Thoughts on a Yamaha 8335 Xeno

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Shoe, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Shoe

    Shoe Pianissimo User

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    Hello all!
    I have recently had the chance to extensively play test a yamaha 8335 xeno trumpet, since my university has several available for students. I was play testing against my two horns, a Bach 72 and a Bach 37, as well as a classmate's older yamaha 6335HS II.
    First of all, the build quality of the yamaha was outstanding. The horn really feels great in your hands. the valves are nice and smooth, and the slides work well, even after several years of use by university students.
    The horn was very easy to play in tune, and the intonation was very good. The xeno, by all technical standards, plays extraordinarily well.
    However, I did not like the fundamental tone of the horn. I felt that i had to work very hard to achieve my particular sound on the xeno. Compared to all four horns, I felt as though I had to work much harder to produce the tone i am accustomed to on the xeno, and never really felt as though i got the warmth and depth to my sound that I usually do with my main player Bach.
    After several head to head comparisons, the best way i can describe it is its as if the xeno has a similar sound as my Bach 37, but without any warmth or depth, and sounded dull to me, as well as the classmates i had listen to my play tests.
    Surprising to me, the older 6335HSII outplayed the xeno, having very similar playing characteristics (the 6335 felt like it needed more air to fill up than the 8335) and a much more warm and rich sound, and I thought this horn was the clear winner of these play tests.
    Ultimately, ill be sticking with my Bachs, even though in terms of intonation, note accuracy, and ease of playing in tune, the xeno is a tad bit better than my 37 and a solid bit better than the 72. I feel more satisfied with my sound on the other horns to justify a slight improvement the other characteristics, so Ill keeping the Bach as my everyday player.
    As a final thought, im honestly not sure i would have noticed the difference in tone with the yamaha xeno had I not been playing on two relatively good Bachs to compare and had been issued this horn as a substitute from a student/intermediate horn or lesser quality pro horn, I would probably be overjoyed with the xeno.
    Anyone else have any thoughts/comments/similar or different comparisons with these horns?
     
    Sidekick likes this.
  2. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

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    Your ears are fine. I like the Xeno also but it does not have the warmth of a Bach. Great horn though! Need to own both!
     
  3. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

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    The Bach Strad line seem to have their own unique sound. I know lots of Strad players who just sound the same to me, not good or bad, just different. And you are right, to make the Xeno sound like a Bach, or even mellow requires some extra effort. Because the Strads are the standard by which all others are measured it is hard sometimes to like other brands. But if you don't want to be part of the herd then the Xeno is a good choice, but if you don't like that sound then, like you said, pass on it.

    I have two observations on my Xeno. First, it's physically heavier than my other horns, especially my Getzen. It can be tiring to play for extended periods because your arms get tired! Secondly, I find its harder to play and harder to keep in tune if you push it. You said its intonation is good, but I find it a bit lacking. As a result it is for me, for the most part, my outdoor horn when tone quality is less important and I just have to lip it around the tuning problem at higher decibels. Other than those two things, its a nice quality instrument.

    If you are considering buying it, and you have complaints about it at the get go, then you are right to pass. What is wrong with your Bachs? Or were you just testing for fun? Or does the school supply instruments and you cant use your Bach?

    Anyway, everyone has a different take on what is a great horn. For me, the Eterna Classic doesn't have that "sing songy" sound of the Strads, and is easier to play than any other I have played, but that's just me, your mileage may vary. Best wishes.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    We are creatures of habit. What you did was fight the Xeno. That is why short tests are really useless to determine the value of a horn. There is a considerable time to become "one" with a mate or with a trumpet.

    As far as I am concerned, Yamaha has created a much more "alive" sound with the Xeno. It has core (which was previously Bachs domain alone) and adds brilliance (not brightness) and projection to that.

    There is a reason why the Yamahas are so popular in so many various genres. The players have taken the time to really get into what Yamaha has done.

    I think that you have jumped to a conclusion. Extensive in my world is 6 months to a year - with someone who understands the horn can really increase the palette of colors that you can offer.

    The 6xxx Yamaha was easier for you to play because it was less different and you weren't interested in exploration, you were interested in confirmation. I think that the consummate player needs various horns and the open mind and chops to really maximize the experience. If I only was allowed one horn, it would be a Xeno.
     
  5. Shoe

    Shoe Pianissimo User

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    Testing for fun.
    The drum corps i march with marches Xenos and ive been practicing my audition/visual on a school xeno so i can use that for the upcoming camp/audition season and not have to drag my horns across the country.
    I had my 37 and xeno in the practice room last week and had the idea to play test them side by side. Then i just kinda kept going with it!
    The xeno is heavier thanmy 37 but not as heavy as my 72, but my 72 is kinda odd.
     
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    I have 72, modified by Spada, and surely is heavier than any xeno. It is a very versatile horn. I have no problem with it. Some Xeno are a little warmer, so I don't see the problem....
     
  7. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

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    Yea, my Xeno is an ex drum corps horn too. Nice horn. I suppose I could make it sound like a Bach, but why would I want to do that. Drum corps don't use them because they want to sound like Strads. Like I said, not good or bad, just different. The Yamaha sound has been said to lack warmth but don't forget that the player has to contribute SOMETHING to the mix. The sound you get has a lot to do with the sound you work on,,,,your distinct sound. It can be warm if you make it that way. Best wishes.
     
  8. Jolter

    Jolter Piano User

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    I'm a long time (7 years) Xeno player, and I think I tend to agree with you that a bach 37 by default gives a just bit more warmth (or should we say less brilliance) to the tone. Mine is an 8335G (gold brass bell) but the yellow brass horn is similar enough.
    Both have great valves and great build quality. It's really a matter of taste and habit which you prefer. For me, the Xeno is better in every way including tone.

    I'd say listen to rowuk on this one, as usual. ;-)
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I am confused about the weight of the 72. I am not aware of any extra heavy Bach. There is the lightweight 72* and the standard weight version. The standard 72 is within a few ounces of the 43 and 37 standard weight horns. The Bach and the Yamaha seem to be within one ounce of one another! Less than the weight of a valve guard.

    Table of Trumpet Weights
     
  10. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Mine is Standard 72. The weight comes basically from the Spada tweeks. It is not a heavy horn, but it is a bit heavier than a standard Bach. It is not heard by the sound, but when you pick a standard towards mine, you will notice the difference. However, it far away from your Ajna. The TT leadpipe and the trails for the leadpipe is what add to the weight. But that doesn't make it a "heavy"horn. It is still a standard weight tweeked Bach. I like the its big sound and the easy articulating, that you wouldn't have with many of the standard Bachs.
     

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