I regularly get the question, “Would this instrument be suitable to Grade 8?"
My response - when it applies to Yamaha Brass intermediate models - is always, “and beyond!”
Yamaha’s modern engineering and manufacturing processes ensure that instruments in their lower price range are produced to the highest of standards. Yamaha promote some of the instruments I will be describing as ‘Student, entry-level models’. However from personal experience, I can confirm they are much, much more capable than any usual ‘student’ instrument.
The YTR2330 trumpet, available in lacquer or silver plate finish, is the perfect starter instrument for students and proficient players alike. The main focus for the design was on a light and easy to play trumpet. As well as a great sound and perfect intonation. The designers succeeded!
Yamaha design instruments with an emphasis on the ergonomics. This offers performers optimum support, assisted learning, progress and tonal responsiveness. The monel alloy pistons, and newly designed piston buttons and bottom caps, are well known for their good, consistent action. As such, minimising the need for maintenance while also maximizing sound quality.
To help create a lighter instrument, the YTR2330 has been designed without a brace on the main tuning slide and benefits from the ideal thickness two-piece yellow brass bell. The newly redesigned, durable yet light two-piece bell is made of yellow brass. This should allow for optimal playability and promotes good technique and endurance. Your sound will sit beautifully on top of the brass section!
The YTR3335 Bb Trumpet is very similar to the YTR2330 with some small, but significant design improvements.
For the first time, Yamaha has designed an intermediate trumpet with a reversed main tuning slide allowing for an exceptional feel and response. The 2nd and main tuning slides are produced using the same method as high-end Yamaha models. This provides stability, a more refined tonal colour and added durability.
The YTR3335 has the addition of a brace on the main tuning slide. Again to help with a more stable and solid sound. The wonderful yellow brass bell and monel pistons ensure a smooth and perfect performance.
Pub Quiz information: Monel is an extremely strong alloy of Nickel & Copper which is resistant to corrosion. It is used in marine engineering on underwater pipes and drilling shafts. So, obviously Yamaha used it for their valves.
The YCR2330III Cornet has a new medium/large bore size. This has been designed to assist the performer in getting a quick and easy response. They are an outstanding instrument for all of the budding James Shepherd’s & Maurice Murphy’s out there. (I know, I am showing my age.)
The 2000 series cornets now have a modified two-piece yellow brass bell. This means they are the ideal thickness. Couple this with a round lead-pipe and you have improved sound, playability and articulation. After all, we know how much cornetists love a triple-tonguing section. The 2000 series also benefits from newly designed heavier valve caps. This offers a full sound and great projection.
These great Cornets are available in a yellow brass lacquer or silver plate finish.
Yamaha's YSL354 Bb Tenor Trombone features many of the qualities of their top professional models. Yet, it is available at a surprisingly affordable price. The response is quick. The intonation accurate. The sound both rich and full. This I can verify from my own personal experience using this in Wind Bands, Brass Bands and Big Bands.
The bell is made from yellow brass, giving a tone that is both warm and sweet. However, it can be bright enough in the higher register to pierce through the music without overblowing.
The outer and inner slide is made of nickel silver, ensuring a ‘silky-smooth’ transition between slide positions. As well as being smooth it boasts a robust strength to prevent impeding dents, often cause by innocuous impacts with music stands, chairs or other musicians!
Yamaha never cut corners when it comes to the finishing of their instruments, and the quality lacquer and one-piece bell construction of the YSL354 is no exception.
All manufacturers market an entry level, ‘student’, or intermediate range of instruments. What Yamaha has achieved, however, is a range of instruments that would continue to support the musician up to a level far beyond, and exceeding, the expectations of all competitors.