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 Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: Tom A 
Date:   2010-10-27 05:27

'Evening All,

One of my students recently turned up with a YCL650 (unexpectedly; I was thinking I'd go with him to try some out). The instrument seems to play nicely in tune between octaves and harmonics, with one exception. The fork E flat fingering is distinctly sharp, while the two conventional fingerings (sliver and side) are fine. Playing in the higher register, though, the fork B flat sounded in tune with the other fingerings.

I went around the corner to the music shop where it was purchased and asked to try their remaining 650. The same result. I considered it possible that there just might be a problem with the batch. On returning to the school where I teach, I played the 650 of another student, that I had shipped in a few months ago (in excellent used condition) from the US. Again, the same.

This is something that I didn't think would get past this BBoard, though I can't find this specific issue in a search (wrong keywords?). Anyone had this issue with this model? And how serious do people find it? In a fast arpeggiated passage it would go unnoticed, but I'm wary of even this much compromise on an instrument the kid may have for the rest of his life.

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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: donald 
Date:   2010-10-27 06:12

This is normal for most clarinets- if the lower reg 1/1 fingering for E flat was in tune, then the high reg B flat would be really flat... something to do with acoustics.

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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2010-10-27 06:20

This fingering for Eb is sharp on pretty much every model of clarinet I've ever tried, some more than tohers, but all significantly more than the other Eb fingerings.

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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2010-10-27 10:55

1-and-1 is normally sharper that either of the other two (which are also not normally exactly in tune with each other, either). The 1-and-1 (fork) fingering is not normally a recommended one for sustained notes. It's generally used for technical (often arpeggiated) passages where it's more convenient than the two "standard" ones. It's also possible, BTW, to use LH1 + RH2 for the same notes if, for example, the passage involves Gb5 to Bb6 or B4 to D#4. The fact that it's sharp more often than not has the side benefit of providing a sharp version of the notes when one is needed instead of pinching the pitch higher.

You can experiment a little with bringing the pitch down a little by putting some tape in the top of the LH2 hole (the one you cover when playing D/A) if it doesn't make E/B flat. Also, you have to make sure the bridge keys are in line so the pad under LH1 (which produces the half-step) actually closes completely. If it doesn't, that could result in sharpness and squeaks or in the fingering's not working at all.


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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2010-10-27 19:07

My Buffets' 1-1 fingering for Eb4 is so sharp that it is really not usable.

I've been embarrassed by that because, in my youth that was (who noticed the intonation?) my go-to fingering, and I suggested it to a colleague as a problem solver only to have returned the most withering stare I've ever received.

It's taken me years to "loose" that fingering.

All that said, it is occasionally necessary (per my teacher) to use it in fast passages with lots of flats in them.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2010-10-27 19:09

Interestingly, on my bass the difference is barely noticeable.


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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: djphay 
Date:   2010-10-27 22:25

Others have said it but my own tuppence worth is that my fork Eb is also very sharp, both L1 R1 and L1 R2, but the corresponding fork Bbs are quite nicely in tune. That's been the case on all my instruments and remains so on my Eaton Internationals.

Rank amateur

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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-10-27 22:52

Yamaha 650s don't have forked Eb/Bb - only on Boehm system clarinets with the special mechanism fitted (the extra ring for LH3 and associated mechanism) and non-Boehm system clarinets can you get true forked Eb/Bb with the fingering xox|ooo which is in tune in both registers.

You're all confusing that with LONG Bb which is something very different - LONG Bb is xoo|xoo which is used on all Boehm system clarinets, flutes and modern saxes.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

Post Edited (2010-10-28 02:21)

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 Re: Yamaha 650 tuning - fork E flat/B flat
Author: Tom A 
Date:   2010-10-27 23:11

Thank you Chris, my misnomer.

And thank you all. I've always known that my 1986 R13 was slightly sharp on that, but this was much more noticeable. I wasn't really worried, knowing that it would only be used for the occasional short note, but it's good to know there's nothing wrong with the instrument.

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