Yamaha YTR-8310Z Bobby Shew Trumpet Review (My Experience)

Yamaha YTR-8310Z Bobby Shew Trumpet

My Experience With The Bobby Shew YTR-8310Z Trumpet-Review

The Bobby Shew, Yamaha YTR-8310Z B-flat trumpet is the trumpet I have been using most of the time the last 7 years or so, as my main B-flat trumpet. It has been a great relationship and it’s about time I write a review on the 8310Z.

Briefly About The Yamaha 8310Z Trumpet

The Yamaha 8310Z Bobby Shew trumpet is marketed, and sold, as one of Yamaha’s  professional Bb trumpets and I bought mine about 7 or 8 years ago for about 1600 Euros. Like most horns the pricing has gone up a bit since then, you can click here to check today’s pricing at Thomann
or Click here to check pricing at Amazon.

The 8310Z is a newer version of the 6310Z model. It’s a “step bore” trumpet,  it has no bracing on the tuning slide and it is a lightweight trumpet.

What does “step bore” mean?

A normal bored trumpet has a lead pipe with a smooth flare and pretty much the same bore size from the lead pipe to the last curve before the tubing grows into the bell. A trumpet that is a step bore horn has a tubing with a stepped flare, a smaller bore on the top of the tuning slide than on the bottom, and also another step going into and out of the valve cluster.

So,  what’s my experience with the Bobby Shew horn? …

…let’s get to the Yamaha 8310Z trumpet review…

Specs

  • Bobby Shew Model
  • Bore size 11,3 mm (M-bore)
  • Reversed lead pipe
  • 127 mm bell
  • Further development of the YTR-6310 Z
  • “French bead” bell edge
  • Xeno design
  • Lightweight

Yamaha YTR-8310Z Trumpet Review

Build Quality

Yamaha is known for its high quality trumpets and the 8310Z is no exception. When examining the horn, it’s easy to tell that it’s built by a company that has high standards. Of course, all the slides fit perfectly and the valve alignment is good. I can’t find anything to complain about here.

Valves

The valves has always worked well with the exception of the first valve that for some reason wanted to stick from time to time. On a new horn? Of course this bothered me and I decided to try a different kind of valve oil. That did the trick and since then I have never had any problems with the valves on the 8310Z. I write more about this in the article what is the best trumpet valve oil 

Appearance

I bought the gold lacquer finish but the 8310z is also available in silver or even black. The trumpet looks good. Well at least it did when it was new. I have to say that I have been a bit lazy with the cleaning so now, after 8 years of playing it, there are som wear and the lacquer has come off on some places where I keep my fingers. This is mostly my own fault though.

Balance / Hold

The Yamaha YTR-8310Z is well balanced and that in combination with its lightweight build makes it very comfortable to hold. Playing this horn we will never get tired arms…now if we could only say the same about our embouchure 😉

Sound

The sound is a bit darker than on, for example, a standard Bach model 37 or 43.  When I first bought it I would have wanted the sound to be just a tiny bit brighter but I have since then grown to love it very much. The sound is not so dark that it limits the trumpet in any way and I have used the trumpet in all kinds of musical settings. Symphony orchestra, playing the lead trumpet part in a big band, brass quintet playing and solo playing in church….

…it all works with the 8310Z. That said, I think that where the Yamaha Shew horn really shines is as a lead horn as it really brightens up and cuts in the upper register.

Great feedback: one important thing to say about the Yamaha Bobby Shew horn is that its bell construction makes the feedback to the player very good. I can hear myself much better when playing in a section with the Shew horn than if I use my Vincent Bach, for example.

I also have to say that, even though it is a medium bore horn, it’s easy to get a big sound out of the Yamaha 8310Z

Intonation

The intonation is very good and I have almost nothing to complain about here. Well, I would like the fourth space “e” to be a bit sharper but I seem to find that particular note to be a bit flat on almost every trumpet I try. Other than that everything is spot on. The high register is also easy to play in tune with this horn.

Responsiveness

Because the trumpet is a lightweight, perfectly put together, it is also very responsive. It is easier to play softly on the Yamaha 80310Z trumpet than on my Bach trumpet. I would guess the quality of the build also play a role in this and, since the Shew horn does not seem to require a lot of air, the responsiveness and ability to play softly is top notch.

Slotting

The slotting on the Yamaha 8310Z is good and I would describe it to be a tiny bit more loose than on my Bach. I guess that a full time professional symphony trumpeter would want a bit more secure slotting. But it’s definitely secure enough to be able to play classical music with no problem. That said, the 8310Z is perhaps a bit more geared towards the commercial side of trumpet playing.

High Register

The high register on the Yamaha 8310Z is good and that was one of the reasons I bought it, 8 years ago, since I wanted a trumpet that would be a suitable “lead horn” for the big band playing I did back then. The notes above high c is in tune and the notes comes out with less effort than on my Vincent Bach model 43.

With the 8310Z I have sometimes wanted a bit more secure slotting in the upper register, when having to play lead parts with a lot of exact articulations. But then again if the slotting were to be very secure, it would make all the shakes, glissandos and bending a lot harder to do, so in my opinion the Bobby Shew horn is a very good lead horn.

Agility

No problems moving around with this trumpet. Everyone who has played a cornet knows that the flexibility is better on the cornet than on the trumpet and I guess that is due to the conical tubing of the cornet. Well, the step bore design on the Yamaha Shew trumpet perhaps somewhat mimic the conical build of the cornet, making the flexibility and agility of the Yamaha 8310Z very good indeed.

General Feel When Playing

The Yamaha does not feel tight even though it’s a medium bore trumpet. I honestly don’t think the bore size is the end all be all when it comes to how free blowing or tight a trumpet feels, but that’s a subject for another article.

As I said, it’s easy to move around with the Yamaha. It has a great response and it’s easy to bend notes and play in the upper register. All this makes it fun to play “commercial” music with the Yamaha. Pop songs, big band parts, and fun solo tunes with the brass septet will make the trumpet shine.

Casing

 

The Yamaha comes in a regular, hard, trumpet case. So it’s not a gig bag you can put on your back. The case does however do a good job of protecting the trumpet.

 Pricing

The Yamaha YTR-8310Z Bobby Shew model is not the most expensive professional trumpets that Yamaha makes. At the time of me buying it it was around 1600€ and in my opinion the trumpet is priced well. You get a high quality professional trumpet for a decent price. You can check today’s pricing compare them by  clicking here to check pricing at Thomann music 
or click here to check pricing at Amazon.

Summary

The Yamaha YTR-8310Z Bobby Shew trumpet is one of the most versatile trumpets I have played and it can be used in any musical situation. That said it leans slightly more towards the lead, commercial, side. If you want a good, professional Bb trumpet then you should give the Shew horn a try and see what you think. Chances are it’s just what you are looking for.

Score: 8,5/10

As the Shew  horn is a professional trumpet I must also rate it in that class. There are more expensive professional trumpets that I think are better than the 8310Z and that’s why it does not get a full 10/10. However I do definitely think that this trumpet deserves a strong 8,5/10

Ok, there you have it. That was my review of the Yamaha 80310Z Bobby Shew trumpet. I hope that you enjoyed reading it.

-Robert Slotte-

P.S. Have you tried the Shew horn and, if so, what is your opinion? Perhaps you own one and, if you do, what is your experience with the 8310Z trumpet and in what kind of music do you play with it? Please feel free to leave a few words in the comments section below about the Shew horn.