Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I hope that you're all well and your families are safe during Covid times. I wanted to reach out to some of the Yani experts to see if anybody has some solid experience with the late 1980's tenors. Were they already near the 900/901 tenors, tonally? Were they nearing the feel and sound of the 991/992? Or were they something else/in transition?
I see a lot of sale posts with Yani's from the 1970's and early 80's but there seems to be a void with tenors from the late 1980's. I rarely see late 80's Yanigasawa horns around and I'm wondering if this is because they are sweet players and people hang on to them? TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Oh, and were they already experimenting with various metals in the late 80's? Or did the bronze, silver, brass/silver combo not really begin until the 1990's?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,240 Posts
Oh, and were they already experimenting with various metals in the late 80's? Or did the bronze, silver, brass/silver combo not really begin until the 1990's?
Sterling silver Yanys first appeared as regular production horns in the late 1980s. As to specific combos of silver and brass, you'd have to research that by model. The bronze saxes didn't appear until the 992 line in the late 1990s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, I couldn't recall if the T902 and 992 both rolled out sometime in the early 1990s or not. I wouldn't mind trying to get my hands on a specimen from approx '87-92 just to see what those felt and sounded like. For all I know, they may have been going through some major retooling and everything was a mess during that era but I kind of doubt that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
The a880 alto and t880 tenor from the 80's are wonderful horns that can be found for reasonable prices. I wouldn't trade my a880 or t880 for a 9xx so when you ask if they are "near" a 900/901 or 991/992, I think they are better but that's just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The a880 alto and t880 tenor from the 80's are wonderful horns that can be found for reasonable prices. I wouldn't trade my a880 or t880 for a 9xx so when you ask if they are "near" a 900/901 or 991/992, I think they are better but that's just my opinion.
Sweet. Thanks Blaine. That sort of confirms what I had thought in my mind. I've been looking for one for a few months and wanted to keep all of my options open. I don't have to have Dbl key arms down low or an underslung neck, and wasn't sure about what kind of sonic evolution was happening during this era for them.
I also see A TON of confusion online about the LATER 500 Series and the T-5 and the T-50 (Nearly all of the later ones that I've looked at had the same features with stainless springs) which seem to have been made through at least the mid/late 80's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
The older models that I have had (older than the 800/880) looked a little more like a Selmer Mark VI (they copied it really closely - the 880 has it's own look) and sounded good but I found the keywork to bend a little too easily - at least on the ones I had. The 880 vs 9xx in my mind is like the difference in tone between a Selmer Mark VI and Mark VII. The 800/880 is a little darker/vintage and the 9xx is a bit more lively/modern. The keywork on the 880 is terrific!

If you've ever played a Yamaha 62 and a Mark VI and a Buffet Dynaction (I have many times) ... the 880 is just a hair on the Dynaction side of the Mark VI (a tiny bit heavier and darker) and the 9xx would be a little on the Yamaha side of the Mark VI tonewise (I don't remember how it was for weight)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,408 Posts
You can also find 800s under the Martin name as they made a few in the '80s. I believe LeBlanc owned the Martin brand at that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I'm not too focused on that stencil. I am wondering if the 800 Series was "it" for them in the late 80's or if they had any other models happening. It seems like there are some late 80's overlap models like the 500. I honestly don't know if there were catalogs from '87-92 but I'd love to see one to see what was happening.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,408 Posts
Yeah, there are more people reading the thread than you and some of them might find that info useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Big difference between the 800 and 880 models - both in keywork and in the metal used. The Japanese call the 880 the "heavy model" - it was made from imported (French) brass, rather than the local Japanese brass used in the 800 models. Also some changes in keywork through the life of the 880. I have owned an 880 alto from the early 1980s and currently own an 8833 alto from 1989 (solid silver bell and factory-option solid silver neck) and a later 880 alto as a spare. My 880 tenor is also a monster horn - my Selmer SA-80 serie II, which I love, has become my backup horn. I would recommend finding a later 880 tenor - there are plenty around for not too much money and try it I think you'll love it.

Regarding the changes from 800/880 to 900/990 to 90x/99x, I believe the hand-made 800/880 was developed to the 900/990 to be CAPABLE of being machine-made on a production line but still largely hand-made in practice, and then the 90x/99x were ACTUALLY machine-made (but "hand-finished"). That could be where you got the idea of a mess with re-tooling, etc.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,807 Posts
Yeah, I'm not too focused on that stencil. I am wondering if the 800 Series was "it" for them in the late 80's or if they had any other models happening. It seems like there are some late 80's overlap models like the 500. I honestly don't know if there were catalogs from '87-92 but I'd love to see one to see what was happening.
Indeed, the series 500 is very often misidentified ( especially by one time sellers) because of the overlap.

Yanagisawa was simply trying to compete on the lower end of the market reducing costs (in a minimal way) so that they could position themselves as a price fighter. The 500 series are good horns but given their history they are often too expensive for what they should be.

They soon understood that that policy was saving them very little money and wasn’t going to cut the mustard so they abandoned it, along with the stencil production which had been a characteristic of the company ever since they had emerged from Nikkan Gakki ( which was split in to Yanagisawa and some parts of the Yamaha) .

Like many companies they found that giving their image a boost by producing more and more professional instruments reflected positively on their output. The late ’80 were crucial to the history of modern saxophone production, choices had to be made and those whom chose well are still here to tell the tale and those whom didn’t , are gone.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,960 Posts
A good tech friend of mine and a multi-Yani owner once said to me that they got serious starting with the 6 series.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,807 Posts
the series 5 ( not the same as 500) is a very good series too
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
The 800's and 880's are top class horns I've had one or two Elimona's -that have been quite heavy and extremely well made. Both were on 'the dark side' acoustically.These are well worth buying when they come up -they are as good as anything out there IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
I have a T880 Martin # 100xxx (1980). And before I had T500 №171xxx (1991). Completely different feeling when playing. Although the general character of Yanagisawa's sound is preserved, the T500 is more lightweight and the T880 is more solid. I like T880 more, and my friend more T500. Everyone has their own ideas about beauty.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,807 Posts
the T 500 was made ribless to make it cheaper , it is therefore lightweight this is of course before the people started thinking that ribs construction was “ bad” Yanagisawa always had that ( at least from a certain point onwards) for the more professional bodies
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Yeah, I'm not too focused on that stencil. I am wondering if the 800 Series was "it" for them in the late 80's or if they had any other models happening. It seems like there are some late 80's overlap models like the 500. I honestly don't know if there were catalogs from '87-92 but I'd love to see one to see what was happening.
I have a Yanagisawa catalouge which I got in 1988, prior to buying my first tenor. It includes the full S/A/T/B-880 range (including the B-880B, low Bb-model) and also the A/T-500, the B-6 baritone, the S-6, S-800 and SC-800 sopranos and the SN-600 and SN-800 sopraninos . There is no mentioning of different finishes but in the end I got myself a store demo T880 in some kind of silver laquer (I don´t think it was neither silver plated nor solid silver) with gold-laquered key work so clearly they existed.

/Saxray
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top