Yamaha manufactures a wide range of musical instruments, including flutes ranging from the simple for the beginner to the more advanced models. Each level is designated by a series, such as 200, 300 and 400, with 200 being the most basic. The Yamaha 225, designated as "YFL-225S and 225N," was the entry level flute from 1980 to 2000, when it was discontinued in the United States. The replacement was the Yamaha 221 or YFL-221.
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Besides the obvious fact that the 221 is newer, one of the changes made by Yamaha with its newer 200 series model flute was prominent. It addressed the concerns of dealers and educators and involved the key posts being thickened, thus preventing bending. According to Yamaha, this improvement delivered better durability and strength, all in an effort to maintain rod alignment, which is critical with a flute because it comes in three pieces, must be assembled and stay in place.
One problem with the model 225 was the position of the screws and the difficulty in accessing them. The model 221 corrected that problem by moving their position. In addition, the material used was improved, allowing for easy adjustments and the prevention of the gradual loosening of the screws.
The 200 series flute is designated as a standard student flute for beginning students. Thus, the keys must be easy to reach and use for the novice. Yamaha changed some of the lower right-handed keys (located on the footjoint) through design changes to facilitate use, for the purpose it stated in its press release. "Our designers worked hard to address the concerns that dealers and educators had with our previous models." In this instance, Yamaha was referring to the 225.
One of the improvements made to the 221 by the designers at Yamaha involved the footjoint. A flute comes in three parts: the headjoint (part of the flute that contains the opening for the mouth but no keys), the bodyjoint (where most of the keys are located) and the footjoint (containing the remaining few keys). These parts are separate and must be attached prior to playing. For the beginner student, usually a young child, this assembling aspect can be daunting. So in its 221, Yamaha added, according to its press release, a "handy footjoint marker" for the purpose of assisting those young beginner students. Basically, it aids in aligning the parts, which is essential for proper sound.
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