Yamaha Buena Park Service Center
Music is a global language that has the power to transcend all barriers such as race, language group and religion. Appreciating the influence their music can have on their audiences, musicians often take a lot of time and effort to get just the right sound from their chosen musical instrument. When a musical instrument has had to be repaired, the need for fine-tuning becomes even more critical. Yamaha Corporation has opened a service center facility in Buena Park, California, to deal with repairs on musical instruments and to serve as a marketing tool for their wide range of musical products. However, this is certainly no ordinary service center!
Yamaha is promoting the use of medical and automotive manufacturing technology, such as cryogenics and fiber optic endoscopy, in their process of fine-tuning musical instruments. Their 5,000 square foot service center is filled with state-of-the-art equipment and machinery used by highly skilled technicians whose objective is not only to repair musical instruments but also to research and develop new and innovative instruments.
The action of freezing brass instruments in the computerized cryogenic machine changes the molecular structure of the metal, which can significantly alter the sound of the instrument. Fiber optic endoscopes with a diameter smaller than 7 millimeters allow technicians to view the inside of tubular instruments and identify obstructions, in much the same way as a doctor would inspect the inside of a patient’s intestines. Equipment similar in principle to a key duplicating machine is able to produce an exact replica of a prized mouth-piece. Other equipment includes accurate prototyping lathes, micro-flame generators and microscopic arc welders.
At the Yamaha Buena Park center adjustments made to a musical instrument can be as delicate as shaving a component by 50-millionths of an inch, or it can be as drastic as instantly freezing a French horn in a vat of liquid nitrogen – all in an effort to produce exceptional sound. As a brass instrument expert with a good reputation in Los Angeles music circles, Bob Malone has a keen understanding of the necessity to fine-tune musical instruments. He was hired by Yamaha in 2001 and, together with his dedicated crew, will offer a range of services to top artists. These services include everything from a simple tune-up to a complete overhaul of an instrument, as well as designing and producing new musical instruments to suit the musicians needs.
With the aid of the equipment at the Yamaha Buena Park center, technicians are able to tweak instruments in ways that have never been possible before, thereby blending tried and trusted traditional methods with high-tech know-how to produce excellent results.