Yamaha 643

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Yamaha 643

Post by Bonedaddy66 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:52 pm

Hello. Looking for some opinions on the Yamaha 643 with f att. and red brass bell. I know they look like an 88h, but did most of them come close to playing like one? If not, were they a decent horn in their own right? Thank you.
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Re: Yamaha 643

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:14 pm

Good horn in its own right.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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Re: Yamaha 643

Post by jpwell » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:42 pm

I have had mine since 1974 great horn. Still use the original tube of slide lube. 0 problems with it.
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Re: Yamaha 643

Post by LarryPrestonRoberson » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:38 am

There was a thread, or two, about the YSL-643 on TTF. Perhaps it's in the archives.

The YSL-643 was one Renold Schilke's designs, when he was consulting for Yamaha. There were two versions. The original had a nickel slide and a .551" bore. The updated YSL-643 II had a yellow brass slide and, I believe, the bore size of the slide was changed to the more standard .547"large bore. This seems likely, as Yamaha still lists some parts available for the 643 II. And the inner and outer slide tubes (even complete replacement slide) correspond to other, current, Yamaha large bore (.547") trombone models. From what I've heard, Schilke copied some of the design elements of the Conn 88H. There was also a straight tenor counterpart, the YSL-641; I presume that it was also updated with the afore mentioned slide changes.

The original version YSL-643 was my first F-attachment trombone—in junior high. I recall it as playing very open and having a full, but lively sound. The slide action was excellent—not surprising for Yamaha. The trigger mechanism was string driven and actuated quickly and quietly. The rotor was of ample size and the F-attachment was free blowing. The traditional wrap of the valve section allowed for an 'E' pull. And if I recall correctly, it had a line etched to approximate where needed to pull to accomplish this. I often wish I hadn't sold that horn. I sometimes see these for sell—usually the 643II. The price range is usually $600-800. If I ever have an opportunity to buy an original model, in near pristine condition, I'll pull the trigger—pardon the pun.

As far as playing characteristics, in comparison to the 88H, I would say it was geared for that concept of sound. It is more like a Conn and not Bach like at all, but still very different. To me the 643 is less like a Conn 88H than the Blessing B-88 (an 88H clone). But that's okay, because the YSL-643 is a very good trombone in it's own right.
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