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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Spent some time searching and reading through this topic, but I’m still looking for a clarification on something. I’ve always poked around the used market for cheap YAS-23s and Vitos, and have acquired and off-loaded a few over the years. They’ve always had the non-adjustable metal thumb rest. When did the 23 start using the adjustable plastic thumb rest and did that coincide with other changes to the model in terms of design or production?

Secondarily, I know that for a time, the 23s were assembled in Grand Rapids, MI. Then at some point they changed the model designation to YAS-200 Advantage, and I see Made in Indonesia or Made in China stamped on those. But, I also occasionally see one of these “Advantages” stamped Assembled In USA like the one pictured below. So were these 200s made in the same Grand Rapids location and are they more similar to the 23s that had been coming out of there before the 200 model line evolved in its own direction?

The main reason I’m asking is because I’d like to get a 23 or 200 from after they started using the more comfortable thumb rest, but before they shifted production to Indonesia or China.
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Aside from my Kessler curved soprano, which has a modern style thumb hook that can be adjusted, all of my other saxophones are vintage or antique. My two 1920's Conn New Wonders (C Mel and soprano), as well as my 1920's Elkhart BIC alto, and additionally, my Vito (Beaugnier) tenor, and Vito (Yamaha) alto, all have the old school, non-movable/adjustable, thumb rest. I have found the Protec thumb rest gel cushions work just as well (for me) as the modern adjustable thumb hooks (get the large or extended large). There is also a leather thumb pad by CIELmusic, which is also well made, but I find works better on alto or soprano. These are found on Amazon or possibly at your local music shop.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve been using this aftermarket one on my Kessler straight soprano and I really like it. It’s helped me overcome some medical-related discomfort while playing. I was thinking ahead to one day trying it on a YAS-23 if I could find one with the adjustable thumb rest.

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What I’m not sure of though is - at what exact point in the 23s history did the quality start to decline? I assumed it was when the line transitioned to the 2xx model designation. But then I noticed these “Advantage” 200s that say “Assembled In USA” and they still look more like the old 23s. Are they still of same quality in build and fit, finish?
 

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I’ve been using this aftermarket one on my Kessler straight soprano and I really like it. It’s helped me overcome some medical-related discomfort while playing. I was thinking ahead to one day trying it on a YAS-23 if I could find one with the adjustable thumb rest.

What I’m not sure of though is - at what exact point in the 23s history did the quality start to decline? I assumed it was when the line transitioned to the 2xx model designation. But then I noticed these “Advantage” 200s that say “Assembled In USA” and they still look more like the old 23s. Are they still of same quality in build and fit, finish?
I have that same thumb hook for my Kessler soprano.

I bought a Vito (YAS-23) for $70...basket case, and had it overhauled for about $600. Serial say it is from 1998 or so....and is stamped "Japan" on the back. Sounds just like a YAS-23 and same details. It is a solid sax for what it is. You can ask a tech to install an adjustable hook, but you will lose some lacquer (my Vito has no lacquer, was stripped when I got it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah that’s what got me thinking about it. I have a Vito in my closet that’s a little beat up and needs service. When I held it the other day, I was reminded of the uncomfortable thumb rest (which never mattered at all until recently). I thought I might look for an actual 23 with the better thumb rest. Maybe when I take the Vito to my tech I’ll ask about installing a better thumb rest. There’s already lacquer loss around the body brace from an older repair so I’m not too worried about preservation on this one. We’ll see...
 

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@chipcook:
I appreciate the product photos and recommendations!

@JJsax:
That is a very interesting thumbrest! Would you be so kind as to provide the product name and/or manufacturer?

Thanks to you both!
 

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saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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@chipcook:That is a very interesting thumbrest! Would you be so kind as to provide the product name and/or manufacturer?
Music Medic sells these and so does Goodson. I've also seen them very cheap on eBay but I don't know if they are the same quality. I have those thumb rests on most of my saxes. Also known as "ergonomic" thumb rests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got mine from music medic:



Was in stock and arrived promptly.
 

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you'll also find them on eflay for a fraction of the price. can't vouch for their quality though.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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I forgot to mention; these comfort thumb-rests are also available in plastic (or used to be at Goodson). Using plastic will reduce the weight of your horn by a small amount.
 
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