Yamaha makes two lines of student band instruments: the standard line and the Advantage line.
You can easily find both sets of instruments in music stores all over the country. But despite how common they are, not much is known about Advantage instruments online.
This post will explain the differences and similarities between Yamaha Advantage instruments and standard Yamaha student instruments. Here we go!
What Are Yamaha Advantage Instruments?
Yamaha Advantage is an alternative line of student band instruments found exclusively in select brick-and-mortar music stores. The instruments themselves are identical to Yamaha’s standard line in every way, but come in a more durable ABS plastic case. Any other physical differences are purely cosmetic.
Stores that carry Advantage instruments have strict agreements with Yamaha not to sell them online. They’re only allowed to rent or sell them to local markets. As such, there isn’t much information readily available about Advantage instruments online.
What Instruments Are In the Yamaha Advantage Line?
Here’s every instrument and model number currently available in the Advantage line:
- YFL-200ADII — Standard flute with silver-plated headjoint and body, silver-plated closed-hole keys, and an offset G key (Compare to YFL-222).
- YCL-200ADII — Bb clarinet with ABS resin body, nickel-plated keys, and 4C mouthpiece (Compare to YCL-225).
- YCL-400ADII — Intermediate Bb clarinet with grenadilla wood body, nickel-plated keys, and 4C mouthpiece (Compare to YCL-450N).
- YAS-200ADII — Eb alto saxophone with yellow brass body, nickel-plated keys, and 4C mouthpiece (Compare to YAS-26).
- YAS-300AD — Intermediate Eb alto saxophone with yellow brass body, lacquer-finish keys, high F# key, 4C mouthpiece, and backpack-style case (Compare to YAS-480).
- YTS-200ADII — Bb tenor saxophone with yellow brass body, nickel-plated keys, and 4C mouthpiece (Compare to YTS-26).
- YTS-300AD — Intermediate Bb tenor saxophone with yellow brass body, lacquer-finish keys, high F# key, 4C mouthpiece, and backpack-style case (Compare to YTS-480).
- YTR-200ADII — Bb trumpet with yellow brass bell, monel pistons, and gold lacquer finish (Compare to YTR-2330)
- YTR-200ADIIS — Same as above, but with silver-plated finish.
- YTR-300AD — Intermediate Bb trumpet with yellow brass bell, monel pistons, reverse leadpipe, and silver-plated finish. Comes in a backpack-style case.
- YSL-200AD — Standard trombone with yellow brass bell, medium bore, and detachable balance weight (Compare to YSL-354).
Differences Between Advantage and Standard Yamaha Student Instruments
Spec-wise, Advantage and standard Yamaha instruments are exactly the same. So any differences boil down to a few surface-level things:
- Standard instruments come in more generic-looking hard cases, while most Advantage instruments come in light-blue ABS plastic cases.
- Advantage horns also have the Advantage logo stamped on the bell or body.
Let’s go a little deeper into these differences.
Logos & Markings
For the most part, the instruments look exactly the same. But you can tell which is which based on their markings.
Standard Yamaha instruments will simply have the Yamaha logo stamped on without any other decorative markings. Advantage instruments will display the Advantage logo somewhere prominent:
- The bell (trumpets, trombones, saxophones)
- The clarinet’s upper joint and bell
- The flute’s headjoint receiver
The model numbers also help identify the instrument. Advantage model numbers usually end in “200AD”. For the handful of intermediate models, they’ll sometimes end in “300AD” or “400AD”.
Standard series Yamaha instruments usually come in more generic looking hard cases. They’re durable, and they’ll do a good enough job protecting your instrument.
Yamaha Advantage instruments come in a distinct light blue case. These cases have two notable benefits:
- Advantage cases are all made of ABS plastic, which is tough and durable — perfect for withstanding the rigors of a middle school band room.
- They’re made to be stackable. This is especially helpful for music stores that carry large volumes of rental instruments.
Why Does Yamaha Have Two Lines of Student Instruments?
That said, local music stores still play an integral role in Yamaha’s success. To that end, Yamaha offers them a few exclusive products that can’t be found online. This provides some benefits to both parties:
- It helps Yamaha diversify their product line and revenue streams.
- Local shops get at least one competitive advantage over online stores.
School music programs provide the largest group of customers for Yamaha. As such, local delears are usually the ones working with teachers and administrators to get instruments into the hands of students.
With that in mind, it’s critical that Yamaha keeps those dealers happy.
Where Are Yamaha Advantage Instruments Made?
Advantage instruments come from Yamaha’s private factory in Indonesia. This is the same place where most Yamaha beginner and intermediate instruments are manufactured today.
Rest assured, you’re not getting an inferior instrument if you get an Advantage.
Yamaha Advantage horns are made with the same quality standards and attention to detail as any other Yamaha instrument. What’s more, they include the same five year warranty as all other Yamaha brass and woodwind products.
How Much Do Yamaha Advantage Instruments Cost?
Yamaha doesn’t allow their Advantage dealers to publish prices or sell them online.
But considering they’re the same instruments, you can expect to pay the around same price as their standard counterparts.
Likewise, you can find them on the used market at similar prices.
Where To Get a Yamaha Advantage Instrument
Yamaha sells brand new Advantage instruments exclusively within select brick-and-mortar music stores in the United States.
If you’re not sure where your closest Yamaha Brass & Woodwind dealer is, you can find one using their online store locator.
You can also find used Advantage instruments online at Reverb.