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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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I have just recently purchased a minty A990u and am curious as to how it stacks up to the current A991 product.Skyedude asked for a similar comparison in the SOTW archives, having also purchased one back then, but also wanted comparisons for earlier models. Hurling Frootmig discussed differences in tonehole placement.Is it possible that the A990u is an A991 without the brass thumbrest/hook?
 

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saxphil said:
I have just recently purchased a minty A990u and am curious as to how it stacks up to the current A991 product.Skyedude asked for a similar comparison in the SOTW archives, having also purchased one back then, but also wanted comparisons for earlier models. Hurling Frootmig discussed differences in tonehole placement.Is it possible that the A990u is an A991 without the brass thumbrest/hook?
There's the left hand front fork F key--the 991 is all brass whereas the 990 has the mother-of-pearl key. The engraving is different too. The 990 has the metal logo soldered onto the bell.
 

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I'm sure there are many subtle differences between the 990 and 991. I have two bari saxes, one a 990 and the other a 991. These instruments both play so much the same that to me they are twins.

So side by side and not spending much time I see these differences:

990
Plastic left thumb rest, plastic right thumb hook, mother of pearl on front F key, the three bell pad covers have adjustable mechanisms not found on the 991, less engraving on bell with a braised (?) logo on bell.

991
Brass left thumb rest, brass swivel right thumb hook, brass front F key, engraving from top to bottom on the bell but no braised logo on bell.
 

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As I recall, Yanagisawa has said there are minor changes in tone hole placement on the 901/991 series to improve intonation.
 
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