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Please help, I am buying my wife a baritone saxophone for Christmas!

lightning

New Member
Messages
11
Hi there everybody

I do not play an instrument myself, but my wife plays the sax in various bands, including a concert band, a big band and a sax quartet.
She has a tenor and alto sax and has wanted a baritone sax for years.
I have saved up over the last year or so and am in a position to buy her one for Christmas.

As I want it to be a surprise for her, I guess I need to buy a new one, as I would not be able to assess a second hand one. However I have not seen any for sale anyway.
The choice in my price range is between the Yanagisawa B901 and the Yamaha YBS32.

I can get the Yamaha for about £3600 and the Yanagisawa for £4000 (my absolute limit...this would mean me spending my birthday money on her!)

I have tried to find out which would be the better instrument, online reviews seem to favour the Yamaha, but I really need to know which one to buy.

She has a Yamaha YTS62 and a YAS62 and seems happy with Yamaha. But the guy who sits next to her at big band (and plays a YBS62) says I should get the Yanagisawa if I cannot affort to get her a YBS62....

Will my wife be happy with the YBS32? It seems from reviews to be well regarded.

I would appreciate any advice!
I would say she is a good player, certainly good enough to get offers to play in other bands.
Thanks.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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21,947
Hi, I'll let the others comment, cos I know nothing, but do make sure it's a 'Low A' model baritone you buy for her. I think the ones you're considering are both Low A, but it'd be wise to check.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Hi Lightning, at Howarth's in London they have a SH Yanagisawa. They are a very reliable company, and I guess they may even have a return policy.
Choosing between Yama and Yanni is not an easy task. They are both great horns.

My endorsee (sequoia) does an excellent baritone under 3k, but in that case you would better spend the difference in a trip near Venice to let her try it personally. It is not yet distributed in the UK.
 

Musicrocks

Member
Messages
44
Just my 2 cents but wouldn't it be better to take her to a store as surprise and let her choose the bari she wants? She would be the best person to know what she would be more comfy with.

Ofcourse I buy almost everything without trying.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
I like the Yanni myself, though Yamahas are designed to be as similar to each other as possible ergonomically. I don't think there would be a problem with the YBS32, but I'd go Yanni!
Good luck, sure your good lady will be excited either way.
Nick
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Just my 2 cents but wouldn't it be better to take her to a store as surprise and let her choose the bari she wants? She would be the best person to know what she would be more comfy with.

Ofcourse I buy almost everything without trying.
I agree. If you have a store in your area that stocks a few baris, you can have a couple of them ready for her to try. In this case i wouldn't rule out cheaper options she might like more (Bauhaus Walstein, Mauriat, Chiltern, JP....).
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
+1 for a surprise trip to the music shop. Preferences for one instrument over another are quite personal, and if you're spending that kind of money, you want to make the best choice you can.
 
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jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Definitely take her to the music store, preferably having called beforehand so they have different baritones to try out. Don't tell her where you are going, say it's a surprise. She'll think you've reserved seats in a restaurant or something, and she'll be very pleasantly surprised at the row of baritones waiting for her to test play in the music store.
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
Think the surprise visit sounds a great idea: oh, and when it's over, enlist her here on Cafesaxophone! (wait until after the surprise obviously :) )
 

tzadik

Member
Messages
356
My horn section mate has a Sequoia Booster baritone: the horn is a best for jazz/r'n'b/gospel.
Very fast horn, punchy sounding.



When we (me and my mate) compared it (the Booster) with a Yanagisawa B991, the Booster totally blew the Yanagisawa in terms of eveness of sound, volume, intonation.
I have to say those are different horns: the Yana is more an all-rounder (good for most of things, not excellent for anything), the Sequoia Booster is more for contemporary playing: it cut through the mix effortlessy, somewhat less resistant, somewhat easier to play (then the Yanagisawa).
Probably, a correct A/B should have been made between the Yanagisawa B991 and the Sequoia Classic (laquered horn).

The Sequoia was almost perfectly in tune in all the register and it didn't thin out the mid register (as it happens on most low A baritones), the Yanagisawa was pretty sharp in the high register (quite annoying), probably with a classical mouthpiece and a classical embouchure the sharp high register can be compensated.

As other Sequoia's, the keywork (made in nickel silver) is much sturdy than on Yana's.


----
Another guy (I play with) has a Yamaha 62 baritone: it's a fine horns... but to have with a horn like a Yamaha you have to "overdrive" it... too little presence... bright setup is needed.. to be heard.
I definitely like best the tenor for 62 Series.


Note 1: the Sequoia Classic is around EUR 3000, not GBP 3000: http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert/?Amount=3000&From=EUR&To=GBP
Note 2: despite Sequoia altos and tenors are more Keilwerth oriented, the Sequoia baritone is more Selmer oriented, but it is not an Albest stencil.
 
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jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Oh, and if your wife ever says something to the effect of you not being the best husband on the planet, you can tell her she's just plain wrong. :)
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
984
Another +1 for the shopping trip. I'd hate someone to spend a fortune buying me the wrong horn.
Make sure the shop hides any that are over your budget though!!! Nothing worse than some wideboy salesman trying to up your budget with a bit of emotional blackmail.

Hope your wife doesn't read this column or she may have to be a very good actress come the day! ;}

Best of luck,
 

Jeff Foster

New Member
Messages
5
Another vote for the surprise music store trip. The last thing you want is to spend that much money on a horn she doesn't like. She'll be unhappy every time she plays it but won't want to admit it for fear of hurting your feelings. Bad situation all around. The surprise of unwrapping a beautiful new horn on Christmas morning will last a few seconds. The thrill of playing a horn that she really loves will last the rest of her life.
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
Messages
2,359
Definitely take her to try it. The horn in tzaduk's post looks lush and she couldn't fail to be impressed with a trip to Italia to try it out. I'm sure she'll be delighted whatever route you choose to take.
 

lightning

New Member
Messages
11
There's no music shops round here, the nearest city would be Manchester. Does anybody know if there is a music shop in Manchester that might stock baritone saxophones for her to try?
 

Lelly

Scarily Tall!!!!
Messages
167
Sigh - I read this with the vague hope it could be my hubby planning a surprise. but sadly not.......

Another vote forthe surprise trip to a ,music shop. he aforementioned hubby did that for me last year when he suddenly took me to a shop and announced we were buying a piano!

Since then I have had a sop sax and an alto and he is now saving up for a new clarinet!

So she would love the excitement of chosing an instrument and the choice is so personal she needs to decide for herself.

Lxx
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Just read this thread again.

I agree with the others - let her pick on a surprise trip... Italy sound like a wonderful idea...

About two and a half years ago I promised my wife a new guitar for her birthday. About a year ago I finally bought it. Took her over a year to find the right one. But she's not sorry about the delay - cos she got exactly what she wants and it'll last her a lifetime. If I'd brought one home for her I'd have been very lucky if it worked out.

Another way of surprising her is to draw up a voucher with a pic of a baritone sax and slip that in an envelope. and have a pre-arranged session in the shop during Xmas week... May even get an Xmas sale price.

Don't forget a mouthpiece & reeds in your budget (bari reeds are a ridiculous price). But she may be happy with the mouthpiece supplied with the sax as Yamaha and Yanagisawa both make fine mouthpieces.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
There's no music shops round here, the nearest city would be Manchester. Does anybody know if there is a music shop in Manchester that might stock baritone saxophones for her to try?
Liverpool Curly music
Bradford - Woodwind Exchange.

I'm sure the others will have suggestions as well. Quite a few members in & around Manchester.
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
Messages
2,359
Kev beat me to it - Woodwind Exchange Bradford. Give Stuart or his lad a call and tell then what you're planning - they'll give you some great help. Be prepared to spend a few hours there as they'll set you up with a fair few to try. 01274 721831
 
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