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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to buy either a S901 or a 590LQ but it's a tough choice. The Yani is over $2000 on Kessler's site vs the Antigua which is, I'm estimating, about $1000. Is the Yani that much better or is it mostly the name I would be paying for? Would a beginner be able to tell a differance in the tone between the two? If anyone had a choice which horn would you buy if you had the money?
 

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I was in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and ended up buying the Antigua (the 586 not 590). As Dave Kessler said to me; you get 90% of the horn for 40% of the price! Give him a call and explain your experience level and usage, and he'll give you an honest recommendation!

(And I would have been willing to spend the money!)
 

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I just bought an Antigua 586BC from Dave Kessler as well. It's an amazing horn; I'm extremely happy with it. I was previously in the market for a Yamaha 875 soprano, but for my experience level (late bloomer been playing about 2 1/2 years), the 586 serves my needs very well. I've received a number of compliments on the tone and intonation of the Antigua. By the way, the only difference between the 586 and the 590 is the high G key (and $50-$75); I didn't feel it was necessary. High F# is enough.
 

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I don't know your experience or skill leverl, but if you can afford it, go for the S901. I own a 590LQ and it is a heck of a horn - for the price. But Dave himself will tell you it isn't a Yanagisawa. I am in NO way denigrating the Antigua; it is just that Yanagisawas are superior. DAVE
 

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Dave Dolson said:
I don't know your experience or skill leverl, but if you can afford it, go for the S901. I own a 590LQ and it is a heck of a horn - for the price. But Dave himself will tell you it isn't a Yanagisawa. I am in NO way denigrating the Antigua; it is just that Yanagisawas are superior. DAVE
Ditto. I would imagine the better players out there will narrow the gap between the Antigua and the Yani. Sometimes I play something and stop and stare at the 901! I may eventually want another soprano, but this is the last one I will ever NEED! Mayho
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Dave Dolson said:
I don't know your experience or skill leverl, but if you can afford it, go for the S901. I own a 590LQ and it is a heck of a horn - for the price. But Dave himself will tell you it isn't a Yanagisawa. I am in NO way denigrating the Antigua; it is just that Yanagisawas are superior. DAVE
Superior in what way? Tone, construction or both?

Just wanted to add: Wouild a beginner be able to tell the differance?


Check this review out from 2005 but revised in 2007. http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Saxes/Sop/Antigua_soprano.htm


So I'm assuming that the proplems noted in the review have been fixed?
 

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Sinebar: The review you linked was an old one - one that has been discussed on SOTW. True, it involved the latest Antigua models, but after I read it the first time, I went through my Antigua 590 and was unable to find ANY of the problems mentioned in that review.

Yanagisawa's have always been well-made horns, from what I've experienced and read. Antiguas have gone through developmental stages where they continually improved. I have both and the Yanagisawas just plain feel better in my hands - the worksmanship is top-notch, the touches are smooth and perfectly aligned, and the scales are spot-on.

My old Antigua-made MKVI clone is not nearly the horn that any of my other sopranos are. My late-model Antigua 590LQ is nice. But again, it is not up to the level of the Yanagisawas.

The ONLY advantage I see in my Antigua over my Yanagisawas is that I like the sound of the 590LQ more than my S992 Yanagisawa. Still, I like the S992 over the 590LQ when I consider all aspects of what a soprano should be.

I know I'm parsing it, and I realize that a beginner may not feel the differences. It took me YEARS of soprano playing before I came to realize what works and what doesn't. But considering all factors, I'd say buy the best one you can. You will grow into it and it will be a thing of pride and beauty for years to come. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dave Dolson said:
Sinebar: The review you linked was an old one - one that has been discussed on SOTW. True, it involved the latest Antigua models, but after I read it the first time, I went through my Antigua 590 and was unable to find ANY of the problems mentioned in that review.

Yanagisawa's have always been well-made horns, from what I've experienced and read. Antiguas have gone through developmental stages where they continually improved. I have both and the Yanagisawas just plain feel better in my hands - the worksmanship is top-notch, the touches are smooth and perfectly aligned, and the scales are spot-on.

My old Antigua-made MKVI clone is not nearly the horn that any of my other sopranos are. My late-model Antigua 590LQ is nice. But again, it is not up to the level of the Yanagisawas.

The ONLY advantage I see in my Antigua over my Yanagisawas is that I like the sound of the 590LQ more than my S992 Yanagisawa. Still, I like the S992 over the 590LQ when I consider all aspects of what a soprano should be.

I know I'm parsing it, and I realize that a beginner may not feel the differences. It took me YEARS of soprano playing before I came to realize what works and what doesn't. But considering all factors, I'd say buy the best one you can. You will grow into it and it will be a thing of pride and beauty for years to come. DAVE
Sounds like good advice to me Dave, thanks. That article was revised in 2007 as noted at the very bottom mentioning that those problems have been fixed. So I guess the later model are much improved.
 

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To most people (not all), money does make a difference. If you're Bill Gates in disguise, I wouldn't even consider the AW - probably not the 901 either! If you're poor as dirt and are collecting change to buy the soprano, I'd go with the AW. I assume you're somewhere in between. So how important is it to you to have an extra grand to put on whatever - credit card bills, HDTV, car note, kids' college fund, etc?

If buying the Yani wouldn't dent your lifestyle a bit, then why not? It IS better. It is not TWICE better, but that's the way quality is. You always pay a premium to get the last few % improvement in anything - saxes are no different. Should I buy the Avalon or the Camry XLE? The Camry is almost as good as the Avalon . . . but some people are still willing to pony up the extra bucks to get the Avalon. And it's NOT twice as much.

At my stage in live . . . I'm a Camry guy - with a kid entering college.
 

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That really is a tempting listing! I'm glad I'm married to my True Tone!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
rabbit said:
sinebar,

On the off chance you haven't seen this already:

http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=62271

rabbit
Well thanks for the link but it just so happens that I ordered a Antigua 586LQ. Dave Kessler said I didn't need the high G key. I actually wanted the
Yanagisawa S901 But Dave said it wasn't in stock and would take up to 3 weeks to get it. I may still get it if I decide I don't like the AW but it will have to be a pretty big disappointment to justify the trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Fred said:
To most people (not all), money does make a difference. If you're Bill Gates in disguise, I wouldn't even consider the AW - probably not the 901 either! If you're poor as dirt and are collecting change to buy the soprano, I'd go with the AW. I assume you're somewhere in between. So how important is it to you to have an extra grand to put on whatever - credit card bills, HDTV, car note, kids' college fund, etc?

If buying the Yani wouldn't dent your lifestyle a bit, then why not? It IS better. It is not TWICE better, but that's the way quality is. You always pay a premium to get the last few % improvement in anything - saxes are no different. Should I buy the Avalon or the Camry XLE? The Camry is almost as good as the Avalon . . . but some people are still willing to pony up the extra bucks to get the Avalon. And it's NOT twice as much.

At my stage in live . . . I'm a Camry guy - with a kid entering college.
"It is not TWICE better"

Very well put and probably darn accurate. Dave Kessler told me that the main difference is the material (cheaper I guess) and the horn is a bit thinner which means the sound is not quite as rich as a Yani. But I have never heard a Yani nor a AW so I won't know the difference. So unless the thing sounds just horrible I will probably be satisfied. I also got the MP and reed recomended by Dave.
 
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