The Yamaha YCL650 Bb clarinet is where things start to get interesting withing the Yamaha range of instruments. This model is described by Yamaha themselves as 'semi-professional' and it is easy to see why! On paper the YCL650 does not look too different to the excellent YCL450 - it is made using solid wood, with silver plated keys. It even has the same mouthpiece, but that is certainly where the similarities end!
The solid wood body is entirely different when compared to the Yamaha YCL450. Yamaha as a musical instrument manufacturer purchase an awful lot of wood - Grenedilla is a common African hard wood used often in instrument manufacture and Yamaha buy an awful lot which givens them huge purchasing power. This in itself guarantees a certain quality but Yamaha then go to even greater lengths - The wood is graded depending on how straight and even the grain is, also how close the individual grain lines are. Imperfections are common in wood, knots and the like, but again Yamaha grade their wood depending on how 'perfect' it is. The idea is that the straighter and closer the grain and the lack of even the smallest imperfection creates an instrument body which will resonate much more freely - the same applies to the soundboards of pianos, the bodies of acoustic guitars etc etc. And this is where the all important difference lies. As the first of the so called professional models the wood used is of a much higher quality than the preceding models. When you couple this with actual hand finishing you really do end up with a rather special instrument.
There are masses of other improvements too. The YCL650 has a very quick and responsive action, primarily due to the blue steeled needle springs. Hand-finishing also goes as far as the undercut tapered tone holes which enhances the accuracy of intonation. This model has a special 65mm barrel design which produces a more focused tone. The flared bell has a specially designed resonance chamber which aids in overall projection - a real plus when it comes to performance - it also helps the tuning in the lower registers. This model also has an adjustable thumb rest so finding a comfortable playing position is very straight forward and certainly enables you to make the most of that quick and efficient action!
The instrument is supplied with a nicely made hard case with soft cover and shoulder strap and comes complete with cleaning materials, a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece and cork-grease.
- Barrel length 65mm
- Adjustable Thumb-rest
- Boehm Tone hole system
- Sold wood body
- CL4C mouthpiece
- 17 Keys, 6 Rings
- Silver-plated nickel silver keys
- Key Bb
- Tapered tone holes with tapered undercut