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 Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: PeterB1517 
Date:   2017-12-09 06:54

Hi, I currently have a Yamaha YCL-34, predecessor to 450, with a repaired crack. Currently at shop to replace four pads. I am an adult, smoker, with bad form. I'd say my level is mid-beginner to high-beginner. I am considering moving to a new Buffet Prodige.
See the link so you understand the prospect clarinet.
I have difficulty producing upper clarion notes quickly and without sounding shrill.

I'm going to outfit this Buffet with a D'Addario Reserve Clarinet Mouthpiece - X0 mouthpiece and a $35 Vandoren ligature. I'll worry about barrel and bell later if ever. I could do these upgrades to current YCL-34 as opposed to new clarinet. If I get Buffet, I'll prob try to sell YCL-34 for $250-300. Buying this Buffet with equipment is about $700.

I've been told that Buffet bell rough texture will affect compression that will make hitting these high notes easier. Possibly other features too. YCL-34 bell is smooth. I'm not playing outside. What do you think I should do?

Post Edited (2017-12-09 07:56)

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: PeterB1517 
Date:   2017-12-09 06:58

Also playing Yamaha with Yamaha 4c mouthpiece and basic ligature. Using base Rico 2.5 reeds. Can move to better and harder reeds though less comfortable.
I know that most of what's needed is better embouchure and technique. I want this clarinet to help my improvement to intermediate level.

But watch this 1 min informative video of Buffet Prodige well played:

Post Edited (2017-12-09 08:07)

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 Re: Buffet Premium vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: DAVE 
Date:   2017-12-09 07:22

You will likely only experience a slight improvement if any with the Buffet. I'd say skip the purchase. The Yamaha is more than enough if properly adjusted. Your ligature choice is also not a factor at this point. Discussions of alternate barrels and bells are also a waste of time.

Get a good mouthpiece and reed combo and practice. There are many combos that work. I'd suggest a Vandoren M13 Lyre and a 3.0-3.5 Traditional to get you going. This combo is used by professionals all over, so I'm pretty sure it'll be something to get you started.

In my opinion, intermediate clarinets are a total waste of money. Skip them entirely.

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2017-12-09 10:12

Why don’t you upgrade your mouthpiece, reeds and maybe ligature before anything else? Keep in mind that the Prodige is plastic. I don’t think it would be an upgrade over the 34. The 4c is not a bad mouthpiece as stock ones go but you can certainly do better while saving yourself the cost of a whole new horn.

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2017-12-09 19:45

Personally, I dislike the 4C mouthpieces a lot and found any other aftermarket upgrade to have a huge impact, but that doesn't have to be necessarily the same in your case.
Either way, I wouldn't expect the Prodige to be an improvement - you should probably just have a little repair work done on your Yamaha. Nothing against plastic, but it's also the professor producing a beatiful sound, not just the clarinet - of course, a serious "upgrade" model like a Ridenour or R13 or CSVR will sound better, but you probably won't need that right now.

Post Edited (2017-12-09 19:47)

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-12-09 20:28

its always better to upgrade the mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds before upgrading the clarinet.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-12-10 03:28

The Prodige has a poly cylindrical bore - so if it's about dimensions vs material, go with that.

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-12-10 04:10

I strongly disagree that professionals use M13 mouthpieces. In fact I can't think of a single major orchestra clarinetist using one. There might be, but I don't know of one.

I do like the better choice of a Vandoren NONE M series mouthpiece as they tune better. The M series mouthpiece are too long in length.

Don't believe me? Go buy some cheap calipers at Harbor Freight online for about $15 and measure them. They are about 1/32" longer than your standard mouthpieces. Longer than the regular non Vandoren regular.

The symphony pros actually seem to like the tuning of the Vandoren BD5's. One of the top pros is Boris who just won the principal position with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Another great player is John Yeh with the Chicago Sym. The LA Philharmonic tunes to 442. There is no way any M series mouthpiece will reach 442 unless you use a 63 or a 62mm barrel. So please be careful here.

Be smart when you buy mouthpieces and bring your tuners folks. The M series mouthpieces drop to 438 above the high C break as other instruments climb to 442. I know all of you probably think I'm wrong. Go play some and you will thank them later.

Another decent mouthpiece is the new Selmer. But it is stuffy so it needs to be worked on.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: PeterB1517 
Date:   2017-12-10 05:01

What about the poly cylindric bore makes it good? Supposedly there is something rough about the bell and the video above says the bore additionally. I've been told more advanced clarinets use a groove in bell but Prodige uses rough bell at least to affect compression of air that helps sounds someway or allow easier higher notes. I'd like to understand your comment more.

Here is experience 1 hr ago using Yamaha YCL-255 which is comparable and in same price range as Prodige. It definitely was lighter. It felt kind of like a toy vs wood clarinet. I'd guess I'd prefer lighter but not significant. Flute player salesman couldn't tell big difference between 255 and 34 which is now supposedly repaired. I didn't notice a marked difference in ease of playing with plastic vs. Wood. The high notes like F top line of staff and G above still sounded bad. My fellow clarinets had section in orchestra of Sleeping Beauty going from E, E slurred to too space E, top space e slurred to bottom e that sounded so sweet on their clarinets. Very hard for me to reliably do and sounded awful, not like swans tiptoing or anything like that. My embouchure is bad. I tried like $1200 Buffet, and high notes sounded better, most notes did, but a little more resistance playing which I didn't like.

I've been taking lessons with trombone teacher. Need to find clarinet teacher near Jenkintown, PA that's not at music shop. I'm wary of internet lessons.

I think I'll likely take many of your recommendations above and music store's recommendation of the above
D'Addario mouthpiece that supposed to facilitate high notes, better ligature, and try better and harder reed, and see how it goes. I dont think if i tried five mouthpieces that im at skill to distinguish them. I demoed tennis racquets for like a month and ending up choosing the wrong one.

Post Edited (2017-12-10 05:23)

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-12-10 07:03


Regarding pro players who play the Vandoren M13 or M13 lyre. There are actually quite a few. Burt Hara at least before he moved to the LA Phil played an M13 lyre. Gregory Raden in Dallas plays an M13 lyre and has used an M13. Michael Wayne in the Boston Symphony plays an M13 lyre. Victoria Luperi when she was with the Ft. Worth Symphony played an M13 lyre. I'm not sure if she still does in the Pittsburgh Symphony. Reis McCullough, solo clarinet in the US Army Field Band plays an M13 lyre with the band and in concerts with strings. Most of these have in the past recommended M13s to their students and only prefer the M13 lyre for its added flexibility and slightly rounder sounds. Jenny McClay plays a regular M13. If I recall correctly, before John Yeh switched first to an M40 lyre and then to the BD5, he too played and recommended M13 lyre in the Chicago Symphony. There are still more who have used both M13 and M13 lyre successfully in orchestral playing, even if they later switched to something else. So I would say that both the M13 lyre and the M13 have been taken as serious classical mouthpieces by very competent professional performers. Of course that doesn't necessarily make them the best choice.

Post Edited (2017-12-12 00:36)

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: jeffyx 
Date:   2017-12-11 11:24

I can tell that you really like the Buffet prodige. However, as you said, you'd be selling the clarinet for $200-300 and then buying a $700 clarinet! I would rather have a complete overhaul.

To me, I would keep the clarinet, change the mouthpiece, then see what to do from there on. You can ask other professionals about their opinion on mouthpieces but I use the BD5.

Honestly, all this nonsense about a rough textured bell is all BS to me. Although it might help, the change is so insignificant, it's definitely not worth it. It's all marketing fluff.

You mentioned that your orchestra mate's clarinet played much better than yours. Just wondering, what does he play? Usually, if the interval switch between the lower register and upper register is iffy, it can be solved by replacing the pad on the register key with a cork one.

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: PeterB1517 
Date:   2017-12-12 01:48

Thanks for all the helpful opinions. They probably saved me from wasting about $550.

I played for Dave Kessler for about 1 minute a simple upper range exercise. He recommended and I ordered the following. I'm not going to regret or 2nd guess it. This should help with pinching, reed placement, and other issues. I have 1st scheduled appt with clarinet not trombone teacher in a week and a half.
Vandoren M/O Clarinet Ligature 1 $35.00
D'Addario Reserve Clarinet Mouthpiece - X10E - 1.11mm Tip - Medium Short Facing, E Chamber 1 $99.00
Rico Royal Clarinet Reeds (box of 10) - 2.5

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 Re: Buffet Prodige vs Yamaha YCL-34
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2017-12-12 02:14

This board is great. Happy clarineting.

Stan in Orlando

EWI 4000S with modifications

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