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According to a serial number list from 1991 , I dont know how reliable this is...
 

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very likely T500 ( because of the contemporary serial number often misidentified as 800 )

Giveaways: stainless steel straight springs, ribless construction and often, but not always, Bb spatula in gold “ chromed” plastic.

Yesterday I saw a A500 with that spatula.
 

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I don’t think the T500 had the double posts on the low Eb and C or the spatulas that shape. Also the alternate F# has a tear drop shape pearl. I’d guess an 800 series.
Too bad Yanagisawa didn’t stick with their original Mark VI copies instead of chasing Selmer’s later models.
 

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Too bad Yanagisawa didn’t stick with their original Mark VI copies instead of chasing Selmer’s later models.
What's "too bad"? The fact that the company didn't keep making the exact same instruments for 50 years? Yanagisawa is far more successful and respected today than it was in the days of the 1970s horns. The number of players who prefer the 500-series or the like to the 9xx or WO series is probably miniscule.
 

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Doesn’t look to be a 500 series but rather an 800. The RH Eb/C key touches are Mark VI style on the 500 and the rather bizarre shaped LH table keys of the 500 are perhaps its most distinguishing feature. We see the later style RH pinky keys but, unfortunately not the LH table keys present in any of the pictures to offer any conclusive answer.
 

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I have a T50 prima that has serial no. 00146... which would predate this one. It is not ribbed and has stainless steel springs and G# part of the pinky table is made of German silver. I also have an 800 series alto that has a sn. of 0012..., which is confusing. This could be one of those in its evolutionary stage from 500 to 800 (my 800 alto [vsp] is ribbed with blue steel springs). I had an alto 500 that I believe was not ribbed, but had blue steel springs...
 

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What's "too bad"? The fact that the company didn't keep making the exact same instruments for 50 years? Yanagisawa is far more successful and respected today than it was in the days of the 1970s horns. The number of players who prefer the 500-series or the like to the 9xx or WO series is probably miniscule.
I have a T4 and the later models I’ve tried feel even heavier. I just prefer the simplicity of the old models.
The ergonomics were really close to a Mark VI. They never got the sound but they feel good and are well made except for the lacquer peeling off when you look at them.
 

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My 500 doesn't have the double posts on the Eb and C and the high F# is pretty much rectangular compared to this one. My alt F# is a small rectangular brass key with a rounded top and no pearl. My S/N is 001497XX and it's lacquer is pristine. Except for a gouge on the neck (put there by a tech) it looks nearly new.
 

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G# part of the pinky table is made of German silver. .
are you sure it is made of “ german silver”? I have seen metal and plast but the metal were brass and plastic where a lighter hue than brass ( the metal hue is inside the resin)

My experience is that in some cases, especially if the color is different, the spatula is not at all made of metal.

The shop where I was did comment indeed that the plastic spatula may give you a nasty surprise when doing repairs.:whistle:

This is what Stephen Howard says of this key

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Saxes/Alto/yanagisawa_a500.htm

“ And how d'you spot a plastic Bb touchpiece? Well, you could try tapping it with the shaft of a screwdriver and comparing it to the sound made when you tapped the G# touchpiece - but the comparison is slightly skewed by the fact that the plastic piece is metal plated (what with, I'm not sure...but probably nickel).
You could take it off - by removing its pivot screw, as visible in the lower centre of the shot - and feel the weight of it. You might think you'd need to be experienced in gauging the weight of key parts, but I think you'll find that this is one of those things that feels a great deal lighter than it looks.
But perhaps the easiest way is to get the horn in the right light. If you look closely at the shot (and your screen colour is set right) you can just about make out a difference in the tint of the Bb touchpiece compared to the rest of the keys on the table. It's just a tiny bit lighter, and under certain lights perhaps just a hint more bronzey.
Either way, the takeaway message here is to mind you're careful not to bash this key around given that it won't take a great deal of punishment and won't be easy to replace..."
 

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I think they were made for a decade and their serial number criss crosses the 800 series (hence the misattribution).

The guesswork is not so much about the decade or type but if one wants to know the exact production year.
 

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This appears to be a T-500/T-50. The 800 series had double arms on the low C and low B keys and the 900 series (and later) had the series etched on the instrument.
 
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