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Hello, I know almost every thread that I have posted has been about improving my sound, but it has really been bothering me. There was one day this year that I went in to do a pass off in band, (I play on a Yamaha YAS-23), and my band director, who is a saxophone player, said that I really needed to look into getting a professional saxophone. Yes the sound coming out of my instrument was horrible, but I was really wondering whether or not a professional saxophone actually effects the tone that is produced.

-Thanks
 

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Yes the sound coming out of my instrument was horrible, but I was really wondering whether or not a professional saxophone actually effects the tone that is produced.
The player has a more profound effect on the sound coming out of the horn. There is no guarantee that the sound will improve unless you do your part.

Go to a shop and try another horn. Or find out what kind of horn your director is trying to sell. :twisted:

Don't overlook the possibility that your horn needs some attention by a repairman.
 

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Having a well adjusted instrument, good quality mouthpiece, and proper strength reed, combined with quality time in the shed will do more for your sound than the 'Professional' horn.
If you sound bad on a well adjusted YAS-23 with a good quality mouthpiece and proper strength reed the chances are that you'll sound bad on on the 'Pro' horn as well.
It's the flesh and bone BEHIND the horn that is most responsible for the sound.
I'd ask the 'sax playing band director' to explain why he made that statement, and then follow it up with a request for private instruction to improve that 'horrible sound' coming out of your perfectly acceptable saxophone.
 

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+1 on the setup. Make sure you have a decent reed and mouthpiece, then take it to a tech who works primarily on saxophones. Be wary of the "local music store." The 23 is a perfectly good horn for any student.
 

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The difference between a professional saxophone and your YAS-23 is going to be more in feel and player feedback. Your alto will produce a tone that is very similar to my customized purple logo YAS-62, but it will not feel as surgically precise. Depending on your playing level the difference in feel may be negligible.
 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XO0IkJvfrk

Take a listen to this guy who posted this on the forum, if you haven't already heard it. He is using a YTS-23, basically the tenor version of your horn. Tell us if you think he sounds professional.
He sounds gorgeous, but we don't know yet how would he sound on a better horn :D
I've tried a bunch of cheap saxophones (YAS-23 is probably much better than those, so weight my opinion accordingly): they all invariably sound much worse than my Selmers. And no, it's not only a feeling from the mechanics or some snob attitude: actually, I bought some of those cheap horns as seconds or to try something new, so it was my interest to make them sound good.
They didn't.

Some months ago I was raving about how well my silver B&S blue label played and told my fellow friends that it somehow played better than my SA II. And all for only 300€!!!! Well, it turns out that it was a great deal, but it's not as good as a real professional horn. You get what you pay for, sorry...
 

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In hind sight, one for the best things I did for my son was buy him an $100 old Bundy II beater instead of renting him a horn in grade school. I paid another $100 to replace a few pads and get it running. It lasted him 5 years until he chose to take concert band in high school and continue his music career when I bought him a proper professional horn. During the time he was using the beater he struggled to get a good sound out of it. He didn't swap mouthpieces or reeds. He worked hard. I recently found out that his band teacher finally tried it out 3 years into grade school and shook his head. It was a miracle he was able to get anything out of that horn...but he managed. When he finally got his Buescher Big B, it was like someone gave him a shot of morphine. His whole body just reacted with a big...ahhhhhhhh!

The upside is all that work paid off and he has amazing tone now. He can play any horn, with any reed or any mouthpiece and get it to work.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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No, the YAS 23 does not sound inferior to many "pro" horns.

I was asked to make a saxophone instruction DVD which was sponsored by Yamaha. They asked me to use a YAS23 to demonstrate, ie not a pro model though I could have insisted on a pro model. After playing it I found it sounded as good as anything so went ahead and filmed using the 23.
 

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In hind sight, one for the best things I did for my son was buy him an $100 old Bundy II beater instead of renting him a horn in grade school. I paid another $100 to replace a few pads and get it running. It lasted him 5 years... It was a miracle he was able to get anything out of that horn...
You got lucky. My first instrument was so bad that I gave up. When I started again several years later, I had a horn that worked and I took off with it.

There are enough struggles for beginning players. The horn should not be an obstacle.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I guess the flip side of that is that many "pro" horns don't sound any better than a YAS 23.
I think that depends on who's playing them.

To be honest the horn, per se, doesn't need to sound better, it just has to allow the player to get the sound they are after.
 

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Its possible that this is because my focus is more on tenor but I find the difference in pro horns vs student horns of good quality to be more aparent in tenor than in alto. I recently had this dicussion with a very talented alto player.

Obviously, it comes down to the player. We have all heard great guys on junkers and less skilled players on pro horns etc....
 

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No. A professional saxophone player sounds better.
 

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Ladies and gentlemen,
I hereby announce that I will be more than happy to replace all of your old, beaten, professional horns with modern shiny Yamahas...
For a Mark VI you get a YTS-23 and a hug.
For a Conn Ladyface you get a YAS-23 and a red button.
So you can have a free hug or a free button and have a saxophone that plays the same as your professional horn. If you don't play half as good as before don't blame me: blame yourself that are not "pro" enough and spend your time with long notes.

You can PM me for trades...
 

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Those old 23's can be great. IMO, they're some of the best student horns in existence. I had to use one years back for a week of gigs when I was getting my horn fixed, and it was surprisingly good. I still was way happier with my horn when I got it back though.

Could the audience tell the difference? I'm not sure, but I sure could.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Play as well? or sound as well

Take player X with same mpc and reed, have that player play the Big B/Lady Conn/King 20/your choice.

They won't play any better but will the tonal color and richness of the YTS be as enjoyable? All slightly different from each other, but all "more" than the YTS. Are all intermediate players financially foolish?

It won't make you play better, but what you play (beyond beginner status) will likely have a distinct color or "tonal pallette"

Fill-in this sentence for some metaphorical wisdom:

A sharp knife won't make you a better cook, but ____________________________________________
 

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The player has a more profound effect on the sound coming out of the horn. There is no guarantee that the sound will improve unless you do your part.

Go to a shop and try another horn. Or find out what kind of horn your director is trying to sell. :twisted:

Don't overlook the possibility that your horn needs some attention by a repairman.
what G said
 

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A very well set-up YAS23 can be a killer horn in the right hands! I kinda' forgot how good they can be 'till a couple of weeks ago when I got a chance to play one that belongs to one of my students. I was reminded how colorful and well balanced these horns actually are.
 
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