Saxophone Forum


by elmunc
(1 post)
9 years ago

Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

Hi all, My daughter is entering 6th grade (which is middle school here in North Carolina) and is taking up alto saxophone. She has been playing violin for several years now, and we imagine that violin will remain her primary instrument. Sax will, however, let her play in marching bands and play jazz and such should she wish. The school rent-to-own program is offering YAS-23 saxes for around $1600. My reading around the web tells me that this is a good sax and a good price. My question is: given her likely needs, is there a good option in a student sax that would cost less?

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  1. by SaxMan
    (559 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

    absolutely not. The 23 is the nadir of student level instruments in production today. Did you know that for 200 dollars more you could buy a professional cannonball saxophone? go for a selmer or antigua winds. I would recomend an AS600 for the selmer. will cost you considerably less than 1,000 (cash price - rent to own - less than 1400 I should think.) for either, and they will both play better, last longer and be more comfortable to play. The 23 is a design over 20 years old and utilizes lots of cyanocrylate in its construction. not to mention, the yamaha pads are probably the cheapest pads you can get. go to selmer's website and look for a dealer near you. If there isn't one, let me know and you could buy one out of the shop I work at - but try first to see if you can find a dealer near you - you should get some servicing with the horn with a local dealer - mailing a student model horn to shops isn't exactly worth it. I would take your band director's advice with a grain of salt. Most directors took classes over 20 years ago on what were good instruments, now their knowledge is so obsolete that it makes DOS look state of the art. If you speak to a yamaha dealer, also speak to a selmer dealer. Yamaha dealers know that their student line isn't anything anymore - the only thing that keeps it going is the ill acquired reputation - conn-selmer now also gives free shipping on school bids - another incentive for yamaha dealers to heavily push their product.

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    1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
      (767 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

      ---------------------------------------------------------------- The 23 is a design over 20 years old --------------------------------------------------------------- Which means? Hey, most sax designs like to lay claims to being designed after a horn that's over fifty years old now. That statement is just silly for many reasons. ------------------------------------------------------------------ ............................ and utilizes lots of cyanocrylate in its construction --------------------------------------------------------------------- And how often does this bonding fail? This is a mountain out of a mole-hill interjection.

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    2. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

      "another incentive for yamaha dealers to heavily push their product." what was it that you were doing then? The YAS-23 is a great horn, and should work well for any student.

      Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


  2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

    the YAS-23 is a fine saxophone. It's quality is good, keywork is better than most student horns, and it plays it tune with itself. However, it's not what I'd consider a good bang-for-the-buck scenario. They are perhaps the best** student horn* available, but student horns just arent' worth paying $1500+ for considering that there's so many good new or used alto saxophones for $2000-$3000 or less that would fit the profile of a professional instrument. I would look for a used, but recently maintained instrument that has been serviced into appropriate condition. You'll save a few hundred dollars, have an instrument that plays well (some new ones don't without technician attention) and will have close to the same resale value compared to a brand new YAS-23 Also, I would also look into a used Bundy. These horns were as ubiquitous during the 70s and 80s as the Yamahas are today. Properly maintained, they will be as appropriate for use today as they were then. Objectively, their keywork is inferior to the Yamahas, but you can find them for as little as $400 through retail used. With any instrument, consult your potential director. Preferably, have him or an associate approve of any potential instrument before purchase. ** My opinion * Student/Intermediate/Advanced/Pro are marketing designations. In reality, they are arbitrary.

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    1. by sax_maniac
      (984 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

      YAS23 is an excellent horn, but that $1600 is far too much to pay for it. Rent to own is a scam. Just buy it outright. Having restored a number of student Yamahas (and actually preferring one to my Selmer Series III), I'll add that they are very well constructed and play as good as the player can put into it. (It's the player - not the horn). Bundys are also excellently built and play well.

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      1. by NewSax
        (8 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

        Getting a horn for a beginner and paying what you are suggesting through rent-to-own for that model seems a bit much until you know the student will stick with it. You can pick up a decent horn from Dave Kessler in Las Vegas that is a private label Kessler Custom for about $800 or a good student instrument through NEMC in New Jersey from F.E. Olds & Sons for between $650 and $900 depending on the model. Kessler's also has options from Antigua Winds. Even an intro level Cannonball might be something to consider. Good Luck. Let us know what you select and how it works out.

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    2. by Emerald Regime member
      (1 post)

      9 years ago

      Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

      Hello, I just wanted to pass on some information about the YAS-23. The $1600 price is way too high. Certified internet supersellers like Woodwind/Brasswind (WWBW) and Music123 sell the instrument for far less. If you call WWBW (their number is 1-800-348-5003) they will sell you a brand new YAS-23 for under $900. However, you can only get that price by calling them, as there is some sort of marketing contract that forces them to advertise the price above the actual cost. In my humble opinion, both the YAS-23 and Selmer AS-300 are fine instruments for a beginner. I purchased a used YAS-23 for $450 over five years ago, and it still serves my marching band purposes.

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      1. by checkster
        (9 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

        Sax Man, whats your problem with Yamaha? I own the 23 ans the ybs-62, both of which you have said are terrible horns, and Ive found them to be very good saxes. And I don't know about the 1600, I got my 23 for 1100, it was used one time and was still in perfect condition.

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        1. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Alternatives to YAS-23 for middle schooler?

          checkster, both of which are. I know of NO modern student model bari that doesn't out strip the yamaha bari by miles that isn't less than half the price. This idiotic thinking will keep going on for quite a while, and in 20 years, the AS600 will probably be the obsolete pos that everyone hails as the best. that 1600 is absolutely wrong, they are actually closer to 1700 now that I checked. As for your used 23 - yamahas don't hold value as good as a pasta strainer holds water - you can get a month old pro yamaha alto for 500 less than what a new one is.

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