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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am looking for a Professional tenor and currently I narrow the search down to two options.

1. A used YTS 875EX at a local sax store. Today I tried a few pro tenors (JK SX90R, Selmer Series iii, YTS 875EX, YTS62) at a local sax store, and the 875EX is the best among them. It is in pretty good condition (I'd say a little bit less than mint condition). It seems to the one at the early years of 875EX line. The owner asked for $3500 (include tax) and seemed quite firm on the price.

2. Another option will be buying a TWO1 from Europe for a little bit more than $3200 (The retail price in US is almost $4k, crazy)

So I evaluate these two options side by side, here is what I feel:

For the used YTS 875EX:
Pros: 1. I tried it
2. Intonation is really great (better than the Antigua I currently own)
3. Condition is really good (very few scratches, no dings).
4. Very easy to play (Free blowing)
Cons: 1. The price tag: I feel that $3500 is quite an over pay for it (In comparison, I just missed a local deal on a mint Yany T991 while the owner asked for $2500 a few months ago).
2. The tone: I found that the tone (especially the G, A, B at 1st octave) are quite thin on this horn. Since I am not an experienced player, I could be wrong at this part. But I just feel that the tone on this horn kind of lack "richness" (maybe because it is very free blowing?). Anyway I have almost zero experience playing Yamaha before.

For the brand new TWO1:
Pros: 1. As a S901 owner, I am a Fan of Yany brand.
2. I like its lightweight. I am having some neck pain issue and the Antigua I have is quite heavy so it gives me trouble sometimes after practice. A lighter tenor will be great appreciated
3. Brand new, needless to say.
4. I like the TWO series case (while the store owner may just give me some random old case if I buy the YTS 875).
Cons: 1. I cannot try it since I will buy it online.
2. Possible risk during the transportation.
3. It is the "entry model" of their pro line, while the 875 EX is the top of Yamaha Pro line.

Regarding me: I am just a hobbyist playing most time at home for fun. I used to play Alto (Selmer SA II) and Soprano (S901) more and last year I picked up my first tenor (Antigua powerbell) and found I really like it so I want a better tenor. I would describe my chop on tenor still as beginner (or maybe a little better).

Please feel free to give your opinions! Thank you!
 

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I'd probably go with the YTS-875EX if some warranty service is provided by the shop and if you like the way it sounds. If you don't like how it sounds, then there is no point to buying it.

As for the weight of the saxophone: are you using a regular neck strap? If so, I'd recommend getting a different one, such as the JazzLab Saxholder. Something that places the weight on the shoulders instead of the neck.

I don't think that getting the TWO-1 is a bad decision - Yanagisawa makes excellent instruments, but you have the most information about the YTS-875EX.
 
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Interesting question. Who can say which you are going to prefer? Impossible. Me? I like the Yany. I have that same model and it is fabulous. For me. You have to decide for you. They are both excellent saxes.

Oh, and there is nothing entry level about the TWo1. The 01 and the 010 are different models, both built to the same standards. I have had both models in tenor and alto.
 

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The 'entry model' thing for Yanis is meaningless, it's a way to upsell the more expensive line, not anything real about the quality of the less expensive line.

Since the Yami didn't really live up to its price when you played it (tone problems already in the first octave is not a promising beginning IMO), I think paying top dollar for it is not a great idea, but I haven't priced them. In a way, because of the tone issues, you'd be buying the Yami 'on faith' as much as the Yani.

When there is uncertainty, it is better to buy used at a good price, so you aren't throwing away money you might need to get back out of your instrument if you find it doesn't suit you. Probably it would be best to wait for another used opportunity to come along.

Having said all that, I have to mention that just in reading around about the WO line I've run into a lot of satisfied owners singing the tenor's praises. More than the 'usual run' of Yani fans, I'd say.
 
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My understanding is the WO1 has non-ribbed construction, and is thus lighter than the WO10. AFAIK, that and the underslung octave key are the main differences between the models. I don’t think there are any quality or tonal differences. Lighter may make a difference to you.

Can you not go to the music store and play a W01 or 010? Or another music store…. I know it’s tacky to go to a store, try a horn and then buy the same model online, but it’s a lot of money. And a pleasant, frank conversation with the store owner might lead to a discount…
 

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I definitely find tonal and response differences between the ribbed and single post models.
But not quality differences.

Having weighed a bunch of saxes, the weight difference is pretty small. Yes, the ribs/plates are heavier. But not much.
 

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They are both great horns, really well built. I bought a TWO 10 a couple of years ago, and I love it. At the time, I playtested it against the Yamaha pro horns, and while the Yamahas were really good, I felt the Yanagisawa had the edge, nice tone, light action, great balance. The Yamahas played well, though I thought their tone was a little 'clinical', and the action, though precise, was a little heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd probably go with the YTS-875EX if some warranty service is provided by the shop and if you like the way it sounds. If you don't like how it sounds, then there is no point to buying it.

As for the weight of the saxophone: are you using a regular neck strap? If so, I'd recommend getting a different one, such as the JazzLab Saxholder. Something that places the weight on the shoulders instead of the neck.

I don't think that getting the TWO-1 is a bad decision - Yanagisawa makes excellent instruments, but you have the most information about the YTS-875EX.
Thanks. Yes I have a JazzLab saxholder but I play while sitting for most of the time and the saxholder is not quite helping my neck issue on the Tenor. (When I sit and play the tenor, the saxholder kind of shift the pressure from neck to one side of my shoulder, sometimes making the neck pain even worse).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting question. Who can say which you are going to prefer? Impossible. Me? I like the Yany. I have that same model and it is fabulous. For me. You have to decide for you. They are both excellent saxes.

Oh, and there is nothing entry level about the TWo1. The 01 and the 010 are different models, both built to the same standards. I have had both models in tenor and alto.
Thanks! Yup I have to decide by myself at the end of the day.
 

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Just from a quick search that seems like a really good price on the Yamaha. You might find a better price on Ebay or Reverb, but you won't get to play them beforehand. I've been very happy with my EX alto and soprano, and would love to get my hands on a tenor, but I've never played one.

Overall I find Yamahas to be very flexible and shapeable, and they maintain their setup well. The tonal issue you noticed could be maybe a small leak, or maybe just a need to familiarize yourself with the horn. If it's an early EX it probably comes with a G1 neck, which initially had intonation issues, but Yamaha fixed the issue pretty quickly. Still, you might want to change the neck at some point, more out of curiosity than necessity. A lot of people like the V1 neck. Whatever you choose, you've got a couple of very nice horns to consider!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The 'entry model' thing for Yanis is meaningless, it's a way to upsell the more expensive line, not anything real about the quality of the less expensive line.

Since the Yami didn't really live up to its price when you played it (tone problems already in the first octave is not a promising beginning IMO), I think paying top dollar for it is not a great idea, but I haven't priced them. In a way, because of the tone issues, you'd be buying the Yami 'on faith' as much as the Yani.

When there is uncertainty, it is better to buy used at a good price, so you aren't throwing away money you might need to get back out of your instrument if you find it doesn't suit you. Probably it would be best to wait for another used opportunity to come along.

Having said all that, I have to mention that just in reading around about the WO line I've run into a lot of satisfied owners singing the tenor's praises. More than the 'usual run' of Yani fans, I'd say.
Thanks! As for the tone on Yami, it could be my problem since I have yet to get familiar with the Yami sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My understanding is the WO1 has non-ribbed construction, and is thus lighter than the WO10. AFAIK, that and the underslung octave key are the main differences between the models. I don’t think there are any quality or tonal differences. Lighter may make a difference to you.

Can you not go to the music store and play a W01 or 010? Or another music store…. I know it’s tacky to go to a store, try a horn and then buy the same model online, but it’s a lot of money. And a pleasant, frank conversation with the store owner might lead to a discount…
I don't think that for the time being I will get an opportunity to try the WO1/10. Maybe a little bit drive further to get another music store where they get some Yany horns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They are both great horns, really well built. I bought a TWO 10 a couple of years ago, and I love it. At the time, I playtested it against the Yamaha pro horns, and while the Yamahas were really good, I felt the Yanagisawa had the edge, nice tone, light action, great balance. The Yamahas played well, though I thought their tone was a little 'clinical', and the action, though precise, was a little heavy.
Thanks! Good to know the comparison from your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
At that price point, I’d start looking for a Selmer too.
I also tried a Series III yesterday. It is also in great condition cosmetically. The cork is so thick that I could not get my mouthpiece in tune. So when I tested it, I was about 20% flat all the range. The horn plays good, but not as free blowing as Yamaha 875 and the high notes are much harder (it could be my skills). The store manager ask for about $4000 for it, so I skipped it since it is quite above my budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just from a quick search that seems like a really good price on the Yamaha. You might find a better price on Ebay or Reverb, but you won't get to play them beforehand. I've been very happy with my EX alto and soprano, and would love to get my hands on a tenor, but I've never played one.

Overall I find Yamahas to be very flexible and shapeable, and they maintain their setup well. The tonal issue you noticed could be maybe a small leak, or maybe just a need to familiarize yourself with the horn. If it's an early EX it probably comes with a G1 neck, which initially had intonation issues, but Yamaha fixed the issue pretty quickly. Still, you might want to change the neck at some point, more out of curiosity than necessity. A lot of people like the V1 neck. Whatever you choose, you've got a couple of very nice horns to consider!
Yup. I also did some search on the price, and it seems that $3500 for a mint condition 875EX is ok (but not great). It comes with a G3 neck on it.
 

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It is a G3 neck.
Yup. I also did some search on the price, and it seems that $3500 for a mint condition 875EX is ok (but not great). It comes with a G3 neck on it.
I would argue that being able to play a high-end horn before you buy it, especially in the current situation, may be worth a small premium, but just to make sure you're getting your money's worth, does the shop offer any kind of warranty, or at least a pre-sale checkup to make sure there are no leaks or other issues?
 
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