Peter Spriggs sells more new professional model BUFFET clarinets than any other Canadian business. Every instrument sold is totally overhauled and meticulously set up with new, cork small pads and Peterís own hand-crafted larger pads. No detail is overlooked: pad height, venting, spring tension and a perfect seal are guaranteed. Yet, even with the better than $500 worth of work he undertakes upon each instrument he sells, Peterís prices remain very competitive. It is no wonder that The Clarinet Center attracts clients from all over Canada, the U.S., Europe and as far away as Taiwan, China and South Africa.
Dr. Bernard Rose of New York City states:
"Wow!! The clarinet feels like new! Plays better than I ever remember. I am so pleased and humbly grateful. A great big thanks to you."
Dr. Roger Cole, professor emeritus of clarinet at the University of Idaho states:
"The level of "clarnetistry" supported by Peter is second to none. Peter has a unique ability to breath new life into older clarinets. I have been able to have him overhaul my 1977 Buffet R 13 set of clarinets and my set of Elite's (1994) within 10 years of each other and they are both playing better than when I first bought them. Both overhauls are playing great and it has been quite some time since he did his work. The hallmark of Peter's work is the use of military grade components in his pad construction. This gives them long life as well as wonderful response and sealing characteristics not available in many commercial pads available today. His lifelong experience, passion for "clarinetistry" and performance of same is phenomenal.
Thomas Dowling, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto writes:
"I want to thank you for your excellent repairs to my clarinets. You apprenticeship with Hans Moennig, one of the premiere woodwind repairmen of his generation, is certainly evident in the quality of your craftsmanship. Your fastidious attention to detail is greatly appreciated."
Peterís sterling reputation as a master clarinet repairman is well-deserved. Years ago in Philadelphia, he studied over the shoulder of Hans Moennig, considered to be the 'Godfather of Woodwind Repairmen' until his passing a few years ago. Also in Philly, Peter studied with Anthony Gigliotti, principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra for over 45 years. As a capable player, Peter is more exacting than most in his standards of how a clarinet - new or repaired- should feel and sound. Clients are amazed at the improvement in their instrumentsí playability after their clarinets have been returned from his intuitive hands. Mike Davenport, a master teacher and performer who is known up and down the West Coast, had the following comments on Peter's work:
"Although I played and taught classical clarinet for many years and still do, I am also a jazz player and I think it's difficult to tell how well a horn is working until you try it in a real musical situation. I could tell in the shop that Peter had done a great job on my bass, but I wasn't really prepared for what happened when I used it in rehearsal the following day."
"It plays absolutely magnificently. Pressing the keys became easy, every note was produced effortlessly, and the sound was enormous. Everyone who heard it was knocked out by the difference. I was so impressed -- this is the best work I have ever seen. Bravo -- it's wonderful!!!"
Clarinet repairs are arranged by appointment to ensure the least amount of time a player need be without his/her instrument - usually just a few days. Of course, the time is even shorter for those choosing to come here. Not a bad option, considering Peter lives just outside Penticton, in British Columbia's Southern Okanagan Valley, one of Canadaís most gorgeous destinations. For information about Penticton, click here.
With the aim of producing a ligature with the best possible performance, Peter has invented the remarkable FLOATING RAILS ligature, available for Bb and Bass. It is now being used worldwide by players including professionals in major orchestras and clarinet professors at many universities.
Fernando, Brazilian Clarinetist finds:
"After a long time the ligatures arrived here. Today. Perfect, both. Very well constructed. I immediately tried the one for clarinet and I've found it a powerful tool to reach altissimo notes and to dive immediately to the bottom notes, with a bright but not harsh scent and a velvet sound on both limits of the instrument. Not even one squeak till the F6, a very easy throat notes emission and an easy attack on the E2, it is almost the Holy Grail of the ligatures, very few ones have such capability."
Mike Davenport says:
"The ligatures are INCREDIBLE! They are unbelievably good on both instruments. It's more than the usual slight difference, there is just more sound. As a performer who specializes on bass clarinet and is often asked to perform difficult pieces for that instrument, I want to point out that there are certain passages of certain pieces that are not playable except with this 'FLOATING RAIL LIGATURE' ... It is absolutely the best available."
The cost of the Floating Rail Ligature including cap is $99.00 Canadian funds, plus applicable taxes, shipping and handling. Call 250-488-0233 for more details.
Peter wrote a book in 1982 titled 'What All Clarinet Players Should Know About Clarinet Care'. It has now had its third printing. Although it was written a few years ago it is still relevant today. For only $8 you can get tips that could save you hundreds in repair. There is a detailed section on how and why clarinets crack and how to break them in properly, which could save you not only a healthy chunk of change but also the sinking feeling you get when you discover a crack. Even though it was written so that even a beginner can understand most of it, Peter has found that many professional players are not aware of much that is in this book. It was given favorable reviews in both the 'ClariNetwork' magazine and also the magazine 'The Clarinet'. Call 250-488-0233 for more details.
Clarinet fans can expect more projects and innovations from The Clarinet Center in the future, when time permits.