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 Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: TomD 
Date:   2006-08-17 13:22

Just got a Yamaha CSG-H and CSG-S from Prowinds yesterday. So far, I have just tried the CSG-H (hamilton plating). Initial impressision is very good. I haven't tested it with a tuner yet but I consider my ears very good and the intonation seems unbelievable. I sounds dead-on. Throat tones sound really good and the Chalemeau reg. is really big. The key work, at least for me, feels perfect. I tried a Leblanc concerto II whose key work everyone raves about, but for me, it didn't feel right. I realized everyone has different size fingers, hands, etc. So far, I am really impressed and in light of the recent Buffet price increases, this horn seems like a bargain at $2100 plus there is a $200 rebate from Yamaha right now. I will post with further info after evaluating the silver key version.

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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: beantown_Bb 
Date:   2006-08-17 13:58

Thanks for that message!

I have been sitting on the fence about looking into getting a new Yamaha (probably the YCL650 for me, although will look at the CSVs). I have heard many other people make similar comments that they're impressed with the intonation, etc.

Based on these comments, I think it really is in my interest to go and give them a look. Buffet should really re-think their pricing because they're probably the *last* brand I intend to give consideration to in my upcoming quest for a new horn. Although I have yet to go out and try any out, if even half of what everyone is saying about the Yamahas is true, it surely sounds like more horn for nearly 1/2 to 2/3s of the money when (in my case considering) YCL650/CSV vs. R-13.

I also don't face the resale dilemma that I think contributes IN PART to people choosing the R-13 over other options. I've had my current clarinet for 20 years (since high school!), and I easily see myself keeping whatever I choose now for at least 20 more.

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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: TomD 
Date:   2006-08-17 14:49

I've been told that Yamaha is kind of phasing out the SEV and they really are not selling that many CSV's compared to the CSG so it sounds like the CSG is by far their most popular custom clarinet.

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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2006-08-17 17:22

I know many will say that he probably gets his clarinets at no cost, but Buddy De Franco said that Yamaha clarinets have the best intonation of any clarinet he's played. Not "as good as" but "the best", as in "better than any others". I KNOW that his Yamaha is more in tune than my R13!
He's been playing Yamaha since the pro models were introduced. I know Buddy to be a truthful straight guy. He's simply not a person who would peddle his reputation for a buck.


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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: TomD 
Date:   2006-08-17 17:30

I am currently taking lessons from the Assistant Principal Clarinetist for the New Haven Symphony in Connecticut. David Shifrin is the Principal and my teacher told me that David is playing a Yamaha CSG. My teacher tried it and couldn't believe how in tune it was and how great it sounded.

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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: Imperial Zeppelin 
Date:   2006-08-17 18:55

Interesting observations that I can verify...

D was looking for a "second" Bb since she's off to conservatory this coming year. She has a 4 year old R-13 and we wanted to make sure that she had a spare just in case. It seems that something always goes wrong right before a major event.

Anyway, WWBW had an open box R-13 at an excellent price so we made the trip. It was quite obvious from the start why that person returned that particular R-13; it was just plain horrible! We then proceeded to try a dozen unopened R-13s and quickly realized that D's R-13 was a damn good one compared to this new lot, which were very diappointing.

Then we tried the Yamaha CSG-H and were shocked how well in-tune it was, better than her "good" R-13. D liked the key work too, but to us the intonation was not quite as good as her R-13. Since this was to be a back-up horn, we were still seriously considering it, especially since it was clearly better than any of the R-13s we had sampled that day.

Unfortunately, she talked me into letting her try a few Prestiges (they just happened to have some on hand) and one of them was truly outstanding, in better tune that either the Yamaha or the R-13 and it had wonderful intonation. I made her randomly play alll three with my back to her and I picked the Prestige first and picked the R-13 over the Yamaha by a hair.

Had I stuck to my projected budget, she would have walked out of their with an excellent Yamaha horn for only a few hundred $ more than the open box R-13. Instead, I caved into the "Daddy it followed me home, can we keep it" ploy.

All that being said, Yamaha has become a serious contender and is probably the best value in professional clarinets at this time, especially in light of the new Buffet pricing. For any of you buying a new horn, I certainly carefully consider them as an option.

Post Edited (2006-08-17 18:58)

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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: mozart 
Date:   2006-08-18 01:57

What is the "Hamilton Keys"?


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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: GBK 
Date:   2006-08-18 02:11

mozart wrote:

> What is the "Hamilton Keys"?

From the Yamaha website:

"...The YCL-CSG-H is the same clarinet but with a 'Hamilton' plate finish on the keys. Hamilton plating consists of gold with some nickel and copper added. Many players find it darkens the sound while at the same time giving tonal clarity and projection. They feel it also helps create a creamy smooth texture to both the sound and the response..."


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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-18 08:16

and in the category of the strangest clarinet sound description, the winner is....

What Yamaha don't tell you is those magical effects of the Hamilton keys only work if you change your last name to Hamilton.

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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-18 12:05

...and then move to Hamilton.


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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: jez 
Date:   2006-08-18 21:10

I've been playing on a pair of CSGH's for a while now and still think, as I did when I first tried them, that they are an exceptional instrument. The intonation is outstanding (after sorting out the barrel-length, I needed shorter than the original ones) the tone is beautifully clear and focussed, they look great. Definitely worth a try!


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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: salvey 
Date:   2006-08-19 09:03

The last time I saw Buddy in NYC two years ago, he was using an adjustable Click barrel on his clarinet - - FWIW.


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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-19 09:47

The only time I saw Buddy De Franco play, about a year ago maybe I'm not sure exactly when, he played out of tune. Was sharp most of the time. I still thought the concert was really good and he played great!

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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2006-08-20 17:20

clarnibass wrote:

> The only time I saw Buddy De Franco play, about a year ago
> maybe I'm not sure exactly when, he played out of tune. Was
> sharp most of the time. I still thought the concert was really
> good and he played great!

Sorry. Don't believe it. That's like saying Ella sang out of tune.


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 Re: Evaluating a Yamaha CSG
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-20 17:36

No. That's like seeing Ella in a concert where she was out of tune and then saying it.

Both me and my former teacher (who didn't come with me and I didn't know he was there) heard it seperately. I really liked Buddy's playing eventhough he was sharp. My teacher who is an obssesive person in general and especially obssesed with things like intonation was actually disapointed. He was also disapointed Buddy rarely played below C which also didn't bother me at all.

Since another person who didn't speak with me at all during the concert heard it, I don't think I imagined it. So the only other option is you think I'm making this up, which I have no reason to.

Regardles of all that, I think Buddy De Franco is great musician and clarinetist.

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