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Yamaha YAS-61 Alto Original Lacquer Old Pads 8822$ 1,500
Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone – In stock now!$ 799
November 2022 Inventory Update: Two in stock!
The Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone is a new kind of digital saxophone. It is more like a real saxophone than any digital saxophone that has come before, because it has regular saxophone keywork. So unlike an EWI 4000S, 5000, or a WX5, you don’t have to switch to a different keywork feel in order to play the digital saxophone anymore.
This is going to be huge for people who want to practice saxophone quietly rather than people who just want a midi or digital interface sax. You can practice with headphones on and not bother your neighbors at all hours. Or play it quietly on one of the 15 volume settings. The Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone also works fine as a digital input into whatever sound processing software that you want to use. But it feels more like a regular saxophone under the fingers. I’ve been having fun with digital saxophones ever since the Casio DH-100, and I think like the Casio, this Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone will probably become an instant classic of its genre for the same reason – it feels more like an actual saxophone to play than any similar option.
In brief (more below) are the main features of the Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone that you might care about:
- The Yamaha Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone has a speaker in the brass bell, so that the sound you generate vibrates the instrument’s body tube. As you play louder, you feel more resonance.
- The Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone has a regular saxophone mouthpiece (basically a repurposed Yamaha 4C soprano piece) and even a ‘reed’ so that it feels like a saxophone in your mouth also. The reed doesn’t vibrate though! You can even swap out the Yamaha mouthpiece for your own mouthpiece, as long as it has a similar bore to a 4C, though this won’t do much to the tone if anything. It might make it feel a little more like ‘home’ to you.
- The Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone has an advanced breath sensor that responds instantly to small changes in breath support by changing the tone that you generate. Again, you see the theme – feels a bit more like a saxophone to play.
- The sound it generates is actual sound samples taken from real Yamaha saxophones. You can switch among Yamaha soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone tones on your Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone. It’s a pretty good idea, thought it still sounds like a midi sax to me. The bari sax model is actually pretty good though.
- There’s an app that lets you further modify and control the tone you get from the Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone. The app is actually quite good! And you can also input the sound from your Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone into Ableton or Garageband or ProTools or whatever you like and modify it there, or even run the output into analog or digital pedals, like in our saxophone looping video here.
- Interestingly it’s keyed from high F# down to low A so you can use it as a baritone model! And the tuning is adjustable within 5 hz so you can play with a flat piano or in different temperatures with acoustic instruments whose tuning changes with changing weather etc. Not a bad idea!
Shortcomings of the YDS-150 are as follows:
- It’s a bit awkward changing notes with the digital switches on the keys versus the analog feel of a real sax.
- Similarly, starting and stopping notes with breath is different from how you articulate them on a real sax. So playing four quarter notes staccato requires you to learn habits that don’t transfer to sax.
- Reed doesn’t vibrate, so it doesn’t really feel like a saxophone to play.
- Saxophone sound samples don’t sound all that much like a saxophone. See our A/B comparison video for comparison of a Yamaha custom alto vs the YDS-150 alto sound model.
- No vibrato or control of tone with embouchure – breath only.
I’ll put more Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone details and some review videos and sound clips in the long description below, so scroll down for the additional info! And for only $799, it’s not bad even just as a tool to get some late night practice time in.
Yamaha YSS-475 Soprano Near Mint Great! 42197$ 2,250
Yamaha YSS-61 Soprano Good Condition Good Value 2042$ 2,150
Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano Purple Logo Older Pads Plays Well 12153$ 3,500
Yamaha YSS-62R Near Mint + Overhauled 11278$ 6,000
Yamaha YSS-875EXHG Original Lacquer Like New$ 4,500
Yamaha YTS-62III Tenor Saxophone Mint Condition$ 3,600
I had a new horn checkup done on it pre-sale, and it is ready to go. You can’t really beat the YTS-62III for quality per dollar among pro saxophones. That’s why everybody buys them. This came in on trade brand new!
Yamaha YTS-62S III Tenor Saxophone Mint Condition Original Silver E27710
Yamaha YTS-82Z Custom Tenor Saxophone Near Mint Amazing D04511$ 4,000
This Yamaha YTS-82z Custom Tenor Saxophone is about as close to new condition as it could be. It just got a careful tune up and plays just like a new one as well. This is a few years old at least, so not the 82ZII. It’s basically impossible to tell any difference in how they play, for me at least. If you’ve been wanting a new Yamaha pro tenor and you want to save some money, but not compromise on condition, here you go. It even smells new. There are some tiny surface scratches near the neck strap hook if you look closely, and that’s really it. Intonation, ergonomics, low register response are all 10/10. You can take the tone lots of directions depending on your choice of mouthpiece and reed. If you want a tenor that just works well, responds easily, tunes well, and is easy to keep in adjustment, that’s what this is! It also holds its value well. The new price on these is getting up there!
Only one available!
Yanagisawa A-900u Prima 75th Anniversary Alto with Gold Plated Neck 192205$ 2,000
Yanagisawa A880 Alto Good Condition Great Price 135825$ 2,100
Yanagisawa A901 Professional Alto Very Good Condition Just Setup! 230760$ 2,350
The Yanagisawa A901 is a wonderful professional alto saxophone from Yanagisawa, that basically does everything really well. This one is in excellent condition and the pads are also in great shape. I just got it completely checked out and tuned up, and it is playing its best on pads that will last a long time without needing anything other than occasional checkups like any saxophone. The A901 is the same as the current model AWO1, which is the less expensive pro model. The two lines of Yanagisawa saxophones play basically the same, but the WO1/A901 has the regular neck octave key, single key arms on bell keys, and ‘post construction’ like most saxophones, where the posts that hold the keys are mounted on the body tube, rather than on a stiff metal rib that is then soldered to the body tube. I think this makes the 90x WOx horns play slightly with a little more of that lively feel of vibrating under the fingers, other things being equal. So not a big difference between this and he more expensive WO10.
Only one available!
Yanagisawa A9930 Professional Alto Solid Silver Neck Very Good Condition 272190$ 3,950
Yanagisawa AWO1 Professional Alto Saxophone New + Setup – Fantastic Deal! A901$ 3,150
New in the plastic Yanagisawa AWO1 Alto saxophone. This is probably the best deal overall in a modern alto, period. This horn just got checked out post shipping and is ready to play its very best right out of the case when you get it. It’s completely mint, with factory box and paperwork etc. You won’t find a better playing Yanagisawa AWO1 Alto Saxophone, nor will you find a better price. I have an extremely limited number of these that I can offer you at this sale price. Good luck to the few people who are able to jump on this deal!
If you’re wondering, the AWO1 is the brass version of Yanagisawa’s professional alto. This is the new name of what used to be the A901 model. It has a more open and vibrating feel than the heavier-built AWO10 (which is also a fantastic alto, but more expensive). My first good alto was one of these. If you want the best alto for the money, that would be the Yanagisawa AWO1. And when you go to re-sell it, you can get most to all of your money back, which is the opposite of most new saxophones.
Any questions, feel free to ask!
Yanagisawa AWO2 Solid Bronze Alto Saxophone Brand New + Setup! A902$ 3,750
Two available March 2023, and they’ve both been setup and play GREAT!
Brand new, unplayed, in the plastic Yanagisawa AWO2 Alto saxophone. This is probably the best deal overall in a modern alto period. This horn just got checked out post shipping and is ready to play its very best right out of the case when you get it. It’s completely mint, with factory box and paperwork etc. You won’t find a better playing Yanagisawa AWO2, nor will you find a better price. I have an extremely limited number of these that I can offer you at this sale price. Good luck to the few people who are able to jump on this amazing deal!
If you’re wondering, the WO2 is the bronze version of Yanagisawa’s professional alto. This is the new name of what used to be the A902 model. It has a more open and vibrating feel than the heavier-built AWO20 (which is also a fantastic alto, but more expensive). My first good alto was one of these. And the solid bronze adds more depth and complexity to the tone – kind of a thick heart to the core of the tone. It’s quite easy to hear once you get used to it and play the different Yanagisawa saxophones. The AWO2 (A902) and AWO20 (A992) are my favorites, closely followed by AWO1 (A901) and AWO10 (A991) (same horns but in brass instead of bronze).
Any questions, feel free to ask!
Yanagisawa S6 Soprano Selmer Mark VI Copy 473961$ 1,200
Yanagisawa S-6 soprano in good condition. The lacquer is fairly worn and the pads are older, but it’s a great price! These are copies of a Mark VI soprano, and they actually play better than the original in many cases! The intonation is better, and the keywork is built just as well. If you want that brassy, projecting soprano tone like Kenny G gets, or the thin, oboe-like tone that John Coltrane gets, those are both the direction these horns lean. (You’d need the right mouthpiece and a lot of practice to actually sound like those players stylistically, but the tone goes in that direction naturally.)
Yanagisawa SN-981 Sopranino Saxophone Brand New Excellent Player! Great Deal!$ 3,450
Yanagisawa SWO10 Elite Soprano Saxophone NEW 404142$ 4,250
Yanagisawa SWO2 Solid Bronze Professional Soprano Saxophone New! + Setup$ 3,950
One just in!!
This is a new Yanagisawa SWO2 Soprano saxophone in solid bronze. The one piece solid bronze Yanagisawa SWO-2 soprano is one of my favorite modern soprano saxophones of all. It has a noticeably darker, more complex tone than the SWO1, so to me, it’s worth the extra money to spring for the bronze on soprano. The one piece design means no neck socket to leak, and the horn resonates beautifully under your fingers when you play. It tunes beautifully as well. The keywork feels great under the fingers – dry and snappy. Yanagisawa has the best build quality of any modern saxophone, and it shows. Plus I get all new Yanagisawa saxophones checked out pre-sale by one of my excellent repairmen, so that any tiny improvements that will take it from good to great are done before you get it. This is a surprisingly big deal, and something you want to have done, regardless of where you happen to buy a new saxophone. A couple of tiny, smart fixes often take an already good horn into the exceptional category.
If you’ve been thinking of getting a soprano, then Yanagisawa is really a great choice. These are precision instruments that are built to last and that sound beautiful. They work with a wide range of mouthpieces (Selmer sopranos are more ‘mouthpiece picky’), which is nice because you can shape the tone with mouthpiece choice a LOT.
I have an extremely limited availability of these Yanagisawa saxophones, but ONE SWO2 is currently available as of November 2022. Whoever gets it will be one lucky saxophonist!