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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for opinions on the relative merits of these two saxes. I may be looking to purchase one or the other in the near future. The difference in the prices that I have been quoted is $49 US, so that is not really an issue in making a decision. There are a number of factors unrelated to the merits of the saxes that I will have to consider (e.g., the Yani dealer I have talked to is one I have purchased two saxes from before, but is 2.5 hours away, while the Yamaha dealer has a location in my hometown), but I will have to sort that out myself. What I am hoping to get here is some informed information on the comparative merits of the two models.

I have owned 62s (YAS-62 II and YTS-62) in the past, and know what to expect, generally, from these horns. I have never played a Yani, however. Of course, both brands have great reputations for quality and consistency, and both have legions of players and fans. I expect that either option would be great, but there might be some considerations that I am unaware of that, for me, would tip the scales.

Looking at specs, there are some cosmetic details that favor the Yani (MOP key touches, metal thumb hook and thumb rest), but the only obvious difference in basic construction is that the YTS-62 has ribbed construction.

Thanks in advance for any advice and information you want to share.
 

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If absolutely set on buying new, you're good either way, but why, when the 62 is so widely available in current and previous incarnations and the Yani is also relatively available if you consider the 991 as more or less the same? You'll be good either way. I'd lean toward making the 2.5 hr trip either way and play both.
 

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I much prefer yanagisawa over Yamaha saxes. I recently went in search of a new soprano and bought a new yanagisawa, an SW02, unlacquered, the Yamahas just sounded flat by comparison. I appreciate you have quiet a drive to test the yanagisawas, but I wouldn’t by a Yamaha out of convenience without testing the yanagisawas first. The second tenor in my big band bought a TW02 last year and it’s superb.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If absolutely set on buying new, you're good either way, but why, when the 62 is so widely available in current and previous incarnations and the Yani is also relatively available if you consider the 991 as more or less the same? You'll be good either way. I'd lean toward making the 2.5 hr trip either way and play both.
That’s sound advice, but the wide availability of used instruments, especially non-student models, varies dramatically by location. It is undoubtedly relatively easy to find good used instruments that you can play test in LA, but here in flyover country it is a long and frustrating process. The local university faculty insist on Selmers, and those get sold among the students. Few shops stock anything except student models (the Yamaha dealer would have to order a YTS-62), and the shop that carries Yani that I referred to is the only one in the area that I am aware of that includes vintage instruments in its business model. Unfortunately for me, they don’t seem to do much with used Japanese instruments. Craigslist, searching the entire state, turns up a student Selmer and a Bundy II, both altos. This leaves either chasing remote leads across the prairie, or online sales such as eBay. I tried the latter a number of years ago, and it is too much of a crapshoot for my taste. I am not opposed to a used 62 or Yani that I can play test, but I’m not going to move heaven and earth (and drive hundreds of miles) for the opportunity. I know that some love the hunt for a deal, but for me, life is too short!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I much prefer yanagisawa over Yamaha saxes. I recently went in search of a new soprano and bought a new yanagisawa, an SW02, unlacquered, the Yamahas just sounded flat by comparison. I appreciate you have quiet a drive to test the yanagisawas, but I wouldn’t by a Yamaha out of convenience without testing the yanagisawas first. The second tenor in my big band bought a TW02 last year and it’s superb.
Hope this helps.
Thanks. That is helpful. One thing pushing me toward the Yani is the shop selling it. It is not convenient, but their repair service may be the best in the state. Some of the university music faculty here send their personal instruments there, despite their department staffing a full-time repair tech. Plus, they have a two-year warranty on every instrument they sell, new or used, that includes everything, including dents, etc. It’s just that I have no personal experience with Yanis, and want to make the most informed decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, dtedsax. That is a great price, but I would want to play a horn before sending that amount of money. If I were in Georgia...
 

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Yes, don't buy anything you can't send back. I was in the market years ago for an alto and I chose the 82Z over the Yani but Yamahas are bright. I lately have been using a Kelwerth neck on the 82Z to add body. I would never buy new but that seemed what you want. My 82Z was 1800. I think they retail for over 4K. K
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, don't buy anything you can't send back. I was in the market years ago for an alto and I chose the 82Z over the Yani but Yamahas are bright. I lately have been using a Kelwerth neck on the 82Z to add body. I would never buy new but that seemed what you want. My 82Z was 1800. I think they retail for over 4K. K
I would certainly buy used if there was a selection of the instruments I was interested in that I could play test. I have purchased used from a distance before, and will not do so again, at least at these price points. Thanks for your perspective on the Yamahas.
 

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I played new 62 and TWO2 horns when play testing tenors in February /March 2018. I thought that the 62 was the better horn with regard to tone. However. I ultimately chose the Yamaha 875ex. I didn't think that the Yani tenors were as exciting as the Yani Altos and sopranos. I sounded best with the 875ex.

I later bought a new Yani AWO10 over the Yamaha yas 62, 82, and 875ex altos. It took me a little longer to find my sound, but the AWO10 worked best for me on alto.
 

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I would certainly buy used if there was a selection of the instruments I was interested in that I could play test. I have purchased used from a distance before, and will not do so again, at least at these price points. Thanks for your perspective on the Yamahas.
Well yes & no - I respect the idea that you want to buy a new instrument and that you don't want to deal with the hassles of buy long distance. Colorado is only slightly less fly-over country than Kansas so I feel some of your pain there as well. The only thing that makes it less so is Sax Alley, otherwise there's not a shop within 600 miles that stocks much of anything. That being said you can do okay with an instrument in this demographic if you're patient. Buying a near mint condition used horn that was purchased new within the last year is easier than buying something older or vintage as the chances of there being a lot of hidden damage or wear are very low. Likewise, as consistent as the Japanese horns tend to be those are the ones I'd be most likely to consider buying this way if the deal was right, and I've done so. All that being said, buying new locally has a lot of advantages especially if the shop throws in a few years of free adjustments and being the first owner of a brand new horn can be a special feeling as well.

I was a Yamaha guy for many years and still have 2 saxes and 2 flutes made by them. I haven't played any of the new "TWO" series horns from Yani but I would prefer any of the T9XX tenors to any of the YTS-62's I've played. I have a Yani B992 bari that's a fantastic instrument and the longer I own it and play it the better it seems to get. You're pretty knowledgeable about horns and you've spent some time doing the research so I don't think you're going to find "some consideration you're unaware of". Both companies make very good horns and it really comes down to your personal preference and maybe a little to what shop you prefer dealing with. It's a pretty big decision (or at least it would be for me at my income level buying a new pro-line tenor) so I think you owe it to yourself to make the drive and at least try the Yani if for no other reason just to make sure you have no second thoughts or regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Keith,

Thanks for your thoughts. The price I was quoted on the Yani is $400-$450 less than other prices I have found. That, along with the other perks of working with this dealer, make me more willing to buy new, and less willing to shop around for used, than I might be otherwise. I am certainly leaning toward the Yani, and will probably be making the trip to look at it.
 

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Mostly just chiming in because I've been enjoying reading different perspectives on my two favorite saxophone makers, and I'm also curious about these two newer models, neither of which I've tried.

I can say, however: in my experience playing and trying out several different models of Yamaha and Yanagisawa, the Yanagisawas have been uniformly top-quality, extremely professional-level instruments, regardless of their price tier in the Yani ecosystem. The "lowest-level" Yanis I've played have felt as solid as any top-line Selmer at several times the price. Lower-level Yamahas are still great for the money, but I don't think Yamahas really compete with Yanagisawas until you get into the "custom" 82/875 tier. Although the older, pre-custom 62 horns might, I'm not sure.

I played Andrew Gould's AW01 alto a couple years ago when we were working on a recording together and it blew me away. He's a Yanagisawa artist and picked that one over the more expensive models because he liked it the best, and I agree, I wouldn't hesitate to call that my main horn. They're doing great stuff!
 

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Keith,

Thanks for your thoughts. The price I was quoted on the Yani is $400-$450 less than other prices I have found. That, along with the other perks of working with this dealer, make me more willing to buy new, and less willing to shop around for used, than I might be otherwise. I am certainly leaning toward the Yani, and will probably be making the trip to look at it.
Anytime - please give us your thoughts on how the horns compare once you have a chance to play the Yani. Despite being more familiar with the Yamaha product I get the impression that you are being very objective about this so I figure your comparison/opinion/experience/critique of the horns will be pretty honest and unbiased.
 

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Those are both killer horns, you can't lose either way. I've owned/played both of them and they are about the same. I would give the nod to the Yani if I could only pick one because I thought the bore felt a little better to play on for my personal taste and I thought the horn was prettier, but either one will be a state of the art horn that you can play anything with.
 

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To the OP - have you tried some of the reputable forum members like JayeLID or Junkdude? They usually have very good saxes. Also try PM Woodwind, you may be able to work out a trial period
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OK. Here is what happened. I ended up purchasing a new TWO1 from Wichita Band. I have purchased two other saxes from them, and their price was $470 lower than most places, who charge Yanagisawa's minimum advertised price (e.g., Kessler & Sons). I was not able to trial the Yany and a YTS-62 III side-by-side. The local Yamaha dealer would have had to order a 62, and I don't think they were eager to do that just for me to try it out. However, I have owned 62s before (alto and tenor), as well as several student Yamahas, so I went into the trial of the Yany with some idea of what to expect from Yamaha. (Also, Wichita Band has a two-year service and repair warranty that covers everything, including damage due to accidents, and a discount on shop work after the warranty period. Their repair shop has a great reputation, and I had a dent in my alto neck fixed while I was playing the TWO1.)

They also gave me a used Keilworth SX-90 in black nickel plating to try. It was a beautiful instrument, but had problems sounding at both the high and low ends. Probably nothing more than a leak or two, but I had already played the Yany, and it would have taken quite a lot to impress me after that. I keep seeing claims about Yanys playing great right out of the case, and now I can testify to that being true, at least sometimes. I watched as the case was opened, the sax removed from the plastic bag it was in, and the corks removed from the keywork. A little grease on the cork and I put my mouthpiece on and headed to the practice room. With no setup since the factory in Japan, every note across the range of the sax played easily and clear. The action was fast, and the intonation had no noticeable issues. I might have asked for a tech to look it over anyway, but a snowstorm had unexpectedly popped up and I had a two-hour drive ahead, so I paid and headed home.

I will be posting a more complete assessment of this sax in the Yany forum, but I can say that this is the best sax I have owned, perhaps tied with a YAS-62II that I had a while back. Certainly better than the YTS-62 I that I owned. I also can't say enough about Wichita Band. Their prices for new instruments are more than competitive (not just on Yanys), and for those who love their vintage instruments, they buy and sell older horns as a major part of their business.
 
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