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Saxophones Are the yamaha pro models MUCH better?

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
518
Currently playing a yamaha 275 alto, and really impressed with it - big, expressive sound. What would moving up to a 61 or 62 bring me? Are they obviously much better or is it a case of what quality of sound you prefer? Stephen Howard seems to say that the 275 may have more cut whereas the 62 is more refined. Horses for courses, or will the 61 /62 just be noticeably better? I know I can try one in music shop, but I have always found that you have to play a sax for a week or so before you get used to its ways and bring out its real character. Any former 275 players have an opinion?
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
I have a YAS 275 which I thoroughly enjoy and still use for my weekly lessons as it is cheap enough to cart around without worrying too much about it getting damaged. I was looking for a second Alto over the past few weeks and tried the 62 amongst many. The 62 didn't really feel like a Pro horn to me, just a wee step up from the 275 which sounds better too. In the end I went for the Yani A901 which is a fraction more expensive but a better quality horn in my humble opinion. The sound is much better than the 62. It did feel a little lightweight so I put a brass neck on it and I get that warm breathy vintage tone I like from it.

The A901 keywork knocks spots of the 62 and I can fly around it with ease. On the 62 my fingers kept coming away - not sure but I don't think the keys on the 62 felt like real Mother of Pearl and this might account for my problem.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
The reality is that there are better saxes out there than the YAS 275. As far as I am aware the YTS 62 is highly rated, but not so sure about the Alto equivalent. Bauhaus Walstein are an excellent make, generally rated well above the YAS 275, despite very low cost. If you are happy with your sax why change at this stage. You might get an improvement if you focus on mouthpiece/ligature/reeds/neck.
What is your current set-up? I would also endorse the Yani alternatives, by the way.

Tell us more
Kind regards
Tom
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Not tried the Bauhaus Walstein M2 Alto but if its quality is the same as the Soprano then I would put that above the Yamaha 62. Heard nothing but great reports about the M2 Tenor.
 

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
I am a big Yamaha fan, you can't go wrong with them, I also rate Yani's very highly. I recently had a blow on a friends YTS 82Z, and the biggest difference compaired to my 62II tenor was the horn was lighter, the action was lighter, but the big thing for me was that it was more resonant which gave me more feedback through the instrument and back into my body, of the tone I was producing. Harmonics had more depth, you could hear the layers above the fundamentals better and pick them out at will easier. I would definately now think about spending the extra dosh on a YTS 82Z over its cheaper brothers where I was very sceptical before.

Malcolm
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
The Yamaha pro horns are pro horns but in the end its what suits you sir.I have a beat up Yamaha 23 Alto that i love.I had many top alto horns and this 23 is special.I love the Custom Z Tenors,so flexible and great sound,try as many as can and you will find the right 1.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
I got bitten by the 'must upgrade' bug and got a YAS 62 to replace my YAS 275. Honest opinion is that I prefer the 275, and wish that I hadn't sold it! If you like what you've got, stick with it!
Cheers,
Amanda
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
I have a YTS-82z. It took me a while to get used to it, but now I am glad that I persisted. Also, I recently got it checked out by Dirk Zeylmans, and that money was worth it. The 82z seems so easy to handle and so smooth. At one stage I thought of selling it, but that won't happen now.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,630
Gilad Atzmon was in our London shop a while ago and passed a really thought provoking comment on what defines a good horn. His comment was that- beyond it working, being in tune, sounding half decent- his test of a good horn was how long till he felt he'd learnt everything the sax was capable of doing- every noise and nuance it could deliver. I reckon this is where something like an 82Z is going to be winning out- its not an obvious or short term thing but more an issue of the instrument 'growing' with you (i certainly don't feel I've exhausted the sonic potential of my 66R after five years).
Also there's the mouthpiece issue- how much can you change the character of your set up by a mouthpiece swap (this varies more than I'd expected in my in-store tinkerings...'blank canvas' vs loads of character... again, the 82Z seems a pretty good balance)
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
I am a big Yamaha fan, you can't go wrong with them, I also rate Yani's very highly. I recently had a blow on a friends YTS 82Z, and the biggest difference compaired to my 62II tenor was the horn was lighter, the action was lighter, but the big thing for me was that it was more resonant which gave me more feedback through the instrument and back into my body, of the tone I was producing. Harmonics had more depth, you could hear the layers above the fundamentals better and pick them out at will easier. I would definately now think about spending the extra dosh on a YTS 82Z over its cheaper brothers where I was very sceptical before.

Malcolm
I did prefer the Custom over the 62II when played back to back!

On the 62 my fingers kept coming away - not sure but I don't think the keys on the 62 felt like real Mother of Pearl and this might account for my problem.
According to Steven Howard's review, the Mk1 62 has real MoP, but the Mk2 doesn't.
Well that would explain it :D

According to Steven Howard's review, the Mk1 62 has real MoP, but the Mk2 doesn't.
Yes thats true,my 23 has false pearls but they still feel ok but real mother of pearl feels the best.
The same on the YAS 275 but I would expect Mother of Pearl on a Pro Horn though.

I got bitten by the 'must upgrade' bug and got a YAS 62 to replace my YAS 275. Honest opinion is that I prefer the 275, and wish that I hadn't sold it! If you like what you've got, stick with it!
Cheers,
Amanda
That's just how I feel so I kept mine!
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Gilad Atzmon was in our London shop a while ago and passed a really thought provoking comment on what defines a good horn. His comment was that- beyond it working, being in tune, sounding half decent- his test of a good horn was how long till he felt he'd learnt everything the sax was capable of doing- every noise and nuance it could deliver. I reckon this is where something like an 82Z is going to be winning out- its not an obvious or short term thing but more an issue of the instrument 'growing' with you (i certainly don't feel I've exhausted the sonic potential of my 66R after five years).
Also there's the mouthpiece issue- how much can you change the character of your set up by a mouthpiece swap (this varies more than I'd expected in my in-store tinkerings...'blank canvas' vs loads of character... again, the 82Z seems a pretty good balance)
Interesting thought! I agree how mouthpieces can change the sound of the horn!
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
THE NUTTER SPEAKS AGAIN

Jules's reply is in my opinion probably the most useful to all new sax players in that it explains how the real experts think about horns.As a novice player how can we truly evaluate the merits of different horns when in truth we really can't use the horns we have to their full potential. At the bottom of my posts it says LOVING MY ELKHART SERIES 2 and although I have other horns,one being a 62 mk 1 which I couldn't wait to get and is a great horn and one I believe that has been favoured by the pro sax players for many many years,the little cheap ELKHART never ceases to amaze me in that as my ability to play grows so does it's ability to perform,and I know that when I have exhausted it's abilities and I know I am worthy of some thing on a different level I will also know that I am really capable of differentiating between all the myriad of fabulous horns that are available but until then I'll stay with it and have a play with the 62 here and there and would advise other novices to do the same.What is the point of having an expensive horn that you haven't got a clue how to use IE LEARNER DRIVER BUYS FORMULA 1 CAR it ain't going to work is it...john
 
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Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
... IE LEARNER DRIVER BUYS FORMULA 1 CAR it ain't going to work is it...john
It really does depend, if he or she is a learner racing driver or not :))) I heard that Michael Caine learn to drive in a Rolls! I know of quite a few kids learning in Porsche's and other sports cars, just because they parents can afford it! That's scary! I'd rather they were given a five digit Selmer Mark VI to learn to play instead!

THE NUTTER SPEAKS AGAIN

Jules's reply is in my opinion is probably the most useful to all new sax players in that it explains how the real experts think about horns.As a novice player how can we truly evaluate the merits of different horns when in truth we really can't use the horns we have to their full potential. At the bottom of my posts it says LOVING MY ELKHART SERIES 2 and although I have other horns,one being a 62 mk 1 which I couldn't wait to get and is a great horn and one I believe that has been favoured by the pro sax players for many many years,the little cheap ELKHART never ceases to amaze me in that as my ability to play grows so does it's ability to perform,and I know that when I have exhausted it's abilities and I know I am worthy of some thing on a different level I will also know that I am really capable of differentiating between all the myriad of fabulous horns that are available but until then I'll stay with it and have a play with the 62 here and there and would advise other novices to do the same.What is the point of having an expensive horn that you haven't got a clue how to use IE LEARNER DRIVER BUYS FORMULA 1 CAR it ain't going to work is it...john
I believe whatever works for you. The name of the game is having fun and enjoying life along the way. What suits one may not suit another. We are all on different paths and want different things from life and our music. Therefore, Jules comment is valid and I could appreciate where he was coming from. Despite knowing that I'll probably never realise the potential of my horns, but hey that's just me!
 

Gandalfe

Member
Messages
107
From a Phil Woods master session: (Words to the effect of) I hated my sax; I hated the mouthpiece, I hated the keyworks, I hated the neckstrap. Charlie Parker was playing across the street so I wandered in and Charlie needed to borrow a sax so I handed him mine. He made it sing, played the hell out of it. I realized right then and then there, it's not about the horn--it's all about the player.

That said I understand the searching for the perfect horn thing. Most of us know it as GAS, many of us suffer with that affliction. If you can afford a better sax, more power to you. There are so many great instruments out there. But there is no replacement for practice, lessons, and time on the stick. I'm just sayin'...
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
From a Phil Woods master session: (Words to the effect of) I hated my sax; I hated the mouthpiece, I hated the keyworks, I hated the neckstrap. Charlie Parker was playing across the street so I wandered in and Charlie needed to borrow a sax so I handed him mine. He made it sing, played the hell out of it. I realized right then and then there, it's not about the horn--it's all about the player.
Now that I can believe! Well put!
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
Perhaps I should have ended with unless money is no object then all bets are off and do what you like,and why not for goodness sake you might as well enjoy your life this isn't a practice run. But from my own personal point of view I could if I wish buy any sax I fancied without worrying about the cost, but why buy now on impulse rather than make a much better choice later,and I would always appreciate that choice of sax much more because of what it would mean to me, regardless of price.Hope this makes sense to anybody reading...john
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
344
Confucious say: "man who spend more time blowing long notes and practising get better sound than man who spend all time on ebay buying and selling saxophones" :)))
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,969
"Much better" depends on where you're starting from, and what you want to change.
I often get funny looks when I tell people my tenor of choice is a YTS23 - and it's usually followed by comments such as "Ooh, you should try the XYZ...it's a great horn".
Well, I often have - and yet I still have my 23.

I would say that if someone's a 'so-so' player, the difference between a 'student' model and a pro model is going to be very tempting for them...but an experienced player will often look beyond the immediate "What does this horn give me?" and concentrate equally on "What does this horn not have?".

I'd like a bit more midrange tone out of my 23 - something that many horns have - but not at the expense of the simplicity of the 23, nor its free-blowing characteristics and the extent to which it's possible to 'connect' with this very light, very responsive horn.
I was tempted by a Mauriat 66R - big, fat sound and a very easy blow - but it sulked when you backed off compared to the 23, and wasn't nearly as nimble. If it was a car I'd say it suffered from a bit of turbo lag.
I like the 62, and the Z - but the extra depth of tone comes at the expense of a slight sense of detachment (though I moved from a 21 alto to a 62, which came across as a much livlier horn than its tenor counterpart).

My job gives me the opportunity to spend time with a vast array of horns. On any given weekend I have access to a number of fine, pro-standard horns...and I can enjoy the experience of road-testing them without the expense. Some are very impressive, some are very different - and like any other sax player I'm always looking out for 'the next best thing'. I still haven't found it...at least not for a price that isn't silly money (Inderbinen).

I'm not alone though, I work for any number of pro-standard clients who have settled on horns that aren't top-of-the-range. Lots of pros are using Yani 901s, plenty of pros are very happy with Yamaha 61 and 62 horns...some are still using 32s and 21s...so it isn't always the case that the more you pay, the more you get.

Sometimes less is more - and if you're a fan of Top Gear you'll maybe understand why I reckon the Yamaha 23 series is the Ariel Atom of saxes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaWoo82zNUA

Regards,
 
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