Yanagisawa Wind Instruments

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Yanagisawa Wind Instruments is a Japanese woodwind company known for its range of professional grade saxophones. Along with Yamaha they are one of the leading manufacturers of saxophones in Japan.

Yanagisawa A9932J alto saxophone: has a solid silver bell and neck with solid phosphor bronze body. The bell, neck and key-cups are extensively engraved. Manufactured in 2008

A family company, they started production in 1896 but became more widely known after the release in 1954 of their T3 silver-plated tenor saxophone. This was followed in 1956 by the A3, their first alto saxophone. The T3 model Tenor and the A3 model Alto were based on a Martin Committee design and later models were based more on a Selmer Mark VI design. There has been continuous development of their saxophone technology ever since. Their first solid silver saxophone was produced in 1972 and instruments made from phosphor bronze began to be produced in 1992. The company currently manufactures sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. They are, perhaps, best known for their super high quality soprano saxophones. Many players consider them the best on the market, especially the S992.

The company is notable for making saxophones from materials other than the standard brass, i.e., phosphor bronze and solid silver, and combinations thereof. For example, as of 2015 Yanagisawa's range of alto saxophones featured the following instruments:

  • Awo1 - made entirely from solid brass. The entry level professional saxophone from Yanagisawa.
  • Awo1U - same as Awo1, but unlacquered
  • Awo1B - same as Awo1, but black lacquered
  • Awo1S - same as Awo1, but silver plated
  • Awo2 - made entirely from solid phosphor bronze (except keywork, which is brass)
  • Awo2S - same as Awo2, but silver plated
  • Awo10 - made entirely from solid brass (underslung neck)
  • Awo10U - made entirely from solid brass (underslung neck - unlacquered)
  • Awo10S - same as Awo10, but plated with silver
  • Awo10GP - same as Awo10, but gold plated
  • Awo10B - same as Awo10, but coated with black lacquer
  • Awo20 - made entirely from solid phosphor bronze (except keywork, which is brass)
  • Awo20U - same as Awo20, but unlacquered
  • Awo20S - same as Awo20, but silver plated
  • Awo20PG - same as Awo20, but plated with "pink gold" (80% gold and 20% silver)
  • Awo20GP - same as Awo20, but gold plated
  • Aw030 - solid silver crook and body with solid brass bell and bow
  • Awo32J - solid silver crook and bell, solid phosphor bronze body and bow (designed exclusively for jazz, so no 'lyre' socket)
  • Awo33 - solid silver neck and bell; solid brass body, bow and crook
  • Awo35 - solid silver neck, body, and bell; solid brass bow
  • Awo37 - solid silver crook, body, bow and bell
  • Awo37PG - same as Awo37, but pink gold plated
  • Awo37GP - same as Awo37, but gold plated

The permutations are increased by the fact that it is possible to buy a solid brass, silver, or bronze neck from Yanagisawa and fit it to any of the nine instruments listed above e.g. adding a solid silver neck to the Awo10 or Awo20, or a phosphor bronze neck to the Awo10, Awo33J or Awo37 etc.

Professional saxophonists performing on Yanagisawa instruments include Gary Bartz, Jay Beckenstein, Plas Johnson, Ed Wynne, Steve Slagle, Peter King, Vincent Herring, Snake Davis and Antonio Hart.

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