If you’re wanting the best first tenor sax you can get for anywhere near this price, get this one! The Yamaha YTS-23 made in Japan like this is as good as it gets in quality for an entry level tenor saxophone. Many pros will tell you they started on a 23, and many still keep one around as a backup horn. These things just play well, and they are built to last.
This one just got cleaned up and tuned up by my repairman, and it is playing very nicely on a mix of pads. The strong nickel keys look great, and also keep the keywork in good adjustment. The 23 tenor feels good under the fingers, plays easily, and tunes well. If you have been renting one of the store brand chinese tenors from Music and Arts, it’s time to get a real saxophone. The Yamahas like this hold up well, hold their value well, and will be dependably easy to play with only minor checkups over the years. In case you’re wondering, Yamaha made saxophones for Vito sold with Vito on the bell but stamped YTS-23 Japan by the thumb hook, and these are YTS-23’s. I started out on a Vito alto, and it lasted me until midway through high school before I upgraded to a pro Yanagisawa. You can’t do better than one of these for a smart purchase for a newer player, or as a backup for a pro player.