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Hi all,

I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me the differences between the Yanagisawa Soprano S901 and S902, especially tone-wise.

I keep on hearing people saying that the S902 has a warmer tone due to its Bronze body. What exactly is a "warm" tone, anyways? Is it like a dark classical tone?

Thanks a lot!
 

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SeeK19: Welcome to SOTW. Your question is not as simple as it seems, given that many of us here have strong opinions about whether or not body material, any finish, lacquer (or the absence thereof), plating, etc., or shape has any affect on sound. Personally, I don't buy it but others disagree.

Here's my experience . . . I own an S901, an S992 and an SC902 (straight brass, straight bronze, and curved bronze Yanagisawas) among seven sopranos. In over 50+ years of soprano as my main instrument, I have played a TON of various sopranos, straight, curved, tipped-bells and original King Saxellos.

They all sound like sopranos and in my opinion, more depends upon the player and his/her mouthpiece choice and tonal goals, than anything regarding the material, finish or shape.

Specifically, I've played other S901's and my own S901 alongside my S992 and I cannot hear a difference.

A while back, I owned an SC901 while I had the SC902. In that specific comparison (SC901 to SC902), I THOUGHT I heard a little warmer sound coming from the SC902. That's why I kept it. But frankly, the difference could have been caused by things other than the brass vs. bronze. The difference, if there was any, was well within the normal variations one hears when comparing two of ANY saxophones. To decide the difference was caused by the material would require me to play hundreds of them side-by-side (and probably blindfolded) to make an objective claim about it.

So, if you are contemplating a purchase, I'd save the extra cost and go for the S901, although the bronze horns are really gorgeous. Beware of marketing hype when assessing anything, especially saxophones and their accessories. DAVE
 

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Hello Dave and thank you for your welcome!

Your opinion really helped a lot! I guess I'll just go with the S901 then. Also, I'm not yet much of an advance player so I don't think I can make a big differences even if I'm given a top class Soprano.

Again, thanks for your quick reply! It was great hearing about your own experience.
 

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SeeK: You are welcome. Keep in mind that the S901 IS a top-class saxophone . . . that's all that Yanagisawa makes. The only thing that separates the S991 from the S901 is the removable necks on the 991. DAVE
 

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Hey Dave -

Can I throw in an S900 here? How does that differ from the S901?

Frank
 

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SeeK19 said:
Hi all,

I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me the differences between the Yanagisawa Soprano S901 and S902, especially tone-wise.

I keep on hearing people saying that the S902 has a warmer tone due to its Bronze body. What exactly is a "warm" tone, anyways? Is it like a dark classical tone?

Thanks a lot!
Dave Dolson's experience matches my own. I owned an SC992 that sounded no different than its non-bronze SC991 counterpart. I play on an SC991S which also sounds no different; I merely play that for the look of silver.
 

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Frank: I don't know about the S900's particular features, but being a Yanagisawa, I'm sure it is a good player. DAVE
 

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I agree with Dave regarding his experience and response with the Yani 901 soprano. I've owned several sopranos over the years (62R, Mk VI, Series III, Yani S6, Yani 991 and a Yani 901). I believe the Yani 901 Soprano is the finest soprano made. Awesome tone, intonation near perfect and keywork second to none. The lower price over other sopranos is an added bonus. Yani in my opinion makes the finest sopranos period.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dave Dolson said:
SeeK: You are welcome. Keep in mind that the S901 IS a top-class saxophone . . . that's all that Yanagisawa makes. The only thing that separates the S991 from the S901 is the removable necks on the 991. DAVE

Dave, you are defitinitly right and thank you for reminding me. I guess I was too affected by prizes when searching on the web for a soprano which led me to think that the S901 is a lower quality model. Anyhow I'm very glad to hear that it matches the quality of the expensive S991 and the others, since I really cannot afford those ones :( but have always wanted to try a Yani since I have heard many good things about Yani soprano on this great forum.

Also, thank you to all others who gave input, much appreciated!
 

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I dont really want to get into this argument so im going to suggest trying both and seeing what works for you.

I have come to the conclusion that it really does depend on mouthpiece, but i believe it in a different way, (this should be an interesting argument)

I believe the mouthpiece and the way that you play it (ie french classical or jazz or american classical) etc will have an affect on how much of the instrument you are hearing and how much of you you are hearing.
I believe that if you play with a small mouthpiece and a french classical embouchure you are going to hear more of the instrument and therefore hear the difference between the bronze or brass, that is how i play and i can hear a massive difference, i tried 5 S991, 5 S992, 2 S901 and 3 S9930. I could clearly tell a difference between the bronze. For me the bronze is a more mellow less edgy sound but doesnt have the depth that the bronze has. A more interesting tone that isnt as heavy.

Opinions?
 

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I can certainly tell the difference. I ended up buying my S902 after playing it along side an S901 for nearly an hour. I tried my best to like the 901 better as it was 500 bucks cheaper....however, I just preferred the tone I got on the 902. However, as Dave D. and others have pointed out, it just may have been the differenc between that particular S901 and S902.
 

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I guess I've been on the forum long enough now to refer to the search function....there's extensive discussion on this very topic.

I tried a 981, 991, and 992 for a week or so, and noticed no meaningful difference between the three... the 992 was slightly different, but that could be attributed to horn variation, certainly not worth the extra $800. As I just posted in another thread, I'm trying a bronze neck on my B901 and didnt notice much difference.

Save your money, get the 901, or you can get the 981 for Prowinds with 2 necks for about the same price. There is no added value to me of removable necks, but I like the curved neck better.
 

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Frank -

I have two Yani catalogues, one dating back to 1991 and one of 2007. The picture of the S900 in the old catalogue does not look any different from the S901 in the new one. After very close examination, I found that the LH keytable on the S901 has a different shape on the Bb keytouch and is slicker-looking, though.

I am not sure if there is any difference in the way they feel, sound, and play.
 

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jonathanbyrnes said:
For me the bronze is a more mellow less edgy sound but doesnt have the depth that the bronze has. A more interesting tone that isnt as heavy.

Opinions?
Jonathan - one of those "bronze"s should be a "brass". Which is it? I think this is an interesting debate and your take is thought-provoking.
 

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Changes in a horn's playability or tone because of a neck change could be attributed to the internal design, not to the material from which the neck is made.

I know, some of you are convinced that material or finish on the outside of a neck or a horn matters, but I don't. I'm guessing that if you took five bronze necks and switched them around, you'd most likely hear differences with every one of them, and some not necessarily better than the stock neck. DAVE
 

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I play a S900 and never found a big difference to a S901. Just minor cosmetic changes. Just 3 days ago I tried a curved yanni and a straight yamaha. I´m staying with my good old S900 :D
 

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They all sound like sopranos and in my opinion, more depends upon the player and his/her mouthpiece choice and tonal goals, than anything regarding the material, finish or shape.
Thanks!! This is all I needed to hear. I was worrying about how I was to try the various saxes as they are hard to come by in norway. I'll go for the s901 and think no more of it.
 
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