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

B Flat

Senior Member
Melbourne Australia
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.


New Member
Greater Toronto Area (Canada)
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.


New Member
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.


Senior Member
Athens, Greece
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.


New Member
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
Saxholder Pro

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