Yamaha YS62 (1974)

The Story

Lizzie was a keen clarinettist, playing a Conn metal instrument and a fine Buffet. She decided to take up the saxophone and I was keen she used something modern and good. We bought this from allegro in Oxford. It was already some 20 years old, but had not been played much and still looks shiny and pristine.

The Instrument

Yamaha makes a number of different models from student through to professional. This comes from the 80 range – near the very top. It is very well made and has all the keywork you would expect from a top notch horn. It has good etching and a strong dark gold lacquer.

The Player

I’ve played this myself a few times when my Mark VI was at the doctors. It has a different feel, with a smoother, clearer tone across the range. I speculate that Yamahas play slightly sharper at the top end than Selmers. Perhaps someone who has tested these scientifically (as I believe Hawks shop in London did) could confirm. The action is very balanced, although there is perhaps less play than on a Selmer. The tone is warm and full, but again perhaps a bit less expansive than classic vintage instruments.


  • Make – Yamaha
  • Model – YS62
  • Serial Number – 064076
  • Date of Manufacture – 1974
  • Place of Manufacture – Japan
  • Finish – Gold lacquer
  • Weight – 5lb 5oz
  • Sound – Warm, but not expansive
  • Ease of Blowing – Easy but full
  • Ease of Fingering – Balanced and simple

More on Yamaha saxophone history can be found on Steve Goodson’s Saxgourmet site. Do you play a Yamaha alto? Please let us know how you would compare it with American or European instruments by commenting on this post.

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