Antigua Winds
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  1. #1
    Glenn P's Avatar
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    Default S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    Hi Folks - I wanted to make sure it wasn't a dream I have been playing an Antigua 586 for about 3 years and while it is a good copy, I just have not been completely happy. It needs regulation often to stay somewhere close to in tune, it is unusually bright, and simply comes up short in my opinion. In my quest for a different horn (different meaning better quality and warmer sound), I had only been able to put my hands on 3 different horns to try. First, an older Yani curved sop - which while the quality was present, the playability top to bottom was amazing, having a bell blow my head off when pushed was not for me. I then tried a P Mauriat system 76 - while the fit and finish was impeccable, it too was bright, though they are touted as the warmest darkest on the planet.

    Then . . . . I picked up an S901 and it simply blew me away. Ergonomics were awesome, finish was unmatched, and the tone!!! Did I mention the tone? In the guitar world it is the difference between a Takamine and a the real deal, the Martin! In the car world, the difference between a Chevy and a Cadillac. You get my point.

    Now, my question for you folks who are seasoned Yanagisawa owners and supporters. Is there really enough difference between the 901 and the 902to warrant the price difference? Or, the 901 and the 981 0r 991? I have always used the curved neck on my 586 because it seems warmer, but on the 901 with the same setup, I feel that it was as warm as anything I have ever played. Did I mention the tone? Anyway - I am a believer! Just wanting to settle on a decision and start saving my pennies.

    Glenn

  2. #2
    Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contributor 2010 EZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    It has been a number of years, but one time I went to WWBW and tried a number of sopranos including the 991 and 992 - prepared to purchase one if I was impressed enough. I brought my Vito/Yani along - which I LOVED - for comparison. I don't recall trying any Selmers. After comparing my horn to the other Yanis (and a couple JK SX90's), I walked out with the horn I walked in with. My older Yani played warmer and fuller with intonation just as good as the modern models.

    I play a later S6 now and rarely feel so much as a temptation to try another soprano. The last time I did that, it was a Couf Superba and it just wasn't my thing (as much as I have enjoyed playing JK altos and tenors).

    In short, if you like the 901, don't waste too much time wondering. Enjoy what you have and if you have the chance to try something else, cool! If not, don't worry - be happy.

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor 2013-Present diesel11679's Avatar
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    Well, I own recent model Antigua 4290LQ (aka 590LQ) and I just recently went ahead and purchased a Yanagisawa S901.

    The Antigua is a great horn for the price. I've gotten compliments on my tone using it, I've gigged with it. It plays in tune fairly well for a soprano. I think it's a very good replica, however, it's just not the same as the real Yanagisawa. The feel isn't the same, the tone isn't quite the same, the quality of construction isn't the same.

    Is the Yanagisawa worth the extra money? Depends on your situation and your goals...for me I believe it was worth it.
    TENOR: Couf Superba 1 (1986), PMS Handmade Guardala MB
    ALTO: Selmer Paris Super Action 80 (1985), Phil-Tone Rift
    SOPRANO: Yanagisawa S6 (1977), SopranoPlanet Axieme
    MIC: AMT WI5IIC EFFECTS: TC Helicon VoiceLive 3
    INTERFACE: RME Babyface IEMS: 1964Ears V6


    “You can't speak Music with notes alone, but you can speak Music without notes at all!" Victor L. Wooten

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor 2013-Present diesel11679's Avatar
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    As far as the 901 vs 902 sopranos....I believe theoretically the material will change the tone. In reality, I don't think the difference is significant enough to warrant the price difference between the 901 and 902.

    Best thing to do is test play both the brass and bronze versions to see what you like best. But keep in mind, a 901 can still sound warm using the right setup, just like a 902 can sound bright using the right setup.
    TENOR: Couf Superba 1 (1986), PMS Handmade Guardala MB
    ALTO: Selmer Paris Super Action 80 (1985), Phil-Tone Rift
    SOPRANO: Yanagisawa S6 (1977), SopranoPlanet Axieme
    MIC: AMT WI5IIC EFFECTS: TC Helicon VoiceLive 3
    INTERFACE: RME Babyface IEMS: 1964Ears V6


    “You can't speak Music with notes alone, but you can speak Music without notes at all!" Victor L. Wooten

  5. #5
    Saxplayer1's Avatar
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    Having been a soprano player for 35 years, I can tell you the Yani's are the best made and the 901 soprano from my experience is the finest one-piece soprano made, perhaps the finest soprano made today, period. The sound difference between the 902 and 901 is minimal, the 901 to my ear being slightly richer and more vibrant sounding. I selected my first Yani S-6 in 1977 over a MK VI and played it to death for 20+ years. I've owned 62R's, 62's, Series III, VI, 875 and several others which I've owned, brought and sold and recently went back from a S991 to a S901 one-piece straight neck design. Incredible horn. Can't go wrong with any Yani soprano. When it comes to sopranos, Yani leads the pack.

  6. #6

    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    Saxplayer 1------I totally agree! My first soprano was a 1923 Buescher TrueTone. It had beautiful tone but the old (i mean really old) style keywork took alot of getting used to and the intonation wasn't the greatest. I played it for many years and even recorded with it but it was a tough horn to tame. Fast Forward. Seven years ago I traded the Buescher in at Tenor Madness and Randy ordered me a brand new S901. With the TM set up that Randy does on all new horns, that horn has played perfectly for over 7 years now. I had Randy adjust it for the first time about a year ago when I came to his shop to buy (guess what) a 901 alto. The 901 plays just as good as the day I bought it. The ease of play and intonation are suberb. It spanks everything in its price range and a lot of others I tried that are much more expensive.
    I've put a lot of mileage on this horn and it still plays like new, all the way down to a low bflat triple pianissimo. I use a Metalite M5 with Rico Royal 2 1/2 reeds. She sounds full, rich, and beautiful - never screechy or nasally like some sopranos I've tried. It's true, you can't go wrong with this horn. As far as being considered an intermediate model is concerned; if this is an intermediate horn then so is a Super Action 80. With the S901 you definetly get the most bang for the buck.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    +1 for the S901 I own and love it.I just started playing Sop a couple years ago & my first Sop was a armstrong made by Couf stencil.It was a nice horn but the Yani is the right horn for me.I would sure like to try one of the 9930 solid silver one though.

  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2009 monkmydear's Avatar
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    Only played my SC901 and love it. The best sounding and easiest soprano I've tried.
    I tried a T901 a T902 and a T991 side by side and I was much more comfortable with the sound of the T901 it was more focused but less powerful than my JK. I was tempted to switch. The 901 serie is far from a student / intermediate horn IMHO.
    Tenor: Keilwerth 75th Anniversary 10MFan Robusto 7*
    Soprano: Yanagisawa SC901 SOPRANOPLANET Open Sky .080

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012 dexdex's Avatar
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    You won't need to convince me neither, as a Yanagisawa sop aficionado for years. What I don't get is the difference between a Chevy and a Cadillac !? Isn't it just the age (and wallet) of the driver ?
    Sop Yana SC880 - Vandoren V16 S6 - Fiberreed Carbon Classic MH ¦ Alto SA-II - Meyer 7M - Fiberreed Carbon M
    Tenor MkVII - Link STM 8* - Fiberreed Carbon M ¦ Bari SA-II - JJ ESP 7* - Fiberreed Carbon M
    Hear them on The Groove Merchant.

  10. #10
    Glenn P's Avatar
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    Default Re: S901 - First Impression, Looking no further

    Wow - I knew I wasn't wrong with my assessment, but I wouldn't have believed that I was so dead on!!! The shop that I had the privilege to test play the S901 clearly stated that every person that has had the chance to test play the S901 has stated that it is the finest soprano that they have ever played, regardless of brands previously played. To include the owner of the shop, who has played Selmer all of his professional career.

    Thanks for all the comments! Now to start saving some pennies

    Glenn

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