Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Yani A901 vs. 902 & 991

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Tom F
User ID: 1620704
Jan 25th 11:16 PM
I've been almost exclusively a bari player for the last few years (except tenor in marching band) and I decided recently I wanted to take up the alto again.

Last night, I had a chance to test out a few different altos. I tried a Yamaha 52 and 62, and both played fine, great intonation (and I honestly couldn't tell the difference in sound between the two), but nothing special. I tried a Yani 901 and the sound was absolutely amazing(and this was with a crap mouthpiece I haven't used since my freshman year of high school) - I'm definitely sold on the Yani sound. I really liked the heavier feel of the Yani - it felt a lot more substantial, and the keywork was nice and strong like my SX90 bari. That was the only Yani they carried, so I didn't have a chance to try a 991.

As far as my current budget goes, Selmer, Keilwerth, and Yamaha Custom are out of the question. My tastes in sound for alto and bari are quite different, and I prefer the more "modern" alto sound, so I'm not considering a vintage horn.

The 991 is (barely) within my price range, so I'm wondering: are the differences in sound and construction worth the $700 difference in price(going by the USA Horn price list)? I'm also looking at the 902, or possibly the 901S (silverplate). How would either of these compare to the basic 901?
Fun Bun
User ID: 8416263
Jan 26th 1:06 PM
Go with the 991. That added security with the double arms in the low register is worth it! Also the F# sway key adds more adjustabilty to the horn. It's nice not to have to bring your horn into the shop every month for adjustments.
User ID: 0784604
Jan 26th 4:35 PM
I have a Yani 991 and its a fantastic alto to play. A new Yani 991 from is about $1800 at current exchange rates - that's with shipping. I think it's even about $150 cheaper from but I've never dealt with them myself.

I think the 991 is a much better deal than the 901 - as the 991 does really stay in adjustment better. The 991 is a fun alto to play, probably about the most freeblowing alto on the market. I tried the 992 at NAMM and liked it a lot. I don't think the silverplate is worth it - I've got a silver plated yamaha alto and tenor and in my experience it brightens the sound a bit. I like the bronze better in the Yanis.

Based on my taste and playing, and keep in mind I'm not you. The best value for the $$$ is the 991. You'd be better off spending the extra to get the 991 rather than the 902. In terms of what I liked after playing the Yanis I'd say 9937 alto (but not the tenor), 992, 991, 902, 901.

I'd say either the 992 or 991, either that or save the $$$ and go with the 901, but the 991 is a better value than the 902.

Also, USA horn imports their horns from Europe, that's how they are cheaper than everyone else in the US. You might as well import your own and save the big bucks. Yanis are very consistent from horn to horn.

In all honesty, the Yani is my favorite alto to play. I also have a Yamaha Custom that I think sounds better. But for me the Custom isn't as much fun to play as the Yani because the Yani is so easy.
Fun Bun
User ID: 8416263
Jan 26th 6:05 PM
Sherry, you hit the nail one the head. My A-992 in so easy to play that I laugh all the way to the practice room. The other guys at school are playing on horns that stay out of adjustment and not well in tune and have poor hand positioning. With the Yanis you don't have to work hard at all!

As for tenor the Ref. 54 is more fun for me to play than the T-991. The Yani. 991 tenor is great but just doesn't do what I need it to do for jazz.
User ID: 1007814
Jan 28th 7:11 AM
The 901 certainly plays well enough to be called a pro horn, but it has a lighter construction than the 991 and I am not sure if it would stay the course in the rough and tumble of a working player. Every Yani I have played has been a dream to play, there are some other considerations, but in playability and reliability they are among the best.
Tom F
User ID: 1084044
Jan 28th 10:15 PM
I don't play for a living, and I'm not sure if I ever will. I plan on taking up a minor in music next year, and I know that I'll be playing pieces too technically difficult for me to play well on bari. I also take excellent care of my horns, and my bari has only a few tiny dings and has never had anything go out of adjustment after the last three years of concert band use. If durability is the only advantage to the 991 over the 901, I don't see much of a need for spending so much more.
User ID: 9370173
Jan 29th 12:03 PM
Tom..I am a 10th grader and I currently play Yani A901. As mentioned above Yanis are great horns, my 901 sounds great especially with a JJ#7/spoiler, Vandoren #3 reeds and Rovner ligs. I made District and region Jazz bands using a 901. You will not be disapointed I tried the 991 and felt that there was not much difference in sound(saving the extra cash for my first car). When I get to college I will probably upgrade to their top of the line (993..)but I will still keep my 901 as backup. Good Luck.
User ID: 9063723
Feb 11th 9:23 PM
The 992/991 has sturdier keywork because of the ribs and double arms while the 901/902 has no ribs. Because of this fact, I found it more resonant. Like anything there are trade offs. I went with the 902, since I really don't gig that often or tour. Great horns both of them. The bronze sound is more to my liking.
User ID: 9517143
Feb 11th 10:17 PM
Hey, gman, keep up the good work!!
User ID: 8882983
Feb 13th 9:52 AM
Gee, I didn't realize ribs are so important. Makes me wonder how my 10M has survived 66 years.
Fun Bun
User ID: 8416263
Feb 13th 10:39 AM
What is the difference between a rib and an arm on a saxophone?
User ID: 9001673
Mar 8th 11:40 AM
So, if budget only can pay either a A-901 or YAS-62, which sax you will pick up?
User ID: 2839494
Mar 26th 10:13 AM
Anyone have an opinion on the last question? A-901 or YAS62, also, A-991 or YAS875? I am looking to upgrade my son's Yamaha YAS23
Fun Bun
User ID: 8416263
Mar 26th 10:23 AM
I would suggest the A-991 because of the double arms on the low C and B keys and the Sway key. That helps keep that horn in alignment. Also, the A-991 is cheaper than a Custom (875) Yamaha.
User ID: 9865253
Mar 31st 7:51 PM
If you are careful with the 901 it wouldnt matter, would it?
Fun Bun
User ID: 8416263
Mar 31st 7:55 PM
Stuff happens. The only thing in life you can control is inside your skin.
User ID: 0707654
Mar 31st 8:34 PM
Tom F,

I just got back into playing after several years. I've found the 901 alto and tenor to be fine horns. I too treat them with gentle care and they do great.

With a lot of research I found the A901 at a shop in Australia for $1195 USD. You may need to converse or email to get the best price. With shipping and customs fee's it totaled $1360 USD.

I spent an extra $100 to have Tim at Sax Alley do a full adjustment and get it playing it's best. It's a fabulous alto to play at a very fair price.

The site is:

User ID: 1084044
Apr 14th 1:23 PM
how does the yani a901 compare to the yamaha yas-23 in all aspects? im looking at either a yas-62 or a yani a901 coming from a yas-23. I feel bored with the yamaha sound, so what would you reccomend?
User ID: 9272753
May 10th 8:32 PM
how about the black lacquer yannie a991? is that at all recoomended?
User ID: 8590713
May 11th 1:30 AM
The Yani 901 is a major step-up from the Yas 23, having a finer tone and action. I haven't played the black 991 but the silver versions of both the 901 and 992 do have something extra IMHO. I found the 992 a bit heavy sounding and difficult to make it sing. The A901 silver on the other hand was the brightest quality horn I have ever played, it was bright, loud and proud without being brash.
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