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Buffet Crampon 100 Series Bb Tenor Saxophone

My son started playing saxophone last year, so we went along with the school program and rented an instrument from the recommended store. It's a Buffet Crampon 100 Series Bb Tenor Saxophone. I feel like we are overpaying for this saxophone and would prefer to purchase one. What are some good student brand / models?



Old King Log
Staff member
As with motor bikes, it is hard to go wrong with a Yamaha. Solid piece of equipment, reasonably well in tune right off the bat, not fragile (good for kids) and good resale potential.

YTS-something is the model number. If your son was into baritone, I'd say a YBS-52 or whatever the intermediate model is. It's not that much of a stretch beyond the entry level horn, and it would last him throughout his primary and secondary education.

And, if he plans to move past secondary school, it is wise to pick him up a decent intermediate clarinet. Playing for fun is one thing, but playing with a group often calls for clarinet (for a tenor player; flute is also a possibility). Again, an inexpensive intermediate horn is all that you need.

And, at a minimum, he needs to read music in all keys. That's a skill that will develop over time, but the sooner that he has the basic scales and interval studies under his belt, the better.


Staff member
Entry level Yamaha tenor (assuming US) would be the YTS 23. The intermediate model would be a YTS-475 (replaced the 52). The pro models are the 62III, the 82Z and the 875. You can often pick up an older used YTS-62 (or 61) for less than the price of a new 475. Factor in a couple hundred dollars work to bring it up to snuff, and you have a nice pro level horn for the price of an intermediate.

If not in the US, the model numbers are different. IIRC, the student model is a YTS-275, and the intermediate is a YTS 32.

Edit: Looks like the new student model is now th YTS-26 ($2,574 at Musicians Friend). The intermediate model is now the YTS-480 ($2,749). That's not much difference, and you could get this beauty for $2,850:
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Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Before even starting, just check with the school. Some schools require you to have a specific make/model instrument. You can challenge it, if you get a better horn than they require, but some schools are, well, stupid when it comes to this.


First, even though he's the 'site sponsor, he generally has good horns at good prices. So these numbers are from Quinn the Eskimo. If you end up buying from him, mention my name so I can get a discount. Call or e-mail him. He probably has more stuff he hasn't listed on eBay yet.

* New Yamaha 480: $2749 (intermediate-class, from WWBW)
* New Yamaha 62III: $3275 (introductory pro-class, from Quinn)

Second, if you're looking for a new horn, you might also look at the Yanagisawa 901. They're only $3099 and are also introductory pro-class. Feature-wise, it compares very favorably to the YAS-62III. Maybe even a bit better.

Third, I don't see any compelling reason to buy any horn new. I wrote a rather long article on my blog, where I recommend older pro horns that you can get under $1000 (for alto; say, under $1500 on tenor).

And then there's eBay:

* The YTS-62 that saxhound links to, above, is all of $100 more than a new YTS-480 and it's overhauled by a good store. It's arguably not as shiny, but you can't play the shiny.
* Quinn's got a Yamaha YTS-875EX -- that's a top-of-the-line custom, pro model -- currently selling at $675. It's not new, but it looks perfect. You could easily get lucky on this horn and get it for under $2000. Not a lot of folks are looking for these, but the 82Z.
* Quinn's got a nice looking, late model King Marigaux (a stencil from SML) that's all of $2080. Again, a very good pro horn less than a new intermediate horn.
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