Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Yamaha Saxophones

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User ID: 9259363
Jun 30th 12:06 AM
Since we have a new topic (Alto Saxes), I thought I'd start a thread on Yamahas. I own a YAS-52. It would be interested to share reactions, problems, good points of these horns, tricks of the trade, etc.

I'll start by telling you that mine has always liked to play a middle A when I finger a middle D, and that my "former" repairman melted the plastic pearls on two keys when heating to reseat the pads. Told me the 62 series has real mother-of-pearl that won't melt. (Now use Robertos where they don't melt even the plastic ones!)

Otherwise, I love this horn. It seems to bring the best out of a good mouthpiece, although I've found HR Links hard to blow on this horn. Jon Van Wie told me that Yamahas and Links don't go well together.

So that's my experience with my one year old YAS-52. In general, I love the horn. Capable of a good rich sound. Anybody else love or love to hate any of these Yamahas?
User ID: 0081374
Jun 30th 12:14 AM
I have a Custom alto that screams. I have all nice horns, but this alto does more than the others. It almost plays itself.
User ID: 2254074
Jun 30th 2:36 AM
I used to have a Custom, which I traded for a 62 in silver. Custom felt great in my hands and is gives the most warmth of any alto I've ever played. But the 62 silver is what I'm looking for, which is not as mellow as the Custom, and gives a bright and buzzy sound which I love.

All in all, I've played the Big 4 horns within my 6 years of playing and I've always turned back to Yamaha because of their dependability and sound. And recently, I've found a love for the silver finishes.
Randy M.
User ID: 0296604
Jun 30th 4:44 AM
Yep. Custom 875.
Lost Lamb
User ID: 0331974
Jun 30th 6:46 AM
21,23,32,61,62,875, Allegro.
All lacquer.
Yamaha quality control and intonation seems consistent; Yamaha tone varies. They are often thought of as intrinsically bright, many are.
One 61, one 62, and the Custom with a classical mouthpiece play quite dark.
Allegro was much better than I thought it would be.
User ID: 9753653
Jun 30th 6:38 PM
I love my early 62 alto. I has the purple Yamaha stencil on the bell, and is a great sounding, great projecting alto.
little girl
User ID: 0310794
Jul 1st 10:03 PM
I'm feeling a little bad here but...
I personally don't really like yamahas. Though I feel they make good horns, I don't feel that thy're the best. I've also heard a ton of complaints about them. I play a yts-23 for MB and have tried all the others, but don't have a lot of experience with them other than that.
I've heard though, that customs are inconsistant in their manufacturing, and you have to go through several of them before you can find one with good intonation.
I've also talked to a lot of people who play on 52's and the bari players are the only people I've come across who haven't complained about them(outside of this page).
And finally, intonation on 23's seems to be consistently bad, especially in the upper register.
User ID: 1662364
Jul 2nd 2:56 AM
My old YAS 25 had near perfect intonation once I ditched the std mouthpiece and got a C*. I believe the 23 is a US assmebled horn which is the same except it lacks the F# key. With a good mouthpiece and proper adjustment (and technique) your 23 should play perfectly well in tune.
Lost Lamb
User ID: 0331974
Jul 2nd 6:04 AM
If you're hearing a ton of complaints about Yamahas, little girl, the complainants ought to imho look closely at their technique, setup, and maintenance. Yamahas are among the most consistent saxophone products made; last year, this forum overwhelmingly posted that Yamaha Customs had the most consistent tone and intonation among the Big Four. Yamaha 23 (or 275) is the most frequently mentioned choice for a beginner instrument because of its quality control, good intonation, and resale value. (Sturdiness probably goes to Bundy ;~)))
If your marching band has consistently bad intonation in the upper register on 23s, look to mismatching of mouthpieces, improper maintenance (or no maintenance) or biting beginners, imho.
My family has more than a dozen alto and tenor Yamahas, and I can tell you from personal experience that after adjustment, every one can play every note in tune within a few cents on an electronic tuner.
I do understand those who prefer saxes other than Yamaha because they do not care for the sound, tone, lack of resonance, brightness, etc. That is personal preference.
Consistent problems with Yamaha, 23 through Custom, sounds like some other consistent problem.
User ID: 9440113
Jul 2nd 6:26 AM
Amen, Lost Lamb... lol
Custom 875 , Silver Plate .... it smokes
Lost Lamb
User ID: 0331974
Jul 2nd 6:44 AM
Actually, I figured I'd say it niceynice before Gordon finds it and tells her how to fix them all.
Gordon, can you help her out?
User ID: 2254074
Jul 2nd 8:52 PM
I went through THREE custom altos, never had one problem with them. Always had pinpoint intonation and never had any maintaneance done besides the regular keeping it in good shape. Now how inconsistent is that?
Randy M.
User ID: 0296604
Jul 2nd 9:11 PM
Wonder if Little girl is teasing us-to get a reaction? (Also benefit of doubt)
User ID: 9259363
Jul 2nd 9:29 PM
Could someone discuss this Yamaha Custum in more detail. I am familair with the YAS 42-52-62 series mostly.

Is the Custom an aloder or newer model.
Where does it fit in pricewise with the other mdoels?
And are they still in production?
Choice: Silver or lacquer?
FInally, is this a professinal horn like the 62?

It's place in Yamaha history woueld be appreciiated.
User ID: 9279843
Jul 2nd 9:59 PM
For about 3 years I played on a 52 bari, and it pretty much rocked. It was pretty old and dirty (the serial number was only 4 digits, starting with a one) but still played great. Last year I played a brand new 52, and it played identical to the old one. Those beasts hold up!
Randy M.
User ID: 0296604
Jul 2nd 10:17 PM
The Custom 855 and the Custom 875 were the last developed professional Yamaha horn. Production was stopped on the 855, and leaves the Custom 875 as the top of the top Yamaha Professional horn. The 62 was the top of the line before the 875.

Both are good horns but different. I understand that the metal component is a different mixture than the 62. The metal of the 62 and other Yamahas is anealed(sp?). The Coustom 875 is not anealed (heated red hot).

At one time the Custom 875 was only available in the alto and tenor, with the 62 still the top of the line for soprano and bari. I've not kept up, so I don't know if this has changed in the last few years.
Lost Lamb
User ID: 0331974
Jul 2nd 11:23 PM
What's a 42?
User ID: 2254074
Jul 3rd 1:36 AM
There are Custom models for all 3 of the main horns, soprano-alto-tenor. The 875 Custom followed the 855 Custom just like the 62 followed the discontinued 61. Customs are a step up from the 62's, although the 62's are pro line horns also. Customs are a lot darker in color when comparing the gold lacquer color, and are also available in silver plate and black lacquer. They are also a little heavier than most others.

The Customs are being produced along with the current 23 and also with the 52's and 62's. They also released a new model called the Allegro which is like a semi-pro horn and like all other Yamaha horns, they sound very good for the price. If you see models that are 61, 675, or 855, these are discontinued models and are no longer being made due to its new equivalent.

The sound of the Customs are a lot deeper and more mellow compared to the lower models, and the keywork and ergonomics is a lot more comfortable to the hands, not to mention very good key action. Another plus, but very typical of Yamahas, is that the intonation is unbeatable.

Price wise? The lowest I've seen is around $2600 overseas and they run around $3400 here in the U.S. They are the most expensive in the Yamaha line.

And by the way, there was (and is) no 42 model in their line. They only had a 25, which is a European version of the 23.

You can find out the detailed specs at
User ID: 9928103
Jul 3rd 3:24 AM
I have bought a YAS-61, and I think I got a good deal (<$900,hardly a scratch), but it has got me curious about Yamaha history. I'm struggling to find resources eg. serial numbers, so I don't have a clue how old it is. I also heard Yamaha's later models are a lot better than the earlier models. Can anyone enlighten me?
Gordon (NZ)
User ID: 0651814
Jul 3rd 6:24 AM
So called "Little Girl", in my experience, is writing utter nonsense (and I've never seen the name here before). Hmmmm. I cannot think of a more appropriate way of saying that.
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