Yamaha Custom 8315 /Custom 8310ZS / CustomZG Flugelhorns

Flugelhorns are few and far between when compared to the prevalence of their trumpet cousins. So when a clutch of new instruments appears on the market, our ears are pricked with anticipation. Yamaha have produced two new models – the Custom 8315 and the Custom 8310Z, of which there are a number of options. We chose to look at 8310ZS (silver plated) and the 8310ZG (Gold Brass) along with the 8315 with its laquered gold brass bell. The obvious difference between the Custom 8315 and the Custom ZS and ZG models is that the former carries a two piece bell, while the ZS and ZG have one piece bells that come with a noticeably bigger flare. Both new model lines also come with new leadpipes and upgraded triggers.

The Custom 8315 model is very light, very playable and has a very clean sound, although we felt it was sonically somewhere between a trumpet and a flugelhorn rather than the alto/counter tenor of the flugel. With this in mind, we decided to change the supplied, standard 7C Yamaha mouthpiece for something a little more interesting, to see if we could coax a change in tonality out of the instrument. Sure enough, a Taylor 3 immediately made the Custom sound much more mellow and warm. The Custom ZS instrument, like the Custom ZG comes with a Yamaha ‘Bobby Shew’ mouthpiece and this produced an indentifiably sweeter sound from these two horns. Both the ZS and the ZG models are a breeze to play, with the ZS having a true, tight sound with a definite edge, whereas the ZG has a fuller and richer sound, with a slightly more complex set of tonal characteristics. We can see the Silver Z cutting through nicely in a Big Band scenario, having the clarity rather than the depth. By contrast, the Gold ZG with it’s mellow tones would sit perfectly in a small combo and is very much a soloist’s instrument. As you might expect, each instrument is supplied with a quality semi-hard case.

For more go to procustom.yamaha.com

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