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I know - everyone hates these threads BUT I have a friend looking for a baritone saxophone. He primarily plays in saxophone quartets. He asked for my opinion and to be honest, I've never learned too much about quality baritone saxophones. If I was personally going to purchase a baritone saxophone it would be a YBS-52 or one of those Vito/Yani deals. My friend is thinking Selmer Series II or Mark VI. He did ask about a P.Mauriat. I honestly have NO experience with the big horn. So any help would be Helpful....:) Has to be LOW A - and not older the a Mark VI.

Thanks
 

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I have played in quartets with a MkVI. Truthfully, I would just as soon play on my YBS-62. Yamahas are great classical horns. The selmers probably work great, too.

I like the low A mechanism much better on the Yamaha.
 

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I like the Yani baris myself, the Vito/yani's are a steal for a quality modern horn. After that I would prefer a YBS-62. Any of them will work just fine though so whatever is available and affordable. I've never had a chance to try a Mauriat bari.
 

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Yanagisawa.... 901 or 991...
 

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Series III. No question.
Yes, the SIII is also great--I had one on trial for awhile and returned to my SII, though. That said, the ergonomics of the SIII, and its sweet mid to upper register focus, are unmatched in my experience. Tuning is great, but so is my SII.
 

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Series II.

Plays like a big alto. Warm, focused sound, a bit of resistance especially in that problematic lower middle register, excellent intonation, and passable ergonomics. I've played everything from the Big Four but a Series III, and to me none of them are even close.

I long for the release of the YBS-875EX.

PS - Dr. Romain, fantastic playing. :) I love that piece!
 

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Even though I play one, I would say that the Yani 901 is not a great choice for classical saxophone, in that it has a core sound that is difficult to get away from, and is not the warmest or most complex. That said it is a great horn, and I play mostly big band and rock on mine, playing classical on tenor. It should still be on the list to try. It seems most Yani owners immediately get a "classical" piece but I've found the stock HR 5 to play as well as the S80 and S90 and have great facings out of the box.
 

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I regularly play a YBS-62, it's a great horn. All the baris from PMEA all states have played them, as well as many professionals. I'm also a big fan of the SA80II, if you can afford it.
 

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OK, most of the posts here are pretty old, so if your friend has made their choice on their new bari congrats to them, otherwise maybe my advise might be usefult to them. Just as a little bit of a disclaimer before I mention any models of sax at all, I play on a Selmer C* bari mouthpiece and as a predominantly classical player I wouldn't play on anything else and a mouth piece can significantly alter the response you get from the instrument.

I learnt on an old Yanagisawa bari in my first 4 years of playing (circa 1970s), then got a brand new Yanagisawa B-901 in 1998 and played on that continuously until May 2011 when I replaced it. I was living in London and there is an awesome showroom who had every horn I wanted to try. I really like the Yanagisawa baris for classical, but there were a couple of things I wasn't completely happy with and I've found these to be a challenge on many baris.

Yanagisawa B-901: Reliable intonation throughout the range, great sound throughout the register, however to knit-pick I found the tone to be a little less rich/full between middle (two-finger) A and open C# and whilst I could get a big sound up in the palm register I always found that the tone had just a little "rasp" to it which was very difficult to eliminate.

Yanagisawa B-991: Exactly the same as the 901, I wouldn't recommend paying the additional money for it if you're going with a Yani. The 901 is great and they haven't really done much to the 991 to make it any better.

Yanagisawa B992: This one is the bronze model. Weighs a bit more which might worry some players. I noticed very similar issues with tone as I described in the other Yanis, but as a huge plus, the lower register below bottom E has an amazing quality that was very rich, smooth and volume was achieved with ease.

P.Mauriat: I can't remember which model I tried of these, but the sound was HUGE! I'd love playing it in a big band, but I'm a classical player and I just didn't see it working as it wouldn't blend in an ensemble. I also found the tone to be quite harsh and I love a smooth bari that I can recreate the sound of a cello on when required and the Mauriat just didn't have this.

Yamaha 62: Good intonation but they really need to lift their game, I thought the Yanagisawa 991 was better in every way.......in particularly the speed of the key work. Much better saxes around for less money.

Selmer Series III: I waited for 4 months until they had one in stock to make my decision, just in case it blew everything else out of the water. I went in with no limitations on price and if it had have been the best instrument I tried, I would have bought it (no matter how hideously expensive it may be!). Great tone throughout the register, although I wasn't convinced that the "rasp" up around the palm keys wasn't there just a little. I would love to perform a solo piece on one of these just once where there was a lot of FF marked because the sound was pretty darn big. I think the intonation may have been slightly more reliable than the Series II. With the Series III alto and tenor, the tone was noticibly brighter than the series II and difficult to blend in an ensemble environment, where the series III sopranos have a stunning tone. With the Series III bari, I don't think the tone was too bright to be blended in an ensemble as with the alto and tenor, but it was a bit brighter than the series II and I love a dark classical tone. REALLY quick keys on this and jumping between octaves and switching registers is smooth and effortless.

Selmer Series II: OK, this is what I settled on. It has a couple of little quirks in intonation on a very small number of notes, but I can get used to them. Tone: STUNNING! Most notably in the palm keys, so smooth and like no other bari in my opinion, it doesn't matter what dynamic level you're playing at it's smooth, rich and rasp-free. Key work is really slick and I think I moved semi-quaver runs in a piece I was working on instantly up by about 15-20bpm instantly when switching on to my new horn from my yani. I just feel so at home on this horn both as a soloist and in an ensemble, but as the story goes with Selmer, I can only speak for my own horn as they're all different.

I hope this all helps.

Good Luck!!
 

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Sequoia "Classic" (65% Cu body, with 85% Cu neck... and nickel silver keywork):


... or the Sequoia Custom "pink" baritone:

Don't remember if the material is 85% Cu brass or 91% Cu brass... but there is much copper in the alloy.
The keywork is always made in nickel silver (instead of brass).


I compared the "Classic" (brass) with a Yanagisawa B991... and the Sequoia was more even throughout the register... and more in-tune in middle and high register: the intonation on the Yana was manageable (quite easily) while the Sequoia was perfectly in tune.
Both were fresh overhauled.
 
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