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I was looking at the "Kessler Custom ‘Handmade NS’ Alto Sax" (as I am currently playing on a student model Jupiter CES-760 and I am looking to upgrade) and wanted to know how it would compare to a Yanisagawa AWO1? I think the Kessler definitely looks nicer and it is a bit cheaper, but I was wondering if anyone had played either or both of these and had an opinion on them as I have heard great things about both of them.
 

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Call Dave and ask him about it. I have only played the baritone and its a good horn.
 

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No comparison. I really like my Kessler bari (Solist brand),
But the Yany is significantly better.
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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The Yanagisawa will be a far superior horn. That being said, the Kesslers I have seen are solid and play well.

- Saxaholic
 

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You said the Kessler is 'a bit' cheaper than the new Yanagisawa AW01? It should be half-price or less. You normally would not even compare a premium professional sax like the AW01 to any Chinese sax. Those of us who buy these horns do so for our own reasons and we know there is a difference in quality.
 

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I agree with the above replies. I bought a Kessler alto years ago for my second grandson, who was then in junior high school and just starting on saxophone. It served him well and I was impressed with the alto. I later bought a Kessler tenor for myself. Recently I bought a Kessler curved soprano.

When I talked to Dave Kessler about his curvy, he told me that while it was good, it was NOT comparable to a Yanagisawa - and he was right. The Kessler curvy was good, but I already had a Yanagisawa SC902, so I had some basis for comparison.

I also have an AW01. The AW01 is a fine saxophone - and I've had some fine altos - still do. The Yanagisawa is a match to the best of them.

From my experience, either brand will do its duty, but the AW01 is the better instrument. It comes down to affordability, I think. DAVE
 

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I was looking at the "Kessler Custom ‘Handmade NS’ Alto Sax" (as I am currently playing on a student model Jupiter CES-760 and I am looking to upgrade) and wanted to know how it would compare to a Yanisagawa AWO1? I think the Kessler definitely looks nicer and it is a bit cheaper.
? With both horns new at Kessler's, the AWO1 costs almost $1,200 more than the Kessler Handmade NS. That's more than a bit. However, if you order an AWO1 from a European dealer, such as Sax.co.uk or Matthew's, you can get the price down to $2,400-2,500. That would make it a lot tougher to decide against the Yany.
 

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I don't know, if it ever comes down to a choice and you can swing the better horn, you should do it. If its between a $2500 Kessler bari and a $10,000 Yanagisawa, and you know what you're doing, the Kessler looks pretty good. In the case of this alto deal, the difference in price is closer than I think it should be, and an additional $800 gets the AWO1. This is to me a no-brainer.
 

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I don't think that the Kessler would be significantly better than your current instrument. The current Jupiters play very well when in good condition. They also hold up pretty well too. On the other hand, the Yanagisawa is a full on professional grade instrument.
 

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You said the Kessler is 'a bit' cheaper than the new Yanagisawa AW01? It should be half-price or less. You normally would not even compare a premium professional sax like the AW01 to any Chinese sax. Those of us who buy these horns do so for our own reasons and we know there is a difference in quality.
One factor in the Kessler pricing is that the Handmade line may not be Chinese. I can state with extreme confidence that the sopranos in the Handmade line are identical to the Chateau 80 line (which Chateau previously marketed as "Handmade"). I have the Chateau soprano, and the engraving, the shape of the key arms, etc. are identical to what is shown in the photos of the Kessler sopranos. Chateau saxes are made by the Taiwanese company Tenon Industrial. Tenon makes its top-line saxes in its own factory in Taiwan, and others at the Crown Hope facility in Vietnam. (I am certain that someone here has said that Chuck or Dave Kessler had told them that Tenon was the source of at least some of their saxes.) The Handmade line is Vietnam-built.

My Chateau Custom alto (made in Taiwan) is similar in build and quality to other Taiwanese instruments that have received good reviews in recent years (e.g., P. Mauriat). The Chateau "Handmade" soprano, while it has different features and design elements, is, in my opinion, equal in quality to what we have come to expect from Taiwan. If Kessler is selling Tenon-supplied instruments, they should not be compared, price-wise, to the typical Chinese sax.

On the other hand, when given the choice between a Chateau 80-line tenor and a Yany TWO1, given that I had the coin at the time, I bought the Yany.
 
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