Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Custom YAS 855, 875 - anyone try both?

Ben
User ID: 1934244
Dec 11th 12:07 PM
What were your thoughts on the 855? The 855 is not available in the States anymore and I'm wondering why that is. Was the 875 a better horn or simply preferred?

Thanks.
LoneTango
User ID: 1334734
Dec 11th 12:48 PM
The 875 is a newer model that replaces the 855, just like the 62 replaces the 61 in the same fashion. There are a few differences between each transistion, in specific to the 855/875, the 855 has a smaller bore than the 875 and to me, keywork isn't as well-fitted to the hands than the new 875. Sound-wise, they are both great horns and one might sound a little different than the other.

Saxfoonwinkel has both for sale on their website.
Brian
User ID: 0617234
Dec 11th 5:51 PM
With all due respect LoneTango, that information is not correct. The 855 and 875 were introduced by Yamaha at teh same time, as their 'Custom' series highest end offering. I was told by Yamaha people that when they presented the prototypes to sax professional and clinicians, they divided about 50 / 50 on who preferred which, and why. But when sales figures came back it seems that the public prefferrred (in the states at least) the 875 by a strong margin.

I have owned both, in silver plate.

The 855 is a smaller bore. Otherwise they are identical in every way. Same metalurgy, same hand hammered Body and Bell, same ergonomics of keywork.

As far as playability, stayed with the 875 and sold the 855. I liked the larger bottom sound. Tuning is was great on both. I personally felt the 875 had a more even timbre throughout the range of the horn, for the way I blow. This can very from horn to horn, and person to person though. Either one is a great horn. I have talked to alot of people that preffered the 855, contrary to me.
Ben
User ID: 1934244
Dec 12th 12:44 PM
Brian,

What were the specific reasons you went with the 875 as opposed to the 855? Can you actually "feel" or hear the effects of the different size bores? Did you find that you had to use a different strength reed for each since their bores are sized differently? Was the tuning at all different?

Those people you talked to who prefer the 855, what kind of music do they play? Classical? Jazz? What do you yourself play?

Thanks.
Brian
User ID: 0617234
Dec 13th 7:16 AM
Strictly Jazz,now, Ben. The word on the street is that the 855 was orriginally marketed as a 'jazz players' horn. The 875 for legit work. But as we now, there are so many more factors to a 'jazz' sound, and even more variations on how to reach it from one player to another. The 855 was a little bit smaller and penetrating to my ear (sound wise). Not so much in the upper register but the 875 I have now is fuller in the low tones than the 855.

As far as 'feel' I think if there was a significant difference it would be more memorable, but I dont think so.

Keywork - identical

I used the same mouthpiece and reed setup on both. This would lead me to believe the resistance in the horn was very similar.

Ben, we are talking about very very small subtle differences here. My suggestion would to go with the 875 since it is the current, more marketable, model in the states. That way if you ever get drawn over to the 'DARK SIDE' with selmer, JK, and vintage (Gosh, no offense Bootman), you have an outlet!... LOL. I persoanlly think that with mouthiece combinations, you can get the same results from either horn. Apparently Yamaha US felt the same.