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Bits and pieces of info I've come across for the Yamahas over the years.
Maybe more to come.

http://procustom.yamaha.com/en/heritage-history.php

In 1964, Yamaha began the research and development process that led to the design and production of all the saxophone models.

Three years later, in 1967, the first saxophones to bear the Yamaha logo were brought to market, the alto and tenor models; YAS/YTS-61 and the YAS/YTS-31.

In 1969, our first baritone sax, the YBS-61 was also launched closely followed by the YAS and YTS-21 in the next year.

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA...%2526CNTYP%253DPRODUCT%2526LGFL%253DY,00.html

Yamaha began the full-scale development of Wind instruments in 1963. Employing traditional techniques backed by a scientific approach to manufacture, we have gained an enviable reputation for making some of world's top quality products. Research into the science of acoustics, which started in around 1967, was applied to allow fine-tuning of a saxophone's body architecture. Meanwhile, computer simulation facilitated the accurate positioning of keys and tone-holes to achieve new levels of accuracy in intonation.

Model: YAS-21
Years: 1971(1970)-1979
Key: Eb
Auxiliary Keys: N/A
Engraving: No
Finish: Clear Lacquer
Keys: Nickel-Plated
Finger Buttons: Plastic
Current Model: YAS-23

The Yamaha YAS-21 serials match the Vito YAS-21 serials up until 1980 when the Yamaha YAS-23 is introduced but the Vitos still use YAS-21 parts until 1989 when the Vitos start using YAS-23 parts nearly 10 years after Yamaha introduced the YAS-23.
The Vito YAS-23 serial numbers beginning with a 5 like 501000 starting in 1989 do not match the Yamaha YAS-23 serials but the Vito YAS-21 serials from 1970-1980 do match the Yamaha YAS-21 serials.

After 1980 the Vito serials don't seem to match.
From the Yamaha serial numbers and purchase dates I've seen the Vito serials do match the Yamahas for the YAS-21 up to 1980.
The YAS-21 seems to become the YAS-23 around 1980 and the YAS-23/25 seems to become the YAS-275 around 2000/2001.

Vito and Yamaha YAS-21 serials

1970 1 500
1971 501 2155
1972 2156 3529
1973 3530 4421
1974 4422 12000
1975 12001 25603
1976 25604 30827
1977 30828 33947
1978 33948 38844
1979 38845 42434
1980 42435 47975

Vito YAS-21 and YAS-23 serials

Model 7131RK
1970 1 500
1971 501 2155
1972 2156 3529
1973 3530 4421
1974 4422 12000
1975 12001 25603
1976 25604 30827
1977 30828 33947
1978 33948 38844
1979 38845 42434
1980 42435 47975
1981 47976 52455
1982 52456 58306
1983 58307 62177
1984 62178 68524
1985 68525 72535
1986 72536 78579
1987 78580 85091
1988 85092 89758
1989 89759 501000 (Sudden Jump into 5XXXXX serials because the Vito YAS-21 changes to YAS-23. The Vito 5XXXXX serial number Altos are YAS-23 models. The YAS-21 has a removable bell, the YAS-23 has a soldered bell-bow connection.)
1990 501098 510332
1991 510333 511518
1992 511519 515800
1993 515801 519845
1994 519846 526925
1995 526926 533097
1996 533098 537807
1997 537808 552998
1998 552999 560613
1999 560614 575843
2000 575842 587455
2001 587456 624567
2002 624568 654084

The YAS-23 starts in 1979/1980 and the YAS-21 has a removable bell and the YAS-23 has a soldered bell-bow connection.

The Yamaha serial numbers are sequential for each model and only for that particular model.
Each new Yamaha model starts with a new sequential serial number sequence.
That means that the YAS-23 sequential serial numbers are not a continuation of the sequential YAS-21 serial numbers.

1. The YAS-23's have big 3-tuning-forks in circle emblem on top, with YAMAHA below and JAPAN below that. Serial numbers begin with a 0?

2. The YAS-23's have a smaller emblem in front of the YAMAHA on the same line, followed by JAPAN on the line below. Serial numbers starting with a 0 or 1?

3. The YAS-23's have big 3-tuning-forks in circle emblem on top, with YAMAHA below and Established in 1857 on the bottom. Serial numbers starting with a 1?

4. The YAS-23's appear to only say YAMAHA followed by JAPAN on the line below. I've seen serial numbers starting with a 1 or 2?.

5. The YAS-23's have no tuning-fork emblems, and have YAMAHA on top, Established in 1857 in the middle and JAPAN on bottom. Serial numbers starting with a 2 or 3?

So you can see the sequential nature of the serials from older to newer 0XXXXX to 1XXXXX to 2XXXXX to 3XXXXX.

Yamaha have a different sequential serial numbering format for every different model and the model serial numbers don't always start from 0.

http://parts-search.yamaha.co.jp/html/WIND_ENGLISH/

Yamaha Model Years from Yamahas Parts List

SOPRANO SAXOPHONES

Model Name Production Period Serial Number
YSS-475 '97-'05
YSS-475(2) '05-
YSS-62 '78-'90
YSS-62R '83-'90
YSS-62RS '81-'90
YSS-62S '81-'90
YSS-675 '90-
YSS-675R '90-
YSS-675S '91-
YSS-675SR '91-
YSS-675SU '90-
YSS-675U '90-
YSS-875 '90-'05
YSS-875EX '05-
YSS-875EXS '05-
YSS-875S '90-'05

ALTO SAXOPHONES

Model Name Production Period Serial Number
AD-AS1 '02-
YAS-200AD '04-
YAS-01M '04-'06
YAS-01MQ '04-'06
YAS-100 '94-'02
YAS-21 '70-80
YAS-23 '80-
YAS-23S '80-
YAS-23U '86-
YAS-25 '91-'00
YAS-25L '91-'00
YAS-275 '00-
YAS-275S '05-
YAS-32 '78-'92
YAS-32(2) '92-'02 #101001-
YAS-32(2)E '92-'02
YAS-32F '87-'91
YAS-475 '02-
YAS-52 '78-'02
YAS-52E '78-'02
YAS-575AL '02-
YAS-62 '78-'92
YAS-62(#010001-) '02.07- #010001-
YAS-62(#110001-) '03.02- #110001-
YAS-62(#C00001-) '06.10- #C00001-
YAS-62C '03-
YAS-62CS '03-
YAS-62E '92-'02
YAS-62S '78-'92
YAS-62S(#010001-) '02.07- #010001-
YAS-62S(#110001-) '03.02- #110001-
YAS-62S(#C00001-) '06.10- #C00001-
YAS-62SE '92-'02
YAS-82Z '02-
YAS-82ZB '05-
YAS-82ZUL '05-
YAS-82ZS '02-
YAS-82ZF '07.07-
YAS-82ZULF '07.07-
YAS-855 '88-'02
YAS-855S '88-'02
YAS-875 '88-'02
YAS-875EX '02-
YAS-875EXS '02-
YAS-875S '88-'02

TENOR SAXOPHONES

Model Name Production Period Serial Number
AD-TS1 '02-
YTS-200AD '04-
YTS-100 '94-'02
YTS-21 '70-'80
YTS-23 '80-
YTS-25 '91-'01
YTS-275 '01-
YTS-275S '05-
YTS-32 '80-'91
YTS-32E '91-'02
YTS-475 '02-
YTS-52 '81-'94
YTS-52E '94-'02
YTS-575AL '02-
YTS-62 '80-'94
YTS-62(#010001-) '02.07- #010001-
YTS-62(#110001-) '03.02- #110001-
YTS-62(#C00001-) '06.10- #C00001-
YTS-62E '94-'02
YTS-62S '80-'94
YTS-62S(#010001-) '02.07- #010001-
YTS-62S(#110001-) '02- #110001-
YTS-62S(#C00001-) '06.10- #C00001-
YTS-62SE '94-'02
YTS-82Z '02- #110001-
YTS-82ZS '03-
YTS-82ZUL '05-
YTS-82ZF '07.07-
YTS-82ZULF '07.07-
YTS-875 '90-'02
YTS-875(#110001-) '02-'05
YTS-875EX '05-
YTS-875EXS '05-
YTS-875S '90-'02
YTS-875S(#110001-) '03-'02 #110001-

BARITONE SAXOPHONES

Model Name Production Period Serial Number
YBS-32 '83-'94
YBS-32E '94-
YBS-52 '84-'94
YBS-52E '94-
YBS-62 '83-'94
YBS-62E '94-
 

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Good info there.

One thing that doesn't seem right is:

"The YAS-23 starts in 1979/1980 and the YAS-21 has a removable bell and the YAS-23 has a soldered bell-bow connection."

All YAS-23s I've worked on had a glued bell bow to body joint, not soft soldered - unless the YAS-23s assembled in the US had a soldered bell bow to body joint.
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa, tenor: Medusa, bari: B-901, sop: sc-990
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A useful resource. Thanks for doing the work!
 

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Is the YAS-32F the 32 but with nickel plated keys? I've only seen one of these, the owner bought it in France (hence the 'F' suffix?) - at first glance it looked like a YAS-25, but had the teardrop front F (not the round pearl) and large push-fit bell guard felts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well the model years are from Yamahas Parts List so it is accurate.

Each new Yamaha model starts with a new sequential serial number routine for that model only.

The YAS-25 serial numbers are not the same as the YAS-23 serial numbers.

The YAS-25 model starts in 1991 and finishes in 2000.

YAS-25 '91-'00
YAS-25L '91-'00

Memories of when something was bought can be less than accurate.

The memories of some of the Vito YAS-21 owners year bought were all over the place when compared with the Vito YAS-21 serial number chart when it was later discovered.
 

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I am not thinking this helps me with my YAS-62 which I bought new in 1981 it does not have the same keywork as later 62's before the mark 2 most noticable by the absence of the link bar on the laeft hand spatular between C# and Bb. No Purple logo either but think that may have just been a USA thing.

Would be nice to know the actual date of manufacture of my sax though
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The YAS-21 model can be dated with serial numbers and the YAS-23 model can be approx dated by the changing logos and the first number of the serial.

All the other models are just production years from Yamahas parts list.
 

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I have a vito sax with a serial of 507034, which I take it to be a 7131 model of some sort, that was modeled after the YTS-23. According to the chart, that serial would mean that it was made in 1990. I bought it used in 2000, and it was in near perfect condition. I bought it from a music shop that was going out of business that said that the seller had bought it brand new in 1997 and that it was hardly played.

In your last post, you claimed that the models with the 5xxxxx serials could only be approximated by the first digit, the 5. So does that mean that theres no way of knowing the actual year it was made? I'm also confused because that serial list that is posted on so many different places on the web is marked for alto saxes, which came off the Leblanc website for the 7131RK, which is an alto and not a tenor. (which im assuming would make a difference)

Also it has the * over the i, which to my understanding means that it was made by Yamaha parts, and it does say made in Japan under the serial. But it came with an extremely nice Leblanc case, so I guess its a Leblanc vito. Still a bit confused on how that works. I'm guessing it is mostly Yamaha's parts and it was assembled in Leblanc's factory in Japan? Clarification would be great on the difference between the 7131RK/7131T(K) and yamaha's YTS-21/YTS-23 and YAS-21/YAS-23.

I also have a vito alto sax that according to the chart was made in 1987 from the YAS-21 parts. There is a HUGE playing difference between the two saxophones. The alto is definitely a beginner student horn, whereas the tenor feels and sounds much more like an advanced student horn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
To put it simply, if someone has a Vito Alto (not Tenor) with JAPAN stamped on it they can use the Vito Alto 7131RK serial list and so can real Yamaha Alto YAS-21 owners up until 1980.
If someone has a real Yamaha Alto YAS-23 then they can get an idea of the year from the approx Yamaha YAS-23 serial numbers and logos from one of my previous posts in this thread.
All other Vitos that are not Altos or do not have JAPAN stamped on them do not apply.

Yamaha sold the parts to Leblanc and they assembled and finished the Vito's in the USA.

Vitos that don't have JAPAN on them are a different thing.


The Vito 7131RK serial lists are for Vito YAS-21 Altos only with JAPAN stamped on them. The Vito 7131RK serial list seems to be in sync with real Yamaha YAS-21 Altos up till around 1980 and then the Yamaha Alto models change to YAS-23 while the Vito models continue as YAS-21 because Yamaha was still selling YAS-21 parts to Leblanc and not selling the newer YAS-23 parts to Leblanc until the Vito 7131RK serial numbers hit the 5xxxxx serials and these Vito 5xxxxx serial numbers are YAS-23 parts.


This is just for Alto. The Vito Yamaha parts and the real Yamahas do not have their serials in sync after around 1980 when Yamaha introduced the new YAS-23 model.

There are no Vito Tenor serial lists that I know of.
 

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This is a great thread. I believe if folks would start posting there Yamaha serial numbers here with known dates, we could put together what might be the best serial number list outside of Yamaha itself. Here's my contribution:

A coworker just purchase a very nice YAS-52 with serial number 008xxxA. According to an email from Yamaha, this particular sax was made in late 1990 in the Yamaha Grand Rapids (MI) production facility.

Please post your info and lets make this the definitive thread on this.
 

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My son's YTS-62II tenor. Serial 33xxxx, Japan 2006.
 
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