Yamaha Ytr-232, Bobby Shew and the Emperors new clothes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by GrahamH, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. GrahamH

    GrahamH New Friend

    Feb 5, 2014
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I studied trumpet at Paris so long ago that Maurice Andre was our mentor. At that time in the late 70s many of us bought (and still have) the relatively inexpensive Yamaha ytr-232.
    It's history was -
    Nikkan company copied the last developed Mount Vernon Bachs, under Vincent himself in the mid 1960s.
    Yamaha after Nikkan had produced these improved Bach copies, bought the company.
    There were three models, the T1 to T3, similar components, different weights.
    The T3 was then named Tr232, and presumably because it predated the Schilke partnership they were promoting, it was unfairly called the student model and renamed YTR-232.

    The 232 had a very limited period of valve material issue (some10% of total made), easily fixed but much made if it by other manufacturers to damage the major threat to their businesses by brass companies worldwide. This propaganda seems to have worked as it put many people off this classic.

    I tried a Yamaha, Bobby Shew, lightweight, same size bell a few weeks ago. Eyes closed, I could have been blowing the same horn. No finger loop on the first slide and other cosmetic changes, but blowing wise, very close.

    I have never seen or heard a negative review of the YTR-232, it's 'replacement' in number range was a true student model whilst the 63xx series held more in common with the 232 in the reshuffled range.

    There must be many great 'sleepers' in old horns that should have higher recognition, but find one of these, blow it with an open mind, blind play it with newer models and I would be interested in your thoughts.
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Very interesting posting, Graham (and welcome to the site btw!)

    I got through Grade VIII (Haydn/Hummel concerto level) on a YTR-232 in my mid teens (early '70s) and agree that for a 'student model' it had a seriously good tone and performed very well for me up to a point. But it had some issues (intonation at top of stave, a bit over-brassy in places), and I'm struggling to see it coming even close to the general all-round solidity of my current (mid 90's) 6335HS II - (which is a truly undervalued instrument). Also, the design of the 63xx series developed out of the old 93* high end custom models, rather than the 232 if that's what you were inferring.
  3. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    I personally like the YTR-232, and while the Yamalloy problem is hard to ignore, the horn plays better than most student models. I still prefer the 6310Z, but the 232 isn't bad in comparison. Like Seth said, the 232 is a solid performer with a few issues that are to be expected from student horns.
  4. magnetman

    magnetman New Friend

    Nov 3, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    Ah, brought back some fond nostalgia for the nice Yamaha I played in my teens. I couldn't remember the model number, but with the help of this post I figured it must have been a 732, as it is the only Bb in the 1974 catalogue with a first valve trigger. Wish I still had it, but had to hand it back when I went off to Uni :(
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The only thing that is not "perfect" about the best student horns (including this Yamaha, the Olds Ambassador, various Conn, Holton models) is the development of Tone (yes, with a capital T).

    What separates the real pro instruments for me is the control and finesse with which we can add brillance, thickness or halo to the sound. This is nothing that we find in a method book, but it sure does separate the finest horns from one cut less! I have NEVER had a student or intermediate instrument in my hand that gave me the impression that "it's alive!" although many play extremely well.

    This also applies to a lot of the pro instruments (including a great majority of the Bach Strads) that I have played.
  6. Harky

    Harky Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    Lancaster, PA
    Seth: Harky here... In 1987 I bought a YTR 6340 (lightweight/lg bore). 25 years later it still outplays or equals any horn I've played. I did a lot of shopping around two years and the only affordable horn that was as good, for me was a Schilke B1. This is just my opinion, not gospel. Then I found out that rumor had it that when Yamaha was working on the 6300 series they modeled them after the Schilkes. Yamaha still makes them (not the light weight model unfortunately) but that series is still one that would serve someone who is short of funds but still wants a super quality new horn. I completely identify with you still hanging on to an playing yours! Don't let that one go! Keep tootin' !:D
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    That's all it is. A rumour put around by XENOphobes to belittle Yamaha.

    It's true that Yamaha did hire Renald Schilke Snr. (along with Eldon Benge and a couple of others) in the mid-60s to assist with their design development, and in Schilke's case, that consultancy role lasted until his death in 1982, the same year the first proto-Xenos came out. But to anyone who has the nerve to say that the 63xx series (and near identical 83xx series) were merely clones of existing Schilke models, I say bring out an early '80s Schilke horn that plays like a Xeno. I've got a lot of respect for the Schilke line, and more than once have been tempted to get my hands on a S32 in particular, but because my interests are drawn by it's differences not its similarities.

    Most times I'm back in the UK I take the opportunity to have a tootle on the latest Xeno. But even playing something like the New York or Chicago Artist models, I smile to myself and know that the $860 I forked out for my ebay 6335 was a hell of a bargain.

    No intention of letting go. And you hold on tight to yours too!
  8. Harky

    Harky Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    Lancaster, PA
    Absolutely holding on to it tightly and more so is still my first and favorite player. Period. ;-)
    Sethoflagos likes this.
  9. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Graham, welcome to TM. Thanks for the anecdote :-)
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Welcome to TM, Graham! As you well know, newer isn't always better.

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