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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

This is my first post here and I was looking for some much appreciated advice. I have been playing alto for the last few years and am looking to buy a quality tenor that will last me a while. I have been looking through older horns as I like the appeal they have and it seems some very good models can be had for good prices.

I have mainly been looking at the Yanagisawa t800 and similar models. I have been looking at this listing for a bit and have been considering if it would be a good horn to get.


My only real concern is that the seller lists it as a t4/t800 and to what I can find I believe those are two separate models. I have heard plenty of good things about the t800 however what I have heard about the T4 does not seem to match the 800 in its praise.

Please forgive my lack of knowledge in the subject, I only just recently started learning about the many other models of saxophone out there.

My Main questions are: What is this horn and what are your opinions on it and the price it is at?
 

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I expect some of the more knowledgeable folk will chime in on this, but I note this sax has a high F#, which I haven’t seen on other T4 pics. That doesn’t mean there maybe weren’t some with a high F#, just not the ones I’ve seen. And this one has a plastic thumb hook, while all the T4s I’ve seen have metal. But that could have been switched out, I suppose. So I guess I am not much help there. It is a nice looking sax, though a bit pricey for a T4. They do accept offers though . . .

I’d suggest asking the seller for a pic of the serial number area, which usually (though not always) shows the model number, as in this pic of a T4. I once had a T5 and there was only a very faint 5 there, which was very hard to see. But mabye a pic showing the model number would clear this up. Still, they do clearly say in the description it is a T4. Maybe you could also ask them about why they say 800 in the title.
 

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@AddisonB welcome to SOTW and the beginning of your musical journey. Be patient in your search acquisition. There are a lot of little subtleties to learn on saxophones. I do not know this marquee well but I think the T 500 does not have ribbed construction. The T 800 has ribbed construction. The one in the listing is not ribbed.
Here is the section for Yanagiswa.
 

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Welcome.

That Yanagisawa is a T-50. It's a great instrument, produced at the same time as the T-800 and T-880. The price is reasonable, but probably a little high - $1,250 should be able to purchase it - the amount saved can then get it serviced to remove the dents and have it adjusted.

Similarly a Yamaha YTS-52 should be $1,000 - $1,500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your insight and warm welcomes it really means a lot. I am glad it was able to be identified and I can see that it is a little high for a T-50. I will definitely still consider it, just at a different price.

Are there any models of professional Tenors that generally sell in the mid to lower 1k margin that you can think of?
 

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Thank you all for your insight and warm welcomes it really means a lot. I am glad it was able to be identified and I can see that it is a little high for a T-50. I will definitely still consider it, just at a different price.

Are there any models of professional Tenors that generally sell in the mid to lower 1k margin that you can think of?
On the Yanagisawa. Keep in mind ANY used sax has the potential need of a $800 service until you know better.
Are you looking at only modern (post 1970) or older vintage ? What alto do you now have ?
 

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There were two types of T4 from what I remember.
One had the older style left pinky and one had the more modern Selmer type.
This horn looks to be a T500.
Stainless springs and post to body construction are on par with the 500 (50) model.
They typically sell for less than the 800 model but aren’t any less of a horn.
 

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There are many T 500 ( not 50, there is a T 500 or a T5 they are not the same, but no T 50) which are often misidentified (especially by the sellers ) because the contemporary series 800 is way more expensive,

The T500 is not a bad horn as others have said but is simply worth less.

I don’t remeber two types of T4 but there was a T3 the first Yanagisawa , with very old mechanics. The first really “ modern” Yanagisawa is the series 4 which can be found also under different names.

T500 were an slightly cheapened down series which gave Yanagisawa the possibility to offer at competitive prices on the student’s market, again, not bad horns, but if I had the choice I would prefer a higher series.
 

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OP, it's worth considering getting a tenor that's of a similar family to your alto. So, for example, if you've been playing a recent Yamaha alto, a (relatively) recent Yanagisawa will probably have a similar layout and responsiveness - for sure a Yamaha tenor would align very well with the way your alto plays. Or, on the other hand, if you've been playing a1925 Buescher True-Tone alto, an old Buescher or Conn tenor would feel familiar to you.

Just a thought; people adapt quickly; but I think it's worth considering.

The particular listing looks very good, don't know about the price. If these are the same design that were stenciled as "Martin" in the 1970s, I play tested one of those back then and remember it being a very good instrument. I'd expect it to be very much in the Selmer Mark 6 vein as to tonality and response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On the Yanagisawa. Keep in mind ANY used sax has the potential need of a $800 service until you know better.
Are you looking at only modern (post 1970) or older vintage ? What alto do you now have ?
Yes I have heard of plenty of older horns requiring some solid maintenance, I am in touch with my local repairman so I am sure he would be capable of getting one up to speed. I am mainly looking at post 1970s and as of Alto I have been playing on a brand called Schiller, they are lower quality Taiwanese horns so I can definitely appreciate something with quality behind it. I got back in middle school with little background digging into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OP, it's worth considering getting a tenor that's of a similar family to your alto. So, for example, if you've been playing a recent Yamaha alto, a (relatively) recent Yanagisawa will probably have a similar layout and responsiveness - for sure a Yamaha tenor would align very well with the way your alto plays. Or, on the other hand, if you've been playing a1925 Buescher True-Tone alto, an old Buescher or Conn tenor would feel familiar to you.

Just a thought; people adapt quickly; but I think it's worth considering.

The particular listing looks very good, don't know about the price. If these are the same design that were stenciled as "Martin" in the 1970s, I play tested one of those back then and remember it being a very good instrument. I'd expect it to be very much in the Selmer Mark 6 vein as to tonality and response.

I do see the logic behind that, while as stated in my comment I put up just after yours I don't play on a name brand sax, however many of the features of the layout of the keys are originally off of a few different models of Selmer horns. However like you said I imagine I could adapt without too much of a hassle, but getting something that doesn't stray too far from familiarity would be nice.
 

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OK, it sounds like your alto has that similar "modern" key layout' a Yanagisawa would probably be an excellent choice, as long as you stay newer than their very first horns, the Conn knockoffs.

I have never heard anything except good reports about Yana saxophones.
 

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Aside the 3 series all Yanagisawa have“ modern” keywork.

The 500 has compensated mechanics (as in “ balanced action “ mechanics), avery good choice in any case, just realize that it is wort less than some people ask for it if they mistake it for another series
 

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Yes, it is popular to downtalk the T500 by some folks. I own, and have owned, a lot of Yanagisawa for many many years. The 500 plays as well as the 800, 880, 900, etc.
For me.
My comparisons are based on daily use over a long time. But folks like to say what they say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It seems since posting this the listing has since sold unfortunately, are there any other models of tenor from the 1970s onward that I could look for around the mid 1000 dollar mark that might stack up to this aforementioned T-500 in quality?
 

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It seems since posting this the listing has since sold unfortunately, are there any other models of tenor from the 1970s onward that I could look for around the mid 1000 dollar mark that might stack up to this aforementioned T-500 in quality?
Would you consider a 1962 Martin Indiana tenor ? It’s a player but will need a repad In the near future. Sub $1k
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Would you consider a 1962 Martin Indiana tenor ? It’s a player but will need a repad In the near future. Sub $1k
I really appreciate the offer, I am a bit uncertain as of now on my options as this is looking to be a birthday present of mine, but I will message you if this ends up being a good option for me.
 
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