SYOS

What should a beginner buy? First sax: Yamaha YAS 280 or YAS 62III or Yanagisawa AW01?

B Flat

Senior Member
Messages
419
Even with the extra cost, I would personally go with the Yanagisawa.
Yamahas are excellent horns, but I feel the Yanagisawas are just that step above them in terms of sound.
My low A baritone is an old Yanagisawa B6, so probably early 1980's manufacture.
Even back then they were producing excellent quality horns.
 
OP
C
Messages
67
Hello @ChampagneBears , sorry I have been so tardy on getting back to you. I have found the receipts etc. I paid 780 sterling in Dec 2014, of that 130 was VAT ( equivalent to PST and GST or HST) The exchange rate at the time was about 1 sterling to 1.8Ca$
I claimed the VAT back and paid CA$105 import duty (the GST on Ca$700) because I was CA$700 over the personal exemption of Ca$800. The personal exemption was 800 because I was out of Canada for over a week. If I remember correctly a YAS 280 from Long and McQuade was about Ca$1800 excluding tax at that time. At the end of the day I paid Ca$1275, so I reckon I save about Ca$800.

If you do decide to have a sax buying trip abroad as you come back into Canada ask Customs for a Y38 card for the sax, it is proof that you have paid all the relevant duties and means that when you are an international star you will not be accused of smuggling your shiny new sax back into Canada. ( I have taken my to the Philippines and back to the UK )

I did not worry about the warranty, I simply assumed it would be an international one.
Thanks for that information, Rob!

I don't intend to actually go to the UK, but will get it shipped. Shipping is £75 which is fine, I guess. Shipping fees were never cheap. And the shipper in the UK will charge me no VAT because I live abroad, so that should take care of that. And it looks like they only charged you HST/GST and no import duties, which is good! Saving CAD$800 is a lot of money! Lucky you had the $800 exemption, which I won't have but it's all good.
 

Solectia

New Member
Messages
3
There are many replies "try before buying" and I agree with them. Maybe your choice will fell on YAS 62III or Yanagisawa AW01. Many men, many minds.
My daughter (12 y.o.) is a beginner, and my husband plays about 5 years (so the daughter just wants to be like her dad). He has friends who also play the saxophone. And the time has come to choose the first instrument. There were a lot of thoughts and recommendations from these people, but they all say Yamaha YAS-280 is still the best option for beginners. I've read the information and reviews about it and watched the videos like "Is the Yamaha YAS-280 Still the Top Student Saxophone???". I've made a conclusion that many people think it is the best one for those, who makes first steps. So we've bought for our daughter YAS-280, and we are not disappointed. Our daughter is satisfied with this purchase.
 

ellinas

Senior Member
Messages
884
I think the best sax for a beginner, is a sax that has good quality, is in top playing form and a sax that is being played an awful lot :)

all those 3 saxes are a beginner's dream.
 

georgesax

Member
Subscriber
Messages
77
I totally agree Yamaha 280 is an excellent choice. My personal experience shows for adult beginners, you may want to use 5 or 7 tip opening mouth piece. I
 

David1962

New Member
Messages
13
Hi - I hired my yas 280 for a year and it was great but possibly not an instrument I want as permanent, I am now going to hire the yas 62 for a year and probably but that one.
 

sizzzzler

Member
Messages
200
I totally agree Yamaha 280 is an excellent choice. My personal experience shows for adult beginners, you may want to use 5 or 7 tip opening mouth piece. I
IMO all beginners should start on a either a generalist Yamaha 3C or the classical Van Doren optimum AL3 or TL3 (use Van Doren traditional reeds with the optimum, a couple of 1 1/2 and 2s will do to start).
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,788
You can always try out a horn locally, then shop around for the same model on the internet...
There are a few reasons that I respectfully disagree with this idea.
  • The first has to do with fairness and honesty. The local music dealer goes to great expense to stock various brands of instruments for customers to try before they buy. Customers who come in and take advantage of this and take up a great deal of a sales person's time knowing they are going to buy the instrument online to save a few dollars are being both dishonest and unfair to their local merchant.
  • The second is the idea of the value of musicians and players supporting the brick and mortar store in their community that not only provides support and service after the sale but often have the convenience of a repair facility. In many cases local music dealers also do a lot for school music programs in the community sponsoring clinics, giving music scholarships, and providing trophies and prizes for band competitions.
  • Money spent in the local economy benefits the state and community in which they live. The dollars sent to the big box stores online do not.
My combined experience as a school music educator, music store employee, and professional repair tech has helped to shape my views on this topic. I respect the opinions of others who have a different point of view.
 
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OP
C
Messages
67
There are a few reasons that I respectfully disagree with this idea.
  • The first has to do with fairness and honesty. The local music dealer goes to great expense to stock various brands of instruments for customers to try before they buy. Customers who come in and take advantage of this and take up a great deal of a sales person's time knowing they are going to buy the instrument online to save a few dollars are being both dishonest and unfair to their local merchant.
  • The second is the idea of the value of musicians and players supporting the brick and mortar store in their community that not only provides support and service after the sale but often have the convenience of a repair facility. In many cases local music dealers also do a lot for school music programs in the community sponsoring clinics, giving music scholarships, and providing trophies and prizes for band competitions.
  • Money spent in the local economy benefits the state and community in which they live. The dollars sent to the big box stores online do not.
My combined experience as a school music educator, music store employee, and professional repair tech has helped to shape my views on this topic. I respect the opinions of others who have a different point of view.
Philosophically, I agree with you 100%. And I usually try to do what you have said, shop locally and support local businesses. This time, however, I probably won’t be.

The difference in price between buying locally and from overseas (UK) in my case is approx. CAD$1,000. For many of us that’s a significant amount of money. In an effort to shop locally, I called a local chain store to see if they could match the price or at least do something better. They couldn’t and wasn’t too enthused about my call either. Fine. I was not offended that they couldn’t match my price but a little put off that they thought I was a nuisance for even asking (I could tell in the tone of voice they used with me on the phone). Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to try and give local shops my business. This happens not only with music shops, but also other niche shops I buy from. The attitude always seems to be, “You need to buy from me because you have no other options.” Honestly, I’m a little bit tired of that attitude.

So, while I do agree with @jbtsax, I find it’s difficult to actually do sometimes. I’m not the type of person who can go into a shop and try their products, and then go online and buy them. That’s against my moral fabric. So, in this case, I’m just going to give the UK shop a call, get my questions answered and buy it untested. I’m sure it will be fine, considering I’ll be buying a sax that’s pretty well reviewed and pretty “safe” (if I can use that word to describe a Yani or Yamaha).

I will, of course, use a local tech to set it up upon its arrival.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
1,974
With that kind of price difference, it does make sense. And if you buy from a UK based Sax shop, you're still supporting a Bricks and Mortar store, just one a few miles further away (Is the UK closer to the East Coast of Canada than the West Coast of Canada is to the East Coast of Canada o_O?? :p) Can't be that much difference!
 
OP
C
Messages
67
With that kind of price difference, it does make sense. And if you buy from a UK based Sax shop, you're still supporting a Bricks and Mortar store, just one a few miles further away (Is the UK closer to the East Coast of Canada than the West Coast of Canada is to the East Coast of Canada o_O?? :p) Can't be that much difference!
I checked. West Coast Canada is just a bit closer to East Coast Canada than East Coast Canada is to the UK, but not by much!

The UK is so lucky with some amazing sax shops full of saxes of all makes, models and prices. Going into one of them must be like a child in a candy store.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,788
In my experience "price shopping" by phone is rarely successful. Going to a store and telling the sales manager you are interested in buying a specific model, and asking if he/she can give you a better price has a better chance of success. Sometimes they have a display model that shows minor signs of handling that they can give you a better deal on or a slightly used model that has been taken in as a trade-in.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not claiming all local music stores provide reasonable prices, quality service and community support. As in any other retail business some are run by real jerks.
I'm just saying if you find a good music store in your area, I think you should support it as much as possible. As musicians if we don't provide a foundation of support, then who will?

Stepping down from soapbox.
 
OP
C
Messages
67
In my experience "price shopping" by phone is rarely successful. Going to a store and telling the sales manager you are interested in buying a specific model, and asking if he/she can give you a better price has a better chance of success. Sometimes they have a display model that shows minor signs of handling that they can give you a better deal on or a slightly used model that has been taken in as a trade-in.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not claiming all local music stores provide reasonable prices, quality service and community support. As in any other retail business some are run by real jerks.
I'm just saying if you find a good music store in your area, I think you should support it as much as possible. As musicians if we don't provide a foundation of support, then who will?

Stepping down from soapbox.
I agree. I admit I was a bit lazy and should’ve gone into the store and spoke with someone instead.
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,241
Don't get hooked into the label trap,
unless of course you get offered "Hey kid play my horns" here's a bunch've bucks.
Ferget it, - always play before you buy.!!!
I've got cheapo horns and welly expensive horns, they're all great.
It didn't matter to me what they were called at point of sale.
Sometimes you can try half a dozen supposedly identical horns and they're all crap.
This get it cheaper in the internet attitude gets up my nose.
Atishoo . . . Atishoo . . . Atishoo . . .
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
1,974
The most important thing is you get a horn you want, at a price that's good for you, bought at a place that's OK with you.
Also, you started this thread in November 2019!! That was a Decade ago!! Get on with it!! ;)
 
OP
C
Messages
67
The most important thing is you get a horn you want, at a price that's good for you, bought at a place that's OK with you.
Also, you started this thread in November 2019!! That was a Decade ago!! Get on with it!! ;)
Dang! Where did the time go? You’re right, I gotta get on with it. I was hoping to let my bank account recover a bit from the ravages of the holidays but maybe I need to act sooner rather than later.

I was hoping to wait until my rental ends on my current sax too, so...I’m not in a hurry I guess.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,560
There are a few reasons that I respectfully disagree with this idea.
  • The first has to do with fairness and honesty. The local music dealer goes to great expense to stock various brands of instruments for customers to try before they buy. Customers who come in and take advantage of this and take up a great deal of a sales person's time knowing they are going to buy the instrument online to save a few dollars are being both dishonest and unfair to their local merchant.
  • The second is the idea of the value of musicians and players supporting the brick and mortar store in their community that not only provides support and service after the sale but often have the convenience of a repair facility. In many cases local music dealers also do a lot for school music programs in the community sponsoring clinics, giving music scholarships, and providing trophies and prizes for band competitions.
  • Money spent in the local economy benefits the state and community in which they live. The dollars sent to the big box stores online do not.
My combined experience as a school music educator, music store employee, and professional repair tech has helped to shape my views on this topic. I respect the opinions of others who have a different point of view.
Very good, and while I do appreciate all of that (and keep in mind here I am a one-person shop and purveyor, so in a way my view potentially would have a negative impact on me)...and I am with you 110% as far as the spirit of your comment....we have to look at the realities we are confronted with most of the time.

1) a sax pricetag in a walk-in shop is gonna be significantly HIGHER than what one can get a horn for online.
And by that, yes...I am intimating "unreasonably higher" ...not, say, 5-8% higher...because they very often...are.

2) Secondly, and VERY importantly - we can characterize a walk-in shop as a good ol' 'local, brick n' mortar' place and make the argument you have made...but in doing so, you have taken some license in interpreting the label in that fashion.

Because realistically...are they anymore ? You see , when I suggest trying locally, this can mean (and actually in more cities than not in N. America, DOES mean)....at places such as Sam Ash or Guitar Center, etc., etc.....large chains which have a wide array of brands available.

If the notion here is to find a place which carries a wide selection of new Yamas and Yanis, and I would also argue that OP should try a few brands even beyond those...Jupiter, Cannonball, whatever....most of those places are gonna be these type of shops, and not mom 'n pop stores.

In the scenario you have implied, would I agree ? Yes. Loally or regionally owned (maybe a handful of branch stores within a certain radius) store, witha very good and wide selection of brands and models, go in and try and if you like one talk directly to owner/manager about what they can do for you since their pricetag seems high compared to what you ahve seen it offered for elsewhere ? Then eeven pay a bit more than an internet-available price just because of all the reasons you note. Good plan, reasonable suggestion, I am with it 100%.

But, in reality, the idea of (such) a "brick and mortar" store...in the 21st century ...it is laudable...except there have to be REAL 'local, brick and mortar stores' around for that to happen.
And by this I mean independently owned and operated, or perhaps regional/local chains regionally owned and operated. Where are such stores ? Very sadly they exist in the significant minority, and again in N. America....the significant majority of musicians are nowhere near such shops; while they are nearer the chains.

I have absolutely no hesitation, therefore, in suggesting a person take a trip to what is likely gonna be a large store (likely national chain/corporation, and one which does not re-nvest anything significant into their local community) to playtest a variety of horns and get a feel for 'em and narrow down their list, then look for the same horn either new or used on the internet. Nothing wrong with that - and it is difficult to argue damage would be be done to either the local economy or the local musician community if you click withva model at SamAsh pricetagged at $2500 and find/buy the same model online for $1850.....or used from a private seller for $850. A very realistic scenario these days.

So I hope that clarifies things
 
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swhnld

Member
Messages
48
In my experience, a local brick and mortar shop is just that, local, not a chain. So with a local shop you can build a relationship, come back for support, have the instrument setup (without paying an additional tech to do that), try instruments, maybe decide to buy second hand from models in stock, deal with a different case, usually they have rent deals with discount of rent price on purchase, etc. and maybe in some years exchange for a different model that better suits your needs by then.
Furthermore, if you grow out of being a student, the next sax you buy needs to be one that is easy on your grip, plays fine, and has good intonation for you. Even 2 saxes from the same brand and type can have differences depending on how they were made or simply which year manufactured.
Lastly, think about how you sound and how/where you want to play and sound. Some saxes would not meld well in an orchestra for example, but sound great in a blues band.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,560
In my experience, a local brick and mortar shop is just that, local, not a chain. So with a local shop you can build a relationship, come back for support, have the instrument setup (without paying an additional tech to do that), try instruments, maybe decide to buy second hand from models in stock, deal with a different case, usually they have rent deals with discount of rent price on purchase, etc. and maybe in some years exchange for a different model that better suits your needs by then.
All completely true. Very sadly, in THIS country, where a socioeconomic plan of offshoring production and de-localizing business has been in effect for at least 40 years now, such locally-rooted shops are rare and becoming ever-rarer.
One which you describe, having a decent range of new and used instruments and even an in-house tech (who knows what they are doing) and an owner/manager willing to cut certain price breaks for their customers...I remember those places growing up. Unfortunately for the majority of musicians or aspiring musicians in the new millennium...such places are not within convenient access....
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,788
All completely true. Very sadly, in THIS country, where a socioeconomic plan of offshoring production and de-localizing business has been in effect for at least 40 years now, such locally-rooted shops are rare and becoming ever-rarer.
One which you describe, having a decent range of new and used instruments and even an in-house tech (who knows what they are doing) and an owner/manager willing to cut certain price breaks for their customers...I remember those places growing up. Unfortunately for the majority of musicians or aspiring musicians in the new millennium...such places are not within convenient access....
I agree that this has been a trend nationally. I also believe that part of the reason some of the local stores go out of business is because of lack of support by local musicians who buy online to save a few dollars. FWIW I checked the "retail" prices the OP was quoted for those makes and models and they are quite competitive with the online prices I found, in some cases even less. ;)
 
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