NEW Yamaha YFL-212 Beginners Flute…
Wow, even writing YFL-212 feels very odd! Ever since I’ve been in this industry (1996) the premium student flute on the market has been the Yamaha YFL-211. Sure, it’s had the odd roman numeral II or lettering after it but fundamentally the 211 has always been a 211. It’s become synonymous with quality and a safe bet for any student starting out. Why? Well, it’s surely been the best engineered model in production since the early 1990’s and the headjoint cut has been especially easy for new players to strive on.
So, as we pass April 2016 the 211 is no more and is due to be imminently replaced with the Yamaha YFL-212. Presumably that means it’s -1 better?! Well, let’s take a look at what, if anything has changed…after all how do you improve on perfection?
What do Yamaha say?: “Our new flute helps players maximise their ability and reach their aspirations…” Ok, that’s pretty generic but it’s all nice in theory. Let’s actually cover the new features one by one:
- Pointed Key Arms: Otherwise known as ‘French’ Pointed key arms the new YFL-212 now features the same key mechanism design as some of the more expensive Yamaha models. The addition of the pointed key arm makes these keys more sturdy and even in how they depress the pad underneath them. This means the flute can play more easily and that pad wear is more even.
- New Pad Cup Style/Shaping: After some research and testing Yamaha have modified the actual pad cup shaping. So, these are the key cups where your fingers sit atop the key. The new design is apparently more ergonomic and comfortable with a more natural feel.
- New Optimised Pads: A new quality of pads are being fitted, designed to be more durable and to seat even better across the toneholes. This should make the instrument play even more easily and reliably.
- Hard Carrying Case: Commonly these beginner flutes are purchased for younger players and thus they need protection! The new hard case with a carry handle should make the instrument easy to transport but with added protection from the usual bumps and knocks that can happen at school, on the bus etc.
The flute is the #1 instrument in Japan, and suffice to say Yamaha take their flute production very seriously. Word has it that these changes have been amongst the most researched, and carefully designed of any student level changes they’ve ever made. It can be dangerous to change a winning formula but clearly the main core and theoretical design of the YFL-211 that made it so popular has remained and the new changes on the YFL-212 have been carefully thought out to perfect it even further.
Our Verdict: It’s a classic Yamaha model tweaked for even greater usability. Clearly still the #1 beginner flute on the market and for good reason.
Author: Sam (Woodwind Specialist)