Saxophones Beginning with a YAS21

Natalie

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Manchester
#1
Hi all,

As mentioned in my Doorbell post, I'm picking up the sax again after a very brief period of learning around 10 years ago. I've done some reading around on what to buy considering I'm learning for fun, and didn't want to spend a fortune. I already play a Yamaha clarinet so have got myself a YAS21.

I'm really interested if anyone had any info on this model? I've not found much online, and there's not many for sale. I love the fact it's old (maybe older than me!?) And has had its own life haha. It's got the purple logo and a 4 digit serial number, with the neck logo in purple too - so I'm assuming it's a reasonable age?

I'm currently battling whether there's any faults or it's just my embouchre, so I'm tempted to get a service.. the lower notes are wobbly and rather err.. high! I'm expecting it's user error.
 

Natalie

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Manchester
#4
Hi Natalie,

Try this for more info on your instrument...

Yamaha YAS21 alto saxophone review

Happy honkin...

Greg S.
Oh wow, thanks for sharing. I'm assuming the 21s are all 70s horns then! It was sold as late 80s/early 90s.. but clearly it's much older. Must say, it's in amazing condition if it's 40-something years old!

And thanks Kev. Most likely me but always worth some TLC i guess..
 

majordennis

Senior Member
Messages
445
Location
Gone West
#5
IMHO I've owned 2 Yamahas and test played a few more, my YTS21 was the best of the lot, have it checked out and it may give you a horn that will stay with you for a long time, don't be tempted to regard it as a "student" model they are way more than that. Good buy.

You have a lot of excellent techs in your area as well.
 
Messages
546
Location
Mount Erebus, Antarctica
#6
@Natalie - The Yamaha YAS-21 is an excellent horn for any student. In fact, quite a few professionals use them as back-up horns i.e. for when their main horn is being serviced/repaired. I've had a few YAS-23s pass through my hands over the years, and have always liked them because they get the job done nicely. I say this as someone who also has various Selmers, Bueschers and Conns etc in my collection. True, the YAS-21 may have been aimed at the student-market and it's strictly no-frills. However, a good horn is a good horn is a good horn - and that's exactly what the YAS-21 is. I don't mind admitting that I have a soft spot for them.

The YAS-21 was modified over the years and became the YAS-23, YAS-25, YAS-275 and now YAS-280. However, it was a gradual evolution in the design, and all versions are quite similar in terms of playability and sound. Yamaha cranked out countless thousands of YAS-21s (and variants) over the years, so there are plenty to be found. Yamaha even made a stencilled YAS-23 under the "Vito" moniker. The Yamaha Vito is slightly different to the YAS-23 in terms of key-guards, but otherwise looks, feels and plays the same - but then it was made in the same Yamaha factory from the same materials by the same people.

Here's a YAS-23 in the hands of a professional. Your YAS-21 is also capable of doing this:-

 
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Natalie

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Manchester
#7
Oh wow, thanks so much for your replies.. I'm honestly feeling pretty fortunate I found such a great horn for the price after all you've said..! It's in surprisingly good condition too - I don't think there's a dent on the body from what I can see. I can't imagine parting with it any time soon!

I'm Manchester based, so if there's any techs around here you'd trust, please do let me know. I'm cautious that it goes to someone who can do a stellar job on it!
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,023
Location
leicester
#11
Fantastic, thank you. There's a few places locally to me but I would much rather take it to a recommended place!
it's been 6 years since I lived in Manchester, so I don't know who else is around who does woodwind repairs - and to be fair almost any sax tech can tell you if your sax is leaking - but John's been in business longer than most and is a decent bloke. He is rather busy in the weeks leading up to Manchester Jazz Festival when all the local sax players want their instruments in top condition, but a quick trip up those creaky stairs to his lair will have your instrument in competent hands and he'll let you know if anything needs doing..
 

Natalie

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Manchester
#12
it's been 6 years since I lived in Manchester, so I don't know who else is around who does woodwind repairs - and to be fair almost any sax tech can tell you if your sax is leaking - but John's been in business longer than most and is a decent bloke. He is rather busy in the weeks leading up to Manchester Jazz Festival when all the local sax players want their instruments in top condition, but a quick trip up those creaky stairs to his lair will have your instrument in competent hands and he'll let you know if anything needs doing..
Lovely - I'll send him an email tonight and get initial views from him before I pop over the other side of down to see him!
 
#13
Here's Aussie sax player Troy Roberts playing a Yamaha YTS-21 in the Sydney Opera House no less...


If a 21 series Yamaha is good enough for the Sydney Opera House, then the sky's the limit...

I bought this DVD many years ago from "The Warehouse - where everyone gets a bargain" and it certainly was, 10 bucks for a new release :thumb:

Greg S.
 

Natalie

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Manchester
#14
Here's Aussie sax player Troy Roberts playing a Yamaha YTS-21 in the Sydney Opera House no less...


If a 21 series Yamaha is good enough for the Sydney Opera House, then the sky's the limit...

I bought this DVD many years ago from "The Warehouse - where everyone gets a bargain" and it certainly was, 10 bucks for a new release :thumb:

Greg S.
Can't guarantee I'll be planning to play any opera house any time soon.. haha. But joking aside, totally agree.. endless possibilities with a sax played to such a standard really.

It'll be worth a service.. I paid £350 For the horn. I emailed John last night with some photos and he said it looked 'a nice old Yamaha' and expected no mechanical problems!
 
Messages
546
Location
Mount Erebus, Antarctica
#15
Here's Aussie sax player Troy Roberts playing a Yamaha YTS-21 in the Sydney Opera House no less...

If a 21 series Yamaha is good enough for the Sydney Opera House, then the sky's the limit...

I bought this DVD many years ago from "The Warehouse - where everyone gets a bargain" and it certainly was, 10 bucks for a new release :thumb:
Greg S.
The YTS-21, 23 and 25 are monster horns. Truly, they are "wolves in sheep's clothing". Put a good mouthpiece on one they can really sing. Looks are deceptive - what seems to be a basic, student-grade horn can really punch above its weight. That video of Troy Roberts amply demonstrate this. It's not that he's playing a particularly good YTS-21: they're all like that. Yamaha churned those horns out in countless thousands - and they were all good. Not only the sound is good (if a tad bright-sounding) but the key-action is ultra-slick - it goes like an express train. What I've said about the YTS-21 also applies to the YAS-21 and its variants.
 
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