Play Tested a Yamaha Xeno

Discussion in 'Horns' started by RoccoNut16v, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. RoccoNut16v

    RoccoNut16v New Friend

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Texas
    Over the weekend a few bored friends of mine and I charged into the local music store to get some free thrills (aka play tested a couple of horns). Upon my entrance, I noticed the Yamaha Xeno on display, with a blunt $3200 price tag sitting beside it. Needless to say I was intrigued.

    Over all I found the horn quite limiting. First off the back pressure was a let down, as it was not near as free flowing as my beloved Bach Strad. It improved my range, but hampered my tone, an unacceptable trade off.

    Valve action was also a disappointment. The action seemed a tad unpredictable, with a change in resistance through the duration of the action. In other words, the valves got easier to push when they were about half way down, which I found quite odd.

    I wasn't impressed with the finish, or the case.

    Overall I was simply disappointed. After about 45min on the Xeno I picked my Bach back up (which I brought with me) to cheer me up again.

    Anybody else have an oppinion on this horn? Did I just not give it a fair enough chance?
     
  2. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    I personally found the basic Xeno a bit dull and boring, but the Xeno RGS is actually a fine player. Real vibrant sound.

    Van
     
  3. RoccoNut16v

    RoccoNut16v New Friend

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Texas
    "Boring" describes my experience quite well.
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    For $3200 you could put yourself behind something pretty special if you looked hard enough. I had a Yamaha in grade school and high school that I really liked - it was a YTR 739T and it was a pretty good trumpet. It have a fairly free and even blow, but because of the bell which was fairly large, when pushed it was a bit brash. I have not played a Yamaha since that I particularly cared for with the exception of a 6310 Z horn.

    I think that if one is going to spend the cash on a new Yamaha, the 8310 Z would probably be a good horn to check out.
     
  5. 65Strad

    65Strad Pianissimo User

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    Aug 28, 2005
    Toms River, New Jersey
    new Yamaha Bb aka "New York" horn

    I went to Yamaha's 53rd and 5th ave location last Monday to have Wayne Tanabe align two of my Strad cornets. They had the prototype Artist Series Bb there so I blew in to it. The horn had lots of body and core to the sound. More so than I recall from any other Yamaha. It was immediately comfortable/easy to play and very flexible.

    It reminded me much of my 1972 43 bell Strads sound. Dave Lotozo called it a NY horn, not sure what that means, but he and Wayne indicated that Yamaha incorporated some of Bach's older but beneficial design features. The bell seam is in the side, where the bracing is. My old Strad conets, especially the raw brass clearly show the seam on the side from the bell flare all the way around the crook where it goes in to the valve case. Wayne told me that many of hours of painstaking workmanship were done in vain because the location of the seam had caused many Bach bells to fail at the crook. Of course this was years ago.

    Incidentally, both of these horns benefitted greatly from the alignments, as did my '72 43 ML Strad that Reeves did in Sept.

    Never been a big Yammie fan but it was very nice. I suppose for $3,500 + it should be. I would have to give my old Strads the nod for tone quality though.

    Tom

    '72 Bach 43 #70503

    New '65 Bach Cornet 37 #30836

    '71 Bach Cornet 37 #58831
     
  6. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    The street price of a Xeno is in the $1450 to $1800 range, depending on your dealer's mood and time of year. The "Artist" models will be $3000+, but I wasn't aware that any Bb were available yet.

    What's the model of Xeno that you test?

    Dave
     
  7. 65Strad

    65Strad Pianissimo User

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    Aug 28, 2005
    Toms River, New Jersey
    They (artist series Bb) aren't available yet. This was the prototype at Yamaha's brass shop on the 11th floor. I guess from what Wayne and Dave told me that "New York" will be incorporated in the name somehow.


    Tom
     
  8. Paul Randall

    Paul Randall New Friend

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    Jun 2, 2005
    My 2 cents worth is this:

    As far as making an instrument for use in a symphony orchestra, Yamaha hit it's zenith with the heavy wall MK II instrument. Everything that they have made after that horn has not been as good, at least for me. The Xeno plays nice, but does not play big enough and the new "Chicago" model plays too tight and without enough "bark" to the sound. I guess I'm in the minority on this, but I'm glad I kept my MK II C trumpet.

    Paul R
     
  9. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

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    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    Thats my experience with the Xeno too. I prefer teh Mark II to the Xeno and thought the Xeno was a step backwards. Havent tried the "Chicago" model yet.

    Does anyone else have this problem, where the local dealers have given up stocking pro horns at all. It is like an open invitation to order from the brasswind. So unless I go to Midwest or MMEA I dont get to try horns out at all.
     
  10. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Actually, you have WWBW to blame for most of the dealers almost completely dropping their pro lines.

    Van
     

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