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The Yamaha Vienna Philharmonic Horn, Model YHR-601

1 year 10 months ago #1902 by Timothy Tolzmann
Yamaha's website description page (specifications sheet) for the YHR-601 states: Key F (Bb, A). I wonder if it might not be a Bb horn with an F attachment. On the photo, I think I do see a thumb trigger. Next to the thumb ring. I looked closely. I am interested in buying a pre-owned one. I don't know how to get any other information out of Yamaha on this model. I am in touch with Schmitt Music here in Duluth, MN. Debbie there told me they cost around US $8,000 new.

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1 year 10 months ago #1903 by Jay Kosta
This is the Yamaha website I use for the YHR-601 -

I think the object next to the thumb ring is just a brace that supports the lever plate - same brace on both sides. And I don't see anything that looks like a 'change valve' - just the 3 pistons.
I don't understand what the '(Bb A)' means regarding the key of the instrument. By viewing the length of the valve slides, it certainly looks like a Single F to me. And 'Single F' is my understanding of the key for a Vienna Horn.

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1 year 10 months ago #1904 by Timothy Tolzmann
Yes, you're right. It isn't a change valve. I think though that there must be an F crook that can be replaced with a Bb or an A crook. When you say "Vienna Horn", is that a generic term, or do you mean the one that members of the Vienna Philharmonic designed in conjunction with the Yamaha Corporation? The Spec sheet of that horn does state F (Bb, A). It is hard for me to imagine a single F horn being used by a professional orchestra. If this is a single F horn only, it is the only F horn I am aware of other than beginner's models. I don't know if the valve slides would be in tune with a Bb or A crook. But I am still mystified. I did use an F.E. Olds and Sons Ambassador single F horn, made in Fullerton, CA if I recall correctly. I had no trouble with range with it back in the 1960s through the early '80s, though.

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1 year 10 months ago #1905 by Jay Kosta
Yes, my understanding is that the term 'Vienna Horn' is the same as described here -

I did see one that was/is owned by Baldwin-Wallace Univ in Ohio. I don't recall if I had a chance to play it. It was brought to a clinic by one of the music teachers to be used as a 'spare instrument' in case someone needed one - I don't think the teacher knew the uniqueness of the instrument. I heard that a member of the Cleveland Orchestra inquired about buying that horn - don't know what happened.

A single F certainly can be used for playing to written (horn in F ) C above the staff, but for higher notes a single Bb, double or triple horn (F/Bb/high F) would be much more secure. Most Single F horns are not Vienna Horns, the typical 'student level' Single F uses 3 rotary valves that operate similar to the 3 main rotary valves on a typical double horn.

To my knowledge, the primary 'major orchestra' that uses Vienna horns is the Vienna Phil - but it is probably also used in other regional orchestras in Austria & Germany. I consider it to be a 'specialty instrument'.

If I wanted a unique horn for typical playing, I might go searching for an Alexander 103. But even they somewhat have a reputation for 'uneven quality' - good ones are great, but others not so much. A local player here has one, and he wasn't thrilled with it.

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1 year 9 months ago - 1 year 9 months ago #1907 by
Replied by on topic Yamaha Vienna Horn, Model YHR-601
All vienna horns I know have attachable Crooks. They are usually played in F (with the F crook attached). One key difference to common horns are the typical vienna "pumpen valves". Special piston valves that play and feel very different from the commonly used rotary valves and different from piston valves found on marching horns or trumpets.

If speedy fingering is a challenge I would not naturally choose a horn with vienna "pumpen" valves as they require special technique and for most players lots of practice to get used to. The reward is the above mentioned smooth slur and the classic vienna horn sound, created by a horn section with all vienna horns.
Last edit: 1 year 9 months ago by . Reason: corrected typo

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