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I’m trying to decide between a new Yamaha 62/ yanagasawa or a 40’s,50,s,60,s king,conn,Martin etc tenor. For roughly the same money what would you buy. Mainly play jazz ballads and stuff from the 1950,s and 60,s . Thanks for responding.
 

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Yes, the replies here are gonna be scattershot because honestly, @Gcj1 , you haven't provided us with much info.

1) Have you played vintage horns before....?...and I don't mean a Yamaha from the 80's, I mean a vintage horn with traditional keywork, pre-1980...

2) A new Yani or 62 as noted, is NOT inexpensive. So is THAT your available budget ? Or would you be charging it, as opposed say to buying a vintage horn outright ?

3) What do you play currently ?

Let's start there....
 

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If your are playing old ballads by choice are you perhaps of the mind where there is a whole romance surrounding the scene?
If so get a horn that fits the whole scene.
The complexity of tones for any horn that is perceived as 'Jazzy' in any sense of the word has so many variables including the subjectivity of what 'Jazzy' may actually be.
So if it's not to capture the whole spirit of aesthetics and romance of the 50's then something modern may serve you better in terms of cost and wear and tear.
 

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What do you play on now ? How accomplished are you ? Vintage won't make you sound any better so Yamaha is a safe bet.
I just went through the process of vintage horn vs new Yamaha. I have some sax playing friends who offered up a few vintage pieces. The standard student Selmer Bundy stuff (playable but not in the running), a few nice Martin horns between 1500 and 2k, a Selmer Omega and a few others. I went with the 62 because I didn't want to deal with the responsibility and possible complication of an older horn. It's like guitars. So many wonderful vintage pieces, but for a beginner, I'd always suggest a high-quality brand new instrument with a warranty.

I moved through renting a used AD200, purchased a YAS475, and instantly swapped it jn for the 62. There are already enough hurdles for the beginner. You need to know that the horn is not holding you back because of bad pads, leaks, sketchy mechanisms, ergonomics, etc... If you're honking like a goose, it's you, and you need to fix it in you, not the horn.

Another thing I've done is move to Legere Signature reeds. I prefer cane sound, but need the consistency and simplify of synthetic right now. Remove as many complications as you can when beginning. I'll go back to cane later, when my chops improve.

But I say the 62. It's a great reliable instrument that is a pleasure to hold and play.
 

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I just went through the process of vintage horn vs new Yamaha. I have some sax playing friends who offered up a few vintage pieces. The standard student Selmer Bundy stuff (playable but not in the running), a few nice Martin horns between 1500 and 2k, a Selmer Omega and a few others. I went with the 62 because I didn't want to deal with the responsibility and possible complication of an older horn. It's like guitars. So many wonderful vintage pieces, but for a beginner, I'd always suggest a high-quality brand new instrument with a warranty.

I moved through renting a used AD200, purchased a YAS475, and instantly swapped it jn for the 62. There are already enough hurdles for the beginner. You need to know that the horn is not holding you back because of bad pads, leaks, sketchy mechanisms, ergonomics, etc... If you're honking like a goose, it's you, and you need to fix it in you, not the horn.

Another thing I've done is move to Legere Signature reeds. I prefer cane sound, but need the consistency and simplify of synthetic right now. Remove as many complications as you can when beginning. I'll go back to cane later, when my chops improve.

But I say the 62. It's a great reliable instrument that is a pleasure to hold and play.
Unless you started as a student on a vintage style key work horn I'd always recommend a newer horn just for the ease of playing. At the end of the day, besides finding a comfortable mouthpiece/reed setup it's most important to find a good tech who can keep the horn adjusted and free from leaks. Unfortunately good techs can be hard to find.
 

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I think the player, mouthpiece and reed have more influence on the sound than the instrument.
So personally I have chosen mouthpieces for sound and saxophones for comfort. For me that has meant a Yamaha YTS-62. I got a second-hand one. Other people get more satisfaction from vintage saxophones, but you can get a good sound from a good modern instrument. Choose what feels nicest.

Having said that, once in a while I have a GAS attack and try a vintage sax. But so far I am happier with my Yamaha tenor.
 

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With the right reed, mouthpiece, embouchure and technique, you can get whatever sound you like. With the Yamaha 62, you'll get a well built horn with few vices, as with a Yanagisawa horn. Vintage horns are a variable mix, some with challenging ergos and quirks. Some of those American vintage horns have a wonderful bottom end. My favourite horn is a vintage Super 20, but if I'm playing a more complex tune, I'll reach for the modern Yanagisawa. Horses for courses.
 

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If you have a student level Yamaha now, then a Conn, Buescher, Martin or maybe even a King will be difficult for you ergonomically. If it were me in your situation I would be looking for a lightly used Yanagisawa. If I were emotionally attached to Yamaha I’d be looking for a used 82Z instead of a 62. I would also be looking locally so I could play the d**n thing before buying….
 

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I am a relative beginner and have a student level Yamaha. I’m looking to upgrade. Thanks for all the great comments so far.
Well....if what you are used to is a Yama 23-type model, whether it's labeled another number that's basically what all Yama student level horns are, really....then if you haven't played vintage horns, I would suggest you try to find a few to try out.

See if the keywork and action of a vintage seems good to you or whether it feels strange and harder to navigate.

Personally, I feel the vintage vs. modern keywork thing is way overstated....there are plenty of vintage models with good, responsive, ergonomically comfortable keywork. I would not particularly just go out and buy a vintage horn, if I were you, without playing a few different models first.

IMHO the Yama 62 is a realtively bright-sounding horn (and the horn DOES have an intrinsic tonality built into it, so I also do not ascribe to the 'tone= 80% the player+mouthpiece, 20% the horn" belief. Good, reputed companies go thru r&d to come up with design specifications for the bodies and necks of their horns, the purpose of which is partly to lean their product tonally in a certain direction ).

Generally I find Yanis to sound a bit richer, more harmonic spread, more balanced tonally, than 62's. Which isn't to say 62's don't sound nice...but they don't sound like a vintage horn. Yanis more so have some sonic aspects which are related to an older-school tone....to mine ears.
There's also other modern brands who have spent some time coming up with models which have a very throw-back, old school vintage tone ...dark, wide, more spread...Eastman 52nd St. of 640, or a Buffet 100 of 400....are both mass-produced modern horns, modern keywork but lean sonically towards that older tone. Borgani and R&C as well, but those are boutique brands.

Or why not a used Selmer France SA 80 ? In play shape, comparably priced to the cheapest new Yani or Yama 62...
 

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Unless you started as a student on a vintage style key work horn I'd always recommend a newer horn just for the ease of playing.
My first alto (in the early eighties) was a Martin Indiana indeed. So that's what my fingers got used to. And I have played my Martin tenor for a long time as well. In my case, I don't find Selmer-style keywork easier (or harder) than the Martin inline keywork.

My first, and for quite some time, primary instrument was clarinet though. Completely different feel again. So when my teacher selected that Martin for me, I didn't question the "non balanced" keywork.

Regarding a tech; indeed. I know from personal experience that they make all the difference.

Edit: @Gcj1 I have a SA80 II as well (my Martin was frowned upon too much in concert band), and it's different but not better (for me). The thing to say for it is that it has the intonation tendencies of a modern horn, so I find it easy to blend in a Selmer-only section. But my Martin's intonation is no worse (just different) with a matching mouthpiece, and it has that lovely Martin sound.

But again; my first sax, as a teen, was a Martin as well.
 

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Put a V1 neck on a 62 and you get a more spread, flexible, vintage sound. Best of both worlds.
the new necks on the 62 play fantastic! I agree that the v1 neck is great but the necks that say 62 on it are phenomenal easy playing necks in my opinion. I have a newer 62 and the horn played better for me then all the purple logo tenors I’ve had and I’ve owned and sold lots of them .
 

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I guess when I hear someone say they want to play ballads from the 50s and 60s the Asian horn sound doesn’t come to mind, but Ben Webster with his Balanced Action does.
I never assume everyone on here is a poor musician. If you have the money an old Selmer would stop your horn shopping but if you don’t want to spend that much, a nice old Conn in good repair.
 
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