Saxophone Forum

by drjordan
(2 posts)
5 years ago

Buying my first sax: Yamaha YAS-52 or Yanagisawa 900?

Hello.  I've played guitar for nearly 30 years, but I'm new to sax.  I've been playing for a month on a borrowed sax, and I've been making good progress.  Unfortunately, my local tech and my teacher both agree that the sax I've borrowed isn't going to last very long; it needs much more work than it's worth.  I'm looking to buy my first sax, but I want one that will last a long time.

I think I've narrowed it down to a few: 
One is a Yanagisawa 900 Series.  It has a good bit of lacquer missing, but no dents.  It's listed without a mouthpiece for $1200.  

The second is a Yamaha YAS-52.  I've found a few of these.  One is in "flawless condition" for $1000.  I have found another in very good condition with a Meyer 5 mouthpiece for $800.  The third of the 52's I found was listed in good condition with a Selmer C* mouthpiece for $950.  

The third (admittedly, it's a bit of a long shot) is a Theo Wanna Shakita prototype (it doesn't have the model name engraved on it).  It's in great condition for $1000.

The Yanagisawa and the $800 Yamaha have 30-day return policies; the others come as-is.  I'm leaning toward the two with return policies, but which one?  Is the Yanagisawa that much better an option?  Is the Selmer mouthpiece worth that much more than the Meyer?  Which would you choose?

Thank you for your help.

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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (644 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Buying my first sax: Yamaha YAS-52 or Yanagisawa 900?

    You should buy a student level horn.

    A Month???

    Get a Yamaha YAS-23.  275.00

    Save your money till you can make your own decision.

    If you are asking strangers, you should go practice.

    Good Luck

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  2. by saxybill1
    (8 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Buying my first sax: Yamaha YAS-52 or Yanagisawa 900?

    Personally, I would go with the yani as that is a very good horn, although the yamaha is also quite good.  However, I have owned a yani for a number of years and it has been great.  Do keep one thing in mind, never select a sax based on the mouthpiece it comes with, they are tangible.

    William Morris kent

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  3. by realgon
    (1 post)

    5 years ago

    Re: Buying my first sax: Yamaha YAS-52 or Yanagisawa 900?

    I can only tell you that I bought my Yamaha YAS 52 about 25 years and it's been a great horn. It feels very similar to Selmer Mark VIs and sounds great. The main thing that it has been for me is reliable. It has never had anything major go wrong with it, and I have abused it over the years. If you want a horn that is bullet-proof, feels and sounds great, the YAS 52 is a good place to start.    

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