And so in 2001, conditions were ripe, and development of the next model began. It had been ten years since the debut of the first-generation Xeno, and while the instrument had garnered a certain amount of respect, it still didn’t meet the standards required to be chosen by many top artists. The team began working to build the ultimate trumpet which would satisfy top orchestra players around the world. From the time he joined Yamaha, Malone was passionate about working with top artists to redesign Xeno from the ground up, and so he approached Chicago Symphony Orchestra trumpeter John Hagstrom about collaborating. Malone thought Hagstrom would be the perfect partner because of his passion for the trumpet and uncompromising standards. With Hagstrom’s help, Malone, Lubitz, Niwata and the others set out to conquer their new challenge.
Niwata was passionate about transforming this image by creating the kind of instruments trumpet players really wanted, but he faced one struggle after another. Niwata received exacting demands on a near-daily basis from an enthusiastic Malone, who wanted to do whatever it took to build an instrument which would satisfy Hagstrom. Their greatest obstacle was to create a French-style bell bead*3, like that of the famous French trumpets. Malone insisted that a French-style bell bead was essential for a fuller, warmer sound. While Niwata resisted initially, claiming that mass production would be too difficult, he eventually gave in to Malone’s ardent persistence. As a technician himself, he also didn’t want to admit defeat, so he asked prototype designer Suzuki to help produce the French-style bell bead. But no matter how much time they devoted to the process, they were lucky to succeed with two out of ten bells. They thought mass production would be impossible. But the prototype designers, production technicians, and all departments involved in the project put their heads together, and in 2004, they finally managed to successfully commercialize a product.
The resulting new Xeno Artist Model Chicago Series received unprecedented high praise from top trumpet players. The implementation of a French-style bell bead and the team’s success in its mass production were revolutionary and sent shockwaves through the industry. Malone noted that, while nothing about the project was easy, the team came together in an effort to meet Hagstrom’s standards, unified by the common value to "provide the best musical instruments to the artists possible in order to let them make the world better through music." Following the Chicago Series, the Xeno Artist Model New York Series was released in 2006.
Lubitz had been working with the team by interfacing with European players such as London Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet Rod Franks, who had become a key player in the development of the Xeno. Through his interaction with such players, Lubitz had grown confident in being able to "approach top players of all genres, whether orchestra, big band, jazz, pop, or otherwise. Yamaha is the only manufacturer in the world who can do this." He added, "In ateliers at Yamaha, we don’t see players as sales customers but as musicians. Yamaha was the first company to connect directly with professional musicians."