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  1. #1

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    Default Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    Hi SOTW members,

    Some of you will have seen my Yamaha MODEL Number List. As part of this collection of data, I have created an online database for collecting the SERIAL numbers of Yamaha Saxophones.

    Yamaha USA will provide a manufacture date for recent model saxophones if you contact them via

    bandandorchestra@yamaha.com

    but they have very little information regarding older instruments as they state themselves on their Yamaha "Bell and Barrel" website.

    "...Players have been known to say that under no circumstances would they EVER part with their 62 soprano. (That is, until we can come up with something that’s as good, if not better than their YSS-62)

    As close as we can guess there were around 3,000 of these sold in the United States (our records were a bit sketchy in the very early 80?s) both in the lacquer and silver finishes. Unfortunately there are NO serial number records available that can help clarify individual production dates beyond some rough guesses.

    We do know that there was a change in tonehole placement at some point in the production..."
    I'm hoping to collect a large enough sample of instruments to provide a reasonable estimation to the date of manufacture of most of the Yamaha Saxophones. I also hope that this collected data will reveal some inconsistencies in the way Yamaha mark and identify particular models.

    The Yamaha SAXOPHONE Serial Number Database can be found here:

    Saxophone
    Yamaha SAXOPHONE Serial Number Database
    Yamaha SAXOPHONE Serial Number Database - Submission Form


    Cheers
    YamahaCollector

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2015 DetroitDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    I wrote to Yamaha for info about my YAS-23 and they answered right away:
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your message. Your YAS-23 with the serial number 104488 A was manufactured in 1990. For more information about Yamaha saxophones, please visit www.yamaha.com/saxophones.

    Thanks again,
    Elaine Cutting
    Yamaha

    Not Responsible.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    It's gonna be a bit difficult because Yamaha had/has more than one factory making saxophones, and they each have their own system of serial numbers. (but it's still a good idea).
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    I submitted info on my YSS-62 for your database. In case anyone here is interested: Purchased new in 1982 from (I believe.....hey, it's been a LONG time!) Wichita Band. It's the earliest serial # YSS-62 that I've ever seen (2905). Was a purple logo horn with engraving, but I've had the lacquer stripped, so the logo is no longer. It's a great playing soprano and I should play it more, but I think we all know how that goes!

    John

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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    FYI, submitted for my '91 YAS-62

    Good luck with the project.

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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    I submitted my yts-61 a few weeks ago but don't see it on the list yet.
    YTS-21 / Phil-Tone Sapphire 7*

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    Forum Contributor 2012 Mark R's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    Bob, I had inquired about my YTS-61 a while back and was given the reply that they don't have a serial #/date list from that far back and that production on the YTS-61 ended in 1979.
    “What I reach for first when I play is sound. Technique maybe, but there is technique in sound.” –Dewey Redman
    “Hipness isn’t a state of mind; it’s a fact of life.” - Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley
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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    Bob, look at the bottom of the list, the new entries are not being sorted any longer. Based on your location, I'm guessing your horn is #8915.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    I asked about my tenor, and they said that it was originally sold to somone outside the US, so they did not have information on it. They only seem to have info going back ten years too.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-875EX, Morgan 2C, Winslow Lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YAS-875EXS, Rousseau RC4, Winslow Lig, Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Rousseau NC4, Winslow Lig, Hemke 3.5

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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    After seeing this thread and another dealing with the previously unknown to me plant in Grand Rapids, MI, I was astonished to think my daughter's YAS 52 "purple logo" (on semi-permanent loan until I die) was "made" in the US. An "A" suffix a bit to the right of the serial number seemed to denote "America". A call to the number I saw on SOTW, for the American Yamaha guys in Anneheim, 714-522-9011, works if you select a non-listed option of "0" as the long menu curiously doesn't have a Band and Orchestra prompt.

    Getting to a nice, helpful Linda, I gave her the serial number, but turning the horn in poor light I stopped short of the A. She worked on it for a bit, then put me on hold for a long bit, then came back and very unconvincingly told me our horn was made in Japan. When I pressed a little she said I should talk to Jonathan, (ext 9445 btw) where I had to leave a message. Later I left another than I had found the A. No call back for a week.

    Tried again yesterday, and got "Jon" as he answers. Very nice, enthusiastic, and free with his time. He says that the "A" is simply part of the serial number, and DOES NOT denote made in American or anything!! Any letters as a prefix might denote country of origin, especially on modern horns, but not so on the A suffix. There can be, however, an A suffix to the model number (i.e. YTS 23A) but this would only appear on the box, for warehouse purposes, not on the horn. Thus older horns could go out before those made in a now new location.

    He said our horn would be marked "made in Japan" on the body tube below the serial number, as surely any 52 with this low of a number (004902A) would have been made in Japan, and, at the very least the body tube would have been. Of course, ours has no such designation. He told me again where to look, I told him directly below the serial number is the bow seam!!

    Between these two calls I was referred, on a parts matter, to Mark, a higher up in their service organization. When I asked as an aside, about the darned silly "A", he quickly replied that designated assembled in the American plant. When I told Jon that he stated that he would straighten Mark out on that matter! We have seen on this forum that information, true or not, gets woven into our internet fabric of knowledge. I think some (especially younger) employees of these instrument companies may possibly be influenced by this "knowledge"!

    Anyhoooo.... Jon was sure by the serial number that our horn was made before 1989-1990 where, as we have heard before, Yamaha's records devolve into shadows and speculation. His guess was early 80s, my daughter and I deduced that we bought it in about 1988. And, "made in Japan, assembled in Japan, as only student and intermediate models were assembled in Michigan!" " Well, isn't the 52 an intermediate??!!" "Well, way back then the 52 was equivalent to almost all other maker's pro horn at the time, and, we don't field very many questions about the 52". OK---I'm retired and have endless time to spend on geeky details (inquiring minds want to know) but am becoming convinced that NO ONE.......Really......Knows. To invoke my favorite saying developed during thirty year of used car selling--"It is what it is!" You want head spinning, go research sixties Gibson guitars!! Jay

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member Honeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    My YTS 61 which I bought new in 1978 in Arizona has an A after the serial # (the number is on the lower part of the back of the body) . It has a purple logo stamp with Yamaha and Japan under it, surrounded by engraving on the right side of the bell and full engraving on the front and both sides of the bell down to where the bell is connected to the crook of the body.The number is 0121xxA. Japan is not engraved on the horn at all, just indicated by the printed on Purple Logo. I don't recall the salesman ever saying anything about being assembled in America.
    When facing our own mortality, all of a sudden those idols we valued so much are somehow put in a proper perspective and the truly valuable is revealed.
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  12. #12

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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    Yes, Now that I look at my purplish-magenta logo on the horn (post ten above) it has the Yami logo (the three tuning forks), in large print "Yamaha" and underneath, in smaller letters, "Japan", with absolutely no engraving, anywhere. We probably have all seen bell information with the country the home offices of the manufacturer, with a different "made in " country elsewhere, such as the Ida Maria Grassi logo looking identical to that of the original owning company, save for the words "made in", just saying "Italy". The new owners, Proel, will give you the information about its Asian origins stamped on the back! On mine I'm going with Japan and I'm sticking to it. It really only matters if you're selling it, it won't change how it plays or sounds. The "shed"' however, will. I'm going there now.......

  13. #13
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yamaha Saxophone SERIAL Number Database

    Quote Originally Posted by jgreiner View Post
    I submitted info on my YSS-62 for your database. In case anyone here is interested: Purchased new in 1982 from (I believe.....hey, it's been a LONG time!) Wichita Band. It's the earliest serial # YSS-62 that I've ever seen (2905). Was a purple logo horn with engraving, but I've had the lacquer stripped, so the logo is no longer. It's a great playing soprano and I should play it more, but I think we all know how that goes!

    John
    Is it a straight or curved neck?
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
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