Yanagisawa: 90x, 981, & 99x Series

901 Series

Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer SN901 - Straight Eb Sopranino - from www.rakuten.co.jp/windbros  Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer SC901 - Curved Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp  Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer SC901 - Curved Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp
2008 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer S-901 - Straight Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp  2008 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer S-901 - Straight Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp  2005 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer A-901 - Eb Alto - from SoundFuga.jp
2005 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer A-901 - Eb Alto - from SoundFuga.jp  Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer T-901 - Bb Tenor - from SoundFuga.jp  Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer T-901 - Bb Tenor - from SoundFuga.jp
2002 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer B-901 - Eb Baritone (low A) - from SoundFuga.jp  2002 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer B-901 - Eb Baritone (low A) - from SoundFuga.jp
Left to right, from top: SN-901 Eb Sopranino, SC-901 curved Bb soprano, S-901 straight Bb soprano, A-901 Eb alto, T-901 Bb Tenor, B-901 Eb Baritone (low A).
All except sopranino from SoundFuga.jp.  Sopranino from www.rakuten.co.jp/windbros.

 

981 Series (Eb sopranino and Bb soprano)

2011 Yanagisawa - Yani - Black Lacquer SN-981 - Eb Soprano - from CodaMusic.ru  2011 Yanagisawa - Yani - Black Lacquer SN-981 - Eb Soprano - from CodaMusic.ru  2000 Yanagisawa - Yani - Black Lacquer S-981 - Bb Soprano  2000 Yanagisawa - Yani - Black Lacquer S-981 - Bb Soprano

 

991 Series

2008 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer SC-991 - Curved Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp  2008 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer SC-991 - Curved Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp  2005 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer S-991 - Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp
2005 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer S-991 - Bb Soprano - from SoundFuga.jp  2014 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer A-991 - Eb Alto - from SoundFuga.jp  2014 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer A-991 - Eb Alto - from SoundFuga.jp
2008 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer T-991 - Bb Tenor - from SoundFuga.jp  2008 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer T-991 - Bb Tenor - from SoundFuga.jp

2016 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer B-991 - Eb Baritone - from www.plander.com.br  2016 Yanagisawa - Yani - Lacquer B-991 - Eb Baritone - from www.plander.com.br

Left to right, from top: SC-991 curved Bb soprano, S-991 straight Bb soprano, A-991 Eb alto, T-991 Bb Tenor, B-991 Eb Baritone (low A).
All except bari from SoundFuga.jp.  Baritone from www.plander.com.br.
Header image: S-992 in Pink Gold Plate, from Ishibashi Musical Instruments.

Model Introduced Material Available Pitches Available Finishes
901 1997 Japanese brass Eb Sopranino (only available in some markets)
Curved Bb Soprano
(discontinued between 2008 and 2011)
Straight Bb Soprano

Eb Alto

Bb Tenor

Eb Baritone (Low A)
Unlacquered (SS, A, T)
Lacquered Brass
Black Lacquer (CS, SS, A, T)
Velour Gold Lacquer (A, T; introduced in 2000)
Silver Plate
Silver Plate, Gold Keywork (B901S-GK)
901 Special
(only in some markets)
1998 Japanese brass Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Lacquered Brass
w/Plastic Thumbrests
901 Limited 2000
(only in some markets)
2000 Japanese brass Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Lacquered Brass
w/Copper (possibly pink gold) thumbrests
901 Limited 2001
(only in some markets)
2001 Japanese brass Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Lacquered Brass
w/Copper (possibly pink gold) thumbrests
901II (2002) 2002 Japanese brass Straight Bb Soprano
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Lacquered Brass
Black Lacquer
Silver Plate
902 Bronze Between
1999 and 2003
Bronze Curved Bb Soprano (discontinued between 2008 and 2011)
Straight Bb Soprano
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Lacquered Brass
Silver Plate
9030 Silversonic Model 1997? Sterling silver Straight Bb Soprano Clear Lacquer
Gold Plate
Pink Gold Plate
981
(only in some markets)
1997 Japanese brass Straight Eb Sopranino
“Bent Neck” Bb Soprano (GetASax.com)
Lacquered Brass
Black Lacquer
Silver Plate
991 1997, for all but CS
2004, for CS
“French” brass Curved Bb Soprano
Straight Bb Soprano

Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Eb Baritone (low A)
Unlacquered (SS, A, T)
Lacquered Brass
Black Lacquer (A, T)
Silver Plate
Gold Plate
992 Bronze 1998 Bronze Curved Bb Soprano
Straight Bb Soprano
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Eb Baritone (low A)
Lacquered Brass
Silver Plate
Gold Plate (2000)
Pink Gold Plate (2001)
Finishes available for all pitches, except bari: lacquered brass only.
9914 Prototype 2006 14K Solid Gold Eb Alto 14K Solid Gold
9930 1997? Sterling silver neck and body.
Brass bow and bell (curved soprano, alto, and tenor).
Eb Sopranino
Curved Bb Soprano
Straight Bb Soprano (altissimo G)
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Clear-Lacquer Finish
Gold Plate
Pink Gold Plate
9930 BSB 2000 Neck, upper bow, and body: sterling silver.
Lower bow and bell: bronze w/ silver-plated finish.
Eb Baritone (low A) Clear-Lacquer Finish
Floor rest included
9930 BSB/Z Limited
Zen-On 80th Anniversary Model.
Only 60 Made.
2004 Neck, bow, and body are sterling silver.
Bell is bronze with silver plate.
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Clear-Lacquer Finish
9932 2000 Sterling silver neck and body.
Bronze bow and bell.
Eb Alto (KesslerMusic.com)
Bb Tenor (KesslerMusic.com)
Clear-Lacquer Finish
Gold Plate
Pink Gold Plate
9932Z
Peter King Limited edition.
Only 50 made.
2001 Sterling neck and bell; bronze body;
gold plated bell interior. Additional engraving.
Eb Alto Clear-Lacquer Finish
9932J
The non-“limited” version of the 9932Z.
2002 Sterling neck and bell; bronze body.
Gold plating in the bell has been replaced with additional engraving.
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Clear-Lacquer Finish
9933 1997? Sterling silver bell.
Brass body tube and bow.
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Two versions: Sterling silver neck and gold-plated brass neck.
This latter version is more common.
9935 1997? Sterling silver neck, body, and bow.
Lacquered brass bow.
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Clear-Lacquer Finish
9937 1999/2000 Sterling silver Curved Bb Soprano (2008)
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Clear Lacquer
Gold Plate
Pink gold plate (2002)

Catalogs

2007 Catalog (TheSax.info)
2014 SN-901 Sopranino (TheSax.info)
2013 901 Catalog (Yanagisawa.co.jp)
2013 Online Catalog (Yanagisawa.co.jp, thru Archive.org)


Model Notes

[The 901 and 991] went through the most major of any upgrade on any manufactured saxophone today. A complete re-tooling was carried out to facilitate the re-positioning of the tone holes and taper for the ultimate in pitch and action.

When talking to anybody from the Yanagisawa Company as to what they think is the most important priority in a saxophone, the answer is always “The sound”. When you talk to most saxophonists and you ask them the same question the answer again is “The sound”. So many musicians play on very old saxophones because they have “that sound”. Unfortunately, many musicians have to compensate for the inadequacies of the tuning and older actions of these saxophones in order to get “that sound”. That is the sound that we love to hear on some of our favourite albums. (Barnes & Mullins Archive.org Article.)

The last 900μ and 990μ altos and tenors I have pics of are from 1997 and the earliest 901/991 horns are from 1997/8.  Most other sources say that the 901, 991 and 992 were released together in 1995, e.g. MyMusicTalkSax, which does mesh with the introduction of the 901BL horns.  Considering that the 902/992 would logically be released after the horns they’re modeled on, I think 1995 is an incorrect date.

There are so many theories as to why brass today should be so different to brass of yesterday, but really no one knows. Not accepting the general consensus that it could not be done, Yanagisawa began experimenting with different metals and alloys to achieve a sound close to the sound of the older saxophones. Having narrowed the field down to bronze, they built prototypes with different grades of bronze before deciding on which one would be the most acceptable sound. This was the birth of the -992 series. The -992 series, with its comfortable fast action, precision tuning and “that sound”, was launched in November 1998 (Barnes & Mullins Archive.org Article.)


In the Year 2000 …

[In 2000, t]he range was supplemented with the 902 series. The S-902 Bronze Soprano was introduced as the first bronze version of the intermediate 901 series. Alto, Tenor and Baritone followed in 2001. the dark sound coupled with fast, easy response have made these saxophones the choice of many advanced players. (From The RiojaSax Blog.)

A newly-designed bronze thumbhook and thumbrest were also introduced in 2000. This “innovation” is literally translated as “The Wizard of Sam” or as “Samfukku,” on some Japanese to English websites. Just in case you see the phrase again. The idea behind this is to increase resonance.

The B-9930 BSB was released in 2000, as well.  This is a clear-lacquer & silver-plated finish. The neck, upper bow, and body are sterling silver with a clear lacquer finish. The lower bow and bell are bronze, with a silver plated finish. It even has a floor peg.

There have been a couple of 9930 BSB-Z limited horns available, as well. I’ve seen the alto and tenor variants.

In 2000 and 2001, Yani released a few 901 Limited models.  The only difference that I can see between these and normal 901s are copper (arguably, it could be pink gold) thumb rests.

Finally, Yanagisawa launched the bronze-bodied, gold plated 992gp series horns in 2000.


Serial Number Information

For the majority of horns, you’ll see a serial number starting with “00” that does not have an embedded date.
Check out my thread on the Woodwind Forum for these serial numbers and some odd ones that I’ve found.


Additional Pictures

My Galleries

901901 Special901II902981991,
903099309932J99339937

Offsite

A-9933 solid silver bell and neck
A-9932Z Peter King solid silver bell and neck
T-9937 sterling silver
A-991 silver plate from Howarth of London @ flickr
A-901 lacquer from Howarth of London @ flickr
Black lacquer A-901 from woodleywonderworks @ flickr
Lacquer T-901 from rbradley1971 @ flickr
Solid silver SN-9930 from Howarth of London @ flickr
A-991 black lacquer, sn unk from chucksphotos45 @ photobucket
A-9937 sterling silver, sn unk from Charlie Phillips (lilddrkid) @ photobucket
T-9930 sterling silver, sn unk from jodaboda @ SOTW
Solid Silver SN-9930. From http://www.howarth.uk.com.
Lacquer SC-991. From http://www.howarth.uk.com.