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 Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: AndersonH 
Date:   2018-07-14 17:27

Hello all!

I am looking for a new clarinet, and my teacher suggested to buy Yamaha horns. After researching for a bit, it seems that the CSVR is closer to a Buffet R13, and the SEVR is somewhat similar to the RC (in terms of bore taper, i think). Since I currently have a Buffet RC Prestige, I would like to try a SEVR, but it seems that it is not available in the US? I can't seem to find them on any online store near me (someplace in NY), maybe I could go to the Yamaha store in NYC to see if they have it there.
So can anyone confirm if the SEVR is available in the US?


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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: tkmiecik 
Date:   2018-07-14 19:36

I'm the new representative at the Yamaha Atelier in NYC, and we do have both the SEVR and SE Artist models available (Bb and A clarinets). If you want to come in and try them sometime, you can email me at and we can set up a time together!

Tom Kmiecik

Yamaha Artist Services (New York)
Artist Relations & Business Administration

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: BobW 
Date:   2018-07-15 23:56

Why do you want a new clarinet if you already have a Buffet Prestige RC ?
this is one of Buffet best

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: AndersonH 
Date:   2018-07-16 02:31


My RC is old, and when I first got it I just picked it out from a local shop. I didn't test for intonation, sound, or the evenness between registers. I chose it because the 13 year old me liked it. Over the years, it has cracked, and been repaired, and cracked again. Resistance feels a bit awkward to me, and the intonation is quite all over the place, and when I let my teacher play it he said it is a bit "wild".

Now that I am older (and hopefully wiser and more experienced), I wish to purchase a new one and this time take care of it. Rather than buying a buffet, my teacher recommended trying Yamaha clarinets. Since they are affordable, and consistent, and I liked how my teachers' one played, I felt that maybe now it's time to get a new one.

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-07-16 08:00

Last year I played the CSVR and the SEVR. Also played the German 3. This week I will test out the newly designed CSVR-ASP, which has an added lower key and a larger bore similar to the SEV series at the Yamaha headquarters near Disneyland California. It's a bit pricey listed at about $8000. Folks don't just go there and say hi I want to try out instruments. They won't let you in. Sometimes it takes months to get in, of they will tell you to contact your local store and they will sent them to your favorite store. This is OK. The horns play really well. Most likely the first time you blow into it you will say WOW!

So last year I really liked the CSVR's because for me the upper register was amazing, compared to the R13. I cannot agree with the SEVR playing like the RC. I tried the RC several years ago and didn't like it, but I do like the SEVR's a lot. So That's my opinion. It is a larger bore so I'm more inclined to compare it to the Selmer Signature which I really like. In fact the 2 horns I came close to buying were the Signature and Guy Chadash's horns that play like the Vintage Buffet 1950/60's R13 horns, but better. They tune better as he moved the octave key forward. A set of either horns are a shade over $10,000. A and Bb. Sure beats the new $20,000 Backuns, which I recently played on tour up in San Francisco. I had a few hours to test them with the orchestra. The sound doesn't project enough for me. I want the notes to ring in a hall.

I'll keep all of you posted on the CSVR-ASP. But I won't write a review for awhile until I feel it's setup right for me; if I even get one.

The CSVR was playable right out of the case, both the Bb and the A. But the keys were too low so I had to adjust the keys where your fingers cover the holes. I did a few other things as well. A custom Yamaha barrel change and a mouthpiece tip opening change to really get that sweet sound out of the horns.

If I got a set of the SEVR's I would have been very happy. You need a bit more air in my opinion. Also tested the German straight bore clarinet and that was wonderful and underrated. You can use a French or German mouthpiece.

Tom Powalski has a set of both horns, the SEVR and the CSVR. Maybe do a search and email him. I think I spelled his name right. We both studied with Gennusa and he's a double lip player. He'll say the truth. He's that kind of guy. Being a Gennusa student he has a fine sound. However a lot of his music is electronic now. Live he is excellent. I may have an advantage over most players regarding sound as I had 7 years with Gennusa plus some fun with Marcelles and Fred Ormand at Interlochen.

Final words right now would be to compare the new CSVR-ASP and the SEVR, because of the larger bores. Lastly I tested several horns for about 8 months before going with the Yamaha's. My friend John Bruce Yeh with the Chicago Symphony set me up with Yamaha. Yamaha heard me on PBS TV so I became one of their artist. Several people have sent me emails from this Board telling me how thankful they are for buying a CSVR. Only 1 person had a bad experience, but Yamaha fixed the problem and he got a new horn in a very short time. Several people translates to perhaps 40 or so that left Buffet. One decided on the German clarinet. The gold plated model. You won't have to play 15 horns to find one good one. Probably just 1 or 2. So for what it's worth the SEVR plays more like the Selmer to me.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2018-08-02 23:52

"A lot of his music is Electronic now" ???? I've talked to the guys at Yamaha The CSVR-ASP is just an Alteri pimped version of the CSVR there is no bore difference. I still haven't decided which clarinets I like better the SEVRs or the CSVRs. If I was forced to surrender one at gunpoint, it would probably be the CSVR because I think it's more of a main stream type of sound and the SEVR is just really different to my ear.

Tom Puwalski

Post Edited (2018-08-03 17:37)

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: gwie 
Date:   2018-08-03 02:45

I played on a set of original Yamaha CSG's from 2007-2017, and more recently acquired a set of CSVR's which a fellow player here on the board now performs on, and a set of CSG2's which I went for because of the incredible A clarinet.

While Yamaha is already much better about having their basic setup functional "out of the box" than a number of other manufacturers, the CSVR-ASP model is something you visit the Atelier to select and have customized to your unique preferences, rather than buying an instrument from a shop then sending it off to a technician. It's an "in-house" thing where an Artist would work with the Yamaha people who designed the instruments in the first place. It's that way with Backun already, where one either sees them in Burnaby, or when the team is on tour to various conventions, or one of their certified technicians. When I got my MoBa, it was "ready to go" without needing further modifications.

A cottage industry has existed for many decades around the complete overhaul of *new* instruments from a certain big rather than trying to select an instrument from a big lot that might have a lot of variation in setup quality, then sending it off to get overhauled, getting a specific instrument "tuned" to your preferences by the people who designed and built the instruments can save one a lot of time and frustration.

Post Edited (2018-08-03 22:38)

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2018-08-03 17:44

I'm playing on those CSRVs that were originally owned by gwie and they play great, they have both been pimped by Tomoji. He added left hand G#-Eb to both and an octave vent low f resonance key to the A clarinet. So I have 7 Yamaha clarinets 681 Eb, SEV Bb, Sevr Bb-A, CSVR Bb and A and a 622 bass. I have owned one of every Buffet model in the last few years as well as some well known boutique clarinets and the Yamahas are straight up the best sounding and the easiest to play.

Tom Puwalski, Yamaha performing Artist

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: japinzon16 
Date:   2018-09-11 04:03

Hello! I am a student in the Southwest US and I own one of the preproduction models of the SEVR. My clarinet is the best horn I’ve ever played on, totally worth it, and yes, very available in the US.

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-09-13 07:04

Update - went to Yamaha and played on the SEVR and the new CSVR with the bigger bore and added key. Called the CSVR-ASP.

Findings were the SEVR are darn good! But long story short I picked up another set of CSVR's. Not the CSVR-ASP's. I like the smaller bores. The SEVR's and the new CSVR-ASP have larger or different bore tapers and if the CSVR's were not around I would have gotten the SEVR's. The A is a fine horn with a nice barrel. The Bb had some tuning issues that surely can be adjusted without any problems. Mainly key height adjustments. But the sound is what I like on the CSVR's. It fits my mouthpiece really well.

Now we have to remember from past posts. Like Tom Puwalski I dumped all of my Buffets, 16 R13's, but not all at once. Over a period of a year or more. Tom dumped some even more expensive Buffet horns. The cool part remains the same, all of the horns I played, 6 total were ready to be played for that nights concert. No need to adjust leaky pads and spend another $800 or so to have the horns tuned and undercutted. The 6 horns I was playing on I was mainly looking for the best barrel, not for sound or bad notes.

I know I won't ever change the minds of the true Buffet players for life and loyalty. I have to bring this up. In the 1960's 99 percent of orchestra players used Buffet R13's. I did. Well let's look at the orchestras now. It's surely not 99 percent. So keep an open mind. You don't have to pay someone $300 or more to go to the Buffet factory in Florida and hand select a horn now. Just order a Yamaha and chances are you will be very happy. If you want a special barrel you can order one at Yamaha in NYC, but I don't see the need to.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Yamaha SEVR/SE Artist in US?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-09-13 07:10

Oh, yes Tomoji is a master. A super nice man. He doesn't know what the word No means.

Last time I was talking with him he was repairing Bob Marcellus's old horns. Forgot who owns them now. He is perhaps the best. He is the to go to guy in NYC

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

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