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Thread: Yamaha 642 Neo

  1. #1

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    The Tuba Exchange got one in and I have spent about an hour on the instrument using an Alliance DC2 mouthpiece, playing it and comparing it to the Besson 967.

    First, it should be called the 642 Neo. That is on the case and is what is engraved on the bell. 642 only appears on the second valve. Yamaha is obviously branding it so.

    It is a very good horn indeed. I liked it a lot. It sort of splits the difference in sound between the standard 642 and the Besson Sovereign -- but more to the Besson side than the old 642 side. It has that lively, buzzy resonance with a colorful sound field which is representative of the Besson and Besson clones. Nice harmonics. But it stays a little more to the strong core sound concept, which is the traditional American view of a proper euphonium sound, than does the Besson. The sound is a little less open than the Besson; the sound may be richer and more complex, though, than the Besson.

    Intonation is the same old good 642 intonation and, FWIW, it has a much better high B natural (treble C#) than the Sovereign.

    You can really tell this is a euphonium tweaked by and for brass banders.

    I want to put some other mouthpieces in it and see how it plays, especially with the SM3U and the Heritage 3AL.


  2. #2

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    Does it have the 842s shortened 1st valve tubing or is it still long?
    Adams E3 0.6 with SS Bell
    K&G 3.5D

  3. #3

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    still long, i believe. c was a little flat even with the 1st valve slide in all the way.

  4. Yamaha 642 Neo

    Since this new horn is based off of the old 642, can we assume that the leadpipe placement is similar? The 842 inexplicably put the leadpipe much lower on the bell like Willson does, requiring the player to either hold up the instrument or requiring some sort of external support like a pillow. I found that very annoying. The old 642's leadpipe placement was perfect for me, allowing a comfortable posture while resting the instrument on your lap while playing.

  5. #5

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    I believe the main changes from the original 642 are in the leadpipe taper and the bell taper. I haven't played the original 642 in a while but the Neo is comfortable to hold and play.

  6. #6

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    From the Yamaha Neo Facebook page:

    "The new Neo is based around the design of the YEP-642 (Maestro). The main difference between the two models is the bell of the new Neo, along with the first branch which have been completely redesigned. Part of this redesign includes a new thicker gauge metal. One of the many positive effects this has had is that it enables the player to balance a deep lower register with a light upper register."

    Not sure about the light upper register, but it has a deep lower register. The instrument has more blowing resistance than the traditional 642.

  7. #7

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    I decided to buy the Neo and sell my Sovereign 967. The Neo does a lot right: it has a smooth, even response from top to bottom; a dark, focused sound; wonderful, deeply resonant, low and mid-range sound; a good singing high range; and great intonation.

    Plus I like the more focused sound of it compared to the 967.

    The downside it that it blows less freely that the 967, but that is as much a matter of playing it in than anything else.

    It plays beautifully and plays with a beautiful sound. Hats off to those Brits who did the mods to the original 642.

  8. #8

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    AndyCat on TubeNet posted this video from Yamaha showing the Neo Tuba and Euph with playtests:

    Very beautiful sounding instrument!
    Adams E3 0.6 with SS Bell
    K&G 3.5D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    Darn, I was just up at TubaExchange this past Monday. If I had made it up there a bit earlier (before John bought it), I could have tried it out.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  10. #10

    Yamaha 642 Neo

    Hi Rick, let me know when you are in town if you've got the time to visit.

    I've been working to find the best mouthpiece for me on the horn; so far the Alliance 2 is working out the best, really opening up the sound. Watching the video, it looks like Walsh may also be using an Alliance.


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