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View Full Version : How can I look up a Yamaha serial number?



WriterMom
02-03-2003, 09:31 PM
Hello! I'm thinking about buying a used Yamaha YSS-475 soprano. Before I do, though, I'd like to look up the serial number so that I can find out when it was manufactured.

Does anyone know of a website that lists serial numbers and manufacturing dates for Yamaha saxes? (I already tried Steve Goodson's Sax Gourmet website. It has lists for several brands, but not Yamahas.)

Morry
02-03-2003, 10:12 PM
My understanding is that Yamaha has never assigned sequential serial numbers and, therefore, there is no direct correlation between serial # and production date.

WriterMom
02-03-2003, 10:15 PM
Is there any way to tell the age of a Yamaha sax, then, other than relying on the dealer/seller? (At first, they told me this particular sax was about a year old. Now, they're saying two or three years.)

pknight
02-04-2003, 04:56 AM
Saw it in half and count the rings? :lol:

MS
02-04-2003, 06:17 AM
Contact a product specialist in the American branch in Grand Rapids MIch.

You may be able to find your local area Yamaha Sales rep through their web site, who can check for you or put you in touch with a factory product specialsit. This is the route I took to find out when my horn was made (Custom 875 Alto).

MojoBari
02-04-2003, 03:15 PM
475s have not been out that long. Maybe 4-5 years? If it looks good to you, 1 vs 3 years should be a non-issue. I have not played one, but they are considered a good value.

WriterMom
02-05-2003, 05:44 PM
Thanks for the info!

Gordon (NZ)
02-07-2003, 03:40 AM
As far as I know dealers have access to a book which tells when every model was begun and ended for every instrument. I too, have heard that the serial numbers mean very little.

Robert Hammond
03-02-2003, 06:20 PM
:D :D You can find out the production date by contacting :Yamaha Band and Orchestral Division
3445 East Paris Ave. S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-0899
USA
Tel: (1) 616-940-4900
Fax: (1) 616-949-7721
Internet: www.yamaha.com/band

Ask to speak to the customer support and they can help you. I just bought a YSS-875 and I called them first to run the serial number and they were able to give me the day that they shipped it to the store; and they told me that usually it is finished the same week that they ship it. This should be able to get you to within 1 week of the production date.
Robert Hammond

W. Minier
03-02-2003, 07:19 PM
Robert Hammond- They don't produce the 875 at the Grand Rapids plant. It's just shipped there from Japan. So tell me, how does that help anyones' inquiry.

Robert Hammond
03-02-2003, 08:30 PM
W. Minier. I do believe they come from Japan, but they are assembled at the Grand Rapids plant. You can take the virtual tour and watch the assembly at the Grand Rapids plant by going to "http://www.yamaha.com/band/instruments/factory.htm" and there you will see a drop down menu; please select "Saxophone" and it will guide you through the entire assembly of the horns at the Grand Rapids plant. The following is a quote from the tour; "The processes of bell forming, tube bending, and post application occur in Japan. The instrument components are shipped to the Grand Rapids, Michigan factory for final assembly. The picture below is an overview of our saxophone assembly line." This should suffice your inquiry ~ if not, please call Tel: (1) 616-940-4900 and ask for customer support. If I remember right, you will be connected with a lady named Stacy. I just bought a new YSS-875 from "Prowinds.com" with a serial number of 005020 and I wanted to know the production date. I called the Grand Rapids store, was transferred to customer care and I gave her my serial number, and was told "I cannot give you the exact date your horn was completed, but I can tell you when we sent it out to the store which will probably be the same week that we finished it on assembly and packaging." It ended up being the middle of February of 2002 which was good enough for me. I believe this will help someone's inquiry. When you're investing 3 grand in a horn and accessories, it would behoove you to know the history of the horn. Thank you for your reply W. Robert Hammond

W. Minier
03-02-2003, 10:32 PM
They might be able to tell when they shipped it to the dealer but they can't tell when the horn was produced. They are not assembled at the Grand Rapids plant. I work there. I am in charge of production repair. This is just another example of the BS that the sales end,which Stacy works for, dishes out. One of the reasons that the sales end of it is be transfered back to Calif. before summer is out. It's not your problem Robert but the BS just makes me mad. Because of all the unneeded confusion it creates.

Robert Hammond
03-02-2003, 11:22 PM
This reply really surprises me. If this is true, which I do believe you, then their website is VERY misleading. What I posted earlier is exactly what took place when I called them just 2 weeks ago. I find this very disturbing news indeed W. Who then is doing the assembling shown on the virtual tour on the Grand Rapids website???

W. Minier
03-02-2003, 11:47 PM
The assembly is being done on student horns. The plant in the US assembles 23s and 52s. And now 475s and Advantage models. No pro saxs are done in the US. The only pro models ever done in the US were 61s and very early 62s. And yes the website is very misleading. And then they add the BS like marketing is handing out to make it even worse. I've worked for Yamaha for 29 years and it is very frustrating ,as a few of the older members here will testify too. I for one am very glad to see the marketing division go. I don't go to their web site and I won't have to see the BS they are spreading. I guess I"ll just have to deal with on this site.

Jmz
03-03-2003, 03:14 PM
Robert---no need for you to be alarmed. W. Minier only has about 40% of his story right. Your experience with Stacy when you called the Grand Rapids plant is extremely accurate...that's how every serial number inquiry is handled. As for W.'s comments, he's correct only in that the Pro and Custom saxes are made in Japan. What W. didn't tell you (or maybe doesn't know) is that ALL saxes sold in the US, regardless of their point of production, are tracked by serial number (that is, they keep a record of which dealer bought which specific horn---they obviously can't keep track of resales). The "virtual tour" that you saw on their website is also correct. All Yamaha saxes, regardless of where they are made, are made by the same methods and processes (thus the outstanding consistency that they're known for), so the tour you saw is exactly what happens, whether it's a Custom or a 23. Is the website confusing? Maybe. Is it misleading? Absolutely not.

(By the way, if you're wondering where I got my info, it's straight from Yamaha, not someone that "claims" to be someone important there. I've worked them on a number of projects and I've been at the factory a number of times. The only thing better than the saxes are the people there. Great people!)

W. Minier
03-03-2003, 09:34 PM
"Which dealer bought what specific horn". It still doesn't tell you when it was produced. Which, I believe the inquirey is all about. Also I believe another point is that Stacy eluded to the fact that the 875, in question, was on the assembly line at Yamaha US the previous week. THEY AREN'T ASSEMLED IN THE US. " When your investing 3 grand in a horn" you don't deserve this kind of run around. Another problem is that there are two web sites. One for Yamaha Japan and one for Yamaha B& O division. One is informative and one ain't. As far as being someone important there, I don't believe I eluded to that at all. I am just there everyday and work on the horns(all horns.flutes clarinets etc.) everyday. " I got my information straight from Yamaha." Maybe it's the same BS.LOL :wink:

Jmz
03-03-2003, 11:58 PM
The practice of giving "about" dates regarding serial numbers isn't a new thing, W. The fact, good or bad, is that just about all the major sax companies work the same way. Selmer can't give you an exact date any of their horns were made, yet the information they provide is useful to those who requested it. Keilwerth and Yanagisawa are the same way. That's just how it is done. You seem to have a chip on your shoulder towards Yamaha, W---why is that?

Gordon (NZ)
03-04-2003, 01:52 PM
Minier has made many a valuable and positive comment re Yamaha in this forum over a long period.

We are fortunate that he is also conscientious in providing the balance that only truth provides.

We are also fortunate to have ANYBODY here who is close to the Yamaha infrastructure and manufacture.

MojoBari
03-04-2003, 05:25 PM
I agree. W. Minier has been a source of reliable Yamaha information for many years. He will tell you what is good and what is bad about Yamaha from his perspective as a worker and a player.

MBushaw
03-05-2003, 12:08 AM
Jmz- If there's a chip on Mr Minier's shoulder (which I doubt) it would have your name on it. Could you blame him for being offended? He works there, knows what is going down the line. Then you say he's not even half right (40%)!!
How can you say that the information given over the phone is accurate, when the Yamaha representative says the horn is assembled in the USA?
How can you say the website is accurate when they don't indicate that ONLY student and intermediate horns are assembled in USA? The process may be the same, but if KIA were to post a virtual tour of a Ford plant woud you say that was accurate also?
You may know a lot, and we may all learn some valuable things from you, but please be a little more careful about who you are talking about. And since you claim to have access to the factory, maybe a face-to-face with Mr Minier over coffee would be a good idea...

Jmz
03-05-2003, 03:04 PM
MBushaw (and all),

I'm sorry if I came across the wrong way in my comments. It certainly wasn't my intention to offend anyone. Being new to the site, I guess I also assumed that you all would know more of my background than could reasonably be expected. Your reactions are understandable.

I have had extensive contact with the marketing department at Yamaha (the supposed purveyors of BS, according to Minier). Unlike Minier, though, I have (though no longer do) worked very closely with them in the development of new and existing saxes. I have intimate knowledge of all the processes in making saxophones, whether they are from Japan or the US. Not to discount Minier, but he knows only what goes on in his corner of the world (the factory that he says he works in). The majority of his posts here are larger parts opinion than fact, but are being presented as total fact. And to add insult to injury, he claims to have done something that he never did (I'm referring to his claim that he worked on Jeff Coffin's horn. I was personally involved in that project, and he never once had anything to do with that horn. It seems as though he is trying to steal credit from the technicians that actually did the work.).

And as for your KIA and Ford example, I would agree with you in most cases. Your example is totally correct in the case of Selmer, for example. Selmer Paris and Selmer US are two separate, stand-alone companies that work together. However, that is not the case with Yamaha Japan and Yamaha US...they are both one and the same, not two different entities working together, and therefore have tighter control of the processes used in making the horns. Therefore my original statement stands.

I am as much a saxophone lover as anyone on this site, and I believe that we can all be better, as people and as players, when the truth is known. Again, I am sorry to have offended anyone, and I hope that those offended can forgive me.

MBushaw
03-06-2003, 03:29 AM
Hi JMZ- I too am sorry for taking your head off in my last post. I've read and posted with Mr Minier for a few years now, so I guess it was a bit of standing up for those you know against the unknown attacker. No excuse for it though on a public forum.
I look forward to seeing more of your posts, as I suspect you have a lot of information to share.

Morry
03-06-2003, 05:21 AM
Ahhhhhh....it's so nice when everyone kisses and makes up.

Jmz
03-06-2003, 01:38 PM
No problem, MBushaw. I understand where you're coming from, and for my part, I was probably defending the marketing dept at Yamaha (who are some near and dear friends of mine) from Minier's attacks. If anything, we're both loyal to our friends. :) As far as I'm concerned, we're cool.

Now who's next for a kiss? How 'bout you, Morry? :lol:

Gordon (NZ)
03-06-2003, 10:42 PM
So we are left with a great deal of difficulty in knowing where truth lies.

Loyalty, directed towards those on either side of a 'difference', is not synonymous with truth. In fact it tends to distort truth!

Gandalfe
03-08-2003, 04:03 AM
This thread goes to show you how tricky it is to present good info without upsetting someone. Many times two people can have totally different experiences with the same __________. (Fill in the blanks with person, sax, company, automobile. Okay you get the idea.)

I trust we will continue to hear from both Jmz and W. Minier. You guys are closer to the industry than I ever will be.

Jmz
03-20-2003, 03:31 AM
You're right, Gandalfe--it can be VERY hard to present information without making someone mad. I learned that first hand. :( And I think it's also important to realize that some people aren't going to believe things other people say, no matter how factual the comments are. Human nature 101, I guess... :)

stroburg
03-29-2003, 05:59 AM
i agree with gordon

navyvet
07-11-2003, 07:00 PM
I emailed Yamaha last night with the serial number on the YBS-61 I just bought, hoping to narrow down the age to what year it was made.
I just got a response from them saying they researched their database and could not locate the year this particular horn was produced. However, he did say that the YBS-61 model was produced from 1974-1984. So in case anyone's interested, I guess knowing the decade is as good as we're gonna get.

philly_sax
12-23-2003, 05:20 PM
Anyone have a clue as to the approximate vintage of a YTS-62 S/N 151XX?

Tom-Sax
06-30-2004, 09:33 PM
I thought it might be helpful to others to give some updated information on the effort I had looking up a Yamaha YTS23 serial number.

The previous information here is correct.... call Yamaha at (616) 940-4900, and then either ask for Lynn in the warranty department or type in her extension directly, which is 4945.

She looks up the serial number right away.

A used YTS23 I was looking at with serial number 036619 is from December 1993.

A shop selling a YTS23 as "new" close to me locally has a serial number of 059986A, which is from October 2000. The "A" at the end designates that it was made in America. This was very useful to me since I doubt that the store has had it for almost 4 years.... I doubt it was really "new", which I wanted to double check because some of the silver flapper keys had a worn gritty feeling.

Tom

stitch
06-30-2004, 10:56 PM
The "A" at the end designates that it was made in America.

Aren't all Yamahas made in Japan, then?

Tom-Sax
06-30-2004, 11:09 PM
Well, Lynn works at Yamaha in the warranty department, and she's the one who passed on the information that the "A" means it was made in the USA. Go figure.

Tom

pknight
07-01-2004, 05:31 AM
Does the sax say "Made in Japan" or "Japan" near the serial number? If so, then that is where it was made. I have owned several Yamahas with the "A," and they all had "Made in Japan" stamped on them. As I understand it, the parts for all Yamaha saxes are manufactured in Japan. The ones with the "A" are assembled in the US (in Grand Rapids), but the actual manufacture is in Japan. I suspect that was what Lynn meant. In the past some pro saxes were assembled in the US (I had a 61 alto that was), but I recall reading that only the student models are assembled here now.

If anyone has a Yamaha that does not indicate that it was made in Japan, please let us know.

Phantom 7
07-01-2004, 07:02 AM
I have a 61 tenor ser no. 8XXX, it says made in Japan. I'll have to look to see if there's a letter before the number, think it was made in late 70's or early 80's. it's a real honker, big fat bottom end.

fballatore
01-04-2005, 04:22 PM
Wow - what a phone conversation I just had with Lynn at Yamaha. She could not have been more helpful!! I found out that the used YAS-23 I just purchased was sold to the dealer in 12/01, making it about 3 years old. I'm even more excited now that I got such a great deal on this horn, and I'm very excited about my first lesson tomorrow evening!

If you have any questions about your Yamaha, and serial number, Lynn will definitely help. Thanks Tom for posting the info!

Frank

Tom-Sax
01-04-2005, 09:12 PM
Thanks Tom for posting the info!

Frank

You're welcome Frank :) Glad to see that Lynn is still helping people out. Wouldn't it be a great idea if Yamaha simply posted the serial number reference charts?

Tom

JimMetcalf
01-05-2005, 11:12 PM
I recently acquired a YBS52 seriel number 0025xx Does any here know the app. date of manufacture? Its a very good playing bari!

MojoBari
01-06-2005, 05:23 PM
My 52 was purchased new in 1987. It is #1836. But the early numbers may not be sequential. I have never been able to make sense out of them.

M Exner
04-15-2005, 11:15 PM
I gave it a shot to find the manufacturing date of my 875 soprano. I went through a maze of endless answering devices . I could'nt talk to anyone but I finally placed a message with the "specific question."

Well ... a day later, to my surprise, I got a message on my machine with an approximate manufacturing date. Late 1996 or early 1997 It was sold in March of 1997. Thanks YAMAHA Mike

SAXUALBLUES
09-09-2007, 03:41 AM
Having read thru these posts , I figure this would be the best place for me to start , as I have the same question that most yamaha owners have , how old is my horn and how do I find out any history on it , I have a YTS 61S serial number 008733, i was told by the dealer that i bought it from,that it was about 27 years old at the time , that was 3 years ago ,is there anyone out there who knows approx when this model was made and wot does the S mean in the model 61 "S" , i was told by the dealer this meant Selmar copy, and that yamaha bought the design rights from Selmar to which this horn has manufactured to...Is this correct or was he just BS, any help would be greatly appreciated, ideally i would like to know the year my sax was made .thanks again.

SAXUALBLUES
09-09-2007, 03:59 AM
I do beleive that my 61S is a semi pro model , i was also wondering if anyone else has this model and whayt they think of them , is this model very common in the world of sax players ?

ryp(nz)
09-10-2007, 01:24 PM
I also own a YTS-61S. Happens to be silver-plated. Is yours silver plated? Usually the letter at the end means the type of finish, i.e. "S" means SILVER plated, "GP" means GOLD plated etc...

As for the horn, the 61 series were first PRO series by Yamaha.

Enjoy your 61. :)

SAXUALBLUES
09-14-2007, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the info, and yes mine is silver plated, and thanks for the heads up on where not to clean it , im hoping to find out when it was made , so hopefully that will come . thanks again :)

DougR
09-14-2007, 11:13 AM
According to the best data I've heard, they were made between 74 and 77.

SAXUALBLUES
09-15-2007, 07:04 AM
Thank you so much, that tells me that the info from the dealer was accurate, and my horn is then at least 30 years old, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me , and thank you to evryone else you has done the same , most appreciated.:)

Chris (NZ)
12-16-2007, 01:20 AM
Having read thru these posts , I figure this would be the best place for me to start , as I have the same question that most yamaha owners have , how old is my horn and how do I find out any history on it , I have a YTS 61S serial number 008733, i was told by the dealer that i bought it from,that it was about 27 years old at the time , that was 3 years ago ,is there anyone out there who knows approx when this model was made and wot does the S mean in the model 61 "S" , i was told by the dealer this meant Selmar copy, and that yamaha bought the design rights from Selmar to which this horn has manufactured to...Is this correct or was he just BS, any help would be greatly appreciated, ideally i would like to know the year my sax was made .thanks again.

Whoa! my Tenor is YTS 61S 008732. Haha just thought I'd share that useless piece of info. Merry Christmas everyone!

College Sax
09-10-2010, 05:19 AM
Wow it has been a while since this thread has been brought up but I got curious about my yamahas considering I'm selling one of them in the marketplace right now under "FS Saxes". Anyways, My tenor is a silver plate 875EX with serial number C39931 (Made in Japan below). my alto is an 875 with serial number 003835 and "YAMAHA" written above (no "Made in Japan" anywhere". The alto that I'm selling is a 52 with serial number 005490 and "YAMAHA" above but no "made in japan". Any info on what these mean would be helpful.

bandmommy
09-10-2010, 05:27 AM
Some Yamaha instruments were/are made here in the USA. Hence the no "Made in Japan".
Until a few years a go there was a Yamaha 'factory' here in Michigan.

New player
03-17-2011, 12:16 AM
Here is the latest customer support for woodwinds from Yamaha. March 16th, 2011.
https://www.yamaha.com/ussub/contactform.html?deptcode=16036

savio
03-24-2013, 10:58 AM
Some Yamaha instruments were/are made here in the USA. Hence the no "Made in Japan".
Until a few years a go there was a Yamaha 'factory' here in Michigan.

Careful with this statement. This statement only applies to recent instruments.
Yamaha did not have factory outside Japan until very recently. Therefore, all instruments manufactured until then had not "made in japan" stamped because it was not necessary. Any instruments assembled in the USA usually have an "A" at the end of the serial number.

YamahaCollector
02-27-2014, 09:07 PM
Consider contributing your serial here

Yamaha Loyalist Webpage (https://sites.google.com/site/yamahacollectoryamahaloyalist/)

Cheers
YamahaCollector