Posted by Tim Cary on September 22, 1999 at 14:01:39:
In Reply to: YAMAHA TUBAS or A SHARP STICK IN THE EYE posted by never mind on September 22, 1999 at 13:39:07:
Hate is a rather strong term. The Yamaha Tubas are built to very exacting standards, and overall the quality of Yamaha instruments is very good. However, as the Yen has stayed strong against the dollar while many European currencies have dropped, their price has remained high. Also the opening of the Eastern Block has made many more horns accessable. My experience with Yamahas is they tend to have some inconsistant, quicky pitches, the tubas I've tried don't have the best core sound, and they tend to be hard to "bend" note to pitch. Also, I have found them to poorly perform at the bottom and top end of the horn. School band directors often complain that their brass is a bit too mild, thus leading to dents. Just take a look at the sousaphones at Michigan State or Central Michigan. Another oft heard complaint is that basic design problems with the horns are not taken care of, so many new Yamahas have a 10 or 20 year old design.
For some people, Yamahas are the right instruments. Their 822 F tubas play quite nicely. However, as their price has remained high, the alternative of buying a European horn has become more appealing. I think that most people would prefer a VMI 2301 or 3301 over a YBB-641; they are less expensive and blow away (no pun intended) the 641 in head to head comparison.