannot find the background on Bb Evette & Schaeffer clarinet Buffet Crampon Paris France serial number K31xxx. Can you help?
Answer: Coincidentally I also have an Evette and Schaeffer with the serial number K29xxx. I couldn’t find much information on these clarinets either, so I emailed Buffet Crampon a few years ago and was told mine is an intermediate clarinet made in 1973. I don’t know how many they made each year, but yours is probably no more than a couple of years newer. I think they are roughly equivalent in quality to the Buffet E13’s – a high-end intermediate.
The Evette & Schaeffer clarinets are nice instruments. In my research I stumbled across rumors that they were actually professional R13’s that had been labelled differently because of minor flaws in wood grain or finish. I don’t believe that’s true (nor do any of the more knowledgeable people I’ve asked), but I have seen great reviews of these clarinets.
A professional clarinetist I know tried mine out for me before I bought it. He said it was excellent, and he wouldn’t hesitate to play a gig using it.
Many people think they are student instruments because Buffet made an Evette student model (no Schaeffer on the end). The Evette and Schaeffer is a different, and better, instrument.
You can get some detail on the performance of these clarinets here:
Clarinet Pages E&S Review