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  1. #1
    Fidelio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Las Vegas, NV

    Default S981: Thoughts from the Masters

    There are lots of threads out there about the S991, but I'm curious about the S981. Anybody out there play one? Are we generally satisfied with the experience? I'm looking at buying a Yani soprano in the fall, and I'm trying to do a little research on the 901, the 981, and the 991. I'm sort of sitting on the fence right now, and the 981 seems to be a nice middle ground. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Los Angeles County


    Fidelio: I think the S981 is merely a model previous to the S991, but I could be wrong. The differences between the 981 and the 991 could be something to do with the keying (like no hi-G). Maybe others can chime in here and offer a better answer. I doubt if the pricing is much different, especially if you are looking at used instruments.

    Last Tuesday I tried a new S901 at Kessler's in Las Vegas and was very impressed with it. I own an S992 and an SC902, both are very nice horns. I like the fixed-neck idea, but most new sops come with dual necks. That doesn't matter as much to me as how the horn plays regardless of the neck. If you can find a good playing S901, that would probably be the cheapest among the ones you listed. DAVE

  3. #3


    Actually, the S981 is the Sopranino. Eb, one octave above an alto. If you you looking for a soprano, the most recent models are the 901 and 991. I think the older model was the 880?

    In any event, you may wish to do some searching among the older threads in the soprano and yanagisawa areas, you may find that an older model may suit your needs too....

    Good luck (and the 981 is a hoot to play, but I don't know if the neighbor's dog likes it so much !)

  4. #4


    I believe there is a Soprano 98(?) from Yanigisawa. I thought it was 981, but perhaps you are right, JMac. From what I remember, it is the same exact horn without the g key and a couple of other minor things I can't recall. I've never actually seen one of these though.

    Edit: Yes, there is a Soprano 981. The nino is SN 981. USA horn lists the S981 here:

  5. #5


    Ooops! Sorry about the misinformation.... Thanks for clearing that up odsum25. They sure do use a confusing numbering system. Anyhow, looks like it would be a good deal. Gets you the modern pinky cluster with no high G.

    I know when I purchased my soprano I chose to go with one keyed to F# to save some bucks.

  6. #6


    The S981 is the same as the S991 but without the high G key. It is also slightly cheaper. As far as I know, they still make it. I used to learn with a great player who worked at one of the largest dealers of saxophones, he could get anything he wanted at a discount and chose that model. Gilad Atzmon plays one IIRC. Possibly, its like the people who prefer horns without high F# keys, maybe they feel it sounds better? And a high G is easy enough on a sop without that key anyway.

  7. #7


    S981 does not have the full ribbing like a S991, therefore the S981 is lighter than the S991.
    I bought mine at Washington Music Center in Wheaton, MD.

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