The YCL-255 clarinet by Yamaha is new for two thousand twelve and replaced their best-selling YCL-250 model, which is now discontinued.
Exactly how do you improve on perfection? Afterall, the YCL-250 has been the defacto standard for student clarinets for well over a decade. The new YCL-255 at first looks appears to be indentical to the old YCL-250, and for the most part the basic design remains unchanged. The two biggest changes on the new model is the absence of a bell-ring, and the addition of an adjustable thumb rest along with a loop to allow it to be used with a neck-strap.
The removal of the bell ring is said to improve the resonance of the bell and improve the overall sound quality of the instrument. We suspect most students won’t notice a difference, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the performance in any way.
Traditionally, the clarinet is rarely used with a neck strap, but Yamaha is recognizing the shift in this trend. We are asked more and more each day if a neckstrap is available for the clarinet, and now the new YCL-255 will easily support the use of a neckstrap.
The YCL-255 also comes in a case that differs slightly from most YCL-250 packages, however it should be noted the past year of YCL-250 deliveries have also included this same case. The case is quite a bit larger than it’s predecessor, although the weight remains comparable, and it certainly allows for more storage.
The extras in the package have remained unchanged. The new model still includes the Japan made 4C Yamaha mouthpiece, including the ligature and cap. A cork grease, reed, and instruction manual are also included.
This new model continues the legacy of the YCL-250 by offering the same ABS plastic body, nickel plated keys, 65mm barrel, synthetic valentino pads, which are more weather resistant then traditional double skinned pads and of course stainless steel springs.
Overall the YCL-255 will surely continue to be the standard in student clarinets. Yamaha has made no compromises with their new model, and despite the competition improving their offerings, most still fall short of the performance, durability, and quality of Yamaha!