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Key of Bb. French brass body, bell, and neck; handmade G3 neck, yellow brass keys; mother of pearl key buttons; drawn tone holes; Front F and high F# keys; blue steel springs; waterproof leather and wool felt pads with plastic tone boosters; adjustable thumb hook; ribbed and flanged mounting; hand-engraved bell. Includes case.
To play it is to love it. Order the YTS-875EX today.
Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
Comments about Yamaha YTS-875EX Custom Tenor Saxophone:
This saxophone plays nice, however the middle register sounds stuffy. I tried several mouthpieces including the stock, bobby dukoff 10, jody jazz dv 7, jody jazz dvny 7, and it was still stuffy. The middle E note was slightly flat (by slightly I mean barely) I could notice it playing (not anyone listening could though). The horn overall is resistant in the middle register. After a couple days playing, I returned this saxophone back to get a Yamaha 82zii and it was definitely worth it. Musicians Friend has an excellent policy for swapping or returning horns if your not satisfied.
If your looking for a classical tenor saxophone this would be a good choice. Intonation is excellent except middle E, and the tone is warm and rich. If your looking for a somewhat brighter sound and easier to manipulate, definitely look into the YTS 82Zii. It is by far a better sound and even has nicer engraving (just cosmetic) in my opinion. The 82zii sounds like a Mark VI with perfect intonation : ) especially the low register!
The case on the 875 EX is nicer with a leather exterior, however, the 82zii cases are excellent too. The 82zii case is a hard case but with a nice soft exterior, I am not sure what it is made out of but it feels nice and doesn't feel cheap at all.
Comments about Yamaha YTS-875EX Custom Tenor Saxophone:
Before I start, I want to say that if you are looking for a professional-level sax, no matter what music you intend to play with it, don't overlook this one. The Custom Z gets all the glory, but the EX is just as good if not better. Even if you're a rock and blues player like me, do yourself a favor and at least give this sax a chance.
I compared this sax to over a dozen other professional-level tenors: Yamaha's other two pro horns, all four Selmer Paris models (and more than one example of some), Yanagisawas, a Keilwerth, and quite a few Cannonballs. This horn is definitely my favorite. It blew away most of the other saxes on that list inside of a minute.
First up, the construction - this horn is extremely well-made, and it feels like it, too.
Next, the tone - it has a much darker, warmer tone than lower-end Yamahas. It sounds exceptional with any good mouthpiece, even high-baffle ones that would peel paint on some other horns. It is also very versatile with an enabling mouthpiece - I have a very easy time manipulating the tone. The fact that Yamaha currently offers three different neck bores is a bonus.
It feels great under the fingers. The action is light but still very quick and responsive (the Custom Z was so loose, it felt a little clumsy to me). The pearls are very lightly dished (concave), so you can play with any hand position you want, and rolling your fingers around to accommodate altissimo fingerings is extremely comfortable compared to other saxes. The high F# key (which gets a lot of use in rock and blues) has a rather large spatula, not large enough to get in the way, but definitely enough to be easy to catch jumping around in the palm keys and altissimo.
Speaking of altissimo, this horn's is exceptional. It's quite easy for an experienced player to use, even on mouthpieces that are not particularly good for such things. It sounds exceptional, and doesn't thin out until you reach 'the notes that you can hit but not really play'. The front F is also easily adjustable, if you use it in the lower altissimo.
The low range is also quite nice. It doesn't sound honky even with the highest baffles, and it will respond quite well. (I find that on most saxes, it helps the lows to actually lift the horn with your right thumb when you hit low E or Eb so as to change the mouthpiece angle in your mouth, and that is true (for me) of this one.)
These saxes, like all Yamahas, are very consistent. I have played over a dozen current-decade Yamaha pro saxes, six of them EX tenors, and I have only ever found one I didn't like as much as its siblings (and it may simply have been the setup and not the horn, for all I know). This consistency is a strong point in my opinion - Selmer says their horns are intentionally inconsistent to benefit the player and to enable them find 'that special horn', which is all fine and dandy... if you can afford to get ten at a time in a room to try.
The EX feels fairly light on the neck. Having played a Selmer SA80 (Series I) tenor beforehand, Yamaha horns felt noticeably lighter to me. The Yamaha necks also have that modern neck angle that's more conducive to playing holding the horn in front of you rather than to the side, but if you have a good neck strap, you can still play them to the side comfortably.
Maintaining this horn is very easy. It doesn't have adjustment screws on the left hand stack keys for the C fork mechanism or on the right hand stack keys for the F# fork, which doesn't make much sense to me, but it is easy to access everything and adjust it should a timing leak develop there. The more finicky areas - namely the bis Bb key and articulated G# connections from the right hand stack keys - feature easy-to-use adjustment screws. I am by no means a repair tech, but I can still easily perform all of the basic maintenance required to break this horn in (not that it needs a lot to begin with) and keep it in top shape.
The last (and probably least important) point is the appearance of the horn - this sax is beautiful! The gold lacquer is relatively dark and very vibrant, the black and gold horns simply look better than most, and the silver horns are very flashy but not to the point that you need sunglasses. All of Yamaha's Custom finishes also hold up exceptionally well.
I would recommend this horn to anyone looking for a top-of-the-line saxophone without hesitation.