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Hi,

I'm looking into buying a professional Yamaha alto saxophone for classical playing while I go to college. I thought I saw something on here about a certain Yamaha that was built for classical playing but I couldn't find anything so I am hoping you guys can help me out.

I'm under the impression that all Yamahas are under 3000 dollars which is in my price range but if you could state the price that would be great too.

Also, the saxophone may also be doubling for some jazz playing too but I don't think it will make a difference anyway. I think calling a saxophone a "classical" saxophone is pretty general enough. But I may be wrong.

Thanks again.
 

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The 875EX is touted as the so-called "classical" horn, with the 82Z purportedly geared more toward "jazz." But most (including me) will tell you this is just marketing hype. Try them both and see which one is more comfortable for you. The 82Z will be several hundred dollars cheaper. Both are under $3000. Both can play whatever style you want. I tried them both and found no discernible difference in the sound, so I went with the slightly better ergos (which for me, turned out to be the 82Z, so I also saved some money). I've since moved on to vintage horns because that is more the sound I am after (I'm past college).
You won't go wrong with either horn, in my opinion. Both are very solidly built and play well. Try 'em both.
 

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My only tip is that while both are under 3000 from WWBW or a SamAsh, these are rarely set up well. I've demoed some really crummy "new" customs before from these places. Once you decide on a model, look for affordable, but respected shops to buy from. Question: would you rather buy from a dealer with an MBA or an MM? This is the difference, and it is worth paying a couple hundred dollars more....and still come out under 3000.
 

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Wow. My experiences with Yamahas is that they're consistantly playable right out of the box; matter of fact, I bought a YTS 82Z, played it for between one to two years and never took it to a repair guy for anything.

Regarding the altos for classical playing, I would get the 875EX without a doubt. I've heard a recording of someone playing classical on a Z and he sounded great. He's also a superior player than I. If you are a mere mortal, I would suggest the EX. I was able to get closest to my ideal classical sound on it rather than on the other Yamahas.
 

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Don't overlook the older Yamahas, like the original 62s (I play on one as does another DMA studentat Iowa) and the 855s (what Dr. Tse uses).
 

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vivace1 said:
Question: would you rather buy from a dealer with an MBA or an MM? This is the difference, and it is worth paying a couple hundred dollars more....and still come out under 3000.
The owner of Prowinds studied with Eugene Rousseau. I hear he was pretty mad when she decided to go into the business world...
 

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Jason, do you play an actualy original 62 with the purple Yamaha Logo? If its not purple, its not the original series, but I agree, 62s are amazing horns!!

I play the EX line myself, and really think it is the best saxophone around for classical literature. Just my opinion... :)

Steve P
 

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I once had the original 62 with the purple yamaha logo and I stupidly sold it. I've regretted that ever since. Sometimes you just don't realize what you have until it's gone. I've actually yet to play one of the new EX's. I'd be really interested in trying them out with a different mouthpiece setup of course. *sigh* the on going search to find that perfect balance of everything never ends.
 

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I myself don't like the yamaha saxophones very much. Technical they're much more solid than the selmer's, but I don't like their overall sound quality...
 

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Dannel,
That must have been before we met way back in High School. I think you were an SX90(R?) guy even back then, as was I. Those original 62's are really amazing. The new ones are just as nice, especially with the G1 neck.

Lots of people also play the Selmer SII and SIII with great success.

Steve P
 

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gary: "Wow. My experiences with Yamahas is that they're consistantly playable right out of the box; matter of fact, I bought a YTS 82Z, played it for between one to two years and never took it to a repair guy for anything."

Man, then I envy you. I think the store I went to just mishandled the horn, but the 82Z alto I tried was clanky and leaky. Likewise I tried a new reference 54 that I literally unwrapped that was just pathetic. Perhaps I've just had bad luck with factory horns.

Martinman: "The owner of Prowinds studied with Eugene Rousseau. I hear he was pretty mad when she decided to go into the business world..."

Yeah, I know there are some killer players at these big box music stores, but there are others as well. An unnamed corporate shop once recommended a Meyer for the darkest classical sound to me. Everybody's just trying to do their job, I don't want to be a snoot; I just would far prefer to buy from a repair tech than not. My experience with keeping my horn dealings with repair folk is that they will be more honest about what is going on with the horn....because they understand the horn better than anyone else.

On another similar note...can anyone describe the difference between an 875 and an 875EX? What were the "improvements"?
 

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Honestly, the only yamaha horn I've ever played on that I liked was the 62. For a while last year, my horn was getting an overhaul (I play a selmer SII) and Dr. Rousseau and the Zagreb Quartet were coming to my school. I had to have a horn, so I ended up bumming other horns in the studio. I'm the only one without a yamaha, so I got the opportunity to really check out these horns. First off, yamahas just don't fit my hands. I don't feel comfortable playing on them. Second, I couldn't get a decent sound out of ANYTHING but my friend's 62. I was extremely pleased with that horn, and had it just had the feel of a selmer horn, I probably would have bought one. That's just my experience. Get a couple of horns and try them all out for yourself to see what fits you the best.
 

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I probably had just gotten my sx90r. This was even back then when they still gave you that bullet-proof looking case lol. I think I still had my yamaha but ended up selling it for my parents needing some money. Of course back then I loved playing on that thing but it wasn't the current "top of the line." I should try and hunt it down heheh.
 

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Martinman said:
The owner of Prowinds studied with Eugene Rousseau. I hear he was pretty mad when she decided to go into the business world...

Actually, that isn't true. Leichen was my teacher my first year at IU and it's her husband Dean who owns Prowinds. (Obviously, Leichen owns it too, being that they are married, but Dean runs it. She runs the coffee place next store, which they also own.) Dean used to run Dr. Rousseau's distribution business for his mouthpieces and also his music publishing company, Etoile. From what I understand, Dr. Rousseau either loaned them the money to start Prowinds or helped them get a business loan. There was a real need for a GOOD music store in Bloomington at the time.

BTW, I was Prowinds' first customer, if that means anything. I bought a box of reeds if I remember correctly.

I will say this, Leichen was an unbelievable player and a very good teacher. She was actually a bit of a saxophone prodigy, and I don't think that ANY teacher is happy when a student with that much talent goes and does something different, but he wasn't angry or anything.
 

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vivace1 said:
On another similar note...can anyone describe the difference between an 875 and an 875EX? What were the "improvements"?
The EX has a two point bell brace and no center-bow reinforcement plate according to the Yamaha literature. The only big difference, however, is that the 875EX ships with the G1 neck. Although it is of little consequence to non-military musicians, the EX no longer has a lyre holder.
 

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Wallace,
Thats a pretty good write up. I did a longer one in the Yamaha section, copied below:

The EX alto is the original 875 with a minor facelift: Some ribbing has been removed to free up the sound, and a two point bell brace is added instead of the 3 point brack. Also, the pearls are smaller, and the LH pinky spatula is smaller. Lastly the octave linkage was revamped for smoother action.

I should also add that the previous 875 altos were shipping with G1s for 2 years before the EX was released. I bought an 875 in early 2002 and it came with a G1.

Great horns!
Steve P
 

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vivace1 said:
I don't want to be a snoot; I just would far prefer to buy from a repair tech than not. My experience with keeping my horn dealings with repair folk is that they will be more honest about what is going on with the horn....because they understand the horn better than anyone else.
What is it about it that makes a repair technician your preferred dealer? What if one's local repair technician is fresh out of repair school and plays only trumpet? Would you still buy a horn from them? Further, if one is looking for a new horn, why would you expect a repairman to have a brand name dealership? What makes a tech inherently more honest than a dealer???

I agree that there are some technicians, such as Randy Jones of Tenormadness, that are excellent sources for great horns. To suggest that Joe Average, Horn Tech, is your ideal source, however, is a bit simplistic.
 

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Wallace said:
Although it is of little consequence to non-military musicians, the EX no longer has a lyre holder.
(That's because the lyre holder is really a bayonet mount.)
 
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