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· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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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....
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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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...
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Maybe I should look for a selmer sa 80.Any specific years that would be best. Would you take that over conns, kings or martins?
"Take that" once again becomes HIGHLY subjective.

If you are on a serious quest, meaning you wanna make a REALLY informed decision - you really need to playtest a FEW vintage horns. We can tell you this or that, and it'll provide SOME useful info, but if you aren;'t familiar with playing vintage...you are missing a HUGE piece of necessary information.

The 'general' thing which has been around for a while is: vintage horns have a different tonality than (most) modern makes. This is actually a paradigm shift which started in the late 70's as Japanese brands elbowed in on the 'western' market.

So the 'vintage' tonality tended towards darker, more spread, lusher, more harmonics to the tone, more low and midrange.
WITHIN that generalization lies a LOT of wonderful variability.
French-made horns like selmers had a lot fo that but also tended to be more 'focused' in tone...still lush sounding with a nice balance of bright and dark, but 'narrower' so to speak, as opposed to the big, fat, balls-out 'spread' of American and German horns.

Modern horns lean towards a brighter tonality, more focused, more 'cutting'...generally speaking. This can be 'bad' - a LOT of modern models are kinda thin sounding, quite reedy IMHO; but many of the really GOOD ones sound quite sweet and big. Just not 'vintage', necessarily. A 62 sounds..quite ok to me..I mean it's a nice horn, it sounds very good. (I'd rather have a Yani, sonically, or an SA80, myself....but that may be splitting hairs).
Again, then there ARE also 'modern horns' which have been designed with the intent to sound more towards the vintage paradigm....Buffet, R&C, Eastman, Borgani for example.

(Again - I reiterate - I am speaking in generalizations....this is a 'drive-by' version of a very LONG discussion...but am doing it just to provide the quick, conventional low-down; some may disagree with this characterization and I understand that because the reality is more nuanced - but maybe best NOT to digress this thread in that direction, as there are a lot of discussions on vintage vs. modern tone elsewhere (?)).

So...again, speaking in a generalization...more or less, a LOT of folks are drawn to vintage because they want THAT sorta tone...and the fact that the keywork is vintage matters not. All the note fingerings are the same, and a GOOD, classic, vintage horn of high repute WILL have responsive keywork, generally speaking. It may NOT be initially as 'familiar feeling' as a modern horn, but a week or two of shedding to get the new (old) horn under your fingers is all it takes.
And people will make that 'trade-off'.

IF THIS notion appeals to you....and it seems to have SOME resonance with you, I glean...then, really, go try a few horns.

OR, as you seem to have the wallet for a brand-new Yani, Yama, etc.; you can literlaly buy TWO vintage horns in play shape for that money.

So if you cannot find a shop or place to test some older horns (and you may need to go within maybe a 2-3 hour driving radius to DO that)...you could buy a few of the non-graily models (say, a Buescher Aristocrat good-era and maybe a King Zephyr good-era...or: a 50's or 60's onn 10M and a Martin Committee 1,2, or 3....)

which for the price of both combined might set you back $3g....

...and if you dig one, you're set. Sell the other...you won't 'lose' more than a couple hundred bucks if you have to flip one or both, as they are desireable models on the market.

OR do a 'cheaper' version of this: buy a couple of second-shelfers ...Martin Indiana + Conn 16M...or King Cleveland + Beaugnier....etc....and that will only be a $1500-2000 investment to give you a taste-test. Again if neither serves, resell them and at tops lose maybe $200-250 ? But you didn't really 'lose' anything. You just paid a couple hundred bucks to experience a few good, vintage tenors for a month or so...which is what a rental would have cost you - but it'd have been unlikely you could have rented one of these in good play shape, so...
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Tend to agree with what Doc says...there's a big argument to make that a classic top shelfer....10M, S20, 'Crat, Committee, 400, Beaugnier Duke or 38, etc...the list goes on...is gonna serve splendidly in the vast majority of musical contexts. I even know folks who use some of the above in classical Sax quartets/combos where everyone else is playing a Selmer.
Nothing lost.
 
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