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Discussion Starter #1
I received my AW02 today and have some interesting findings.

I have a Vito VSP which is the same as the A800 from all the pictures I have seen but minus the double arm. It is the last alto I kept after i sold everything. In the past, I have had many including Conn 6M, Yanagisawa A5, French Vito by Beaugnier, a Noblet, Yamaha 875EX, King Zephyr Series II, Selmer USA AS100, Buescher Super 400 which is the same as the Top Hat, Selmer Paris Series II, and Buffet Super Dynaction. They all have different trade offs and I eventually decided to keep the VSP because of many considerations including the price and quality.

But also, that means I feel this VSP is at the same level as some much more expensive such as the Selmer Paris SII and Yamaha 875EX but at a much cheaper price. Right there, I feel it is a bargain.

Then a week ago, I tried a Yanagisawa 92 bronze neck with underslung octave key on the The VSP. Wow, it opens up the sound. The whole horn become more free blowing. It remains warm and lush in the lows and clear in the high. I feel the dynamic range improved. This is the biggest improvement I got out of it for just $250. I am so happy.

Then I saw a used Yanagisawa AW02 at a good price, and just received it today. WHAT A HORN! It is sooooo easy blowing. It reminds me of even-ness of the Buffet SDA. But it is more free blowing and more brilliance.

Then I tried the underslung neck on it, and to my surprise, I don't like it. It is EVEN more free blowing, but the sound change. I feel it sounds more brassy. I feel I can use a harder reed but don't have time to try it today. I change the vandoren optimum ligature to a Roven dark which tame it down a bit. But it also took out the brilliance and the horn sound dead. So, I feel this is very interesting because I thought the two neck has the same dimension but just different octave mechanism. It seems it is not. Also, it seems Yanagisawa tune the underslung neck to match with the pro model which has robbed construction. I read comments that the ribbed construction probably add more material and make it harder to vibrate which results in a more resistance feel. Than it seems the more free blowing underslung neck can balance it out. So,!it works very well on my VSP which also has ribbed construction. And the stock regular neck match perfectly with the AW02.

I have try playing the VSP with underslung neck and AW02 side by side. But based on my memory, the AW02 is more free blowing and has more brilliance. And more even. My reaction on the AW02 is that THIS IS THE ONE. I never have this feeling before in all the horns I tried. I am sooo happy now. =)

Anyone having an older Yanagisawa, I would encourage you to try the necks. It is not snake oil. And the two octave mechanism do have differences.


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I also have older and brand new Yanagisawas. And yes, the necks do give different responses on mine also.

And it is certainly more complicated than just "this neck is better".

Excellent post. I sure do like my Yanys.

dsm
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Datsaxman, thanks.

I was skeptical about neck at the beginning. I tried a Selmer Paris Series II tenor neck on Selmer USA TS100 once, while it sounds slightly different, I can't say which is better, nor can I say which one I like more.

For the underslung neck on AW02, maybe my impression will change if I use a different reed, who knows. It would be fun to try all these different reed, mouthpiece, ligature, neck, saxophone combo.




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I acquired a a990 that did not have a neck (or case) and I bought a neck for it. The intonation was not great, which surprised me. I switched with a neck from a vsp880 and the intonation was what I expected from a yani. The intonation was still good on the 880 so I left them that way. There may have been other factors, but I have not found out what they were.
 

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I am currently using a #92 Bronze neck on my Vito VSP baritone. it is a 900 series horn with double arms on the low C and a high F# key.
F# key. The original neck has a minor pull-down. I wanted an intact one before they became unavailable. There are some pretty subtle differences between the two necks. I do prefer the bronze.
 
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