Yamaha – Made in China or Japan?

“Where was this instrument manufactured?”

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in regards to Yamaha student instruments. These include the YFL-222 Flute, YCL-255 Clarinet, YAS-26 Alto Saxophone, YTS-26 Tenor Saxophone, YTR-2330 Trumpet, YSL-354 Trombone, etc. For many years the entire Yamaha band instrument line was manufactured in Japan, and stamped as such. In the past decade, we have seen instruments stamped “Assembled in USA”, as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and other locales. As economic pressures have increased, China has become the new manufacturing origin for Yamaha student model instruments. For about the last three years, all of our Yamaha student model series have been stamped “Assembled in China”.

“I read on the internet that Chinese Yamaha instruments are no good”.

This is simply not true. The Yamaha band instruments that are made in China are made with the exact same standards, materials, tooling, and quality control as the instruments that were made in Japan, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. In fact, if we were to cover up the “Made in” portion of a Yamaha instrument, even the most experienced technicians and players in the world would be hard pressed to determine if the instrument was made in China or if it was made in Japan. Beware of counterfeit instruments, they do exist and typically sell for under $300 on auction sites for a “NEW” Yamaha – these are garbage and must be avoided!

“I heard Yamaha instruments made in Japan go for much more money in the used market because they are ‘better’ “.

This is partially true. Because of the propaganda, all of which is rarely substantiated by any specific claims, many buyers in the used market will foolishly pay a premium for a Yamaha band instrument made in Japan, and music stores will gladly accept the extra dollars which further propagates the allure that the Japan made instrument is a better buy.

Ultimately, there is virtually no difference between Yamaha band instruments, regardless of where they were manufactured. The concern is real, there are many poor instruments that come from China. Major brand names have created new series imported from China, that pale in comparison to their USA made counterparts. Perhaps one day Yamaha will decide to introduce a new series of inexpensive instruments to compete in the lower priced arena of band instruments, but until then, Yamaha won’t risk their reputation by cutting corners on the most prestigious student line of instruments available on the market today.

If you have any questions about purchasing an instrument, feel free to call me directly at 877-88HYSON ext. 106.

Justin Varuzzo
Hyson Music