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Saxophones YAS-23 Silver Plate finish

saxyjt

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Today I collected the result of my latest GAS attack! A rather good looking YAS-23 in silver plate finish. I didn't even know that existed! Anyways, it looked good, the price was good and the seller appeared to be fine too.

The poor thing has been left unused for a rather long time, but is in fine condition. A few minor dents and no obvious scratch. A few bits of cork were missing causing some issues but nothing a good bottle of wine can't fix. As long as you don't mix the fumes from the glue with the fumé of the wine!

First few notes are promising. It's a screamer! I tried a few different mouthpieces and even a gentle antique Selmer B metal found its voice. I still need to understand what's wrong at the octave break point as I'm struggling to slur from C# to D without tripping over. Low notes also need attention. But my self made leaklight is in no shape to help me, so it'll have to wait another day.

I have a feeling that I'm going to spend more time on the alto in the next few days...
 

Tomasz

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You won't have any problems fixing up a YAS-23. They are dead easy to adjust - very intuitive. What's more it's usually no problem ordering in any missing parts, assuming you find something's not there e.g. small screws or even larger parts such as the key-guard

I have a suspicion that silver-plate YAS-23s were popular with marching bands - whether military or otherwise. Most YAS-23s are two-tone finish.

YAS-23s are mouthpiece agnostic - they don't really care what you fit e.g. modern (or vintage) Selmer, Berg Larsen, Guardala, Otto Link, Rico Metalite, Dukoff, Berg Larsen - or whatever floats your boat. Pretty much any mouthpiece will work on a YAS-23 - high baffle or open chamber. In contrast, some altos (particularly vintage horns) are much more picky about what they "like".

I fitted a Rico Metalite M9 to my AS-100 (a YAS-23 clone aimed at the Far Eastern market) and got good results, though it did sound a bit too punchy. YAS-23s sound naturally "bright", so it was as if the Metalite would burn the paint off a fence at 10 paces. Obviously, anything made by Selmer will work just fine.

So long as you got your YAS-23 at a fair price, you'll never regret buying it. Why? Because if you adjust those stainless springs on the key-action just right, it will be one of the fastest-playing saxophones you've ever had. The action feels very precise and goes like an express train! Suffice to say I'm a big fan of YAS-2xs and YTS-2xs.

I've posted this video clip in another post relating to YAS-280s, but it bears repeating here so you can see what a YAS-23 is capable of when it's fully adjusted:-

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYu2f6rLXVY
 
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saxyjt

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In fact, it's my second 23. I liked the first one and finding one silver plated was quite appealing especially in that excellent condition. You must be right about mouthpieces. Any I tried sounded good so far but I haven't tried the more classical type yet. Not that it is what I intend this horn for.

The seller for this one bought it in Singapore back in 91 but didn't play much, so he finally decided to part from it. So it stayed in its bag for over 20 years as far as I can tell. Not anymore! :D
 

saxyjt

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I've been having some fun this morning play testing some of my altos, cleaning and tuning the last two I acquired that, as often, spent far too long in a case, not breathing...

In addition to the YAS-23S, I found a YAS-62 pruple logo that didn't state its real name on the ad and was sold as a student horn! Good for me as I was only browsing the prices of horns sold as student ones to price my YAS-275 and make sure it finds its new owner.

So I've been busy going from one to the other and I finally compared the results with my previous YAS-62 pruple logo as a reference point since it's been setup by a pro.

It took me some time to realize I had an issue with the G#/C# adjustment screws on the YAS-23. I had a few notes that didn't come our clean, mostly when jumping from other notes. My playground this morning was Nat Adderley's Work Song and various scales/exercises to see if I ran into rough spots. I did. Going from G# to F#, the F# sounded really bad. I didn't occur to me that the C# pad could have a problem as it appeared to seal properly until then. Anyways, I saw that the C# arm was a bit loose and tuning the screw did the job, clearing another issue I had when slurring from C# to D. And of course now the low notes are easier to play.

The YAS-62 mostly needed a few pads to be cleaned as well as tone holes that had some verdegris that caused leaks. Apart from that, I couldn't find any issue and proceeded with a neck cleanup job, as recently explained in another thread, for the sake of covering a few easy procedures to bring the beast back into playing shape.

Does the simple fact of playing the horn has a positive impact on the pads? I would guess it does as pads on a horn that's been hidden away for 15-20 years are quite dry and must benefit from a bit of moisture.

I'll keep rotating altos for a couple of weeks until I'm happy with the tuning and the YAS-62 will be on sale, somewhere for a 62 pruple fan to take. I can't keep two really, can I? :oops:
 

saxyjt

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So the purple logo didn't beat the student horn, eh? Care to elaborate?

Careful here! We say pruple in the Café. :rolleyes: You better get used to it...

The 23 is bright and fun to play with the mouthpieces I used (Berg Larsen 105-2 and Brilhart Tonalin) playing some jazz. But I find the 62 to be more flexible and capable of playing both bright and load as well as soft and quiet.
 

saxyjt

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You probably missed the part where I say I already have one 62 pruple logo! So I'll most likely keep that one, unless I find the new one plays better and keep the 23 too, cause it's a screamer and I like that for some reason...
Must be my virgo's wild side! >:)
 

saxyjt

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By the way, here are the last two altos, like brothers, the oldest being from what I know the silver one (91) the other would be from 95. The year I was in San Diego, for the America's Cup! Different wind...

SDC10027.JPG
 

kaiserthegreat

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Gorgeous! And yes, I missed the part where you said you had two. I can hold one for you. Indefinitely.
 

saxyjt

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I'm still working on that horn, trying to resolve the leaks top to bottom (I don't like the way D,E,F & F# are closing) and as I was checking it this morning, I saw something I had not yet spotted. Some rather significant glue residues around the bell brace, between the D and D# keyholes. See:

D-D#Glue.jpg


I'm curious to know if this could be from the factory or a bell repair job.

In any case, it doesn't look very good and I wonder if it may cause some turbulences and have a significant effect on playability.

If it does, I'd like to get rid of it, but I'm not sure what's the best way to treat this. I can probably access these ugly glue residues from the adjacent toneholes (D/D#/C#), but I don't know if I should heat the area to soften the glue or not.

I'm still not happy with the way the horn responds particularly across the octave break point from C# to D.

Otherwise, I feel this horn has potential for greatness! So, please help me bring the monster out of it... It's in here, waiting to be revealed!
 

saxyjt

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@Stephen Howard you can probably shed some light here as I read your reviews about these Yamaha models having glued bells and how frequently you had to deal with related issues.

I don't want to hastily attempt to remove that glue if it's not worth it. If its just not pretty, I don't really care as its inside.
 

Stephen Howard

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It looks factory to me.
I'd leave it well alone. If you heat it you might weaken the adhesion over the whole joint, and if you pick at it you might expose a pinhole leak.
It might have an impact on the sound (doubtful) - but who's to say whether it's positive or negative?
And look on the bright side...at least they weren't stingy with the glue.

I'd leave it - until such times as the bell cops a whack and the joint needs re-gluing.
 

saxyjt

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It looks factory to me.

Seriously! Well, I can't say they are meticulous. The other joint, bell side I would say, looks clean, but it may be soldered.

As long as it doesn't make a difference on the sound, I'll leave it as it is then.
 
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