he Z was born of Yamaha’s long and close partnership with legendary trumpeter Bobby Shew. An incredibly versatile musician, Shew needed one efficient instrument that could scream out a powerful lead and play soft, mellow ballads. With the Z, he finally found an instrument that met all of his playing requirements. The handmade bell is one of the biggest Yamaha makes, and its tapering thickness gives players a very open and comfortable response as well as better feedback into their sound. The flat-dome bell rim helps players create their own personal tonal colors. With the newest Custom Z, Yamaha kept the same basic design concepts—the precise lead pipe taper and super-efficient step bore—that made the original Z so popular. But Yamaha has improved on it in many subtle ways, often using techniques learned in developing the heavyweight Xeno Trumpets. As a result, the Custom Z offers an unprecedented amount of tonal richness and depth.