Product Type: Yanagisawa Wind Instrument
Newest Review: ... mellow quality to them. My one minor gripe with the saxophone is the weight. Yanagisawas seem to always be a little on the heavy s... more
Worth its weight in bronze
Member Name: Kaizen
Advantages: Everything, the tone is superb and the engineering is wonderful
Disadvantages: A little on the heavy side
As with the A991, the T992 comes with the standard Yanagisawa case which is absolutely fantastic. It's nice to see that they have put an extra clip on it as well from the alto version, to ensure it stays firmly shut at all times. The case itself is also fairly light, which is a boon considering the weight of this tenor. The standard mouthpiece is again, nothing fancy, but plays really well and is very versatile.
I don't know how they managed to do it, but the action on this sax is phenomenal, making my alto feel sticky and slow in comparison. The keys have such minimal resistance to them that is ridiculously easy to play quick, flowing passages and even the side keys, which can be awkward on many saxophones, are quick and responsive. Apart from the wonderful sound, this is definitely a good reason to buy this saxophone, as even with hours of careful adjustment, I doubt other saxes could manage quite what Yani have here.
There is some debate within the saxophone community as to how much difference the material of the saxophone really makes asides from the obvious aesthetic differences. The T992 is solid phosphor bronze, as opposed to the T991 which is brass. Having played both, the differences are possibly too minor to justify the extra few hundred pounds for the bronze finish. I found the bottom register far more powerful on the 992 and the sax has a darker, richer sound all over. The keywork also felt a little better but that is most likely down to the set up of the saxes that I tried. It was subtle, but the richer, warmer sound of the 992 was what sold it over the 991 in the end. However, I really would recommend trying the two side by side (and if you're feeling flashy, the silver and pink gold models as well) to see which one suits your personal playing style.
There are a few minor improvements on the 992 as well, such as double arm keys on the low B and C for a bit of added strength. This probably won't make a huge difference to you, unless you're in the habit of bending your keys. I also think the bronze finish makes the saxophone look absolutely magnificent and definitely helps make it stand out from rows of boring, brass saxes.
Another highlight of this sax is how free blowing it is. This makes it absolutely effortless to play and means you can play for hours and your jaw will survive. It did take a little bit of time to adjust to this and stop overblowing all the time, in particular I had a little trouble getting used to the top F and F sharp, but your patience will be well rewarded as the sax is wonderfully in tune throughout the register and sounds great at all points. Even the top notes, which I often find found too piercing and cutting on many saxophones, have a smooth, mellow quality to them.
My one minor gripe with the saxophone is the weight. Yanagisawas seem to always be a little on the heavy side compared to their counterparts, which isn't such an issue for the smaller saxes in the family but the tenor does start to make my neck ache. Using a harness would probably be a good solution or a better sling. You do get used to it though and I'd imagine for most players it really won't be an issue.
Whether this is really worth the extra bit of money to the T991 is entirely up for debate but the sax really does ooze Yanagisawa quality all over. Another nice thing about this range of saxes, is that all the crooks are entirely interchangeable so if it isn't quite the sound you want, you can try it with another crook. I've heard a lot of good things about the solid silver ones in particular on these saxes. It really is entirely worth its price.
Summary: People are saying that Yanagisawa are the Selmer for very good reason and this saxophone shows why