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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so I'm wanting to buy a used student/intermediate sax and I was pretty set on a Yamaha model, for reliability/consistency reasons. Pretty much everything that Yamaha makes is very good and solid for the price so I figure that it's the same for Saxes.

I have 700$ (CDN, mind you) for a sax and there are some YAS-21s and YAS-23s in my region for sale around that price.


Which student model is better?
I've heard poeple recommending both over the other so I'd like a definitive consensus on what model is the best for a student that might not want to buy another sax in a few years.


Thanks a lot!! :D
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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23 is newer so will probably be played less and in better condition. They're both good student horns, but the 23 is better.
 

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If it's in good condition and well taken care of, you can't go wrong with either horn. If you find a good 21 or 23 that you like, I wouldn't hesitate. If you have more than one horn to choose from and you have the opportunity to look them over and play them, then do that and pick the better horn. The better maintained horn will likey be the better of the 21 and 23.

(I have a YAS21, YAS61 and YAS875EX. I would have no issues playing the 21 on a gig if necessary.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, 21s are discontinued.
You'd have a better chance of finding a 23.
I have stated that both are readily available on the used market where I am...



Now, if I knew how to play and what to look for, I would go out and try as many as I can, but I can't really say I know anything about Saxes, so in general I wanted to know the differences between those models, simply because I have read about the 21s being 10x better than the 23s, as well as poeple recommending the 23 over the 21...
 

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I'm pretty sure that they are basically the same horn, just that the 23 is newer. You can't go wrong either way, as Yamahas are known for their quality. Neither one is clearly better than the other.

Also, if you can find someone that plays sax, they can come with you and try out individual horns for you. They would be able to tell you how good they played, and also point out any obvious problems, etc. Good luck in your search!
 

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I tried several models of old Yamahas such as the yas 21, 23, 62 and even 875 and found a certain Yas-23 to be an outstanding horn. Does this mean all yas-23's are killers? Of course not, as I have also tried other yas-23's and, while they are still fundamentally good and stable saxophones, their performance greatly pales in comparison to the yas-23 I have.

The bottom line is regardless of what model you choose, be sure to try as much models as possible, for though Yamaha is very consistent in their production, some of their saxophones clearly play better than others.
 

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Got to agree with playing them if you can. It's the only way to truly know. The 23 is just the next generation of Yamaha's entry level sax. They are both very similar and pretty consistant in quality.

The only thing to remember is that any 21 is at least 30+ years old and may have seen some hard use. You may find a newer 23 that's in better shape.

The Japan made Vito's are also clones of the 23 made by Yamaha. There are plenty of those available at VERY good prices too.
 

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I have stated that both are readily available on the used market where I am...



Now, if I knew how to play and what to look for, I would go out and try as many as I can, but I can't really say I know anything about Saxes,

You lack the ability to tell the difference - three choices.

1. Rent until you can tell the difference.
2. Trust a friend's judgement.
3. Trust the salesman.

simply because I have read about the 21s being 10x better than the 23s, as well as poeple recommending the 23 over the 21..
As a general statement - Bollox - but could be true for individual horns...
 

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The 23 has more adjustment screws - the 21 lacks the long Bb and F#-G# adjustment screws which are much easier to regulate. The 21 has parallel tipped adjusting screws and as these saxes are old (at least 25 years old), they could be worn out and impossible to tighten up as well as being noisy in use. The 23 has tapered point screws without heads which can be adjusted to take out end play in the keywork.
 
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