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Author Topic: Bought a YCL-CSVR to upgrade a YCL-255  (Read 986 times)

Offline kurth83

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Bought a YCL-CSVR to upgrade a YCL-255
« on: October 25, 2023, 12:11:46 PM »
You may recall I was interested in left Eb key models, and bought a Buffet E12FL.
I discovered immediately that I do not like left Eb keys, it gets in the way more than it provides benefits.  Yes I find this a bit funny, feel free to laugh. :-)
This opened my "want" list to much cheaper models.
I found the E12 easier to play than my plastic student model 255, so I realized I was ready for a better instrument and the E12FL was not "it".

I am not sure if this is funny or not, but the E12 has been in the shop constantly since I got it.
It has a very leaky pad making it unplayable, I had it "fixed", and it worked well for a few days, then started leaking again.

Given all this I started thinking about what I wanted in a nicer clarinet.  I wanted one that would play when it arrived.  And I wanted one that was bright or "projects", meaning could be heard in a section.  All that narrowed it down pretty easily to the Yamaha CSVR.  And I admit I am sympathetic to Yamaha as I have had good experiences with them on other instruments.

Maybe sometime I will buy an R13 too, I would love to be able to compare those two side by side.

A comparative review to the YCL-255 is simply the CSVR makes everything easier and sounds better.

It plays buttery smooth and by comparison the YCL-255 is a fight to get it the notes out, especially the B when crossing the break.

The blow is much easier in the sense the sound is immediate and requires less effort (air pressure).  It is superior to the E12 in this regard, although the E12 improved on the YCL-255 but it wasn't the huge leap the CSVR is.

The high range is more in tune, although the YCL-255's high range wasn't that bad.

Sounds nicer across the board, the improvement to the throat tones is especially appreciated (the E12 also had noticeably better throat tones than the 255).

Tonally it is closer to the YCL-255 than the E12.  I think this is to be expected, the CSVR is the "brightest" of their three lines (CSVR, SE, and CSG - from brightest to darkest as I understand it).  And as I mentioned, I wanted bright.

While it may be the brightest of the Yamahas it is still a pleasing sound with the relatively dark BD5 mouthpiece I am using.

I also have a Polaris barrel on order which is known to darken the CSVR sound a bit.  I want to have that in my toolbox.

And yes, it played perfectly right out of the box with no setup, as expected, same as the student model did. :-)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2023, 12:17:49 PM by kurth83 »

Online philpedler

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Re: Bought a YCL-CSVR to upgrade a YCL-255
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2023, 05:36:22 PM »
I'm not surprised that better Yamaha models will outplay the Buffet E series. As you say, Yamaha excels with all of their instruments.

Offline lydian

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Re: Bought a YCL-CSVR to upgrade a YCL-255
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2023, 08:57:04 PM »
@kurth83, check your messages.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Bought a YCL-CSVR to upgrade a YCL-255
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2023, 01:27:31 PM »
May I ask what the current market price is for each of these models? I feel like value-per-dollar might be a useful analysis.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Offline kurth83

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Re: Bought a YCL-CSVR to upgrade a YCL-255
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2023, 09:34:27 PM »
Hmm, well the best price I could find on Buffets is from an online house that carries them all, namely thomann.  It's pretty easy to see them all, and their UK pricing is better than Yamaha's USA pricing (dramatically better in some cases), and unlike Yamaha it is not prevented from buying in the UK, just be sure you get a 440 model if buying for stateside use.

I've spent a lot more time analyzing the Yamahas.  So I understand their lineup better:

They have three professional lines in order from bright to dark tone (this is oversimplified I know):

Standard model and (USA) price Oct/2023 - Yamaha will not let foreign sellers ship to USA, otherwise you could get them for much less out of the UK or Korea.  Not sure why we pay more here.
CSVR   $3700 - 17 keys, silver
SEVR   $3700 - 17 keys silver
CSGIII $3800 - 18 keys silver (low pitch correction key).

Up-sell artist models:

CSVR-ASP - $6500 - 18-19 keys, silver (left Eb standard, low pitch correction key optional)
SEAM       - $6500 - 18 keys, silver/gold (left Eb standard)
CSGIII/HL - $5200 - 17 keys, gold (Hamilton plate - left Eb key and low pitch keys are optional, price is without either, the upsell part is the gold plating which has a better sound according to it's fans).

Both the CSVR-ASP and the CSGIII/H models offer "improved" tone over the base models, not sure if the SEAM actually sounds different than the SEVR.

Some of the up-sell Yammies are more popular in A, as they are considered the best A's that can be bought right now by many but there is not as much consensus on the Bb's.

Some of the upsell models are hard to get, don't know why.

It is also worth noting that the CSVR ASP has a slightly different bore than the CSVR.

We could also talk about the 450 and 650, similar to E12 and E13 I guess, but I didn't research them as much.

I can find principals in symphonies around the world that use them all (not the 450 and 650) - (mostly the upsell models AFAIK), but none of them are dominant from what I can tell, as all seem to be useful to somebody.

I don't think cost/benefit applies much here, it's what you want and are able/willing to pay for.  One person's 'benefit' is another's 'yuck' from what I can tell.

Buffet is playing the same game, the R13 hasn't been their flagship model for a while now.  And their other models similarly cost way more, especially in the USA where the price seems to almost double in some cases.  Tosca(nini) anyone?


Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Bought a YCL-CSVR to upgrade a YCL-255
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2023, 12:04:23 PM »
Aw geez, yeah I never really messed with top of the line clarinets because boy, if I had that much cash to spend on one thing, it probably wouldn't be a clarinet, I hate to say it!

And with those numbers and the level of playing, you are right - Cost benefit doesn't apply.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Virginia Beach, Virginia