Friday, June 8, 2012

Yamaha YTS-23 Saxophone Reviewed

In the past I've only reviewed upper end model saxophones here, but with students always asking which horn to buy I decided to do a review of something more basic, Yamaha's YTS-23. Yamaha actually offers a large array of different level models, and you can see the full line up laid out nicely here at the Pro Winds Direct site.

The YTS-23 is Yamaha's most basic offering in a saxophone and is meant for the beginning to intermediate player. However, that doesn't mean it isn't a serious horn. The sound and feel of blowing through the horn, especially with a proper setup, outshines some of the common competitors. Though the sound isn't as full as most pro level horns, it is  balanced nicely between highs and lows. The level of resistance is at a very comfortable level and was surprisingly even throughout the horn even throughout the altissimo register. The altissimo register of the horn that I played was actually really great.

The keywork is comfortable, though I do have a slight problem with the octave key. The octave key juts out past the thumb rest directly below the octave key. My preference is to have the octave key and thumb rest even, but this is something that could actually be more efficient if you got used to it. The intonation is also solid and easy to adjust too, no big surprises there.

Overall, the horn is solid, and I would definitely recommend it for the beginning player. I think a more developed player will want a horn with a little more depth/punch to the sound.

Here is a clip of me play testing the horn: Ben Plays Yamaha YTS 23.mp3

Conclusion: A solid horn for beginner and intermediate players. More developed players might find it slightly thin sounding or find the octave mechanism less comfortable than the average setup.


  1. Is the mouthpiece you used here the stock piece that came with the horn. If not, can you say what mouthpiece you used?

    1. I recorded this on a Florida era (1960s) Super Tone Master Otto Link, 7*, probably with a Rico Jazz Select reed.

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