How Modern Saxophones Are Built
(Page 4) 
If you’ve spent much time on our site you already know that CyberSax is dedicated to the love and play of fine vintage instruments. The question might occur why we have spent such time and resources to develop an extensive article on the production of new saxophones. First, we have an extraordinary friend in Mr. Sugo (above, as if he were jammin’ with me on the riverfront near KCMO), who is able to obtain the music (pictures in this case) to accompany our words. Second, we believe it promotes the appreciation of fine saxophones to understand how they are built — not just how to play them or to keep them in adjustment. Finally, we believe the quality and scale of the Yanagisawa saxophone facility in Tokyo to be similar to those of Buescher, King, Martin and Conn when these fine saxophone facilities were in their prime. No doubt the production techniques have changed a bit, but the ideal of hands-on personal involvement to assure a top notch product is the same. There is a common spirit which links Yanagisawa to the past — when great saxophones were built in America …


Finished goods …
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have one each of all the saxes ever built by a respected manufacturer? Well, here it is! It is said that in France there are rooms where sample barrels of all the great Cognacs produced since the inception of the fine houses are stored, vintage-by-vintage, some dating back into the 18th Century. The term the French use for such rooms is Paradis, which needs no additional interpretation. At Yanagisawa there is such a room, though the sensations are auditory and visual — not olfactory …

All the historic instruments on display could not be adequately captured in these photographs, though many of the models are represented in what we are able to show. Above are Yanagisawa tenors (left) and altos (right). The larger picture below shows a wall of Yani baritones perpendicular to a display that includes saxes made by other builders. 


Next to the baris there are tipped bell models of straight soprano alto and tenor, possibly prototypes from the Yani engineers. A number of altos appear on the adjacent wall, plus a lone C-Melody (lower right). The C-melody appears to be a Martin, but might be Buescher (your thoughts are invited). On the floor beneath the hanging saxes is a bass sax that looks much like the short wrap version of the Selmer Super Balanced Action and Mark VI basses (I’m told Yanagisawa hasn’t built a bass sax). The two piece bell on the bass sax makes the Selmer ID highly probable. The very first alto on the left is surely a late Buescher 400 with nickel-silver keys….back slanted bell pads and under-slung octave are unique to this legendary model. The rest are your guess. Please let us hear what you think …. 




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Thank you for taking the time to consider this special CyberSax presentation. As always, we wish you great sax wherever you go on the web. You are welcome back here whenever the pickin’s elsewhere grow lean. CyberSax.com has no official relationship with Yanagisawa and we received no compensation of any kind in connection with the publication of this article. As is customary, Tha Bear just tells it like it is …


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