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Discussion Starter #1
I'm shopping around for a new TWO1 and trying to decide where to buy from. The places I've narrowed it down to all seem to be highly regarded or have good reviews by posters on SOTW: sax.co.uk, Matthew's Muziek, Gear4music, saxforte. After shipping, import duties, etc., all these places have somewhat similar prices to the US (within $100 or so, plus or minus daily exchange rate fluctuations).

Gear4music's price seems to fluctuate a bit more and today had a pretty good deal. But I don't see their site mentioning anything about doing an extensive inspection/setup of saxes, unlike the other 3 places I mentioned above. So my question is how valuable a good setup of a new Yani would be, given that their manufacturing is highly regarded out of the box? And what's a ballpark cost on a good setup if one were to have it done afterwards?

Of course if there are better tie breakers than setup quality/cost, that's good to know too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah good thread, I saw that a few days ago and put together a similar spreadsheet for the TWO1. That’s how I narrowed down to those 4 places, all in the same ballpark for best price. So then I was trying to think of tie breakers. Setup seems like it would be the main differentiator, aside from warranty/return policy, though I hope/expect not to need that.
 

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Well, in general, there is no import duty to be paid in the US for private citizens ( lot and lots of posts in support of this), it is extremely rare that anything at all is charged. I have sent many horns to the US and only once , a shop, had to pay duty.

Having said this, if there is one horn that generally plays out of the box as it should is a Yanagisawa. Talk to Matthew’s.

While I have not bought anything directly from Japan, I have bought several instruments from Europe. Never paid a fee upon delivery. I bought a clarinet in person in London once (many years ago) and paid a fee when I declared it at US Customs, but never when shipped to me. DAVE
I've never been charged with import duty from Japan, Europe, or anywhere for that matter when living in the U.S.
We don't have import duties in the U.S. ... sometimes depending on the shipping method you may have to pay a customs clearance fee, but if they ship postal then you'll be fine.

I've bought many many mouthpieces and horns from overseas:)
 

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If the prices from the four dealers are close enough, then other considerations may become more important.
I live in south Florida and within the past six months have bought new horns from Matthiew's Muziek and (confusingly!) Mathew Aaron at saxforte. Both were superb experiences.

I spoke to Mathew for several hours on the phone at various times, and we emailed extensively prior to and after purchase. He is extraordinarily generous with his time and knowledge. He kept me informed at every step what was happening with my order. He sent me pictures of the horn (which he receives unplayed in unopened factory packaging from the distributor at his insistence--no prior demos or wall stock sold as new; in turn, he does not accept customer returns). He found a "blemish" on the neck and offered to get a replacement free of charge (this was a 1.5mm area of fog next to a rib on the bottom of the neck; I never would have noticed it, myself; and it rubbed off cleanly with a moist Q-tip--simply an example of his attention to detail). He ships from South Carolina, with all keys shimmed, double-boxed. The Yany AWO33 arrived in perfect physical and playing condition--my tech found nothing to adjust. The Yany has a US warranty for whatever that is worth because it was sold by a US authorized dealer.

Matthiew's was very responsive and helpful by email, but of course I could not easily call them. The price was a savings of nearly $2000 over the only example listed in the US. The tenor arrived in eight days, duty-free (and FL-tax-free), unshimmed in a single box but wrapped in heavy paper and there was no apparent hard handling. It looked to be in great condition but I thought the bell and front-F notes were a little rough. My tech found $200 worth of pad-adjustment and timing work to set it up and now it plays like a dream. Matthiew's stands by their setup--I do not question it--but refunded me half of my tech's fee which I did not ask for but thought was awesome! I guess after buying around 5-6 horns by now that I expect a setup by the end-user is de rigueur no matter who the manufacturer or dealer. Of course I do not have a US distributor warranty on this horn since it was not bought in the US, but I don't think a warranty has much value for high-end horns that pass initial inspection...

So there is some detail on my transactions with two of the dealers in whom you are interested, one overseas and one US. I most highly recommend either!
 

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I factored in duty as worst case scenario, as somewhere cited having to pay it, and knowing my luck......
...the odds are overwhelmingly against paying anything as reported by the vast majority of buyers here.

As for after sale set up, anyone walks in any store with any horn and chances are that the tech will say that yes, he can improve on anything. It’s a job and nobody refuses work.
 

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As for after sale set up, anyone walks in any store with any horn and chances are that the tech will say that yes, he can improve on anything.
Not to be disagreeable, Milandro, but my tech is independent and well-regarded on this forum: Scott Ankrom at South Florida Horns. On two occasions he has looked at my horns and said they are perfect as-is and need no work. He is very clear that he wants my business and recommendations for long years ahead. For that reason he always comes in below his initial reasonable estimate.

So you may well be right for the majority of such occasions. I am confident that I'm lucky with my situation. Which made the events in my story peculiar. Can't help that, it is what happened and I reported it accurately.
 

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I am sure you reported accurately as I am sure that anything can be improved upon by anyone and not only because nobody refuses to work but because perfection cannot be achieved by anyone.

It is like someone asking a photo retoucher to retouch a picture, there is always room for further improvement and even if someone would stop anywher at any point, someone else can come up and say I can further retouch it. Can one improve on Yanagisawa set up? yes.
 

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A new Yani should need no set up. They are known to be great out of the box
Indeed.

I purchased my TWO1 from Wichita Band Instrument Co. in Wichita KS. This is a high-end shop with an excellent repair/restoration facility and very competitive prices. When I went to pick up the sax, I watched as the shop owner opened the case, removed the sax from the plastic bag, removed the shipping corks, and handed it to me to play. It was excellently set up, and it has needed no adjustments in the nine months since.
 

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I had the same experience with a new AWO1 as did pknight - at Kessler's in Las Vegas. Chuck drove to his storage facility, retrieved a new AWO1, brought it back to the shop and I watched him un-box it, unwrap it, remove the corks, run a heat-gun air stream down the bore to warm up the horn (it was cold in Las Vegas - yes it was!!), ands then he handed it to me to play. Perfect.

This was only one experience - I can only assume that not all Yanagisawas come out the same. Even Chuck expressed surprise.

Some time later, when I bought an AWO1 from Matthews (the price differential was just too great to ignore - sorry), my AWO1 arrived in perfect playing condition. I will assume that Matthews did a shop-check at least, but the thing is a superb player.

This is contrary to when I was shopping hi-end Yamaha altos. I played a few that had not been shop-checked and all of them were inferior to those that had been shop-checked. Same with Selmer Ref 54's when I was shopping them (and I bought mine from Kessler). DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the great insight/advice everyone. I pulled the trigger and ordered the TWO1! It'll probably be a couple weeks before it arrives, but I'll report back on the setup and the overall purchase experience.
 

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I realize that you have already ordered your horn, but I'll chime in anyway. I bought an "almost new" TWO1 a couple of years ago. The original owner had it for only a month or so before returning it to the dealer (Quinn) and upgrading to a silver Yany. When I got it, the only work I found necessary was a slight tightening of the neck tenon. (I've since read a few comments from other owners with a similar issue). Everything else was fine. I don't know whether the first owner had had any work done on it, but I doubt it, and Quinn is not known to be a "setup guy."

There is a difference between "setup" as in (a) making sure everything seals tightly and the horn is properly regulated, and "setup" as in (b) doing all that plus choosing the key heights, spring tensions, etc., that a particular player prefers. Even the dealers that promise setup (a) probably won't do setup (b) unless you pay extra and discuss the project with them. So if all you need is setup (a), then don't worry about it. The Yany will probably arrive needing little or no work of that kind. And if it does require some tweaking by your local tech, the cost will be low.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Congratulations! Exciting. But that is only half the punch-line: from whom did you order? Or are you pausing the thread with a cliff-hanger?
Ha, yeah guess I should've mentioned that. I ordered from Gear4music, their price this morning was about $100-150 cheaper then the other overseas places after shipping. Not a huge difference (5% or so), but hey that's another hundred+ bucks to spend on accessories. And if there is any difference in setup between the sellers, it didn't sound like anyone thought that would be a major factor. I talked to Matthew's too, really nice response and would definitely consider ordering from them in the future. But this time, in addition to the small price difference, it sounded like they wouldn't have a TWO1 in stock for a few months.
 

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Ha, yeah guess I should've mentioned that. I ordered from Gear4music, their price this morning was about $100-150 cheaper then the other overseas places after shipping. Not a huge difference (5% or so), but hey that's another hundred+ bucks to spend on accessories. And if there is any difference in setup between the sellers, it didn't sound like anyone thought that would be a major factor. I talked to Matthew's too, really nice response and would definitely consider ordering from them in the future. But this time, in addition to the small price difference, it sounded like they wouldn't have a TWO1 in stock for a few months.
Gear4music is a great outfit, too. Now that you've bought something from them, you get to enjoy VIP pricing (prices lower than the already low prices they have published on the website) for the next 6 months. The one thing I don't like is that they use DHL for shipping, so there's a chance a US buyer will get hit with customs/brokerage fees (although I didn't get hit with my purchase, some other people have said that DHL does charge those fees, unlike USPS, which virtually never does).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I realize that you have already ordered your horn, but I'll chime in anyway. I bought an "almost new" TWO1 a couple of years ago. The original owner had it for only a month or so before returning it to the dealer (Quinn) and upgrading to a silver Yany. When I got it, the only work I found necessary was a slight tightening of the neck tenon. (I've since read a few comments from other owners with a similar issue). Everything else was fine. I don't know whether the first owner had had any work done on it, but I doubt it, and Quinn is not known to be a "setup guy."

There is a difference between "setup" as in (a) making sure everything seals tightly and the horn is properly regulated, and "setup" as in (b) doing all that plus choosing the key heights, spring tensions, etc., that a particular player prefers. Even the dealers that promise setup (a) probably won't do setup (b) unless you pay extra and discuss the project with them. So if all you need is setup (a), then don't worry about it. The Yany will probably arrive needing little or no work of that kind. And if it does require some tweaking by your local tech, the cost will be low.
Thanks, this is great info even post-purchasing. I've played 95% alto and this is my first tenor to own, so it'll probably be necessary for me to get my tenor legs under me a bit before I'd even know what to ask for in a (b) setup.
 

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Gear4music is a great outfit, too. Now that you've bought something from them, you get to enjoy VIP pricing (prices lower than the already low prices they have published on the website) for the next 6 months.
That's great to know. This is my first tenor, so I suspect I'll need a fair amount of tenor accessories pretty soon.

Perhaps a question for a different thread, but for someone new-ish to tenor, should the Yanagisawa mouthpiece that comes with the horn be good enough to start on?
 

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The Yany mouthpiece will be fine. I really like a Morgan Excalibur on my TWO1.

Congrats! Such a great tenor !!
 

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LostConn’s comment about needing to tighten up the neck reminded me (I had honestly forgotten) that I had the same experience, and have reported it here. It still played fine, but Wichita Band fixed it in a few minutes.

The Yany 5 hard rubber mouthpiece that came with the sax is very good, and is what I am using daily. I am using the bari version of this piece on my Solist bari from Kessler.
 
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