This is a very nice clean condition Yamaha YCL-457-20 which is a classic 20 key German/Ohler system clarinet. Yamaha have been producing a range of German system clarinets for many years and they are still in use across parts of Europe. This model is just a few years old.
The German system clarinets have a few differences from the usual French/Boehm system models that we see 99.9% of the time here in the UK:
1. For a start the German models tend to have a wider bore and make a richer, denser sound than the often brighter and more strident French style clarinets (think Buffet R13 etc).
2. The key layout is different. Fundamentally most things you would expect are in the same place, however the most difference is felt in the right hand little finger. On a usual French style clarinet there would be four keys here there are just two on the German system. Essentially this means that you don't have the doubling up of left and right hand options for the Eb key for example. The flip of that is that this system can have operational benefits to the intonation because of the change in tone hole positions and the extra vents on certain keys including the ring finger C/G on the left hand which when depressed opens a vent hole to clean that note up and keep it nicely in tune, on a normal French system this is not possible.
3. It's advised that you use a German system style mouthpiece on these models. That is because the lay, facing curve, tip opening and internal bore of those mouthpieces are designed to complement the internal bore shaping of the clarinet to keep it all nicely in tune. There is the original Yamaha German system mouthpiece supplied with this instrument (in good condition) as well as a string style Vandoren ligature with cap.
4. If using the advised German style mouthpiece supplied (or indeed if buying a different German style mouthpiece) it's also necessary to use German style reeds so they fit correctly. These are available from Vandoren in the White Master series and we sell them here at Dawkes. You would usually need a 1/2 strength harder than you may be used to because of the very long lay and close tip opening of the mouthpiece, it won't feel 1/2 strength harder though because of the design.
In summary, this is a nice clean example of this popular mid-level wooden German style Yamaha clarinet. The YCL-457-20 model produces a rich, dark sound and would be suitable for either a UK player wanting to use the German system out of curiosity or for acoustical reasons, or of course it may be attractive to a European buyer who already uses the system but is looking for a wooden model.
- Fully checked and set-up in our workshops prior to sale
- German System Bb Clarinet with 20 key layout
- Supplied in original Yamaha case
- Comes with original Yamaha German style mouthpiece (used but good condition)
- Try on 14 day approval
Our Secondhand Instruments come with 6 months warranty and are fully checked by our on-site workshop.
For a quick explanation, see our Secondhand video
We ship to a large number of Countries. Select at the
As a specialist we stock large amounts of Woodwind & Brass Instruments and Accessories
Dawkes Music have been voted best Classical Music shop