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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for an affordable tenor saxophone. my budget is about $1600. which of these tenors would give me the best bang for my buck, also which would you recommend for me. I have heard lots of great things about the yts 61 and the T880, but i'm not sure if I will be able to find either of them in my budget. any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You should be able to find a used YTS-61 for around that budget. Less likely for the Yani's though.

I really liked the 991u I got the chance to play for a few hours. I only played an 880 for a few minutes. Had similar late Mark VI vibe that the YTS-61 has.

I own a 61 and can't stop saying enough good things about it. Has a stronger presence in the tone than the Yani's. And I hear that from a lot of other people too.

I haven't played any of the American Selmers though.
 

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All the horns on your list are great. I have played most. The build quality is best on the Yani. The 61 might be the best tone. I would also look at Yamaha 62 and B&S which can be found near that range.
 

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I played a Yamaha YTS-61 for many years before switching to a Yanagisawa TWO1, which is the current descendant of the T900.

I agree that the YTS-61 was Yahama's attempt to imitate the sound and feel of the Mark VI, or at least the late Mark VI. I compared my horn to my friend's c. 1970 Mark VI, and the two horns were quite similar in both departments. The 61 is easy to blow and has a nice, strong voice.

I moved to the Yany because the TWO1 has a couple of assets that are useful in the ensemble playing I mostly do (sax quintet/quartet and concert band): better intonation (more dialed-in) and a more malleable, blendable tone. The Yany's keywork also feels a little more solid and stable. If I played mostly solo material, especially in the jazz/blues vein, I might have remained with the 61, but I found the TWO1 to be a better classical/concert tenor, and thus more versatile on the whole for me. Previous Yany tenors will be similar, but probably not exactly the same, since the WO line supposedly is Yanagisawa's attempt to combine its 21st century saxes with the best features of its 1980s-90s saxes.

You should be able to locate a very good YTS-61 within your budget. Your $1600 ceiling is almost exactly what I sold my 61 for in a retail shop (via consignment), and it was in excellent condition both mechanically and cosmetically. Fwiw, my impression is that 61s generally go for less money on eBay than in the SOTW Marketplace (although I don't think you're eligible for Marketplace transactions yet, so this may not matter). Among the Yanys, the normal rule is that the older the horn, the less expensive it will be, assuming equal condition for horns of the same line. But a very nice T900 almost surely can be found for less than a comparable T880, because the 900 is from the lower-cost model line.

Btw, your question, "Which would you recommend for me?" cannot be answered even tentatively without information about what you play, how you play, what your goals are, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Btw, your question, "Which would you recommend for me?" cannot be answered even tentatively without information about what you play, how you play, what your goals are, etc.
I play mostly jazz. I am in a big band as well as jazz quintet. I use an otto link NY 7* mouthpiece and Vandoren ZZ reeds. I would like a saxophone that plays well in jazz settings, but can fit in a classical ensemble.
 

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Your join date is 2014 so you should have no problems in marketplace to my understanding. Unless date is further than I remember it.

You have to have either been a member since (can't remember the date) or have a certain number of posts. I think it's 100?
 

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Professional Cannonballs commonly sell for within your price range. I suggest you give one a try.
 

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Those are all great tenors, but getting a used one that's in good shape for $1600 might take some patience. You might be more likely to find one for $1800, if that's doable. A Viking M58 sold for that on the Marketplace recently, those are very nice.
 

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+1 what MLucky said above, of those tenors "getting a used one that's in good shape for $1600 might take some patience. You might be more likely to find one for $1800, if that's doable."

Patience is a virtue. There are times I would like to slap whoever first said those words of wisdom, but it is so.

The t880 and t900 for sale show up somewhere between occasionally and infrequently, and almost always above your budget.
The yts-61 seem more frequently available, the yts-62 even more so.
A 164 for sale is rare.

Good luck!
 

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Professional Cannonballs commonly sell for within your price range. I suggest you give one a try.
No. Look for an older Yanagisawa. I have a T-4 that is around the same era that a YTS 61 and a little older than the 164. I've owned a 164 but sold it and kept the T-4 as my backup horn.
The Yanagisawas feel closer to the Mark VI than the others if that's what you're looking for.
 

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No. Look for an older Yanagisawa. I have a T-4 that is around the same era that a YTS 61 and a little older than the 164. I've owned a 164 but sold it and kept the T-4 as my backup horn.
The Yanagisawas feel closer to the Mark VI than the others if that's what you're looking for.
What's wrong with a Cannonball? I've tried Yanagisawas as well as Cannonballs and I preferred the Cannonballs by a significant margin. Just because something works for you or doesn't work for you doesn't mean it'll be the same for everybody. And notice that I said to TRY a Cannonball. Nobody with good advice would support anybody buying an instrument of a brand that they've never tried without a trial policy. That includes Yanagisawa.
 

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In my honest opinion. Run far away from the La Voix or La Vie horns by 'Selmer'.

Normally I'd say try as many horns as you can and pick the right one for you. But I tried a fair handful of them when I worked in a music store and they all were dogs.

I'd take a YTS-475 or 52 over them any day.

Again, my opinion. I met a student who had gotten one and we were trying to figure out why they were not able to play in tune. I had them play my tenor just to make sure. And yes, it was the horn. They actually ended up returning it and got a 62 Yamaha.
 

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The 62 is the Brightest by a fair Margin.

The 52 and 475 are very close to each other. I think they have some differences in their construction that set them apart from each other though.

The 61 is the Darkest of all the Yamaha's and has a very Mark Vi type of vibe.

Obviously the 61 and 62 are pro horns while the 475 and 52 are intermediate horns.

But having played them all I'll just say that you won't go wrong with any of them.

The 61 is the least locked in sounding (and intonation wise too, although the 61 does have excellent intonation. It just has more of a sliding vintage feel) which is the biggest knock on Yamaha horns. They colour your horn in a certain way (Brightish).

The 61 does this the least (to me).
 
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