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Ishimori New Vintage Soprano Gold Lacquer Two Necks New$ 4,000
The Ishimori New Vintage professional soprano saxophone is an extremely well put together and easy to play modern soprano that most people have never played. The Ishimori New Vintage soprano saxophone (notice, I’m using the name a few times for the sake of the search engines) is well worth consideration when you’re considering buying a modern soprano, because it is top quality, but costs quite a bit less than a pro Yamaha or Selmer soprano, and it doesn’t sound like all the other sopranos either. It tunes well, feels good under the fingers, and comes with straight and curved necks, nice engraving, and beautiful gold lacquer. It’s overhauled by Ishimori in Japan, and comes with an excellent setup. I’ve bought Ishimori saxophones like this that had been played heavily for 5-7 years and were still sealing perfectly and feeling like a new horn under the fingers. There are not many brands today that you could say that about. The tone is more wide than a Selmer, and more complex than a Yanagisawa. Brighter than a Keilwerth, but darker than Selmer and Yanagisawa. It is most similar to a Selmer in tone, and that is probably on purpose, but the tuning and keywork are better than, say a Selmer Series III soprano, and the setup is way better (Sorry Selmer, I keep telling you to fix the same old pad work issues on your modern horns…). So if you want a nice do-it-all soprano for less than a Yamaha/Yanagisawa, and you want a Selmer-like tone but none of the Selmer setup issues, then the Ishimori New Vintage Professional Soprano saxophone (;-) might be just the thing!
Only one available!
Yamaha Purple Logo Soprano Old Pads Great Deal! 10884$ 3,000
Yamaha Purple Logo Soprano Recent Overhaul Great! 3214$ 3,950
Yamaha SILVER YSS-82ZRS Soprano Saxophone Mint Condition Setup Excellent$ 4,900
This is a mint condition Yamaha YSS-82ZRS soprano. The Yamaha 82ZRS is basically a reissue of the popular Yamaha 62 soprano. The silver versions were the most desirable of the Yamaha YSS-62R on which the 82ZR is based. So if you have always wanted to get a Yamaha YSS-62RS this is nearly identical, but with some upgraded keywork. The main changes are that the left hand pinky (spatula) keys are now easier to operate and the palm keys are a little more comfortable. Yamaha tells me that the bore and dimensions of the 82ZR are exactly the same as the 62R, and on purpose. It is meant to be a modern reissue of the enormously popular 62R. With the 62R, Yamaha finally broke with the Selmer Mark VI soprano tonal concept and do something warmer, rounder, and more pleasant. It became an instant classic. There’s a big demand for more of these, so Yamaha helpfully rose to the occasion.
The reason that the 62R/82ZR is so popular is the combination of one piece design – no neck joint to lose air or resonance – and the warm, complex tone that these horns get. And the bent neck, which brings the horn down onto the neck strap for added comfort. Branford Marsalis plays this model, and sounds wonderful on it. I think he helped with the keywork improvements also. In short, it’s probably the best modern soprano available: Lightest, most resonant, very in tune, most comfortable to play, best long term investment. It’s a modern classic.
If like me, you have always wanted one of these horns in silver, now is your chance. They are hard to find! This one just got its checkup and is ready to go! It is in basically mint condition, but has been played maybe a couple of hours total.
Yamaha YSS-675 Professional Soprano Great Deal! 0381$ 2,750
The Yamaha YSS-675 Professional Soprano Saxophone is one of the best soprano saxophones you can buy for the money without a doubt. It is built just like a Yamaha Custom YSS-875 soprano, and it plays just like one too, but it costs less. I have never quite understood why Yamaha made two models that play nearly identically and even look the same and came in the same case with the same necks etc, but that were priced differently. In any case, the result is that you can get a pro soprano for a very reasonable price. This one has a mix of pads, some of which are original, and it plays well and easily on them. Like the original 875, this is the darkest sounding Yamaha that was ever made. The current 875EX is a lot brighter than this. The intonation is excellent, and the dark tone pairs really well with soprano voice, and darkens down some brighter soprano pieces beautifully. Whether you’re wanting to play in a classical sax quartet or play smooth jazz on stage, or anything in between, this YSS-675 does it quite well. I like it with a hard rubber Yanagisawa mouthpiece in around a 5 tip. If you’re starting to play soprano for the first time, get a 4 tip, and you will find it easier than you may have expected to get a good sound on this. I rarely have a nicer soprano like this in the under $3000 price range so someone should definitely grab this!
Only one available!
Yamaha YSS-82ZRS Custom One Piece Bent Neck Silver Plated Soprano Mint!$ 5,100
Mint, like new YSS-82ZRS soprano that plays absolutely perfectly! These will be collectible some day, because they are sold in small numbers and are the most desirable version. I always have to wait 6 months when I want to order one new. They’re made to order, and will hold their value well over time. If you want the resonance of a one piece soprano with the comfort of the bent neck, so that it hangs correctly on the strap hook, then 82ZR is for you! It plays almost exactly like a 62R, but it costs less. It’s hard to beat in the soprano category.
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!