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 Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: echi85 
Date:   2018-01-22 06:48

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to try a pair of new Yamaha CSVRs. These are the ones that have been getting a lot of buzz on this forum. A colleague of mine went to the atelier in LA and hand picked these instruments. We tried them in a real life setting; a large open space where we could judge sound from a distance.

Initial impressions:

These instruments are setup pretty well. They seal like a drum. The pads are seem to be well seated and there were no major defects. The ergonomics for me felt a bit off. Key heights in particular seemed to be a problem. For example, the height of the register key didn't match the level of the thumb F hole. If I bought a set, I would still need to send them to a repair man in order to fix the feel of them and also to put cork pads in the top joint.

Sound:

These were tested first with the stock barrels.

The Bb clarinet was ok. In a direct comparison between the Yahama CSVR Bb to my R-13 Bb, mine was a clear winner in terms of sound. The R-13 had more color and ring in the sound. Another colleague said mine was the one that captured her attention. To be fair, I have a really excellent R-13 so it's not really a knock on the Yamaha.

The A clarinet was very good. In terms of sound and resistance, it felt like a Bb clarinet. The tubbyness that is common with R-13 A clarinets was not there at all. It had a great deal more freedom and color in the sound. This was the instrument that we did the most testing on.

Testing the A clarinet:

We played a variety of excerpts blindly for each other, going through our R-13 As and the Yamaha. We played the same excerpt and had the other say which one was the best out of 3. Initial impressions were that the Yamaha was the clear favorite. It had a ton more projection and life in the sound. However, after a while, we started to notice some things that were less appealing. These became more apparent the farther away we went. We did testing from the podium and from about 15 feet further back. In exchange for liveliness of sound, the Yamaha seemed to lack lower partials and body to the sound. It was to the point where the sound started to get strident, particularly in the left hand clarion.

The scale of the instrument also started to show it's flaws. The throat tones in particular, were much more hollow and didn't match the ringing sound of the clarion. We tried mixing and matching different barrels to see if we could adjust these qualities but nothing really seemed to work. The instrument's strengths were for light and loud excerpts, but it showed problems in slower, more delicate excerpts.

Intonation also seemed to be slightly funny. The chalumeau and clarion were excellent, but the altissimo register on the Yamaha was very sharp compared to the Buffets. You can play F#6 with out the rh sliver key. E6 didn't really need the Eb pinky to be in tune. Side F#6 was also very high. We have both played R-13s for most of our lives so perhaps we are used to compensating in certain ways.

Conclusion:

To put it simply, the Buffets had a luminous quality to the sound that the Yamahas did not. The Buffets were darker and duller than the Yahama, but they made up for it by having a better balance of partials. They sounded whole while the Yamaha was lively but hollow.

To be fair, my colleague deliberately chose an A clarinet that had a lighter sound. He told me that there were others he tried that were darker. I don't think it's completely representative of the line of clarinets. However, I found the same kind of hollow quality in a Yamaha 881 Eb I tried last year.

I am biased in that I have played Buffets all my life so perhaps it's a sound that I am used to hearing. From what I understand these new CSVRs are significantly better than previous iterations. Also, both of our R-13s have had an extensive amount of work done so I don't think it's a fair comparison. However, the argument that Yamahas are good to go out of the box is not completely true. They are far better than Buffet, but they still need work, albeit less.

The price is really appealing though. They cost almost half of what new R-13s cost. For amateurs on a budget, I think they are a slam dunk decision. Pros should try them to see if they work in their respective concert halls. The leanness of sound the Yamahas produce may be better in certain environments.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-22 10:11

They weren't designed to really sound like a Buffet. So knowing this it took me about 3 weeks, a change in mouthpieces and some time to learn how to blow into the horns. I did change to cork pads.

I think with time you may like these horns better than what you reported, not that your report is wrong. It's simply comparing the Yamaha to a Buffet, and it takes time to learn how to get this richness out of the Yamaha's. They will never sound like a Buffet and I'm glad! The key words you used were dark. With the right setup the Yamaha's won't be dark, but warm and the sound will carry very well.

I agree that the A is probably the best A clarinet I've ever played, because they feel like a Bb.

The key setup I also agree with, too low, but I don't think you need to send the horn off to a repairman. I adjusted these myself. I also put a thicker cork on the throat A and G# which brought the pitch down. But I did this after I replaced the the keys with cork pads.

The sound is very live and I feel it takes time, maybe a barrel change and a mouthpiece change to get your horns to feel great.

In past posts you may have seen me take about a different mouthpiece and and a different facing. So it takes time sometimes to adjust to a totally different bore and learning how to play the horn.

Once I was happy, really happy, and the Yamaha's were set up right, I sold 8 sets of Buffets, going back to the 1960's vintage.

Yamaha offers a testing program. See if you can test these, have them worked on by Yamaha, and see what your position is in 3 months. Be open to change. Such as mouthpieces and barrel changes, but still use Yamaha barrels. There is a guy that makes the Yamaha barrels to fit each horn in NYC.

I don't think you gave the horns a fair chance. With respect of course. I feel it takes a few months in some cases and in other cases just a few days.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-01-22 11:09

i spoke to a number of professionals and they all say that the Yamaha clarinets do not project well. Your test confirms that.



Post Edited (2018-01-22 11:09)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-01-22 13:07

Clarineteer wrote:

> i spoke to a number of professionals and they all say that the
> Yamaha clarinets do not project well. Your test confirms that.
>

>
> Post Edited (2018-01-22 11:09)


And other pros really like them. So what does THAT confirm? To me it confirms that there is no one best clarinet for everyone, and that we should all be cognizant of our biases. It's all just someone else's story until you play it for yourself.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-01-22 16:34

Yes but have you ever heard of anyone saying that the R13 does not project well in general. I have not.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2018-01-22 17:18

When I chose the CSVR, I chose it over 5 high end Buffets that I had bought to play and really find out what the instruments were about. I had the Yamaha for a week before I decided it inherently was a better sounding instrument.

When trying the different Buffets I had a Divine, Tosca, Festival, Festival, and R13 prestige. I found that I really couldn't use the same mouthpiece and reed combination to get the what I felt was optimum performance out of each bore style clarinet. So shat is the chance that the set up that you've used an instrument for years is going to be optimum on a different brand clarinet? I think it takes a few days to find the "G" spot of a clarinet.

"i spoke to a number of professionals and they all say that the Yamaha clarinets do not project well. Your test confirms that." I'm a professional projection is NOT a problem!

If you want to do a better "incomplete" test go back to where ever you tested the CSVR and play it against a new R13 that you're opening the box on, one that hasn't had any custom work on, doesn't have any after market special barrels and bells. Then tell us which one you'd rather walk out of the store with and take straight to a gig or rehearsal with.

Tom Puwalski, Yamaha and D'Addario artist, author of the Clarinetists Guide to Klezmer, Klezmer Basic training, and former Principal clarinetist, United States Army Field Band.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-01-22 18:20

Thanks echi85 for posting. Very interesting to hear pro and cons. That's what makes this bboard so interesting.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: echi85 
Date:   2018-01-22 18:41

For those who play a CSVR, what mouthpiece/reed setup do you use? My colleague and I have different styles of playing. Our setups reflect that. I have always preferred a lighter, responsive, flexible setup whereas my colleague plays a darker, more covered setup.

The resistance of the Yamaha felt really good to play. but it just didn't have any hold to the sound. Like many pieces of equipment, it was deceptive. It felt great up close, but it didn't sound as whole as a Buffet from a distance.

In testing, one of the Yamaha stock barrels was better than the rest. It still didn't give the instrument enough body though.

This may be just my opinion, but all the work I've had done on my Buffets didn't really change the inherent sound of the instruments. The work just made them feel better and play better in tune. I don't think that the Yamaha I tried will sound different even after an overhaul.

My main point of contention is the idea that you can buy a Yamaha and start using it at a high level. In this singular case, I don't think it's true for most professionals. They still need work. I'm open to trying more of them. However, I've already had two experiences that echo what I hear about them in the professional world.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Clarineteer 
Date:   2018-01-22 18:51

I agree that the new R13's are not up to par. The comparisons were done with 1960's R13's which are superior to todays R13's.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: brycon 
Date:   2018-01-22 22:49

Eric,

Your evaluation pretty much mirrors my own: the main drawback of the Yamaha is not getting the same power as an R13 (I play Prestiges for what it's worth). Otherwise, they're very nice instruments. And perhaps with some expert repair work, they could be made to project more similarly to an R13.

But if you're playing second to a particular type of principal player, doubling in a pit orchestra, playing in a wind ensemble, etc., I can see Yamahas making an excellent instrument, especially for the price. And if I were an amateur, I'd most likely buy a set of Yamahas over a Buffet.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-01-22 22:57

Eric, thank you for your review of the Yamaha CSVR. We need more reviews like yours in which players listen to one another in realistic acoustical settings and correct any false impressions their colleagues may have.

The main claims on this board for the CSVR have been 1) this Yamaha model is a great choice for serious students because of quality control, factory set-up, and price, and 2) this Yamaha model is a worthy replacement for well-selected, well-set-up Buffets among pro orchestral players. Your review seems to confirm the truth of the first assertion--the average CSVR plays better out the box than the average Buffet R13 and costs much less, and that is even more true for the clarinet in A--but it seriously challenges the validity of the second assertion. Doubtless we all hear sounds somewhat differently but I have no trouble accepting that the natural timbre of a good Buffet is more "luminous" than the Yamaha and the Yamaha is more "hollow."

Marcellus and others in the past have described the ideal clarinet sound as round like a pear but glowing with a flame inside. The Yamaha is certainly round but the flame or luminosity is generally weaker than in the Buffet. I think you can say the same for the Selmer Signature and Recital models. They are stable, rich, and even lush in tone but lack the glow of a great Buffet. If you get a chance to try a Selmer Seles Presence, please share your impressions of that model with us. I hear more luminosity in that model than in most of the other Selmers or the Yamaha CSVR and SEVR models.

Buffet clarinets at their best have a quality of radiant projection, transparency and luminosity that is probably unmatched in any other Boehm clarinet. Even the handmade S & S 1000--a wonderfully finished and lovely instrument--doesn't match the best Buffet sound to my ears (although it is reportedly copied from a Buffet).

The Yamaha CSVR is the best buy on the market now for players in college and serious high-school students. Orchestral players are going to decide for themselves what clarinets they need, since their living depends on their choice. Each new Yamaha model seems to be better than the last, so Yamaha may eventually find one that wins over most orchestral clarinetists. But that hasn't happened yet. Yamaha trumpets have been used in the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and they now make a flute model that some consider world class. Their clarinets may be headed the same way.

A few years ago, many were sure that the upscale Backun clarinets would become the orchestral players' overwhelming favorite. Today, that predication isn't even close to what's happened. Some outstanding soloists and a few great orchestral players have adopted the Backun but most still play Buffets. Predicting the future is always hazardous.



Post Edited (2018-06-09 00:57)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-23 00:44

I've played the Yamaha's in fairly large halls and no problems with projection. Compared to the A Buffet and the A Yamaha the Yamaha's kinda wins out because of the tubbiness.

As Tom pointed out you have to be open to changing your setup. He also dumped his Buffets. So it you can take some time and adjust to the horns you may like them. They do project really well.

Tom changed his mouthpiece and I did too, I also changed my facing from a 1.03 to about a 1.06 or so and also made it shorter.

This is kind of a topic that no one will win, it's hard to change. People don't like change. But if you are open to change and willing to give Yamaha's a 2 or 3 month chance you may not go back to Buffet.

Knowing that the horns are 1/2 the cost of and R13 could be a factor. Some people think that if you pay more well the horn MUST be better. In this case I disagree. The CSVR's are BEASTS.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2018-01-23 01:13

I for one don't buy the statement that The Yamahas "Don't project well". Projecting "Well" is something that needs to be defined. When I practice I play into the recording mics, and I "See" the various meters and EQs that come into play when I record. I can also see spectrum analysis for every note I record. I have learned a few things by doing this and I learned a few things that are totally "not" true. More open mouthpieces don't play with any more volume, when set up with a reed that gives you a similar resistance, you might feel like you're getting more sound but when I've done it and looked at the meters, more volume would show up it hasn't yet. The other thing I've learned is that R13s have a slightly louder 3rd and 4th partials, than the RC and the Tradition and either of the 2 yamaha bores CSVR and SEVR. I think that is what that feeling of "power" that I hear expressed all the time. This is also the driving force behind everybody doing everything they can to "mellow out" the R13 with different Barrels and bells. I will concede when you play an R13 it "feels" like you're playing louder. I didn't find that it was and projection is ultimately learned on every instrument I've ever had.

John Bruce Yeh is using one in the Chicago symphony, in a section where they use Selmers Yamahas and Buffets. And as far as being "gig" ready out of the box, I got mine, played it for about 20minutes then used it on a recording session.

One of the other things I have found NOT to be true is that Older Buffets are better than the new ones. Older Buffets had to be serviced before they were really usable the new ones I had over the last two years, while still needing adjustments before being gigable, after they were worked on, were excellent clarinets. My 1965 Moennig R13 was the first to hit Ebay, the newer Buffets played better and easier than my old one.

The next thing we need to do is come to a working definition of "professional" Clarinetist.

Tom Puwalski, Yamaha and D'Addario artist, author of the Clarinetists Guide to Klezmer, Klezmer Basic training, and former Principal clarinetist, United States Army Field Band.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-23 01:41

First I wanted to disagree, but I you're right, seabreeze, and it has currently happened to me (as an amateur), that an instrument let me down after I was intially enthusiastic. It just couldn't tune as well as my Buffet with the rest of the section - even though any other aspect about it was better.

But I must have gotten a bad copy and when I was given a hand-selected R13, I found the sound rather dull (which was me? whole different world when the pro played it). And then again I felt that there are better instruments (and I had played better instruments already), but it didn't matter for him. When he sent me records, I might or might not have like the ones where he played on a R-13 - again impossible to tell. Remniscing about these things now, I feel overwhelmed by bias and have to question how much these issues matter, when I'm so unable to discern instruments and setups played by someone else.
I just wonder how these "acadamic" considerations have an impact on the quality of top notch orchestral music and how I, as a consumer, am affected by this (since, as you put it, their living depends on instrument choice). Heck, what did I play on the clarinet for as long as I can renember and still spend money on lessons, when I'm not able to say wether this or that guy on this or that clarinet sounded/projected/whatever better? Having grown up with the "german sound", I'm more and more starting to question whether german system clarinets are really necessary to produce it, just as I doubt the inherent superiority of the "Buffet" sound. By the way, most German pros are fully convinced "our" system is better.
Yet I'm getting more and more picky and overly sensitive when chosing an instrument, but for me, it's just part of the hobby.
My supposition is that the fabled Buffet sound has a lot to do with what thousands of musicians grew up with, while at the same time it might be very well possible for them to be better than other instruments - but certainly not all. Backun having few, but not many supporters now only proves that they can be used in a pro enviroment. Either the people deciding for them are wrong or found reasons more important than projection, otherwise there is no explanation for them settling on these clarinets. But there is no reasonable explanation for different clarinet systems either, unless one assumes an absolutely significant difference between them.
Bottom line: As long as there are no double-blind tests regarding these issues, I'm rather skeptic.

Best regards
Christian

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: echi85 
Date:   2018-01-23 04:21

I should add that I think the Yamaha projected more than the Buffet. It's just that it wasn't the type of projection I like. The sound had more higher partials but it lacked body in the sound. The result was a thinner, brighter, less round sound. I'm not saying it was thin but thinner. I want to be heard, but I also want roundness to the sound.

There does seem to be a glaring inconsistency in the argument for Yamaha. On one hand, you have to learn to play the instrument and adjust your other equipment to suit the instrument. On the other, you can also buy one and start using it successfully right away. It can't be both. The argument is not that it plays, but it plays to a high level right out of the box. This is where I disagree.

One definition of a professional is: a person engaged in a specified activity, especially a sport or branch of the performing arts, as a main paid occupation rather than as a pastime. I'm sure people want to say that professional is merely a matter of competence, but in this field I don't think you can make a good case. If you are a great football player, but not in the NFL, are you a professional?

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-23 08:51

OK I can agree with the sound of the projection being different. As I stated, Yamaha did not want to copy Buffet and I'm sure glad they didn't. I have played the horn in the Kennedy Center hall and so did the late National Symphony player Loren Kitt. For those that don't know there are a few halls at the Kennedy Center. This hall sucks. It's been renovated a few times but it's still hard to hear yourself play. I didn't know Loren very well but for years he was a Buffet player I think. If I'm wrote forgive me. I do know that hall takes a good horn to fill it with a nice sound. Loren was using a Kaspar for years. I'm not sure what he was using at the end of his career, but I do have his Kaspar measurements. The Yamaha filled this hall well, the one I am playing on which is pretty much the same as his. Not long ago when I played there a clarinetist said my CSVR's sounded better than Loren's. Grrrrrr! Lets start by saying it's not the horns it's the player! I probably just have a nice sound. The CSVR's pretty much all sound really good, you can make some changes of course which I will go into greater details. So as for POWER mentioned a few times you have the power. Actually when I'm playing with the movie studios the horn of choice now is by far the CSVR's most of the doublers are not using Buffets.

As a player that performs a lot but not as much this past year, I'm looking for that PING and that RING in mouthpieces and horns. Yes the R13's have that ping and that ring, and the Yamaha's do too, very much so. Yes the ring may be different, but the horns project really well. As stated above there is not a better A clarinet. It is so easy to play. This year I did perform the Mozart Quintet and the Concerto and I've said this before that the slow movements are the hardest. But the Yamaha A clarinet takes out that fear when playing. The Buffet's can scare you with the resistance. I also played the Copland twice and hitting the high F on the Buffet's softly in the altissimo register can pop to the A above it. With the Yamaha , that fear went away and I could attack the notes up there with total bliss. No fear. Maybe the shorter facing helped too.

So I think we are all actually 100 percent in agreement here. Yamaha's are different, for some people key adjustments may be needed when new, a 5 minute fix depending on the size of your hand, the horns are ready to play a concert that night, tuning in general is very good, but a Yamaha barrel change may be needed depending on the bore and length of your mouthpiece, the sound is amazing as I received standing ovations when I performed all of these pieces this year, and the horns will fill any hall as Tom P talked about and as I stated with regards to the Kennedy Center. Also the HUGE Orchestra Hall in Chicago where John Yeh plays. Even Greg Smith has shown interest in trying out the horns from our email conversations. He may have already tried out the horns. I'll have to find out.

So Yamaha can make barrels too to make the intonation better and also techs will adjust notes if needed. One guy there is like a Hans Moennig. If you want a reverse .010" taper, you got it! You can send both horns, the A and the Bb with your special mouthpiece and tell them to make them play perfectly in tune, cork pads, extra keys, gold plated, and in a few days your horns will arrive exactly as you wanted.

The keys are special, well the silver keys are. A patented silver plating. My horns are now just over a year old and I just wipe them off with a silver cloth found online from silver plating companies. No buffing, just a fast wipe. There is no pitting, no acid marks, the horns look new.

I'm not here to sell you a Yamaha, but I am one of their Artists. Thanks to John Yeh who recommended me. But I would have bought them anyway. I wouldn't have sold 8 sets of R13's, (16 Buffet clarinets) if I wasn't completely happy.

Last thoughts, I waited about 2 months before dumping the Buffets. This was when I felt I was getting a better sound out of the Yamaha's compared to the Buffet's and also felt so great playing these everyday. Each day got better and better. Yes the first week I thought the horns had a brighter sound, before talking with John Yeh and I bought a set from Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center, and I shipped it back. I didn't like it. So I do understand this post and confusion.

Please allow that adjustment period and arrangements can be made at Yamaha. So after a period of time you can still return them. But for the people that I've hooked up with at Yamaha, maybe 40, they've all kept their Yamaha's.

For kicks I'm getting their electronic midi saxophone! Maybe in a few weeks.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




Post Edited (2018-01-23 09:18)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-23 16:30

Thank you guys, I find it important to point out that these Yamahas cannot reasonably be described to project worse or better than a Buffet. It's much more personal preference and I absolutely respect that. That being said, if the CSVR has a thinner and more hollow sound than the R13, then I'd rather avoid it (for reasons described above)

Fun fact: Nicolas Cox, who was solo clarinetist in the Royal Liverpool Philarmonic in the Shostakovich symphony recordings conducted by Petrenko - and did an absolutely fabulous job. He plays on CSGIIIHL clarinets and apparently uses the german length P&S Zoom barrel, and if I've researched correctly, all his successors played on Yamaha CSGs too...
Apart from the fact that I honestly didn't know before what clarinet he played on, he became my favorite clarinetist in these symphonies, this makes me question again how much one is attached to the sound ideal they grew up with (assumg the CSGIII has a darker and fuller tone, but I think it does). He is a great clarinetist either way, but did his playing this partucular instrument or just his virtuosity win me over?

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2018-01-23 17:04

I was finishing up my Masters at UMD and was studying with Loren Kitt. I had recently tried and switched to a Yamaha SEV, Loren liked it so much he contacted Yamaha and they sent him a few clarinets to try, he selected a CSV a few years later he switched to the CSG model which is what he fininsed his national Symphony career.

I found out recently that the mouthpiece that Kitt played for the lasts few years with the NSO was the stock yamaha 4CM that had extensive baffle and facing work done by Merlin Petroff. When I found this out, I contacted Merlin and had him do a 4CM for me. It has become my favorite mouthpiece to play on my Yamaha clarinets as well as my centered tones. For my the 4CM plays better than the 3 Kaspars that I have. I don’t think they play very well when you unwrap them as they have a 1.30 or greater tip.

So for the first time, since I retired from the Army Field Band, I’m playing a production clarinet, with the original equipment barrel and bell with the “stock” mouthpiece.

Tom Puwalski

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-01-24 01:18

Christian,

Nicholas Cox makes his own sound on that Yamaha--wide, full-bodied, and velvety, but the design of the instrument helps too. Loren Kitt got a fairly similar sound out of a similar Yamaha clarinet, but the credit for that also goes mostly to him and not the instrument. Some players may sound dull and stuffy on similar set-up, and that would also mostly be their doing rather than any overwhelming tendency of the clarinet design.

Jorg Widman, one of my favorite clarinetists (who is also a conductor, composer, and pianist), draws a tone quality from his Wurlitzer 100 CS Oehler system clarinet that has all the center, vibrancy, and luminous qualities usually associated with the tradition French school of playing. His beautifully delicate, rapid, and light single staccato is also something to behold. The German instrument doesn't usually sound this way, but it does when he plays it, with the traditional string ligature. Here he is on the Mozart Concerto

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mozart+Klarinettenkonzert+Jorg+Widmann+Hugo+Wolff

Also, his lecture: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Leden+mit+dem+instrument+Jorg+Widmann.

Whoever thinks the sound from the German instrument is wide, covered, and heavy sounding is going to have to think again after hearing this. The tone is as concentrated as a laser and redolent in the detailing of a very complex overtone profile.

So, yes, the player makes the sound, and the best clarinets allow for a wide range of possible sounds, depending on who is playing them. I don't know anybody, for instance, who sounds exactly like Ricardo Morales on his Backun instruments.



Post Edited (2018-01-24 01:52)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-24 02:35

Seabreeze,
Apart from that, his Wurlitzer has been been in use for decades now, as he states in his interview. Incidentally, Klose of the bboard asked me to translate it for him.
As I've hinted, I cannot with good conscience associate any "inherent" sound with a particular instrument once different people have played on it - there are tendencies, but that's it. It's pointless discussing with many amateurs (and sadly some pros) that "our" system might be played like... well, like Widmann does; your descriptions above hit the nail in the head - sadly my english and knowledge are too limited for that.
There are people who'd seriously suggest that a vibrato is much more difficult on the German system (this argument might at best count with a very unfavourable mouthpiece/reed combo).
So I'm very pleased that we seem to agree on this topic.

My favourite German (system) virtuoso for now is Sebastian Manz, who has such an airyness and lightness in his sound. But there are so many great artists, it'd take a lifetime to fully get to know their work and appreciate them (not to mention other instruments, haha).



Post Edited (2018-01-24 02:40)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-01-24 03:11

We might add that another misconception is the Oehler system is only best for traditional classical music, but Widman proves that false in his compositions and performances. He makes mutlphonics, quarter tones, and other modern devices really sound interesting and musical and not just like a random sequence of mistakes. And, as I've said, he's got that Buffet-style ping and shape in the sound. If I were a kid again, I'd save up, buy a Wurlitzer Oehler and go study with him! Then there's Andy Miles, who chooses to play jazz on the Oehler.

May I ask you if German system players participate and sometimes win in international clarinet competitions? The winners and other participants I see in those seem always to be playing Boehm clarinets (most often Buffets). Is that just a mis-perception that I get from the news that reaches the USA? Or are there clarinet competitions just for Oehler system players?



Post Edited (2018-01-24 18:18)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-01-24 12:09

No, this might be true, as most German music competitions include international awardees, but not so much the other way round. I'm under the impression that a German system player will find enough competitions (and audience, I suppose) locally for them to not go much farther than Europe, and that'd aleary exlude france and the eastern parts, as they have a rather different sort of artists.

There's a 16-year-old incredibely talented girl visiting our concert band rehearsals regurlarly, whos going to study very soon, and for her, going abroad is out of the question, but there's probably no need to anyways. She recently got her L&K Full Oehlers. On the other hand, I know a few eastern european clarinetists who studied here - and now, one American, who's quite unhappy about other orchestral musicians' disregard towards his Boehm instruments.
A "superstar" like Fröst does seem to get around the globe more frequently than an A. Ottensamer.
These are the examples I could think of, but ultimately, I can't say for sure. Generally speaking, the broad rejection of the Boehm system in professional enviroments leads to clarinet sections being not that internationally occupied - see Berliner Philarmoniker for example. While competitions aren't limited to Oehler players, orchestra seats are, which I find quite disheartening.

Which leads me BTT: The Yamaha Boehm clarinets are crazy good for their money and will aid in the development of young artists. The girl I mentioned was extremely lucky that her parents invested about 12k€ for a set of acceptable pro clarinets, while anyone else can win prizes with instruments for less than half of that.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: gatto 
Date:   2018-01-24 13:53

>A "superstar" like Fröst does seem to get around the globe more frequently than an A. Ottensamer.

Yes, but the "profile" of them is totally different: Fröst exclusively soloist, A. Ottensamer mainly principal in the Berlin Philharmonic.

>one American, who's quite unhappy about other orchestral musicians' disregard towards his Boehm instruments.
>
>While competitions aren't limited to Oehler players, orchestra seats are, which I find quite disheartening.

I am quite sure that "they" know that the german system clarinet gets into huge trouble once they would have relaxed this traditional behaviour.

On the other hand, there *are* exceptions: obviously, late Eduard Brunner in the Bavarian Radio Symphony under Kubelik was (Buffet RC Prestige). And in Stuttgart there still is Dirk Altmann, principal in the South-West Radio Symphony, who changed from Oehler to Boehm during having his position (first to Buffet Elite, now JOSEF).



Post Edited (2018-01-24 13:54)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-01-24 18:35

Wow, Josefs are substantially weird looking horns. Has anyone here played on one? When Brunner was playing for Kubelik, he was playing a pretty old set of Buffets that were well pre-RC and had thicker walls than anything they sell now. He didn't have anything like what we think of as a German sound (he was Swiss, anyway). When you're that good, you can play on anything you want, just not necessarily in Berlin.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Hermi 
Date:   2018-01-24 20:17

Quote:

May I ask you if German system players participate and sometimes win in international clarinet competitions? The winners and other participants I see in those seem always to be playing Boehm clarinets (most often Buffets). Is that just a mis-perception that I get from the news that reaches the USA? Or are there clarinet competitions just for Oehler system players?


Two most prestigious clarinet competitions are ARD and Nielsen. Sebastian Manz is the only first prize winner ever of ARD competition and Daniel Ottensamer also won Nielsen recently.

Quote:

We might add that another misconception is the Oehler system is only best for traditional classical music


This is indeed a huge misconception. In fact, German instruments are better than Böhm for contemporary music as they (with more tone-holes) can produce much more multi-phonics and more microtones.



Post Edited (2018-01-24 20:21)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2018-01-25 04:14

This wondered off topic really quickly

Tom

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2018-01-25 06:48

Just wondering, what mouthpiece do you recommend for the Yamaha CSVR?



Post Edited (2018-01-25 07:20)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: christopher kohl 
Date:   2018-02-13 08:34

I hope to get your input about something. In another post (which I can't find), you referenced a CT in discussing intonation and the new Yamahas.

I have been playing an R series CT for 25 years and a 10G for about 18 years. The 10 has been very reliable, really nice horn. But, I just love the way my CT plays - the response, the way it blows, the ease with which I can get what I want out of it. It has some really challenging intonation issues though, that prevent me from ever using it in an orchestral setting.
Both horns have so much key-wear on them that I am going to buy a new instrument, and a couple colleagues suggested I might look at the new Yamahas.
My question is, is there a modern clarinet that approximates the way a CT behaves? I ask in part because we don't have any dealers around here and I will have to make a long trip just to test some out.

Thanks in advance.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2018-02-15 18:31

I have a bunch of CTs, a C, 2Bb, and an A. I think they were the last really great clarinets Selmer made. I think the Yamaha SEVR plays and sounds very much like the CT, with better intonation and the ability to get a more "refined" sound.
The CT has a Big straight bore, the SEVR has a bigger bore than other modern clarinets with a taper at the top and bottom with a big open straight middle section. The CSRV is a more poly cylindrical bore clarinet and I like it way better than R13s

I think if you try an SEVR it will feel very familiar to you.

Tom Puwalski, Yamaha and D'Addario artist, author of the Clarinetists Guide to Klezmer, Klezmer Basic training, and former Principal clarinetist, United States Army Field Band.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Drreeammyy 
Date:   2018-02-16 03:37

Been reading through the posts and thought I should chip in my very recent experience on Yamaha clarinets, in fact I had just bought a SE artists today, and I am thrilled.

I recently cracked my Buffet RC prestige, and I had been playing on a pair of R13s, way before that Yamaha 25, 650. Without a doubt I always had the "Yamaha lacked tone flexibility, characteristic or it just wouldn't project well." Even when I tried the old custom Yamahas few years back.

But I had the chance to test a pair of CSG3s with Hamilton plate alongside with my RC prestige and R13s in my conservatory concert hall, and my colleagues were surprised how well projected the CSG3s are, and not to mention they sound amazing.

On personal note I didn't quite liked the CSVR, but to me as someone who always had a bias against Yamaha, I am very happy with the CSG3s and SE Artists. I actually tested the Buffet Divine, Legende alongside with the SE artists today with a friend, and without any doubt he pointed out the Yamaha is the best sounding among all.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: christopher kohl 
Date:   2018-02-18 08:07

Thank you for your helpful reply. Side note: When I go to the Yamaha website, or anywhere else, for that matter, they don't list specifics about their bore sizes. Actually, there doesn't seem to be much info that I could find about any of the specs on those horns.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: klarinetkid 
Date:   2018-05-25 06:39

Disclaimer: I am a Yamaha Performing Artist

I'm quite late to the party on this one, but I've been playing Yamaha clarinets for the last decade in my orchestra and don't have any issues with projection that I didn't have with my R13's. I do not find the Yamaha clarinets to be 'hollow' in any way; for me they are extremely even and have great core in the sound. The overtones are different than a Buffet, but I've played with many Buffet players and had no problems with blend or pitch (beyond the usual problems that clarinet players can have of course).

If anything, I find it much easier to play the CSVR in orchestra because of the combination of ease of response and great 'hold' in the sound. I can push the sound and the clarinet holds it together. Here's a recording of some Brahms on a CSVR A clarinet. These clarinets let me sound like me (with all the good and bad that entails):

https://soundcloud.com/johnkurokawa/sets/brahms-trio-for-clarinet-cello-and-piano-op114

Just wanted to put my two cents in for what I think are some very fine and affordable clarinets!



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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-05-25 22:33

Thanks a lot for the recording, I really liked it. What's your mouthpiece /reed combo?
Have you had a chance to compare the CSVR to the CSG III?

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-05-26 00:11

Nice playing John! Mr de Kant would like it I think! (he was quite disappointed with my rendition of this piece)



Post Edited (2018-05-26 00:18)

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: jack 
Date:   2018-05-26 08:04

Just read through this thread and so chime in fwiw.

At the Orlando Fest last summer I heard a clarinet and thought to myself, that's a clarinet I could do something with. Turns out it was a Yamaha YCL-SEV Master. A relatively big bore clarinet only sold new in Japan. Turns out Yamaha had one in their Buena Park, CA facility because it was used as a prototype for a new horn now in production and being sold in the States. (Sorry can't recall the model name).

Tried it, loved it, bought it. Now have two Bb plus an A. Lucked into the 2nd Bb and the A on Ebay. They run around $4500.00 if ordered from Japan.

Tuning was almost unbelievable, not just close to center but dead on center on virtually every note in all octives. My teach said that was one of the reasons it sounds so great - it's so perfectly in tune. (And I've always labored to play the R-13 in tune).

So anyway after getting home with it and giving it a go, I later picked up the very nice R-13 which I have enjoyed for many years (and which is in very good condition) and my first reaction was What is wrong with my R-13? It didn't match the YCL-SEV Master in any category you can think of: particularly beauty of tone from soft to loud, perfect resistance, the way it reacts to different mouthpieces in extracting what is good about the different mouthpieces, to me it is just an exciting clarinet to play whether it's Baermann Complete Method or a rhythmic Choro piece.

Obviously all just my opinion.



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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: klarinetkid 
Date:   2018-06-05 06:46

Thanks for the kind words Donald- hope you are well. Kalashnikirby, I’m playing Ramón Wodkowski’s model 1 mouthpiece with Vandoren blue box 3.5 reeds. He CSG is a different animal- I played those for a number of years- beautiful horns.

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 Re: Yamaha CSVR review.
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-06-05 09:11

Update - since the first post. There is a newer version out now with the CSVR. At least for the A clarinet. Yamaha wants me to go there and test a few. No time right now. But I'll get there by July and post something.

The present A clarinet I feel is the best A clarinet on the market. The new one has a bore change.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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