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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to SOTW, but I've been reading it for the past year. I recently played a YTS-61 in a music store with an 8000 serial #. I loved it. It was physically light, and the tone had a focused core with both a pop and a buzz to it (I'm new at describing these things). It felt great. I then tried some new pro tenors (Mauriat, Cannonball, Yamaha YTS-62) and was bored with the sound compared to the YTS-61. I preferred my Selmer USA TS-100 824xxx tenor to the new horns.

I played in high school and started playing again last year at age 38. I like transcribing Hard Bop solos (like early Wayne Shorter), and am re-learning building my tone and playing changes.

If I like the YTS-61, what other horns do you think I'd want to check out?

Thanks in advance
 

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The Yanagisawa T880/ T800/T500/T6. But if you love the 61 ...wait for one to come up for sale. They do pop up from time to time.

Welcome to SOTW !
 

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Forum Contributor 2013-2016
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Welcome to the SOTW.
I like the brightness of my 61s over my 875. I use a Meyer metal 7M mouthpiece with a medium-soft Fibrecell reed. I sometimes switch to a HR Meyer 7M but find that the metal Meyer is brighter and louder. The 875 is a really fine horn and I find the keywork to be smoother than the 61s. The 875 has the M1 neck but according to what's been posted here, later models had the more open G1 and G3 (I think) necks. I'm curious as to how the 875 would sound with a more open neck but right now I don't want to start chasing necks.

Disclaimer:
I'm an amateur who started playing in 2008 or so so don't read this as gospel. There are members here who really know horns. I will suggest checking out the Viking horns though. There are some impressive reviews here.
 

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The Yanagisawa T880/ T800/T500/T6. But if you love the 61 ...wait for one to come up for sale. They do pop up from time to time.
You can almost always find a YTS-61 or two on eBay, often in apparently very good condition. There's one there right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been looking at that YTS-61 on ebay, and one that was sold last week. I'm also now looking at the Yanagisawa T880 on ebay as well. It's good to know that they pop up regularly.

I want to wait to try out other horns before I make a purchase. I think I would also like to try a Tenor Madness Custom and an Eastman 52nd Street. I'll check out the Viking as well. I see they have Viking at USA Horn.
 

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yes get the yts61. I have 2 mark 6s and they are both great but I usually play the 61 lately .I have played tons of horns over the years. (my friend is a dealer) and lets me try everything and I have to say the 61 is one of the best I ever played.you can find them on ebay if you are patient some nice ones come up for sale
 

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I have 2 mark 6s and they are both great but I usually play the 61 lately
For real? Wow.

Anyway, if you like Yamahas, you might want to consider also checking out a purple label 82 or, if you have the money, the 82z or 875z.
 

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for the record I do love mark 6s .they play and sound incredible but I seem to get more projection and brightness out of the 61 .I will never part with the selmers though because I still love playing them as well.
 

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From my experience, Selmer S-III tenors come close to that typical crisp responsiveness of the Yamaha 61 & 62 tenors, but I assume they usually remain more expensive than the Yammies.
 

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I have a 61 I bought new in ’79 when the Mark VII’s first came out and were having problems. The YTS-61 was half the price and played great out of the box.
 

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Super Action 80 Tenor, Buescher 156 Tenor, Yamaha Vito YAS-21 , Kessler Soprano, Superba II Bari
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As has been stated, the YTS-61 isn't a difficult horn to find, and it's still possible to get them for relatively low prices. That said, you may find something to like in Yamaha's "student" offerings. The YTS-21, in particular, will provide much of what the 61 does at basement level prices. If money isn't a factor, get the 61.
 

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Some of the other ones that have been mentioned in this thread, are all very very fine horns, Viking, the Eastman, the Mauriat, Cannonball, etc. I'll completely agree that the 61's are very good playing horns. As well as those horns play however, Yamaha very quickly, came out with the 62's. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but I think the 61 series horns were only produced for 2 or 3 years, and the 62 series horns have been in production for what, maybe 30 plus years now. The reason is, because the 61 series horns were made out of an inferior grade of metal, in terms of the key work. It is so soft that the horns can very quickly go out of adjustment even if you're very careful with them. So 62 series horns, and all of the above mentioned Taiwanese horns, play very well, and are built much more strongly, then the 61 series horns. You simply can't go wrong with any of them. The main reason I think this is so important for you, is that you're not going to be quite sensitive enough to whether your horn is playing well or not yet for some time. And one other one isn't playing well in and of itself, it makes progress far more difficult. You will save yourself a lot of English if you plan on the one that is a real solid reliable instrument especially right off the bat as opposed to a much more finicky, shall we say. Even the student line horns are built quite a bit more strongly than the 61 series horns in my opinion. No matter what you decide, good luck, and I hope you thoroughly enjoy your return to playing.
 

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Sorry, the above reply and this one are done using my voice typing, and sometimes the words are wrong, & I don't always catch them. The bottom of my reply, should read that since you won't be quite able to sense well enough to be able to notice when your horn goes out of adjustment, you will save yourself quite a bit of anguish, regarding the fact that you may be having a hard time trying to execute whatever it is that you are trying to do, and it may very well not be you that is the problem, but that your horn is the root of the problem.
 

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I'll completely agree that the 61's are very good playing horns. As well as those horns play however, Yamaha very quickly, came out with the 62's. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but I think the 61 series horns were only produced for 2 or 3 years, and the 62 series horns have been in production for what, maybe 30 plus years now. The reason is, because the 61 series horns were made out of an inferior grade of metal, in terms of the key work. It is so soft that the horns can very quickly go out of adjustment even if you're very careful with them.
I'm not going to comment on the "soft metal" claim, but I'm pretty sure you are wrong about the dates of production. The best available information is that the YTS-61 was introduced in 1967, and the original YTS-62 did not appear until 1979. For example, see https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AmPFlMAzVm_SdGVqZndObkR2VHVRd3dfRkJ6TlRfM1E&output=html.
 

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Ok, 12 years vs 36 years. Except when you read the following quote below, its actually only 7 years verse 36 years. I apprenticed in a horn repair shop for a couple years, and when the first 61 while I was there, was brought in to be fixed the tech showed me exactly what I am talking about to you when he took one of the pad cups after they've been taken off the horn and bent it in his thumb, index, and first finger. Try doing that with a pad cup from a 62..

"The YAS-61, was Yamaha's first professional saxophone model. It was designed in the late 1960's and introduced to the market in 1971. It was manufactured until sometime around 1978 when Yamaha discontinued it and introduced the YAS-62. So it could be said that Yamaha made these to compete with the Selmer Mark VI, as it was still in production when the 61 was introduced, However the Mark VII was introduced a year later. Being this was Yamaha's first foray into the saxophone world, there was a bit to be desired in these new instruments. While the horn plays beautifully for the most part, some critics feel they are a bit unfocused and lack character. Also the design was a bit strange, the large one piece (cheese grater) key guard on the bell to the low C, would often get caught in clothing. The side Bb and C keys were on a hinge rod that was a new design. This would work great new out of the case, but would get noisy after a few years. The octave key was a very simple design and echoed a less than professional instrument. However the overall body and sound of the 61 is very similar to it's successor the 62

The YAS-62, had a key design much more closely resembling the Mark VI. The rumor is when everyone realized that the Mark VII was a basic failure as it didn't live up to the hype built up around it. Yamaha went out and bought a slightly used Mark VI and copied and improved their key work based on the Mark VI design. If you look closely at any YAS-62 and compare it to a current Selmer you will find the similarities to be stunning."

Now Concerning the sax you are looking at. Don't assume "rare" means the same as valuable. If you were to compare the number of 61's that were produced vs. the 62's then yes the 61's would be "rare" as Yamaha only made them for 7 years, and the 62's have been in constant production since 1978, so that is 34 years of production. However the 61's are not that rare. I come across them often enough to say they are a less common instrument not as desirable as the 62's. But if you really wanted to find one you could easily do so on Ebay, Craigslist, or just Google it.
 

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If there is a 61 in a local store that you played and liked, why not buy that one?

Horns vary, even among the same model number, so no guarantees that another 61 will be the same as the one you tried...
 
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