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Yamaha YAS-875ex or Yani A 991

  • Yamaha YAS-875ex

    Votes: 20 33.3%
  • Yanagisawa A 991

    Votes: 42 70.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I just joined this forum today. I have been playing the Alto saxophone for 2 years, and I’ve been renting a YAS-23. My teacher thinks I need an upgrade, which I agree with too because the 23 isn’t really giving me a good sound. Anyway, I went to the closest music store to try a few saxes, and I really liked the YAS-875ex and Yanagisawa A 901. I’ve read some reviews and they said the 901 has some lacquer wearing problems... but this was 5 years ago so I am not worrying. I read many reviews of the Yanagisawa A 991 and It sounds like the sax for me, although no music stores close to where I live have it. We have asked if they could get it in, and they are working on it.

So does anyone have any opinions / reviews on the Yamaha alto 875EX or the Yani a991? I’d like to know if there are any problems after a few years of having these saxes. Also I’d like to know peoples opinion on the sound and response of them. Thanks in advance! :bluewink:
 

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Forum Contributor 2015-17
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I have an A-901 and like it. It was new in 2008 (I've had it since new and play about 45 minutes a day on average), and it has some lacquer wear and acid bleed, but plays very well. I get it adjusted every year, and it has all the original pads. Kessler's has them for about $2,000. If I were spending close to 3K, I would buy a Keilwerth alto for the adjustable palm keys and the large bow and bell (easier low notes). There are 2 on Ebay right now new for 3K.
 

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I have neither, so I cannot answer specifically. Having owned and played several models of both brands, I'd go with Yamaha for a punchy sound and the keywork, but Yanagisawa for a beautiful sound and a more exclusive family business made horn (I voted for Yani). But I could be wrong. Ideally you should try both, in several copies or versions, and choose the one which "clicks". Anyway, they belong to the crème of modern horns, you cannot go that wrong.
 

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How long has it been since your Yamaha has been in the shop for a check up?
Are you still using the 4C mouthpiece that comes with the horn?

Maybe you need a check up and better mouthpiece instead of a 'new' sax.
If you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE a new one, visit a few more shops that carry brands other than Yamaha and Yanagisawa.
If you're going to shop you might as well give yourself a few more options...
 

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6 Poll votes and no replies... :l
It depends upon who you ask....the Yam player will give a different answer to the Yani owner.
A more reliable answer will come from someone who has recently parted with one.

Bandmommy.
Excellent suggestion.
 

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I've owned both brands but not those specific models. I have yet to come across a Yamaha (owned or tested) that tripped my trigger. Both Yanagisawa altos I owned (A880 and A992) were more exciting than any Yamaha I've played. I still own three Yanagisawa sopranos and all exhibit lacquer wear (and I keep my horns nice and do not abuse them). No lacquer wear on the altos I owned. My grandson still has the A880. Issues with a horn's finish usually do not translate into playing issues, though.

As far as A901 vs. A991 - I doubt if you will find a significant difference, other than price. I played a demo A901 at the NAMM Show a few years ago and it was a terrific horn. I vote Yanagisawa.

I also agree with some mouthpiece testing before spending money on an upgraded saxophone. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you still using the 4C mouthpiece that comes with the horn?

Maybe you need a check up and better mouthpiece instead of a 'new' sax.
If you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE a new one, visit a few more shops that carry brands other than Yamaha and Yanagisawa.
If you're going to shop you might as well give yourself a few more options...
No, I am using a Ottolink 5*. (got it about a 2 months ago). I play better with it, much easier to do bends, and has generally better response.
Well I dont NEED to... but my teacher just suggest it. I tried a few Selmers, liked them, but way out of my price range atm.
 

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Both Yamaha and Yanagisawa make excellent professional horns that will allow you to do what you want/need to do on them. The mouthpiece/reed combination is very important as well. Try both brands, and with the guidance of your teacher, select the one that suits you best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies. Recently I went to the local music store and tested out both the yamaha 875ex, yanagisawa 991 and a few selmers (Series III and II) All with my Ottolink and I just loved the Yanagisawa and Yamaha sound, i guess its just a matter of what sound you are looking for.
 

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I personally like the Yamaha Tenor's but when I tried there Alto's I really didn't like them. The sound they produced felt like they were too "tubby" sounding compared to Selmer's, and Yani's i tried against it.
 

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ManEast: if you don't mind me asking, why the emphasis on the unlacquered part of the Yamaha CustomZ line? This is the second thread where you've posted that.

In my search for a good Z-alto, I tried a variety of finishes and none of them were exceptional, and for sure the finishes didn't seem to matter in the least. The one I eventually bought was a slightly used one (lacquered brass) and it was heads-and-shoulders above the others I'd played, probably because of the set-up it received before the initial sale. DAVE
 

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I'd be inclined to go for the Yanagisawa alto; On tenor I'd prob go with the Yamaha.

You're still splitting hairs. Yanagisawas have a rounder, warmer tone for me which I like on alto. Yamahas have more 'grit' and malleability. Keywork and ergonomics on Yamahas is nonpareil. Yanagisawas are close.

Yanagisawas are more exclusive due to their lower production numbers. And I don't like the fact that the Yamaha brand is so damn ubiquitous, but they ARE great horns at the end of the day. :|
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, well as soon as Long and Mcquade gets one in, I’ll be able to try and decide! Most people here are suggesting the Yani, anyway.
 

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I have a Yani A902 and I have no regrets about it whatsoever. I've also played on an 875EX and still prefer my 902 to it. The warm tone of a Yani beats any other horn. Personally for myself, the key layout is perfect. I have small hands: therefore on some saxes, it can be a reach to get to spatula keys as it is with Yamaha's. I feel like these are the advantages over the Yamaha, but I have a plethora of other pros for the Yani. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me! :)
 

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Hey everyone, I just joined this forum today. I have been playing the Alto saxophone for 2 years, and I've been renting a YAS-23. My teacher thinks I need an upgrade, which I agree with too because the 23 isn't really giving me a good sound. ..
You have been playing for two years and you want to change to an expensive pro model? If needs be, upgrade to a YAS-62 (which is the closest pro model to the 23) and spend some money on a good mouthpiece. Then, after 5 more years, you can return to your original question.[rolleyes]
 

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Not saying the Yamaha is or isnt better then the Yani however dont forget the 875 now comes with the V1 neck which IMO feels great on the horn when taking the poll into consideration.
 
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