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 Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: supergood 
Date:   2008-10-03 09:11

Hello again
Can anyone let me know what level of clarinet these are?

YCL25
YCL27
YCL33
YCL251
YCL350
YCL651

Can anyone share an opinion on those models?
Many thanks in advance for any comments.

Regards,
Mark



Post Edited (2008-10-03 09:11)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: NorbertTheParrot 
Date:   2008-10-03 10:33

All Yamaha clarinets are good! Or at least, they are as good as anything else in their price range.

However, I don't recognise some of the numbers you quote; in particular, I've never heard of the YCL350. YCL250 and YCL450, yes.

The three-digit numbers are current models, see Yamaha website or any of your major competitors.

The two-digit numbers are old models, not hugely different from the current ones. YCL25=YCL250, YCL34=YCL450.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: supergood 
Date:   2008-10-03 10:41

It is probably relevant for me to point out that these are Japan models. The 251 is possibly the same as the 250?

I think manufacturers like Yamaha use different model names for the same instruments depending on where they are to be sold. I think this helps protect the local market and discourages people from importing.

So it's just a case of matching up the models I think.
Thanks for the feedback so far. I appreciate your time Norbert.

Regards,
Mark



Post Edited (2008-10-03 11:05)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-10-03 11:20

Yamaha's numbering system is very comprehensive on all wind instruments (woodwind and brass), so the first digit of the model number is the one to look for to determine the level.

2 - standard/beginner/student (plastic clarinets/oboes)
3 - student (wooden clarinets/plastic piccolos)
4 - student/intermediate
5 - intermediate
6 - high level intermediate/entry level pro
7 - pro
8 - high level pro/Custom (the CSG is in this series)
(9 - Custom/prestige)

That was my interpretation, now here's Yamaha's:

Woodwind
1st number = Grade
2 - Student
3,4,5 - Intermediate
6,7 - Professional
8,9 - Custom

Brass
1,2,3 - Student
4 - Intermediate
6 - Professional
8,9 - Custom

Chris.

Post Edited (2008-10-03 18:28)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: supergood 
Date:   2008-10-03 11:25

Now THAT is what I call informative.
Thanks very much Chris :)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-10-03 11:49

For flute models, Yamaha has a very clear chart of exactly each digit mean. I'm wondering if they the same for clarinets?

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2008-10-03 12:15

I think that the Yamaha clarinets are very good. They play very evenly with good intonation and are well designed and constructed. I happily recommend them to my students. I have had no problem or complaints with any of them that I have played.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: scott kurtzweil 
Date:   2008-10-03 15:21

Prior to coming to Conn-Selmer to work with Leblanc clarinets, I had a set of Yamaha CSG clarinets and had a great deal of success with them. After some experimenting with barrels and mouthpieces, I found them to have excellent intonation and pleanty of core. The sound was a little small but I mostly play with a piano trio so that is of little concern.

Scott Kurtzweil
Kurtzweil Musical LLC
www.kurtzweilmusical.com
269-340-9013
scott@kurtzweilmusical.com





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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-10-03 15:46

Scott - any chance of Selmer ever making Referrence clarinets in the style (and bore size) of Centered Tones?

Chris.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: martinbaxter 
Date:   2008-10-03 16:30

I have never come across a bad instrument by Yamaha but I have never found one I liked either. This is because for my taste they are TOO good - they seem to lack character. As doubling instruments in the theatre they are excellent; you just pick them up and know they will "behave' . Also they seem more tolerant of a poorish reed than any other instruments I know. But I like an instrument to have its own character, so that with playing it becomes part of me. Such instruments are usually a bit off-putting at first; you have to get to know them. The yamahas I have had are more like a perfect servant; they uncomplainingly do what you want but show no feelings about it.
This all sounds a bit 'precious' and I'm sorry. But it is the only way I can express what I feel about them.
If you want a well-made instrument, good value at any level and basically fault free get one. You will tend to sound like everybody else, but that will increase your employability.
Martin

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-10-03 16:37

What I have found with most Yamaha wooden clarinets I've tried is that they all felt a bit 'tight' and restrictive (resistant) compared to what I'm used to.

Don't get me wrong - they're all built well (from the 34II through to the SEV), but they didn't play as freely as I would have liked - it seemed I had to work hard to get what I wanted from them, but still not quite getting there.

Chris.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: clariniano 
Date:   2008-10-03 17:19

I have a couple of students with the YCL-34 (one the 34, the other the 34IIS), one of which I picked out, the other a student's family found on Ebay, and they play beautifully, I find the Yamaha clarinets have fewer maintenance problems than at least Buffet. (I sold my 1968 R13 to buy a new entry-level professional Yamaha clarinet!)

Meri

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-10-03 18:12

Clarnibass - "For flute models, Yamaha has a very clear chart of exactly each digit mean. I'm wondering if they the same for clarinets?"

I found the following in a load of info I copied from a Yamaha technicians' manual:

Clarinet Model Range

YCL-XXX
____________________________________________________________
1st number = Grade
A,S,C - Custom
____________________________________________________________
2nd number*
2 - Bass clarinet
3 - Alto clarinet
4 - Boehm A clarinet
5 - Boehm Bb clarinet
6 - Reformed style clarinet
8 - Eb soprano clarinet

*When the model number is only 2 numbers (YCL-64), the first number is the grade and the second number is the development number.
____________________________________________________________
3rd number**
1 - CX
2 - CS
3 - SE
4 - AE
6 - Reformed Boehm
7 - Oehler system
8 - Vienna style
0 - Version/development number

V as the third or fourth digit means new style barrel, bell and metal alloy.

**3rd number can be development number (or for bass clarinet only: 1= to low Eb, 2= to low C).

CX, all Student, Intermediate and 1st level Pro models have tone hole inserts.

An "A" at the end of any of these models stands for clarinet in the key of A.
____________________________________________________________

Chris.

Post Edited (2008-10-03 18:29)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: rtmyth 
Date:   2008-10-03 18:20

All manufacturers make some good clarinets, in all price ranges. Finding a good one, or better, an artist quality is not simple, or we would all have one. I would say, based on the article "How to Select an Artist Quality Clarinet", that about 5 in 100 are of that quality.

richard smith

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: stevensfo 
Date:   2008-10-03 19:57

-- "this is because for my taste they are TOO good - they seem to lack character. As doubling instruments in the theatre they are excellent; you just pick them up and know they will "behave' . Also they seem more tolerant of a poorish reed than any other instruments I know. But I like an instrument to have its own character,......" --


As a reader of this board for the past 5 years, please excuse me while I go and bang my head repeatedly against the nearest wall!

Take the bell off. It will have lots of character then!


Steve



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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Curinfinwe 
Date:   2008-10-03 20:33

I know exactly what you mean, Martin. I picked up a pre-1940 wooden Conn at a second hand store and overhauled it, and it sure has its quirks, but I love it to pieces and it's my main instrument (because I'm a student and can't afford anything else...) I've worked with it until it has some of the best tone quality I've ever heard.
To get back on topic, a friend of mine just bought a YCL650, and is basically in love with it. I've tried it, and it's definitely not as free-playing as I would like, but it has very even tone quality and altissimo notes just seem to pop right out.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2008-10-03 22:02

martin baxter says

"You will tend to sound like everybody else, but that will increase your employability."

Would this be saying that everyone who plays Yamaha clarinets sounds the same?

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2008-10-03 22:06

Ed wrote:

> Would this be saying that everyone who plays Yamaha clarinets
> sounds the same?

Which is close to saying that everyone who plays Buffet clarinets wants to sound the same. [right]

--
Ben

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-04 03:53

For me, Yamaha is like Honda. Always starts up, and very reliable, but I never walk away thinking, "This is 'The One' I've been looking for my whole life".

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2008-10-04 12:36

Hi,

But Honda or Toyota make all levels of equipment. Two grand daughters drive 1990s Accords, the wife covets her 2002 MDX, my daughter loves her Acura TL, and I have a GS 350.

My backup tenor is a YTS 475 and my main instrument is a terrific Selmer Mark VI. Backup clarinet is a LeBlanc L200 with a Yamaha Custom CS as #1

All of these are 'The One" for the mission or person.

HRL

PS OK, I admit that I'm the pampered/fussy one!

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Gordon (NZ) 
Date:   2008-10-04 23:23

Curinfinwe: "I've worked with it until it has some of the best tone quality I've ever heard."
What exactly did you do to alter the tone quality?

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Curinfinwe 
Date:   2008-10-05 01:04

Well, when I got it it looked like it had been sitting in an attic for a few decades. It's mostly just playing it that seems to get it "back into shape," and when it was overhauled it was soaked in almond oil for a while, which almost erased scratches, cosmetically, and made the bore extremely sleek and free playing, it seems.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-05 03:39

Hank, I agree. It depends on who's playing it and what they like.
One particular thing that bothers me about Yamaha is that they totally avoid the left hand Eb key in every single model. It is a "safe marketing" theme that the company is run by.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Iceland clarinet 
Date:   2008-10-05 05:25

Well I don't use the left Eb key at all and I know of at least two professionals who only use it for Premier Rhapsodie by Debussy.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-10-05 05:36

Apparently, Yamaha do offer the LH Ab/Eb key as an option on all models from the YCL-450 upwards.

They're Selmer style (older Selmers) in that the Eb lever runs in between the F#/C# and E/B levers and has a teardrop touch (the same piece as the throat A touch).

Chris.

Post Edited (2008-10-05 05:45)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-10-05 06:56

Thanks Chris. What I don't understand from that chart though is:

1 - CX
2 - CS
3 - SE
4 - AE
6 - Reformed Boehm
7 - Oehler system
8 - Vienna style
0 - Version/development number

I don't see how only 0 would be the version number. It makes more sense to say, for example, that the 3rd digit is the version. 0 is specific and 'version' is not. Maybe I'm misreading the chart? Also, do you have any idea what CX, CS, SE and AE mean? Are these different 'scales' like the 3rd digit on the flute? If when the third digit is 0 it is not any of the others, what is it?

>> Well I don't use the left Eb key at all and I know of at least two
>> professionals who only use it for Premier Rhapsodie by Debussy.

I never use it either but that doesn't mean everyone shouldn't use it....

>> It's mostly just playing it that seems to get it "back into shape," and
>> when it was overhauled it was soaked in almond oil for a while, which
>> almost erased scratches, cosmetically, and made the bore extremely
>> sleek and free playing, it seems.

So are you saying it wasn't the overhaul itself i.e. correcting key heights, fixing leaks, improving key action, etc. that made it play better? The only times I've seen a clarinet play better after a while is when the player improved himself to play that instrument better.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-05 08:03

For me, the left Eb is essential. I put that key on my clarinets 2 years ago and I no longer get 'stuck' in any 'pinky intensive' passages.
By the same token, I have become reliant on it and I don't pay a lot of attention to the right/left anymore, so if I try a clarinet that does not have a left hand Eb I will get stuck.



Post Edited (2008-10-05 14:01)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-10-05 13:22

"Thanks Chris. What I don't understand from that chart though is:

1 - CX
2 - CS
3 - SE
4 - AE
6 - Reformed Boehm
7 - Oehler system
8 - Vienna style
0 - Version/development number

I don't see how only 0 would be the version number. It makes more sense to say, for example, that the 3rd digit is the version. 0 is specific and 'version' is not. Maybe I'm misreading the chart? Also, do you have any idea what CX, CS, SE and AE mean? Are these different 'scales' like the 3rd digit on the flute? If when the third digit is 0 it is not any of the others, what is it?"

The '0' is the 3rd digit of the 250, 450 and 650 - from what I gather (although it isn't mentioned in any clear terms in the manual) it's a further development from the earlier 2-figure models - 26II, 34II, 64 which have now been renumbered in accordance to the chart (2-4-6-grade, 5-Bb, 0-development number).

Therefore going by the chart, a CX Bb is YCL-851, a CS Bb is 852, SE is 853 and AE is 854. A CX in A is YCL-841, CS-A is 842, SE-A is 843 and AE-A is 844.

Chris.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: scott kurtzweil 
Date:   2008-10-07 14:03

Hi Chris,

Interesting concept. I'll bring it up with Patrick and Jerome Selmer when they are here next week.

Best -

Scott Kurtzweil
Kurtzweil Musical LLC
www.kurtzweilmusical.com
269-340-9013
scott@kurtzweilmusical.com





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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2008-10-09 19:43

The Yamaha Custom clarinets are AMONG the finest clarinets being made in the world right now. I have gone through many sets of R13's for students in the last 5 years and can say Buffet quality has gone down. Prices at Buffet have also risen. It also seems the Buffett wood is more prone to cracks etc..I think the CSG and CSV Yamaha models are much more in tune and tonally even over the current R13s being manufactured..however, older Buffets and some rare new Buffets can be excellent.

I just don't understand what makes people think somehow Yamaha are not good..they are much easier to play than the Buffet clarinets too..ease of scale and excellent response throughout the range. I also find the throat register on the newer Yamaha clarinets superior to the Buffet line as well...

I think someone out there is selling snake oil. Either that or people are prone to marketing and all that balloo...

David Dow

Post Edited (2008-10-09 19:46)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2008-10-10 01:56

The 250 Bb clarinet is a fine student clarinet..however I am not sure as to the nomenclature of this numbering system. It seems illogical to end the number with a zero.

David Dow

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2008-10-10 01:57

I think that numbering system could be simply be looked into by calling Yamaha up on it..I doubt it works the way listed...

I think your out on a limb there..why is the R13 numbered 13?

David Dow

Post Edited (2008-10-10 02:00)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2008-10-10 02:04

I would have to say that for many the R13 is not the logical step as the high level clarinet..there are so many out there using Recitals..Signatures..Leblanc etc to simply say there is only one great horn is a disservice to what music is all about.

If the R13 is the highest level clarinet in the Buffet line then what is the R13 Prestige..? I just don't get it.

The big problem is we all eventually sound like ourself after a while..that means one thing. Practice.

David Dow

Post Edited (2008-10-10 02:06)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Geirskogul 
Date:   2008-10-10 08:33

I have a YCL-23N. IF I were to read the "chart" correctly, it wouldn't even be a Bb clarinet! I think it's incorrect.

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-10-10 09:06

>> I have a YCL-23N. IF I were to read the "chart" correctly,
>> it wouldn't even be a Bb clarinet! I think it's incorrect.

The chart is for models with three digits, so if you were to the read the chart, correctly or not, you'd be reading the wrong chart  :)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-10-10 10:58

"If the R13 is the highest level clarinet in the Buffet line then what is the R13 Prestige..? I just don't get it. "

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The better wood enables me to play less wrong notes  ;)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-10-10 13:33

The Yamaha info I posted states the following - "*When the model number is only 2 numbers (YCL-64), the first number is the grade and the second number is the development number."

Therefore, your YCL-23N is a 23 series with nickel plated keys (N for nickel - S for silver) - which would have been the standard keywork plating finish on a plastic clarinet.

There were also YCL-26IIMSUK clarinets which had a matt finish plastic body (hence the 'M'), silver plated keys (which is the 'S') and (allegedly) made for the UK market (finishing with 'UK'). That was in Yamaha's catalogue, though the model number stamped on the top joint was just YCL-26II.

Also, the YCL-34IIN and YCL-34IIS breaks down as YCL (Yamaha CLarinet) 34 (wooden intermediate model, and a more recent version of this model since the YCL-30) II (the MkII version of the YCL-34) N or S (nickel os silver plated keywork).

So the model numbers do specify what you have, although the Yamaha model number info I have (and put on here) didn't include the N or S suffix to specify nickel or silver plating.

Chris.

Post Edited (2008-10-10 22:07)

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2008-10-10 20:32

Thanks Chris..

David Dow

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 Re: Are the following Yamaha Clarinets good or bad?
Author: YekNomad 
Date:   2018-02-28 09:15

"It is probably relevant for me to point out that these are Japan models."

Does anyone have info on the YCL33?
They are not listed on spare parts model listing for Yamaha.
Yamaha Australia claims they are a Chinese made copy- but the era- late 70s -80s, seems wrong for that.
There are a few for sale on eBay etc but no readily found info
If I move mine on- i don't want to be making false claims.

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