You might say that it's a matter of degree; they were more "made by hand" back in the day than today. For instance, much of the key work has to be machined; back then that involved a skilled machinist personally milling raw metal into the proper components. Today much milling machinery is automated with constant computerized measurement and regulation of the tooling as it shapes the metal. Thus the capacity of a maker like Yamaha to turn out identical parts within specification and with a high rate of consistency.There are some videos online showing tours of saxophone factories. Much of the technology has not changed since the old days.