Yamaha 734-what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by chiefgearhead, Nov 7, 2018 at 9:01 PM.

  1. chiefgearhead

    chiefgearhead Pianissimo User

    May 30, 2017
    Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
    This is a Yamaha 734 that I bought a few years ago for the Santa Vanguard Alumni Corps. I did not want to risk damaging my Benge and thought this horn would be a good drum corps ax. After playing it a bit I determined it was too nice to risk damaging in drum corps. So I bought a DEG Dynasty 2v G bugle and played it.

    I've since added an Olds Recording and Yamaha Custom (Miyashiro) and the 734 gets no love. I've been trying to sell it without success but that's not the reason for the post.

    As I understand it the 734 was essentially a Schilke B5 clone. Yamaha began producing horns in 1966 if I'm not mistaken, and this 734 is dated as having been built in 1969 or 1970 so it would be a relatively early horn for them. From my perspective it's a beautiful horn. If you didn't know any better you'd think it was brand new. It is literally close to perfect. I can't find a single flaw in it.

    So my question is, "does anybody care about these old Yamahas?" or are they just not that interesting. In a perfect world I'd keep it, but I have absolutely no reason to do so. I'm going to let a good friend borrow it for a while so at least it will get played, but in the mean time, does anyone have anything, good, bad or indifferent to say about this horn?

    IMG_0357.jpg IMG_0358.jpg
    True Tone likes this.
  2. OldSchoolEuph

    OldSchoolEuph Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 1, 2011
    These are the horns I am aware of in that family:
    YTR-632 (1972-1977) Based on B6
    YTR-732 (1972-1977) Based on B7, or YTR-632 in silverplate
    YTR-634 (1972-1977) Based on B5, different bell taper than 632/732
    YTR-734 (1972-1977) YTR-634 in silverplate with Yellow brass bell
    YTR-636 (1977-1982) Refreshed YTR-632 but with yellow brass bell
    YTR-736 (1977-1982) Refreshed YTR-732 (B7)
    YTR-637 (1977-1982) Refreshed YTR-634 but with yellow brass bell
    YTR-737 (1977-1982) Refreshed YTR-734
    YTR-739T (1977-1982) Made to compete with the King Silver Flair, and not a Schilke clone

    The further down the list you go, the less demand there is for them - though I am not sure why. All are fine instruments, though the earliest behave the most similar to a Schilke. Therein perhaps is the challenge - to play one of these well demands the same skill level as playing a Schilke. Other than the 739T, these do not center strongly like a Bach or a Xeno. They are every bit as demanding of a proper set as the Schilke B series - but they reward the player who has that level of skill. The bells are Yamaha, so they don't have quite the same color as a Schilke bell, and the massing is a little different creating slightly different requirements for energy relative to the efficiency of a Schilke B, but they also cost a LOT less in their day than the Schilkes did.

    There are lots of references to "A poor man's Committee", all of which are more hype than substance as even the Llewellyn with its obvious playability similarities is still not a match for the intonation and response of a Committee (or the flexibility of the more popular second generation Committee). If there is a "poor man's" version of a horn, these Yamahas are certainly about as close as you will get. They still are not the same experience as a Schilke B, but they definately come closer to the ideal than any Holton 48 will to a Martin Committee.
    True Tone likes this.
  3. Robbrand

    Robbrand Piano User

    Dec 29, 2014
    Cape Town, South Africa
    A friend in our band has a YTR-634 - same as yours, but lacquer rather than silver plated - and it's a great horn. I would buy it without a second thought but he doesn't want to sell!
    I've heard a lot about trouble with the "Yamalloy" valves on the early YTRs but my friend's trumpet has no such issues - super smooth valves.
    True Tone likes this.
  4. jrd19580

    jrd19580 New Friend

    Nov 14, 2016
    I had a 737 that I was forced to sell to cover some medical expenses and it was a Fantastic Horn! if you really don't want the 734 you can send it to me :) Seriously, I added a Charlie Melk lead pipe to mine and it was possibly the best horn I have ever played. Had I not needed the money for some unexpected medical expenses I would still be playing that horn.
    True Tone likes this.

Share This Page