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What is the difference between the Yamaha Pro models vs the Custom ones besides the price? Like why is there a YAS 62II, YAS 82Z, and YAS 875EX models? Does it mean that the EX model is the best one of the three or that its built better with better quality materials?
 

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That's actually quite tricky to answer.
There may well be some better materials involved, but it's unlikely to be anything terribly important ( like the metal used to build the horn ). For example, the 62s are fitted with plastic key pearls now, the 'pro' model will have mother of pearl.
The techniques used to build the horns will be different. Hand formed bells and crooks are typical, as well as other processes such as annealing.
Then there's the R&D that goes into such models, and the enhanced quality control - and overall a better attention to detail.
Finally there's the bit that marketing put on to distinguish one model from another - a quantity usually expressed in cash.

Once you get to a certain price point there's not going to be a very great difference in build quality compared to more expensive models - and it's at this point where the "How does it play?" factor kicks in.
On the whole most players will follow the 'range'...starting with the basic model and then upgrading until they get to the most expensive - but it's not unknown for some players to prefer the cheaper models.
I personally prefer the Z over the EX, and am more than happy with my 62 alto....and my 23 tenor.

Regards,
 
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