I thought intonation was built into the instrument, much like a piano.

It is.  All wind instruments are imperfect, the question is which
set of compromises will be most palatable to the user base.  Supposedly,
in 1955 Buffet changed to bore to a more complex form, rather than pretty
much the pure cylinder that it had been since 1630.  This made for more
even intonation, requiring less work by the player to wrestle the thing
into place, but possibly made it sound not quite so good.  I think we're
talking about issues that only a pretty good player could notice.

Regardless, the marketplace has spoken, and resale value on these is higher
than the slightly older ones.

-- Jim


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