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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of folks were asking about the T880 I just got and mentioned in another thread (about a new WO20) in the context of congratulating the OP of that thread on his new horn.

I didn't want to derail that thread with any more talk there of the T880, so I thought I would just start a new thread to respond to some of the questions that had been asked.

Yes, I was the lucky one to grab the "near mint, just serviced" T880 that had been on flea-bay as a result of seeing it mentioned in still another thread (thanks again JoAnnPeeler).

But rather than buying it on the auction site for its buy-it now price, I went to the seller's actual store website and bought it there, for a good bit less. It was a great deal, for such a horn in this condition. Shipping across the country was only $55, and it was very well packed. I have nothing but positive things to say about DC Sax.

You can see pics and short description of the horn here: Yanagisawa 880 Tenor Saxophone, Near Mint, Just Serviced, Video

Here for your convenience is the video of the horn that appears there:

 
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Well done, the series 800 and the pro of these the 880 is the series that marked the establishing of Yanagisawa as its own brand. They pretty much ceased the production of stencils by that time and produced the horn and brand that was and still is considered but most repairpeople the benchmark in saxophone building.
Only one confusing thing is that the series 800 shares the serial number range with the series 500, which is not a bad horn but clearly cheapened in some details in order to compete with the lower end of the market (in fact even though they tried that, they couldn’t match the raising competition in that segment)
 

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Welcome to the club. I recently switched to a T880 myself having played a MK VI since the 70's. I can tell a little bit of difference in the sound, but the audience can't. The mechanics are much better than my VI (probably because the VI is so much older), and it seems to stay in regulation longer. The few quibbles I have are minor - it's hard to pick up the horn with one hand due to the placement of all the rods, I have to rotate the neck quite a bit to play while sitting (octave key still works, but just barely), and the lacquer isn't wearing well in a few spots.

The biggest upside is the funds from the VI enabled me to buy the 880, an alto and a soprano. I've tried many, many horns over the years to replace my VI, and the Yani came closer to the MK VI sound than any other. I've been playing the Yani now for several months and am still pretty happy with it. Hopefully you'll feel the same even after the honeymoon is over.

The guy in the video gets a decent sound, but man, the way he plays middle D is pretty weird. That note on the Yani sounds great when played normally, sounds like crap the way he plays it with the palm D.
 

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neither of my mk6,s alto or tenor have left the house since i got both yani,s in 880 .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<snip>

The guy in the video gets a decent sound, but man, the way he plays middle D is pretty weird. That note on the Yani sounds great when played normally, sounds like crap the way he plays it with the palm D.
I actually did not much care for the playing/sound in the video. I mean, it was better playing than I could ever do, but I wasn’t much impressed really. Maybe it was due to the item you mention. Well, I bought it anyway and am very glad I did. It is a great horn.
 

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what i like is the familiar mk6 feel with more color to the sound and not having to worry about the mk6 being stolen or damaged at a gig
 

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Sounds better than TWO2? Could you compare sound of these 2 models, please?
Jay Metcalf plays both in this video, so you can compare for yourself. Skip to 7:24 if you want to go straight to the reveal.
The T880 wins for me because, it's the horn that I have, its sound is very close to my beloved MK VI, it didn't cost me a fortune, and I can't tell the difference in its sound compared to the TWO2.

My own experience matches Jay's. I sound pretty much the same on just about every horn I play. I'm probably making lots of adjustments subconsciously to get the sound in my head to come out the end of the horn. That makes some horns easier for me to play than others. Of course some horns are naturally a little brighter, darker, richer, stuffier, etc. than others. I know my VI has an element of richness to the sound that few other horns have which I can't quite coax out of a lesser horn no matter how hard I try. But the T880 comes closer than most. I've never played a TWO2, so in my case, ignorance is bliss.

Apart from sound considerations, of course there are huge differences in ergos, intonation, build quality, etc. A cheap student Bundy, for example, has a fantastic sound. If I played a Bundy and my MK VI back to back, you probably wouldn't be able to distinguish the two. But the Bundy is a cheap, clunky, low quality student horn, and you can certainly feel that when you play it. While it's a great student horn which is built like a tank and gets the job done just fine, it's not the kind of horn an advanced amateur like myself wants to deal with on a daily basis. I prefer to play a quality horn that feels as good as it sounds.

Getting back to the T880 versus TWO2, the bottom line is I can't hear any difference. One is simply newer and has a more updated design than the other. Even if I did hear a small difference, I wouldn't be compelled to sell the one I had to buy the other. So the take away from this thread should simply be that the T880 is a good horn. If you have a TWO2 or any other horn for that matter that you're happy with, there's absolutely no reason to get rid of it and buy a T880.
 

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Jay Metcalf plays both in this video, so you can compare for yourself. Skip to 7:24 if you want to go straight to the reveal.
The T880 wins for me because, it's the horn that I have, its sound is very close to my beloved MK VI, it didn't cost me a fortune, and I can't tell the difference in its sound compared to the TWO2.

My own experience matches Jay's. I sound pretty much the same on just about every horn I play. I'm probably making lots of adjustments subconsciously to get the sound in my head to come out the end of the horn. That makes some horns easier for me to play than others. Of course some horns are naturally a little brighter, darker, richer, stuffier, etc. than others. I know my VI has an element of richness to the sound that few other horns have which I can't quite coax out of a lesser horn no matter how hard I try. But the T880 comes closer than most. I've never played a TWO2, so in my case, ignorance is bliss.

Apart from sound considerations, of course there are huge differences in ergos, intonation, build quality, etc. A cheap student Bundy, for example, has a fantastic sound. If I played a Bundy and my MK VI back to back, you probably wouldn't be able to distinguish the two. But the Bundy is a cheap, clunky, low quality student horn, and you can certainly feel that when you play it. While it's a great student horn which is built like a tank and gets the job done just fine, it's not the kind of horn an advanced amateur like myself wants to deal with on a daily basis. I prefer to play a quality horn that feels as good as it sounds.

Getting back to the T880 versus TWO2, the bottom line is I can't hear any difference. One is simply newer and has a more updated design than the other. Even if I did hear a small difference, I wouldn't be compelled to sell the one I had to buy the other. So the take away from this thread should simply be that the T880 is a good horn. If you have a TWO2 or any other horn for that matter that you're happy with, there's absolutely no reason to get rid of it and buy a T880.
I think the new Yanagisawas have a more focused sound than the T880. I can hear this in the BetterSax video and this one also where Mel Martin reviewed the TW010. I play a T880 and like it very much except I’m still getting used to the teardrop style alt F key which sometimes gets in the way when I’m trying to play the B.

 

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Nice video. Sounds EXACTLY like my T880 if I play my Link slant sig. style mouthpiece with a Vandoren reed, not my usual setup.
 

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Jay Metcalf plays both in this video, so you can compare for yourself. Skip to 7:24 if you want to go straight to the reveal.
The T880 wins for me because, it's the horn that I have, its sound is very close to my beloved MK VI, it didn't cost me a fortune, and I can't tell the difference in its sound compared to the TWO2.

My own experience matches Jay's. I sound pretty much the same on just about every horn I play. I'm probably making lots of adjustments subconsciously to get the sound in my head to come out the end of the horn. That makes some horns easier for me to play than others. Of course some horns are naturally a little brighter, darker, richer, stuffier, etc. than others. I know my VI has an element of richness to the sound that few other horns have which I can't quite coax out of a lesser horn no matter how hard I try. But the T880 comes closer than most. I've never played a TWO2, so in my case, ignorance is bliss.

Apart from sound considerations, of course there are huge differences in ergos, intonation, build quality, etc. A cheap student Bundy, for example, has a fantastic sound. If I played a Bundy and my MK VI back to back, you probably wouldn't be able to distinguish the two. But the Bundy is a cheap, clunky, low quality student horn, and you can certainly feel that when you play it. While it's a great student horn which is built like a tank and gets the job done just fine, it's not the kind of horn an advanced amateur like myself wants to deal with on a daily basis. I prefer to play a quality horn that feels as good as it sounds.

Getting back to the T880 versus TWO2, the bottom line is I can't hear any difference. One is simply newer and has a more updated design than the other. Even if I did hear a small difference, I wouldn't be compelled to sell the one I had to buy the other. So the take away from this thread should simply be that the T880 is a good horn. If you have a TWO2 or any other horn for that matter that you're happy with, there's absolutely no reason to get rid of it and buy a T880.
Thank you. I think both these saxophones sounds great - and I suppose Jay has something to do with it :). I was interested in your opinion, because I'm collecting money for TWO2, mainly because I need a saxophone as easy to blow as possible.

There are more reasons to buy this beauty, of course. It sounds great, it looks great, it is done very well. And I respect Yanagisawa as a manufacter a lot, these guys really care, their work ethic is exemplary, I think...

I hope some day I will be very happy TWO2 owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So after playing the T880 for a while, I notice that the low A will play an octave overtone. Nearly all the time. Sometimes the Bb and occasionally D were wonky as well. I could almost get it to play right most of the time by making massive embouchure adjustments and taking in much more mouthpiece, but something did not seem right, to say the least.

I should note that In the past, when first starting on tenor and later on soprano, I had similar problems with one note jumping an octave and that turned out to be just part of the learning curve and only required a relatively minor embouchure adjustment. But I’ve been playing tenor now for years, and though every horn is different to some degree, this Yani just seems like something is amiss.

So I brought it to my tech, and sure enough there are quite a few leaks, and a tone hole that needs some work, and maybe one pad needs to be replaced.

The horn was advertised as just having been gone over by a tech, so one would think it should have been in proper playing condition, not with as many issues as it seems to have. After a quick look, the tech estimated that, worst case scenario, at most the repair bill would be around $150~160, so not the end of the world. I can bear the cost, but I was going to ask the seller, a commercial operation and not just an individual selling his horn, to foot the bill, given the representations he made about it having been checked out by a tech. He does have a thirty day return policy, but I like the horn and am not interested in returning it.

Does it seem fair that I ask him to cover the bill? What is standard practice in a case, if there is such a thing as a standard? I figure it can’t hurt to at least ask in any event.
 

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they can always claim shipping damage caused the leaks
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
they can always claim shipping damage caused the leaks
Yeah, I was thinking that was possible, though they really did cork it and pack it up particularly well, if and to the extent that makes a difference. The seller seems to be a very reputable dealer and may be willing to bear the costs, or perhaps split them with me, if I send him the itemized invoice from the tech showing exactly what was done. And not all the issues are leaks.

Still, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask I think. Worth a try, at least.
 

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Is there free play in the octave key? If it is set too tight, it can cause inadvertant octave jumps.

Corking the keys for packing can cause leaks. I’d check the octave adjustment, play it for a bit, then see if it settles in.

Sure, you can always ask for compensation - especially if you don’t anticipate doing business with them again.
 
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I budget $300 for local set-up of any horn new to me, no matter what the out-of-town internet shop claims. Probably won't be that much. My tech is renowned in the US southeast and has a great rep on this forum--he does NOT do unnecessary work.
I have experience with two of the most reputable US dealers and the one in Europe most often recommended on this forum.
I no longer take issue with the factory for a new horn, nor the dealer. They deliver a playable horn. After that, they don't know my preferences for spring force or resistance, or tolerance of slightly loose neck fit or small leaks. And it is a sad fact that I've found and is well-reported that ALL of the big three shipping new pro horns today--Yamy, Yany, Selmer--skimp on pad adhesive and tolerate more key slop in final inspection than they should. A small misadjustment in the wrong place can wreak havoc on saxophonophony.
And I do believe shipping (including several carton drops) changes a horn, no matter how well corked or shock protected.
My second new horn was an 82Z Atelier from Europe, and I was astonished at all the leaks and a few clanks when I received it because they claim (and I believe do) a detailed set-up prior to shipping. They agreed to pay half my local set-up bill, and we still have a good customer relationship. I would no longer request that, but might try to negotiate it out of the purchase price given my experience with all the modern horns I've received.
Yeah, I am very picky about the mechanical performance and feel of my horns, probably more than most. And maybe I've been unlucky. Just reporting my experience, and learned expectations.
 
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