Yamaha YCL250 and Yamaha YCL255 are the top-recommended clarinets for students, but which of the two is the ideal option for you or your child joining the band?
Yamaha is a top brand that offers some of the best musical instruments, and their clarinets are some of the best in the market. The Yamaha YCL250 and the YCL 255 are two of the best creations by Yamaha, and they are rated as the clarinets for beginners. So, how do they differ? Because knowing their differences is key to making sure that you choose the right one for you or your child.
Well, we’ll start by saying that despite their differences, the Yamaha YCL255 is the preferred option because it’s not only built as a standard clarinet built professionally, but it’s also reliable and offers great playability thanks to its ABS resin body that leaves you with a durable clarinet that delivers a very decent sound quality. The YCL255 is also very lightweight, which translates to very comfortable playability.
|Traditional bell design
|Improved for good sound projection
|Adjustable thumb rest with a sling ring
|Adjustable thumb rest with a strap ring
While there aren’t many differences between these two clarinets, there are subtle improvements made to the YCL255 that make it a preferable option for many beginners.
But how does the YCL255 differ from the YCL250?
The Yamaha YCL255 is the YCL250 successor, which means that some of its features have been improved from what was seen in the YCL 250, hence the promise of a superior level of performance in general. Some of the features that were improved on include:
- The Bell
This clarinet features an improved bell design. The bell is made of ABS resin plastic that not only boasts a solid design but also ensures a durable, lighter, and more responsive design. Its resonance chamber also has a bell assist function that projects the sound from the clarinet while improving its intonation in general, especially in the lower notes.
The YCL250 also features a tough ABS resin with a brushed finish for the bell and the body for durability and great sound.
- Adjustable thumb rest, plus strap ring
The older Yamaha YCL250 features an adjustable thumb rest like the rest of the modern clarinets, but it also has a sling ring incorporated in it. Unfortunately, the sling ring is not as reliable or efficient as the strap ring. You’d also need to use a large screwdriver to adjust the thumb rest. The sling is also angled almost horizontally, and this is not the best orientation because it only encourages a bad posture and a poor embouchure, and you must keep it angled at an angle greater than 45 degrees. And unfortunately, the sling ring may get away as you try to assemble the two joints.
Then you have the Yamaha YCL255 also features a well-built and adjustable thumb rest, which, along with the belt ring, make it easy for the players to play easily and appropriately using different desirable techniques. Then you have the strap ring, which enhances playing by taking the strain off the player’s fingers. Together, the thumb rest and the strap ring ensure more comfortable playing, especially for beginners. These are enhanced by the soldered solid silver rings and the screws that enhance the durability of the clarinet.
Both the Yamaha YCL250 and the YCL255 come with Yamaha’s best mouthpieces which are masterfully designed. The clarinet meets the industry standard for the students learning to play the clarinet, as well as the saxophone.
- Design and finishing
The best clarinets for students are made of plastic or resin, which is not only durable but also lightweight for maximum comfort when carrying. The Yamaha YCL 250 is made of a tough, brushed, and durable ABS resin. Its brushed effect gives it a nice, elegant finish, and the best part is that the build of the clarinet ensures that the instrument withstands hard knocks and rough use over time. The only catch is that the ABS resin will not withstand too much heat. This will not be much of a problem for you, but it might only come off as a challenge if you leave it locked up in the car on hot days for too long. So, don’t leave the clarinet in the car on hot days, even if you keep it in case.
The YCL255 is also robustly designed with ABS resin which makes up the 65mm barrel. This build results in a more focused tone. It also boasts a matte finish that exudes an air of elegance. The matte finish and the ABS build also enhance the durability of the clarinet, meaning that you get to enjoy the best value for money. The great engineering applies to the clarinet’s Valentine pads, too, hence a higher level of durability. The build of the clarinet also means that it doesn’t respond to temperature changes the same way as the wooden clarinets.
Both the YCL250 and YCL255 boat incredible keywork because the company has paid an incredible level of attention to the design and the build of the clarinet’s key. The keyworks are perfectly laid out, have spotless finishes, and unfussy build. The keys on both clarinets are strong, too, and easy to play on. These keys would also withstand some of the most severe and hard knocks.
The keys on both clarinets are nickel-plated, with nickel-plated ligatures, threaded posts, stainless steel springs, as well a straight tone hole that has a tapered undercut. The keys on both clarinets are durable, well-built, and easy to play. The stainless steel springs ensure that the strong keys resist even the most severe of the knocks and hard playing. All you need to do is to tension the keys and springs correctly because they tend to be unnecessarily stiff from the factory. The fittings and the pillars are also neat and well-finished.
Both clarinets play very well, and they produce a great sound that makes them perfect for students and music enthusiasts. They both boast great range and intonation, especially in the A, Ab, and Bb notes. The tuning of either clarinet is also impressive.
These Yamaha clarinets deliver great quality, warm, and rich sound; with great projection. The consistency of the tones is also impressive in the higher and the lower registers. And despite the use of plastic that results in more of a muffed sound at the end of the spectrum, the sound from the clarinets is pretty great.
The Yamaha YCL250 and YCL255 are both ABS Resin build clarinets perfect for beginners. Between the two, however, the YCL255 is a better option as it boasts a higher degree of playability, and the keys, barrel, body, and tone holes are all designed to deliver the best quality sound and the best value for your price.
Why choose the YCL255 over the YCL250?
Well, the YCL255 Yamaha is a high-performance clarinet that is perfect for entry-level students thanks to the resonant, warm tones, a nice and attractive matte finish, the adjustable thumb-rest design, and the durability of the ABS Resin body.
What should you look for when buying a clarinet for beginners?
Look for a clarinet that is easy to play, lightweight, but still plays like the professional-level clarinet.