Yamaha 668 II Review

4.6 Overall
4 Users (2 votes)

Strong range with good intonation
Easy to play
Well-made, tight values/rotors


Dents more easily due to thinner metal


The 668II the newest incarnation of Yamaha's Kruspe-style French horn. While they have not managed to surpass the Conn 8D in popularity just yet, professionals regard them more highly than post-Elkhart 8Ds. But even vintage Elkhart 8D fans may have met their match with the newer 668II, which wins praise from professionals for its dark mellow tone combined with good flexibility. The 668II's success may steam in part from being a more literal copy of the original Kruspe horn vs. the Conn 8D. The thinner metal, slightly larger bore and consistent construction are some of the qualities that may contribute to the playing differences vs. the Conn 8D. Areas where the 668 II excels include focused low range and along with greater smoothness through range transitions. The high register on large bore horns can be a little tougher to get out, and like the Conn 8D, the 668II will require some more effort in that range especially above A.

Due to the thin metal on this horn, it may not be ideal for beginning students or those playing in a rowdy school band. But build quality is strong and Yamaha horns have an especially strong reputation for manufacturing high quality rotors -- an added benefit when comparing with the arguably less consistent and stringent standards of competing brands in this price range such as Conn. This also means used Yahama horns hold their value well.

Cost: The Yamaha 668II sells for $4,426 new.

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While priced at the advanced student level, the 668II can be found in professional settings where players are seeking the original Kruspe-style horn without risk of shoddy manufacturing and cut corners. If your budget can go a little higher, we also recommend the similar Hans Hoyer's Kruspe-style horn, the 6801/6802.

Tone quality
Value for money
What people say... 2 Leave your rating
Yamaha 668 II
My high school band director requires that the horn players use school owned Yamaha 668s. As such, I've been playing one for 3 years now. It sounds ok as a beginner horn but almost every horn in our school has busted brackets, from poor construction. Ive played lots of other horns and it sounds most similar to the Abilene-run Conn 8Ds, which makes sense because the Yamaha started as a template of the 8D. It loses a lot of sound in the upper register. Good low register for the most part, until you get below pedal F. Its also really restrictive, and its really difficult to play loud. This is a decent horn for middle school or high school, but you will be laughed at if you attempt to take it further than that.
May 11, 2017, 5:45 pm
Tone quality3.5
Value for money3.5
Truly a Professional Horn
I purchased this horn with the intentions of going into a professional music school for the next few years. I've been testing horns for several years now - this horn has gotten my attention after 5 minutes of testing. This horn is capable of producing a dark, omniscient tone - arguably better than the 8D. The warmth of the horn amazes non-Yamaha enthusiasts. There is an adjustment period to this horn though. Compared to the 8D, the YHR-668 mk 2 requires more air, but the return is definitely rewarding with it's tone and volume. The structural nature of Nickel silver makes the horn on the fragile side, but the stress-free joints really help with minimizing wear-and-tear on the horn. The bell really resonant with the horn, you can feel the vibrations of the horn through the bell in all levels of dynamics - in other words, extremely responsive. True pianissimos to deafening fortissimo, this horn will deliver. The value for money? It's a steal for the quality of horn that you are getting - factory made but custom Yamaha quality. Definitely worth a consideration for the avid horn player.
August 3, 2015, 4:26 pm
Tone quality5
Value for money5
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