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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's time for one of my private students to move to a better horn. It's unlikely that he'll major in music in college, but he isn't a bad player and will probably continue to play for a long time; his Belmont just isn't doing the job any more.

I have been thinking of trying to get him into a used YAS-52 - I picked one up not long ago for $650. In my naivete, I thought I could probably find him one for maybe $800 and certainly less than $1000.

I called one of the music stores in my area to see if they had anything available. They want to sell me a used YAS-23 that just went through their repair shop, for between $600 and $800. I feel like this is highway robbery, but then I saw a recent WWBW catalog that lists the YAS-23 new for $1800!

So - are the prices insane, or is it me? What should I actually expect to pay for a 23 or a 52, and did I get the deal of the century on my 52?
 

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It ain't you Mr. Rittmeister. I also think 1800 for a 23 is a joke. I came out of a 23 last year after 2 years of renting it,... last thing I'd do is to go anywhere near paying 1800 for another one. Not when 1800 will get you into a very good horn from Taiwan with enough change left over for a Xbox game and a box or two of reeds.
 

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The prices have gone pretty crazy. IMO, partly it is inflation and a weakening dollar, and partly it is the global recession eating into sales volume. That would likely mean that retailers have to raise prices to make up the lost volume.

As an example, I bought my YTS-82Z in 2003 for $2600 from a major retailer in Washington DC. Today, 9 years later, that horn sells used for between $2500-3000 and new for $3800 from WWBW.

So yes, prices have gone up a lot. I think that is partly why the Taiwanese horns are getting so much attention. A lot of players are being priced out of the market for Selmers and Yamahas.
 

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But then, isn't this what happened to Buescher in the 60's, Selmer USA Bundy and Signets in the 70's and 80's -- led by Yamaha and the invasion of cheap Japanese horns?

History repeats itself with startling regularity.
 

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There are YAS-23's on CL here for $300 to $800 or so. Didn't notice any 52's...
 

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You just need to keep your eyes open and not jump too quickly. There was recently a nice 52 on my local Craigslist for $900.00 and probably could have been had for a little less. I do agree, that the new prices for some of the horns is insane.
 

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You bet insane,... especially when +/- 30% of the price has nothing whatsoever to do with the horn itself, any of it's features, or any level of quality built into or missing from the horn. From what I read, that 30% or so is there only to pay for marketing efforts by the makers of the horn. To me, that's the most insane part about it. If a horn costs a dollar, then a quarter and a nickel went to fund all the blurbage, not the making of the horn or the cost involved in getting to horn to me. And sometimes pretty misleading blurbage at that,... like "Look at me, I'm from France. See I got 'Paris' stamped on my bell" or "Look at me, my Dark Vintage Finish makes me sound Dark and Vintage".

I agree with the others,... a little patience will do your student good and poised to bounce on the next great used quality horn that comes to light. Just curious,... why is the YAS-52 your main target? And not maybe a 62?
 

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I would be looking at used Taiwanese horns. They are great performers and THE great value in professional calibre horns these days. If you have to have cache as well as performance, I would suggest 62s on up -- 82s, 875, 901, 991, SX, SX90, etc.

And stop shopping retail -- there are plenty of nice horns and prices available in the SOTW marketplace and on craigslist!
 

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I would be looking at used Taiwanese horns. They are great performers and THE great value in professional calibre horns these days. If you have to have cache as well as performance, I would suggest 62s on up -- 82s, 875, 901, 991, SX, SX90, etc.

And stop shopping retail -- there are plenty of nice horns and prices available in the SOTW marketplace and on craigslist!
x2. I bought from a forum member and wouldn't hesitate recommending for someone else to do the same.

Depending on your area (ex. up near D.C...for me), there are always umpteenzillion altos for sale on craigslist. On the YAS-23...~$400 is the going rate around here.
 

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Yup - someone sold a YAS - 62 here last week for $1100 and there are a bunch of lightly used 52's and YAS-475's on Ebay for <$1000. You aren't going crazy but IMO buying a new intermediate level horn from a dealer is crazy. As hgiles pointed out there are a lot of horns out there in this performance range at much better values.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would expect to pay about $400 for a 23. $800 is a stretch (that's their official price) even if it's been through their shop and has a 1-year warranty.

Thanks guys - I just wanted to verify that the prices were nuts, and not me. It kills me though as I got a really excellent Gemeinhardt open-hole flute and a Yamaha 61 pro-level clarinet from the same shop for fantastic prices. Oh well... the search continues.
 

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I would not buy YAS-23 or YAS-52 at all. I made the mistake and got YAS-52 for about $1000 with shipping in good condition on ebay. I was thoroughly disappointed in the horn sound, playing it next to my Buescher Aristocrat 156. Miles difference. I played it only once and sold it for $900. Crats 156 series III go for about $600 on ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would not buy YAS-23 or YAS-52 at all. I made the mistake and got YAS-52 for about $1000 with shipping in good condition on ebay. I was thoroughly disappointed in the horn sound, playing it next to my Buescher Aristocrat 156. Miles difference. I played it only once and sold it for $900. Crats 156 series III go for about $600 on ebay.
Well, I like my 52 very much - good sound, great intonation - and I feel it would be a good horn to fit my student's needs. YMMV.

Just a brief detour, if I may... How do like the 61?
The 61 clarinet is excellent, but it's not mine :( I'm just glad I found such a great instrument for a student of mine.
 
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