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 Yamaha Custom CX
Author: clarimad 
Date:   2011-07-07 22:06

I'd appreciate comments about the overall quality of these and opinions regarding the build quality etc. What dates might they have been made between and were they primarily manufactured for the US market?

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2011-07-08 12:36


I have a CS Custom and it is a beautiful instrument. Plays great, nice ergonomics, and a beautiful finish. I did get a longer barrel for it as the one that came with the instrument was a tad sharp when I was warmed up.


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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Ed 
Date:   2011-07-08 14:20

These are excellent instruments. They play great with a very even response and great intonation. Maybe the Yamaha website would have info or someone to contact.

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2011-07-08 15:30

The CX was previously the old YCL-62II and YCL-62IICX (the A was the YCL-65II and 65IICX) and has inserted tonehole chimneys (the AE, SE/SEV and CS/CSV/CSG have integral tonehole chimneys) and a silver plated sheet metal bell ring (not an unplated solid nickel silver one as the other Custom series).

They became the entry level Custom model in the mid '90s to make way for the YCL-64 which is now the YCL-650. Build quality on the CX is the same as the other Custom series clarinets and I think they have a 14.65mm bore.


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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Eric V 
Date:   2011-07-08 19:07

I play CX's and like them a lot. I particularly like the A instrument. Big full round sound, easy to play, just enough "friendly resistance" so you can keep that sound from very soft to very loud without sounding shrill. Very well made keywork, they don't bend and they stay adjusted for a long time. And as with other Yamahas they are a real bargain compared with the French instruments.

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Ed 
Date:   2011-07-08 19:45

After reading Chris' response- were these the 72 series here in the states? I know that Yamaha had some different designations depending on the market.

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: clarinetcounsel 
Date:   2011-07-09 00:43

Yamaha Custom clarinets are not bad even at professional level.
Michael Collins playing his new CSG[?]

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2011-07-09 04:15

Chris, I don't often disagree with you but I think I have to this time. I believe the Custom CS descended from the YCL-72, not the entry-level YCL-62, which evolved into the current YCL-650. Based on what I see on the Yamaha U.S. website, I think the actual chain is:

YCL-81 (Bb) /85 (A) from 1976-84 There is also a YCL-82 (Bb) listed from 1979-84. I'm not sure where (or whether) it fits in. It actually has the large script "Custom" in its logo and was probably the top-of-the-line.

YCL-72 and 72A from 1985-1987

YCL-72CS and CSA from 1988-94 (integral wooden toneholes)
YCL-72CX and CXA from 1988-94 (plastic inset toneholes)

YCL-CS and CSA from 1994- ? Yamaha identifies the CS and CSA models as discontinued but gives no end date and actually designates both models as "current." This is probably an error.

YCL-CX and CXA from 1994-? About 5 years ago, when I first looked into these histories, this site gave 1994-98 as the dates for the CX. Now it actually gives no dates and displays the instrument as though it were still available though the model is identified as discontinued and is only shown in the list of "Discontinued Products." Yamaha gives no end date for the CXA but lists it as discontinued with no current (equivalent) model.

From 1988 - the end of the Custom CS and CX lines, there are three distinct logos: (1) 72CS/72CX (or 72-CS/72-CX, I forget which); (2) CS/CX; and (3) Custom CS/CX. I have seen all three. I own a set of the "plain" CS model. I have no information on when the changes occurred but I suspect the Custom CS and CX probably began in 1994. I think the existence of the 72CS/CX is pretty clear evidence of the ancestry, however.

While the Yamaha website doesn't show a direct lineage, it makes sense (to me anyway) the CSV may have evolved from the Custom CS. As I recall, the CSV and SEV models came out at the same time and the SEV was advertised as a new design. I also note that these dates from the U.S. website do not always agree with similar dates on other Yamaha sites, e.g., Europe. It appears that Yamaha followed different marketing strategies in different countries, e.g., the YCL-62A was available at least in parts of Europe but not the U.S.A.

Best regards,

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: ttay1122 
Date:   2011-07-09 05:06

I really like the Yamaha CSG, It seems almost effortless to create a nice full bodied sound. It has a smaller bore similar to german clarinets but with french keywork. It's worth a try. The only problem is the price may be a bit more. But for what it is it seems like you are getting better than R13 quality at a lower price.

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: donald 
Date:   2011-07-09 12:11

there were most certainly different models for different world regions, and the correlation between the model designations is quite unclear...
Yamaha Custom 82 and 85 (in A) briefly became "82-2 and 85-2" (with roman numerals for the "2") at about the same time as the YCL 72 (without "Custom" stamped on it) came out in the USA, and many believed these to be the same instruments. My examination/play testing suggests this was not the case.
I'm sure someone somewhere knows the whole story, but it would not appear to be uncomplicated.

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2011-07-09 14:40

Jack, I've got all the info right here in front of me which is relevant to the original poster as they're UK based. Things may be different in the US to what we have in Europe as the YCL-72 was never sold here - only the 62/65 and Custom 82/85 instruments. The CX has inset wooden tonehole chimneys, not plastic ones.

The YCL-62, 62II, 62IICX and YCL-CX (and A clarinets being the YCL-65, 65II, 65IICX and CXA) are the entry level pro models as sold in Europe - the YCL72 is the US equivalent. The YCL-82, 82II, 82IICS and CS (and A clarinets being the YCL-85, 85II, 85IICS and CS) were their Custom models.

The YCL-64 and 650 didn't evolve from the CX as they were a new model introduced in the '90s to fill the gap in the market when Yamaha made changes in their lineup (and some 60/600 series woodwind instruments were downgraded in specification or manufacturing processes) - they are wood, have inset wooden chimneys and the student model keywork and are mix of the 62II and 32II. The 64 and later 650 were made in another Yamaha factory outside Japan - most likely Indonesia.

The 62 through to CX have the old pro model/Custom series keywork and became the entry level Custom instruments, so they went up into the Custom series to make way for the 64/650 which Yamaha brand as professional level but have the student model keywork.

At the same time, Yamaha changed the specification on their pro level flutes, so the old 3x3 became the 500 series (silver head, plated body and keys with pointed key arms), the old 500 series became the 600 series (silver tube, plated keys and pointed key arms), the old 600 series became the 700 series (solid silver throughout), the 800 series remained the same (handmade solid silver) and 900 series was introduced (various gold alloys used throughout or gold tubing with silver keys, pillars, ribs and joint rings).


Post Edited (2011-07-10 22:44)

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: trice035 
Date:   2012-05-23 05:26

I just picked up a CX. It was purchased in Japan by the last owner and has the original paperwork (in Japanese). The horn is marked CX Custom and the paperwork indicates a YCL-851 manufactured in 2003 (Heisei 15).

It is a wonderful horn. Perhaps the best I have ever played.

Post Edited (2012-05-23 05:26)

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: mihalis 
Date:   2012-05-23 06:20

Chris P wrote:

>The 64 and later 650 were made in another Yamaha factory outside Japan - >most likely Indonesia.

Chris, I just bought a Yamaha 650, and it says on it "Made in Japan".


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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-11-20 00:57

Sorry to wake up an old thread, but:

- Do all of these clarinets discussed in this thread have conventional barrels? i.e. 65mm or so?

My understanding is that it is only the "CSG" designation that has the short (56mm?) barrels?

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-11-20 01:59

So far as the American market is concerned, I believe the short barrels were introduced by Yamaha for the first time in the CSG. But in Japan, Yamaha had sold models that seldom or never find their way to the US. I recall that Naoko Kotaniguchi, principal clarinet of the Kyoto Symphony was playing a model called the "Ideal G" that had a short barrel. Not sure now how long ago that was, but that model as far as I know has not been sold in the US.

Post Edited (2018-11-20 02:09)

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-11-20 08:57


Yes, per the following article, it appears that Yamaha does make clarinets that are never sold in the U.S. The article discusses (along with clickable YouTube audio links) the Yamaha SE-bored Artist model as well as the Ideal G model clarinets. And, yes, to my eyes, the Ideal G model does have a noticeably shorter barrel.

As to why certain Yamaha models never make it to the U.S., "ponyclarinet" (Tony Park) gives his opinionated answer which doesn't really make much sense to me as quite a few professional Yamaha clarinets are sold here.

I much prefer the sound of the Ideal G over the SE-bored Artist clarinet.

Post Edited (2018-11-20 10:43)

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-11-20 11:30

I owned a few of the top line Yamahas back in the 1980s/1990s including a YCL 85 "Custom" A clarinet that I sold when I "upgraded" to an 85-2 that had been hand tuned by a member of the NZSO. Recently I was able to play test that YCL 85 A that I sold (in 1992!) and holy camoly it was GOOD. I was an idiot to sell it, it's way better in tune and easier to play than any of the Buffet A clarinets I've since owned (an RC A, 2 R13a, 2 Festivals and a Tosca). I now own an old R13 A from the 1970s that I love the sound of, but the tuning on the Yamaha was better and, well, it didn't sound bad even if it wasn't as beautiful as my R13....

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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-11-21 18:14

The reason why the CS-G and Ideal G have shorter barrels than their counterparts is they have a longer top joint and a correspondingly short barrel so the length of the instrument remains unchanged. G standing for German as they've used German joint length/barrel length proportions (and still with a French bore) as opposed to the usual long barrel and short top joint (compared to German clarinets) of most Boehm systems.


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 Re: Yamaha Custom CX
Author: Tony Park 
Date:   2019-12-06 07:40

Hi Dan,

Thanks for reading the blog. How did I confuse you with the entry? I feel like I barely wrote anything. It is so strange to me how I got so much negative feedback from this YouTube video- I was just very excited to share what was totally foreign to me and I felt I needed to share because I knew most people didn't have acess to the instruments.


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