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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I've posted on a couple other forum pages on SOTW, I am currently looking for my first tenor sax. I have been primarily focusing on Yanagisawas and some Taiwanese brands, as the Yamaha 62 II alto that I play-tested against the Cannonball Raven (I ended up with) didn't really have much character.

I have not been able to get my hands on a Yani T901 or T991 locally, as no one stocks them, but I had the chance to play-test a Yamaha YTS 62 II yesterday, along with a Cannonball Stone Series Raven tenor. I was surprised at how good the 62 sounded, compared to the Raven. (I was using a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece on both). There were some pluses and minuses to both horns, with the CBall being a little bit heavier, and the keywork requiring a little more effort, and the 62 not jumping into the upper range quite as cleanly, but having a much easier time with altissimo notes.

Anyway, the long and the short. There are Memorial Day holiday sales online that bring the 62 II down to about $100 more than the Yani T901 and about $500 less than the T991, with no tax, no shipping and a 45 day satisfaction guarantee. I've read a ton of posts of opinions on these saxes here, but owing to the short fuse for this sale I don't have the luxury of continued research, or enough time to get my hands on a Yani before the end of the day tomorrow. Any reason not to take the plunge on the 62 II?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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If it was a soprano or baritone I would tell you to get a Yanag. but with tenors, i like the 62 better than the 901 or 991.
 

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If you were talking about an 82Z I'd say go with the Yamaha...I'd take the 991 over the 62II. I own both a T990u and an 82ZS FWIW... My Yanagisawa has the advantage over my 82Z in the midrange of the horn...The Z beats it every where (and any thing) else. Having said that -- I tend to spend the most time in the midrange of the horn so the Yanagisawa is really a joy to play.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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Since it will be your first tenor, either are going to be fine. I know that sounds dismissive, but it's true. They're both fine saxophones. After a few years, you may decide you want something different anyway. A Yamaha is a little easier to sell on the used market.
 

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I had a YTS62, got a T992 (which should be quite similar to T991) and kept them both for comparison for a while. Both are great horns, but in the end I decided to keep the Yani and get rid of the Yamaha. The main advantage of the Yanagisawa, in my opinion, is a more consistent full-sounding tone throughout the register and really luxurious feel of the key-work. The yamaha keywork is of course also excellent, but the yanagisawa is just perfect. Both have excellent intonation. I still found, at the time, that the YTS62 had a little fatter tone in the lower register. Anyway, you can't go wrong with either of these, both are great horns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all for the comments, and especially to Alex for going out of his way to let me see and hear a T901 on such short notice. Sax players show time and again their love for their instruments and their desire to help a fellow sax player out.

Anyway, I decided to go ahead with ordering the YTS 62 II. It turns out that the online store's 15% holiday discount excluded all Yamaha items, but the manager agreed to a "store deal" discount around 14%, and I couldn't beat that. Between the store discount and the $100 rebate that Yamaha is offering on saxes through tomorrow it comes out to over $500 in savings. With the 45 day satisfaction guarantee, it was hard to turn down. I know I'll be needing a better mouthpiece than the 4C that's included, but that's for a different time and different forum.

Thanks again to all who responded.
 

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If cash was no object i would go the Z route,but if i had only those 3 to pick from i would get the 991 but then i would have the seed in my head saying YOU WANT A Z DONT YOU,OH YES I WOULD SAY.The Z is king for modern tenors,well for me.
 

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Just to add i had 3 gold lacquer Z's and finally got what i really wanted,my dream tenor.A silver plated Z,It sounds thicker in sound than my GL z's.Is it the finish,many will say no but i think silver plated horns have there own thing going on.What is the thing,i dont know but i like it alot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Muriatboy, if cash were no object I wouldn't have even posted here. I would have jumped in a car, or on a plane, and gone to somewhere where I could try out every Selmer, Keilwerth, Yamaha, Yani, etc that I could put my hands on, paid for the best sounding one, and be done with it. But reality prevails, and, as a hobbyist I have to weigh all factors. $700 more for the Z is a big chunk of change, if you're not making your living from it. I'll give the 62 II a try, and see where it goes from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks hgiles, soybean, et al. I guess when you get up to a certain level of horn they're all "good". Too often we all try so hard not to make a bad decision, or worry about making the "best" decision, that we get things out of perspective. Make a good decision, based on solid information, and then, just play!
 

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Thanks hgiles, soybean, et al. I guess when you get up to a certain level of horn they're all "good". Too often we all try so hard not to make a bad decision, or worry about making the "best" decision, that we get things out of perspective. Make a good decision, based on solid information, and then, just play!
This is a really good point- any pro horn is better than most of our abilities to play them so there's little point going crazy trying to choose between several really great instruments. Of course, if we didn't spend all this time "splitting hairs" we wouldn't have much to post about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, the YTS 62 II arrived on Monday, and seemed to weather the shipping pretty well. After "uncorking" it, and inspecting it further, I gave it a try. Since it's my first tenor, the feel is so different from my alto, so it will take awhile to get used to that. The stock Rico 2 1/2 reed, and the 4C mouthpiece are serviceable, but I definitely need to find the right reeds, and a better mouthpiece, if I want to get the smooth jazz sound out of it that I'm looking for.

I did notice that the low B and B flat, are a little harder to hit than on my Cannonball alto. On the YTS 62 II I have to adjust my emboucher a bit to hit them, whereas on the Cannonall, they just sound. In fact, I've noticed that whenever I compare a Yamaha to a comparable Cannonball model, the lowest notes are more responsive on the Cannonballs. I don't know if a good mouthpiece might help that out.

With the 45 day satisfaction guarantee I do have some time to make sure that the sax is right for me. But here's a follow up question. Does it make sense to invest money in a better mouthpiece during the sax's "trial" period, to get a better representation of the sax's potential, or work with the stock setup to just focus on the horn/ergos, etc., instead of the sound?
 

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check or have the Bb ab B keys checked they are probably not sealing well. Actually have the whole horn checked by a tech before you accept it. Don't spend any money on a mouthpiece until you are not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am planning on taking it to my sax tech today, though I'm not sure when he will have time to take a look at it, since it's the end of the school year here and he's probably knee-deep in school horn repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I took the sax to my tech. He said that if I want to keep it for a long time, and retain it's value as an investment, that I should return the lacquer one and get a silver plated one. He said that the finish would show noticeable wear in the next 5-10 years with the lacquer (once it's scratched, the "scratch" will just grow), while the silver plated one can be cleaned up to a great finish many years from now. Seems like a valid point. And, he did imply there might be some sound advantages, though he didn't dwell on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am returning the lacquer one to the dealer, and getting the silver plated one. After some discussion with a manager, they will be only charging me $100 to make the switch, which seems fair. We'll see how it goes.
 
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