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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ideally we all know to trial horns first etc, but if you had to blind pick one of these used Altos. Which one and why? Physical condition being about equal. Personal/individual use horn so I don't need to worry about blending in with others.

875 Original - Silver Plated w M1 Neck

875 EX - Brass Laquer w V1 Neck
 

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I once tested a Custom 875 alto and didn't like it (weak/resistant upper-register response, which I attribute to the neck), so I would definitely go for the 875EX. Both it and the V1 neck seem to have been widely acclaimed by Yamaha players.

Also, I dislike both tarnish and the polishing necessary to prevent tarnish.

Of course, if the old 875 were $1k and the EX were $3k, I might have to think harder about it. :) But I'd still choose the horn I preferred rather than one that for me would have strong negatives.
 

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In order to do this, I would first already KNOW that I like the 875 with a certain finish and get that one. If you have not played an 875 of the type you want, its a 'shot in the dark' because you have no experience with that horn and it could be totally wrong for you.
 

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Maybe not really a strong argument, but I feel like the silver plating would require more upkeep than the lacquer. I guess you could use something to inhibit tarnish on the silver.
My black lacquer EX from 2003 looks like it just came from the dealer despite going through college with me and being played almost daily since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The "finish" color doesn't really matter to me in this specific case. I've owned both silver/laquer over the years. Was strictly looking for what other members would pick blindly given just these two alto choices and why.
 

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In that case, I'd still pick the EX. Newer horn will most likely be in better shape/have less wear & tear, and the EX+V1 combo is supposed to be very nice indeed. I know several people who use and love that combo, to the point that I'm considering replacing my stock G1 (came with the original EX horns) with the V1 neck.

While I haven't tried the original Custom horns, you'll probably be fine with either horn. However, I'm really in love with my 875EX. It's a solid piece of craftsmanship, the sound is very versatile and easily shapable. Does everything I need, and probably some things I haven't discovered yet.
 
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