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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to resurrect this conversation because the previous threads that I could find seem inconclusive (and are a year old and maybe we have new info).

I have an opportunity to buy a SS981 soprano (not to be confused with the SN981 sopranino) at a decent discount to the SS991, and would like to understand the differences. The two general opinions that I've found are:

1. The 981 is a precursor to the 991, and is essentially the same model, but without the high G key.

2. The 981 is missing 991 features such as the ribbed posts, essentially making it a 901 with detatchable necks.

Does anyone know the true nature of this elusive horn????.......
 

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You are correct that the 981 is the same horn as the 991 with the exception of the high G.

Regarding your second statement, the interesting thing about the 901 soprano, unlike the alto & tenor which does not have ribbed contruction but rather has post construction, is that the 901 soprano actually has ribbed contruction identicle to the 991. I have both and prefer the 901 without the detached necks over the 991. They are the same horn, with the exception of the detachable necks & the high G. Also less engraving on the 901.

It's quite interesting the Yanagisawa decided to make the 901 soprano different than the alto and tenor. Review some pics at Saxforte or USA horns website to see what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
981 and 991 coming for comparison

Thanks to the modern miracle of trial periods, I will be able to compare a SS981 and SS991 side by side. I'll post my observations.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Compared

see my other post in the Yani section
 

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S901: One piece straight horn, ribbed key construction, high F#, less engraving.
S981: Twin neck, ribbed key construction, high F#, engraved.
S991: Same as S981 but with high G key. Some sources state visibly better quality pads are used.
 

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S901: One piece straight horn, ribbed key construction, high F#, less engraving.
S981: Twin neck, ribbed key construction, high F#, engraved.
S991: Same as S981 but with high G key. Some sources state visibly better quality pads are used.
A little CYA marketing from Yanagisawa making sure their products meet the tastes of those who embrace certain features and those who think those features introduce acoustic compromises.
 

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A little CYA marketing from Yanagisawa making sure their products meet the tastes of those who embrace certain features and those who think those features introduce acoustic compromises.
Has the S981 line officially died out with Yany's move to the WO sopranos? I have not seen any marketing information in any country indicating that a dual-neck horn with range to high F# remains available. That is, there's no hybrid of the SWO1 and the SWO10.

Perhaps an SWO10 without a high G key could be special-ordered by S981 diehards?
 

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I think the S981 has not been made officially for a quite a while. The new ones in stores have been old stock, but even they have been almost impossible to find. A few years ago, I saw on a Yanagisawa web page listing several options for the special ordering an S991. IIRC, one option was no high-G key along with Pink Gold, etc. I noticed that there was no S981 listed and thought., “Oh, it’s now just a S991 without a High-G. That makes sense.”

I have not looked into the WO10 to see if No High-G is an option.
 
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