I've owned a Yanagisawa soprano (it was an elimona, so it's not really a top of the line horn) and I currently own a $600 straight Buescher and a $630 curved Jean Baptiste. To me, both horns are "good." At least I've never heard anyone complain that I sound bad and then proceeded to ask what brand I'm playing on. Before I bought the Jean Baptiste at Sam Ash, I asked to try a Cannonball curved soprano which cost around $2100. The difference was immediate. The Cannonball seemed to blow more freely. When I switched back to theJean Baptiste it felt like something was stuck inside the horn that prevented the sound from coming out. But it was all a matter of adjustment for me. After a few minutes with the JB it was blowing as freely as the Cannonball, and since I picked it up it has sounded fine and I'm happy with it. I won't deny the difference in feel/accessibility and maybe tone quality between the Cannonball and the Jean Baptiste, but I can tell you that the difference is not worth the triple price. I've only had the horn for about a month so I can't comment on the longevity and other stuff. Unless you're a cream of the crop player I don't think it will make that big of a difference whether you're playing on a $3000 soprano or a $500 one.