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Could'nt resist this after the Mk6 thread! any takers!
Seriously, these really are superior saxophones. Just like a good 'vintage' horn (MK6 !!) they have a flexibility which Yamaha seemed to 'iron out' of subsequent models. I have just become a fan of these horns, having owned and repaired many saxophones over the years.
I recently bought one --a YTS tenor61--off e-bay, with the intention of 'doing it up' and re-selling--trouble is I can't put it down! Ergonomically, acoustically and pitch-wise it suits me down to the ground. The G# lift spring was quirky and I have replaced that with a 'normal spring' after attaching a cradle to the G# barrel and drilling an adjacent pillar to take the new spring. I actually did a gig on this horn 3 hours after doing a round trip of over 200miles to buy it and it did not let me down. This is a very early 4 digit horn, cosmetically challenged, in fact it was made before the Yamaha 'Logo' appeared on the octave key.
I shall do a few tweaks and minor mods as I go along--probably raise the C/Eb pinky pieces a little to the 'north'but it's all minor stuff. Great horns!
 

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I replaced mine after 18 years of service with a 1952 The Martin...and I don't want it back.
 

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I once played a silver Yas-61 that had been set up with a relative light key action. It was simply awesome. I only played it for a few minutes, but I can still remember the feeling of thinking how much better it seemed than my SA80 (I)!
 

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It was my first truly professional Tenor I owned. Played the crap out of it and sold it it way too soon. Bought another one that was at the end of its life and it stilled played well.

Tough serviceable horns.

B
 

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I had to return mine within the first year of its life because of the "black bleed". The folks at Yamaha were very nice and prompt in getting me a free replacement. I kept the horn in excellent shape, because in the back of my mind, I knew it wasn't my "checklist" horn. I sold it, as I said 18 years later, for $200 more than I paid for it. All in all...a good experience.

I have recordings of me using it at gigs. It had great action. Every time I go to a symposium or dealer and play any of the top of the line Yamaha tenors, I am instantly reminded of my YTS.
It never made me say wow. It never buzzed and vibrated in my hands and felt alive. There is something so organic about so many other horns that I have played (The Martin, Silversonic, 10m) that the Yamaha never had. Oh well. To each his own.
 

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I still have mine from the late 70's which I bought new. It has possibly the best ergos of all my horns. I use it as a back-up pretty much for the same reasons Yofis stated above. It doesn't seem to resonate or "feel alive" for me as well. I prefer the feel of my '53 The Martin or '49 Buescher Aristocrat or my Mark VI. In fact, for the visceral thing, my '29 Martin Typewriter Handcraft beats them all. One thing I will say, however, putting aside the "organic" thing, the YTS 61 really sounds great and of all the personal recordings I've done with all my horns, the YTS 61 is possibly my favorite. It kind of jumps out of the recording in a wonderful way. What comes out the front of the horn is greater than what I'm experiencing as a player behind the horn, if that makes any sense. I can't find a reason to get rid of it.
 

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These are very undervalued solid horns. I definitely enjoy playing both my alto and tenor -61s. I'll likely never sell them, the tenor for personal reasons and both of them just can't be touched in price for what they offer. I've preferred my tenor against most of the current Yamaha line, the 82z is a close contender in my point of view, and I bet if I were to find a really smokin' 82z, I'd change my tune (but I haven't yet).

The thing about Yamaha is that they're formulaic and consistent. You almost know what you're going to get (there are still bad eggs out there), which is good and bad. I think the OP hit it right on the head... Yamaha has refined or "ironed out" their instruments (other mfgrs have as well). This refinement was probably geared toward getting a sound that has a very strong core or trying to get what they think players want.

Yamaha probably *could* go back to making -61s. Of course they would probably think of it as a regression, since they would work back all of the issues that they've corrected... Take for example the YBS-61... In original form it had an issue with the Octave pips, good thing they corrected it on the YBS-62.

All in all, I like the -61 line for the affordability, quality, and I do think it has a (slightly) more characteristic sound than most of the current offerings. The purple badging and art deco key gaurd are pretty cool IMO. Anyone try any different neck combos with these horns?
 

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I once played a silver Yas-61 that had been set up with a relative light key action.
Silver!? Was it redone in silver? I was pretty sure these only came in lacquer... And sometimes bad lacquer with acid bleeds (my horns). I'd have loved to try *that* horn!
 

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Silver!? Was it redone in silver? I was pretty sure these only came in lacquer... And sometimes bad lacquer with acid bleeds (my horns). I'd have loved to try *that* horn!
I have no idea, but I guess it must have been?
I'm pretty sure it was a 61, but it could have been a 62? Does that make more sense? A young guy brought it into the club once and I've never seen him since.

FWIW: I think this is a great parallel thread--I don't think anybody (in the other one) was suggesting there weren't all sorts of great horns out there to play.

Peace,
R.
 

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I had one of the alto's when they first came out. I found it played too easy and lacked resistance. I'd be curious to try them now and see if I felt otherwise.
 

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We have a "61" tenor at our school. I have a couple of Keilworth altos (good student models) that sound ok, but even though this Yamaha has been "used and abused" for at least 30 years, it still sounds great. I always pick it up first if I'm going to play one of the school saxes. I keep a mouthpiece I like at the school and sometimes use this sax to run through a practice session for myself. The YTS 61 does have a great "vibe". It's fun to play and sounds good.
 

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Never actually seen a YxS-61...did the alto and tenor have ribbed construction?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Never actually seen a YxS-61...did the alto and tenor have ribbed construction?
No ribs at all ,even the palm key pillars are individually soldered like the old Conn's, so you can see why they can be maintained well for years on end and Yamaha's vision of combining elements from the great horns of France and America and coming up with another great horn---- this time from Japan.
This approach to my mind sums up the Japanese ethos at that time--Respect for the traditions of the past with an eye to the future. The nice thing about these horns apart from build/sound/ergo's is the appearance---they really look individual and well----cool!
 

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They sure have a cool, retro 1970's look. I played a yts-61 tenor for years. I took it on tour all over the USA, Caribbean, to China, and it was really sturdy. I did a blindfold test against a Yamaha with some friends and the 61 came out on top unanimously. These days it is sitting in a closet, but I'll never sell mine (especially since they go for so cheap!).
 

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Enjoyed my 61 UL tenor i had but for me there Z model is king.Just tested a pre EX 875 silverplated tenor,brand new and that was awesome also.
 

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I remember not thinking much of my yts 61. It seemed to go out of adjustment frequently. I traded it for a guitar. That was dumb.
 

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My YBS-61 out plays every other horn I've tried including 62s, Serie II and III. Although the Keilwerth SX-90 was a rockin horn.
 
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