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Thread: Yamaha YEP-641

  1. Yamaha YEP-641

    Hi! I am a high school senior auditioning as a music performance major at various colleges. Iíve read a thread about YEP-641 here once but I wanted to ask for myself as well. Iím planning on buying a used YEP-641 with a few dings and dents for $2300, and I was just wondering how good of a horn it is. I canít seem to find any videos or information on google and I thought itíd be the best to ask here on forum. Iím currently playing on a school owned XO euphonium.

    Would it be the best fit for me?

    Iím also looking at John Packer jp-274 and Wessex Dolce which are cheaper than YEP-641.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    The 641 is a good, solid horn. One of my students had one when he won the Falcone competition (he bought an Adams shortly after that). So they are considered a pro-level instrument, and some folks like them and some don't (as with all instruments).

    Here is a graph of the intonation of that horn compared to the Packer 374 (I don't have a graph of the 274) and the Wessex Dolce:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you read around the forum you'll find that the Packer and the Dolce are well-liked by many here. Wessex has shown very solid customer service and are quite aggressive at keeping quality high from the Chinese factory. I'm not as certain of how Packer controls quality from the Chinese factory they use (that is neither a positive nor negative opinion - I just don't have the info). And of course Yamaha's pro series have always had a good reputation for quality control.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,332
    As Dave said the 641 is a solid horn. I played one for about 14 years. The 6th partials are pretty sharp as you can see in Dave’s chart but with some alternate fingerings manageable (4th valve for the F for instance). The 641 has an 11 inch, one-piece bell - which I think helps it get a very focused tone. I still have mine but it’s on loan to my grandson still.
    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 HernŠndez) cell phone video

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    13
    I bought a 641 used in 2007 and am still using it. Compared to the various horns I've played as an army player (the OG Yamaha 642, Yamaha 842, Willson 2950, 642 Neo) I can point to things I have liked and disliked about each in terms of intonation, sound, response, etc. Nothing about the 641 is a deal breaker, in my opinion, and the build quality is solid.

    I would agree with Rick - mine is very focused and seems to bear some similarities to the old Besson that also served as the inspiration for the Willson 2900. If I had a whole bunch of cash to burn, I wouldn't mind shopping for an Adams/Shires/Neo or something like that and would consider it an upgrade. With that said, the horn definitely isn't holding me back - that would be having a non-musician day job and a toddler keeping me from practicing...

    In terms of price, $2300 sounds like a fair deal contingent upon how many dents and dings constitutes "a few". Other things to consider would be the condition of the lacquer/plating on a horn that isn't getting any younger, as well as the valves. A positive for the Yamaha is that parts should be readily available.

  5. Thank you so much for the detailed info on all three horns and the intonation graph as well! I think Iím going to proceed and buy the Yamaha as its reputation has always been good. One day I want to try Wessex and John Packer line though, they seem to be very nice horns. Thank you again, I really appreciate it

  6. Itís interesting how sharp those 6th partials get, I wasnít aware of it until I saw the chart. Itís good to hear that it helps with focused tone though, I canít wait to try it out. Thank you for the response!

  7. Thanks for sharing your experiences with the horn! So itíll probably be good for me for right now and maybe get a better one once I save some money in the future. Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,332
    I found an old recording of me playing the solo in Holst's Second Suite in F (March movement) on my 641 about nine years ago. (Pretty sure you're familiar with this solo). Sixth partial 'F' I played open while trying to lip it down. You can hear where it's still a bit sharp. That was one complaint I had with my 641 as it was hard to lip. Think it might be due to the high bracing of the top bow to the the bell but not sure.

    Holst Second Suite in F - euph solo:

    Below is a picture of the YEP-642 (L) and YEP-641 (R)


    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 HernŠndez) cell phone video

  9. #9
    FWIW, for a sharp 6th partial, I used the following on my Sovereign sustained notes:

    F (G in treble): 4
    E (F# treble): 24
    Eb (F treble): 13
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. Is there a significant difference between YEP-641 and YEP-642?

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