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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just curious why so many people like new Yamaha saxophones. Besides price, which qualities are better compared to Yanigisawa and Selmer saxes?
 

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Intonation, ergonomics, action, tonal clarity/brightness

Edit: Also, they are extremely consistent from horn to horn, a lot more so than Selmers in my opinion (haven't tried enough Yanagisawas to know about them)
 

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After playing a lot of Yamaha horns I found that their 'special' wasn't my kind of 'special'.
They all have that 'White Bread' kind of sound to my old ears.
All of my saxophones are vintage. Two Martins and a Buescher.
I don't even own a Yamaha clarinet or flute. They're both Selmer. :)
 

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The Yamaha saxophone is a good horn for a student. I agree with bandmommy, vintage horns have more character, but some of them don't play in tune nearly as well as the yamaha. Its a give and take kind of thing. If you go for the high end yamaha like the 875 or 82Z, they have more character than the 23's, 52's and 62's. Mike made the point of how consistant they are and that's probably why so many people love them. No one saxophone is the end all answer, its all personal preferences and what works for you.
 

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I tend to agree with bandmommy. I've owned two Yamahas and played many more in search of the holy alto grail, but I didn't find it in Yamaha. While they were good players, they were nothing special, especially when played along side my vintage Bueschers and Selmer Ref 54 altos.

On the other hand, I own three Yanagisawa sopranos today and they are head and shoulders above the Yamahas I've owned and played. Same for the Selmer sopranos I've owned an played - my Yanagisawas are superior. And don't get me started on the new Yamaha clarinet I bought last year - not so good.

BUT, reasonable people will disagree about this and that's why there are Yamahas, Yangisawas, Selmers, JK's, and a host of other well-made saxophones out there. DAVE
 

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Familiarity. Some people take comfort knowing that their saxophone was made by the same company that made their lawn mower.
 

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Yamaha horns are definately 'Kid friendly'. They fit smaller hands, they sound similar, and parts are readily available if they should get really banged up.
That's probably why the YAS-23 is the horn of choice for so many school rental programs and school owned horns.
Nearly all of the schools in my area have nothing BUT Yamaha baris, tenors, and big brasswinds.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Familiarity. Some people take comfort knowing that their saxophone was made by the same company that made their lawn mower.
It's true. I want a husquvara saxophone!

I think one point is that 23s (the classic "student horn") are plentiful and very cheap in the States. They tend to be pricier over here so people aren't quite so effusive. I agree with what has been said about intonation but also with the "white bread" point.
 

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Consistency, and an industrial approach in design and quality management. No other instruments manufacturer has invested so much high-tech in the design of both the instruments and the production processes over decades.
This reflects in the way Yamaha horns are easy to approach, with excellent keywork, excellent intonation, and easy sound production and dynamics all over the range. Like white bread or lawn-mowers, you know what you get.
 

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You say husquvara I say Husqvarna, lets call the whole thing off.
It's true. I really can't spell.

Let me expand on my earlier and deeply profound :)bluewink:) point: I think "student" Yamahas have a deserved reputation for cheapness, reliability and musical solidness. More people play or have played student saxes than any other thing. That reputation is therefore propagated in relation to all Yamaha saxes. In fact (thinking about it) there may be a bit of a thing where some people who have never really played the whole range ( eg me) attach those same qualities to all Yamaha saxes and that is a bit distorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't think yamaha saxes are all that great. I understand why they are a good student or intermediate, but not pro. And aslo, I think they have the most uncomfortable ergonomics out of any sax I've played. They just seem not fluid, really spongey, and really spread out. I was just wondering if there was anything I was missing. Apparently not...
 

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I have owned lots of brands of saxophones - big 4, vintage, et al. My Yamaha 82ZS tenor has been the best of all of them overall. Ergos, action, general feel, intonation, response and malleability of the tone. It feels like a quality instrument in your hands.

It took me some time to grow into it though, some other horns have been easier to play 'off the shelf' like my Yanagisawa tenor, which also for me has better intonation overall. It (Yanagisawa) also has a warmer core in the midrange, but it lacks the dynamics, feel, liveliness and grit of the Yamaha. The Yamaha has a much broader tonal palette and feels much more precise in its action and the altissimo might as well be standard-fingerings-in-range.

The Yamaha is much more of a challenge to keep in check, so one needs to be purposeful and mindful in playing one, so in that sense it's not as enjoyable to play. Kind of like walking a pit bull at a dog park whereas the Yanagisawa is a black lab.
 

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BTW, Tom Politzer, Emilio Castillo, Jeff Coffin, Frank Catalano and many others play Yamaha without complaining too much. And before someone chimes in something about endorsements, I imagine each of them could really play anything they want and get an endorsement from just about anything they want.
 

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Yes, he does. But that said, you may not have the same experience with Yamaha's as he does.

I recently traded out of a MK VI Tenor to my current YTS 62. The tenor is a doubler for me (I play alto primarily) so perhaps that's why I liked the yammy better than the VI. I don't have a lot of time to really "get to know" the tenor so the consistency of the yammy works for me. The VI was a great horn too, but I didn't have the time to invest in really becoming intimate with it so couldn't ever do the horn justice.

My alto? A really schweeeeet MK VI that I get to know better every day. On that side there isn't a yamaha in the world that would make me trade. I still don't do the VI justice, but it is the horn for me nonetheless.

Different strokes for different folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am personally no where near as good as a player as phil woods or any of any company's endorsers, so the saxophone itself still has a large impact on how I sound. I imagine phil woods would sound like phil woods on a bundy 2 or mexicon. Personally, they sound too bright and machined when I play them, but that also is from me not playing any yamaha for an extended period of time.
 

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It's true. I want a husquvara saxophone!
I don't blame you. Personally, I would ditch my Mark VI for a Craftsman tenor -- especially if they incorporated the "EZ Walk" feature. Of course, the ultimate saxophone would probably be a John Deere, but if I can't afford their lawn mowers, I certainly wouldn't be able to afford their horns.

But maybe the Wizards of Houli could copy them for me and sell them for much less . . .
 
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