Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet Review

The speed of sound can no longer keep up with the speed of your fingers. Due to your expanded lung capacity, you can hold your breath for several minutes. You leave the beginner skill level behind, and you begin testing Intermediate Clarinets.

Considerations before Purchasing a Clarinet

The major consideration when purchasing a clarinet is the material used in the design. A clarinet body is composed of a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, and ivory. A good-quality wooden clarinet will last a player throughout his or her career. Wooden clarinets range from quality wood, such as grenadilla or rosewood, to lower-quality wood. The type of wood affects the way the instrument will respond and play. The YCL-650 design includes grenadilla, a popularly used wood by professionals.

The Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet

The Yamaha YCL-650 is a wondrous instrument that looks amazing. The resonance chamber in the bell provides amazing projection and deep, sonorous tones. The response rate is phenomenal, and your fingers will jump to and fro for hours. Exquisitely made, the keys do not bend or become unresponsive. It is pleasant to hold and weighs 5.2 pounds. Due to the design of the bore, it is easy to play and makes vibrant sounds. The intonation is precise. You will be using this clarinet for many years, and you can pass it down to another with ease. While the grenadilla body does not rival the strength of an ebonite one, it allows for a more perfect and resonant sound.

  • Warm, resonant tone
  • Amazing response rate
  • Made in Japan
  • Five-year warranty
  • Beautiful finish
  • Wood needs to be cleaned often
  • The included mouthpiece is average
  • More fragile than ebonite body styles
  • Pricey

Features & Benefits


Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet

The clarinet comes with a case that will protect it for years. The included mouthpiece is average, and the included care kit is fantastic.


Yamaha put thought into creating this instrument. They designed the bore to produce accurate intonation and consistent tone. The barrel is now 65mm, producing a more focused tone. The resonance chamber in the bell is superb. The grenadilla body is top notch and beautiful. The grenadilla trades body strength for improved tonality. As an intermediate or above player, you will greatly appreciate the body style. The keys are quite responsive and easy to clean. The clarinet will last for many years, and you can pass it down with gladness.


The durability is good; however, it is not as great as a clarinet constructed of ebonite. The silver-plated keys resist hours of playing and will not bend, break, or falter. Yamaha stands behind the YCL-650 by offering a five-year warranty. If you take care of it, it will last decades.


The value is great, and it will continue to play for a long time. Yamaha designed it after their top model clarinets and used the same techniques during production. You can see, feel, and hear their successful design.








Value for the Money


User Satisfaction



Buffet Crampon E11 Bb Intermediate Clarinet

Buffet Crampon E11 Bb Intermediate Clarinet

The Buffet, another wooden clarinet composed of grenadilla, is a melodious alternative. It is less expensive and comes with a shorter warranty. While it does not sound nearly as good as the Yamaha, it still sounds marvelous. The Buffet has a warm, rich sound that does not lose resonance. The warm, diverse tonality and cost make the Crampton E11 a solid choice.

Comparison to the Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet:

  • Cheaper
  • Similarly composed of grenadilla wood
  • Manufactured in Germany
  • Two-year warranty

Mendini MCT-30 Intermediate B Flat Clarinet

Mendini MCT-30 Intermediate B Flat Clarinet

The Mendini MCT-30 is composed of rosewood and looks elegant. The overall quality is decent and good for the price. The warranty is for a minuscule one year. It is so cheap, that you can throw it away each year and get a new one. If you want a wooden clarinet and are a hard player, this one is superb. Due to the price, you can play this clarinet without restraint or worry.

Comparison to the Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet:

  • Amazing price
  • Made of rosewood
  • Subpar sound
  • One-year warranty

Yamaha YCL-255 Standard Bb Clarinet Bb Clarinet

Yamaha YCL-255 Standard Bb Clarinet Bb Clarinet

The YCL-255 goes through simliar high-end processing techniques, and it is made of nigh-unbreakable ABS resin. The sound is of a lower quality but much better than other plastic models. You will not have to clean it as often as a wooden clarinet, and it is temperature resistant. If you tend to drop clarinets, this one is the sturdiest of the group, and it can take plenty of drops.

Comparison to the Yamaha YCL-650 Bb Clarinet:

  • Half as expensive
  • Similar construction processes
  • Lower quality
  • Plastic

Final Thoughts

The Yamaha TCL-650 will occupy you for a long time, and it shares the qualities of higher model instruments. It is beautiful, and others may desire to take it. The response rate allows your fingers to glide comfortably while playing. The price is worth it, as it is near-professional quality. You will produce rich, rousing sounds throughout your tenure with it. We still recommend that you read our guides and reviews for intermediate clarinets before you purchase one.

Stephanie Su

Started learning music when she was four years old, Stephanie is a music teacher and a music therapist who is highly proficient in Piano, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele. She likes to learn, teach, and share her music playing experiences.

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