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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I have a Yanagisawa tenor saxophone and just wondered if anyone could help me identify which model it is. I have owned it for about ten years but have not played it much in recent years. Have just dusted of my alto to brush up on my playing and thought I would find out some info on my tenor.
It has a serial number of 00108842 but has no model number marked on, it just says 'Japan' and above it a symbol. If anyone has any info that could help me identify model I would be most grateful.
 

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Here's a link to one of several sites with Yanagisawa serial number info.

http://drrick.com/yanifr.html

Based on that chart, your tenor would be dated around 1982.

If your tenor neck has an "underslung" octave key (hanging under the neck instead of arching over it like most horns), then it's probably a model 880. Very much a desirable horn.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tenor sax

Thanks for your help, Ive had alook at my octave key but it appears the same as it does on my alto sax so i'm guessing its just a normal set up, can you give me any other clues to look for?
 

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Try http://www.woodwindforum.com/news.php and click Vintage Yanagisawa Page for info, and Vintage Yanagisawa Gallery for pictures.

If not a 880 as no underslund neck, then likely to be T800. But could still be a T880 if has double arms to bell keys. There is some inconsistency between features of the models in that time. The typical T880 had double arms and underslung neck, but not all of them!

That date, could still be a T500, though. I can't help differentiate between T500 and T800 in build or appearance

You could try and fax Yanagisawa with the serial number, and they might tell you. It worked for me! Details at http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=48285
 

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Tenor sax

Thanks Chris for your help. The site with pictures was very useful. Looking at the photos it looks very much like a T500 as the bell keys do not have double arms like the T880. The engraving is also the same, did this change with the model or does it have no reference. What is your view on the quality of this saxophone, is a T500 considered a good model?
 

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It could still be either a T500 or T800. As you would read on the website link in previous post, the T500 was considered a step-up / intermediate instrument. but you will also read on this forum that Yanagisawa did not really make an instrument that was anything less than professional standard.

For build and sound, Yanagisawa instruments are compared to the great instruments, and compared favourably. Of course the favourable comparisons or more often than not made by those that own Yanagisawa instrument, and the following is very loyal.

Is it considered a good model? Compared to the rest of the Yanagisawa family, I guess it isn't. But is it considered a good instrument? The concensus in this section of the forum is likely to be a yes!

But I am sure someone will say it if I don't - what matters is how it sounds to you
 

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Does it have "ribbed" construction? That is, are the posts mounted individually on the body tube or are they mounted on a sub assembly (rib) that is then mounted to the body tube. As i recall, that's a major difference between the T-4/T-5/T-6's and the T-800 or newer. Poke around the Yani forum and you should be able to get fairly definitive info with which to ID your Yani.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tenor sax

Cheers for your help, I will do more searching around this forum to try and find out. Thats if I ever find my way round........new to this site finding it a little confusing!!!
 

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Xax or anyone else

Where does the T500 fit in with the ribbed construction - is it ribbed like T800 or not like T-6

Another difference that I would be interested to hear in which model it was introduced is the removable bell. Pictures of T-5 I have seen do not have the tab and 2 screws seen on the body side at the connection of the "u" tube (sorry, don't know technical term...) and pictures (all on www.woodwindforum.com) of T500 and above do. Did the T-6 have this?

And one more thing. Was the high F# key an option on all models, or only an option after a certain model, or always standard in certain models or above?

My interest is that I would quite like to get myself a Yanagisawa tenor, and ones that can be dated to late 70s and early 80s could be a variety of models.

And really final question in this rather broad post is how are all these instruments rated relatively. Gleaned from this forum it would seem that in order, most highly thought of first, it goes

1. T880
2. T800
3. T6
4. T500
5. T5

Anyone change the order?
 

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My first ever sax was a T500. It was not ribbed. It had a high F# key. It had a conventional style octave key on the neck. The left hand pinky cluster was not linked like on the later Yana's. Got it brand new in 1985. I think they were discontinued fairly soon after that.

The T500 was supposedly an entry level horn. Since it was made concurrently with the T800 and T880, I presume it was a cheaper version of these horns, probably with the same body tube.

It was a good horn, but I later sold it after I got a 2nd hand Selmer SA80. The Selmer had a much fatter tone.

I still have the Selmer, but currently I'm enjoying playing a 2nd hand T880. Tonally it is thicker and more resonant than I remember the T500 being. Easier to play than the Selmer and with better intonation. As for the tone, the Yana is brighter, more focussed but still warm and very appealing. I'm probably gonna keep the T880 and sell the SA80.

I've never had a chance to play the T-6 but apparently they are close copies of the Mark 6 both mechanically and sound-wise.
 

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Chris J said:
And really final question in this rather broad post is how are all these instruments rated relatively. Gleaned from this forum it would seem that in order, most highly thought of first, it goes
1. T880
2. T800
3. T6
4. T500
5. T5
Anyone change the order?
Chris, I think most (but, of course, not all) people familiar with Yanagisawa's various models agree that their horns improved noticeably in the time between your #5 and #1. By the time they were producing the 880, they were making world-class altos and tenors, and of course they have not stopped since. I think that their sopranos and baritones reached that "world class" level starting with the 990's. It's hard to say whether things have improved even more in the last ten years. It's the same problem Selmer faces: when you have been making saxes that are already so good, it's hard to make a horn that is unequivocally better.
 

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Well, now that we have a resident expert from Yanagisawa that visits the board on occasion (HIDESAKU), I have opened up a conversation in Japanese regarding some of the finer points of their history and manufacture.

According to HIDESAKU, the A-500/T-500 models (aka, the Prima A-50/T-50) and the 800 series horns only had minor differences, mostly in the materials used. Here are the differences he told me about:

- The 500 series did not have ribbed construction while the 800 did.

- The brass was actually imported from the US starting with the 800 series, so the quality of the brass got better with the 800 series.

- The 500 series saxes used stainless steel springs while the 800 series used blued-steel springs.

- He mentioned some minor differences in the pearls...such as the concavity of them was more marked in the 800 series.

- He also mentioned that the 500 series were targeted at students, thus were a bit more free-blowing than the 800 series.

He has access to a lot of info that we've been clamoring for for awhile, but we also have to keep in mind that he is very busy at his job. 12 hours a day is typical in Japan. So, I want to back off deluging him with questions.

fm
 

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Fungus, thanks for the interesting post. Sounds like my Prima-t40 is very like the 500 series- stell springs and not ribbed. My A800 is ribbed and has blue steel springs...
 

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DavidT said:
Fungus, thanks for the interesting post. Sounds like my Prima-t40 is very like the 500 series- stell springs and not ribbed. My A800 is ribbed and has blue steel springs...
Yep. The T-40 would be a little older horn with slightly different keywork. The pinky table is definitely different from the 500 series. Those older horns (500 series and before) do use quite soft metal.

One other interesting thing to note: according to HIDESAKU, Yanagisawa sells saxes only to two companies in Japan: Prima and Zen-On. The Prima models have PRIMA stenciled on them. The Zen-On horns just have the Yanagisawa stenciling on them. That explains why I saw both types of horns in Japan.

fm
 

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Well, now that we have a resident expert from Yanagisawa that visits the board on occasion (HIDESAKU), I have opened up a conversation in Japanese regarding some of the finer points of their history and manufacture.

According to HIDESAKU, the A-500/T-500 models (aka, the Prima A-50/T-50) and the 800 series horns only had minor differences, mostly in the materials used. Here are the differences he told me about:

- The 500 series did not have ribbed construction while the 800 did.

- The 500 series saxes used stainless steel springs while the 800 series used blued-steel springs.
Hidesaku told me that my '78 Yani/Martin tenor was a T800.
It has ribbed construction and stainless springs.
It has double arms on the bell keys, and low C, but also, bracket supports on the palm and side keys.

It seems that various combinations are evidenced '78-'80,
until 880 was actually stamped on the horn.
 

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Hi SaxPhil
You should post a pic of your 800/Martin. I have only ever seen three 800's. If your one also has and overslung octave arm... then it sounds just like them. but none that I have seen had stainless spings.
I think some (if not all ! ? please tell me if thats wrong !? ) Yani/Martin 880's had stainless spings as well. It may well have been Martin spec.

It makes you wonder ?? how much would a set of blue springs cost...is it that much of a cost-cutter ??
 

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Hi SaxPhil
You should post a pic of your 800/Martin. I have only ever seen three 800's. If your one also has and overslung octave arm... then it sounds just like them. but none that I have seen had stainless spings.
I think some (if not all ! ? please tell me if thats wrong !? ) Yani/Martin 880's had stainless spings as well. It may well have been Martin spec.

It makes you wonder ?? how much would a set of blue springs cost...is it that much of a cost-cutter ??
Horns stamped 880 had blue needle springs.

Peter Ponzol's Yani/Martin was up for sale here some time ago.
It was stamped 880 and had all the 880 features, blue needle springs included.

Mine is a frankenyani I suppose.
A stencil, so anything is possible, especially '78-'80.
Martin had nothing to do with its production, Yani did.

I know that the 900 series have the bracketed palm and side keys but with post construction, and I believe blue needle springs.

Mine has the overslung regular neck, yes.
The stainless springs aren't bad at all and the horn has seen little action.

I don't know how to post pics.
I could email you some when I get a chance.
 

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ManEast: Apropos blued steel springs: Look at this. Doesn't look too expensive to me. From what I read, I think it's a bit harder and more demanding to work with blued steel springs instead of stainless ones, but I don't have enough experience with it to relate to that. All I know is that I have yet to experience a real difference in feeling and handling.

M.
 

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Horns stamped 880 had blue needle springs.

Peter Ponzol's Yani/Martin was up for sale here some time ago.
It was stamped 880 and had all the 880 features, blue needle springs included.

Mine is a frankenyani I suppose.
A stencil, so anything is possible, especially '78-'80.
Martin had nothing to do with its production, Yani did.

I know that the 900 series have the bracketed palm and side keys but with post construction, and I believe blue needle springs.

Mine has the overslung regular neck, yes.
The stainless springs aren't bad at all and the horn has seen little action.

I don't know how to post pics.
I could email you some when I get a chance.
Have a look at this s/number and also the palm & side keys on the T 800 ... I think your one must have been made just before. (please let me know if your S number comes before ) http://woodwindforum.com/?page_id=136

P.S. I also do not think that the horn being called A 800 on the woodwind forum is an 800 ( bad pics...but I think its an A6 )
 
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