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There's a Yamaha YSS-875 serial # 001393 on eBay. Judging from the serial #, it's a very early one. I see there are EXs and EXHGs. Since I'm new to soprano, I can do without the high G. What are the pros and cons of the early one compared to the more recent models other than condition?
 

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There's a Yamaha YSS-875 serial # 001393 on eBay. Judging from the serial #, it's a very early one. I see there are EXs and EXHGs. Since I'm new to soprano, I can do without the high G. What are the pros and cons of the early one compared to the more recent models other than condition?
The first 875 came out in 1990. In the sax world, that's a modern horn, not old or outdated by any stretch of the imagination. Many pros still play horns that came out in the 1950s or earlier. Unless you're talking about a horn that came out in the teens or the 20s (at least 100 years old), you're not missing anything. All soprano players in history have managed without a high G key for all but the past couple of years. In spite of his namesake, even Kenny G doesn't have a high G key. Altissimo G is pretty easy to play without a G key. But any altissimo on soprano is pretty hard on the audience.

As others have said, that's a phenomenal horn and you're lucky to have it. Besides the useless, gimmicky G, there is zero difference compared to other modern horns. FWIW, I'm an advanced amateur who's been playing and gigging for over 40 years. I play horns that range from 100 years old up to the 90s and I manage just fine. My main horns are from the 1960s. I've had many sopranos over the years, none of which have had a high G, and I've never missed it. I've played many clarinet parts on soprano in my big band, and had no problem with altissimo G and beyond.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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Yamaha has made some small improvements to the 875 over the years but it’s basically the same design. A fully professional saxophone.
 

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The 875 is not "too old" in any meaningful sense, in terms of either years of age or its place in the evolutionary history of the soprano sax, and Yamaha sopranos in particular. There are plenty of superb saxophones that are far older.

Of course, there's always a question whether you, or any player, might simply like a different Yamaha sop better than the original 875. But you won't be able to get a good answer to that question without testing the horns yourself.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
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One of the best sopranos out there. Period.
 
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