If you run across a used Yamaha saxophone, you could have a great instrument on your hands. Yamaha is one of the "big four" of saxophone manufacturers. These are the four most respected names in professional level saxes. The other three companies are Yanagisawa, Keilwerth, and Selmer. Each of these companies are known for making really good saxophones.
Types include models 875, the 62, and the 23 series. The 62 series was introduced in 1980, so it's possible to find a used Yamaha that is over 20 years old. You still might have to pay over $1000 for a used one, since they are such a high quality instrument. The numbers of the models are preceded with YTS for tenor saxes and YAS for altos.
The 875's are Custom professional models. You might find a used one for around $1500 or less in good condition. The 23's are the Yamaha student saxophones. Finding a used saxophone in this series would put your young student at a real advantage. The 23's are thought to be the best student saxes on the market.
A used Yamaha saxophone in the 62 series has a lot of great features, too. Some are equipped with a neck receiver that helps the player produce an even tone. The pads are made of leather that has been treated with silicone. It has blue steel springs which give a quick key response. The body is annealed which gives the horn a great tone. The low B-flat key is tilted for comfortable playing.
A used saxophone, if it is in good condition, can be a real bargain. Do take the time to look that used sax over carefully. Just because it is a Yamaha does not mean that it hasn't been abused down through the years.
Further reading on: Yamaha Saxophones.
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