YAS-23 Markings, how to tell year it was made [Archive] - Sax on the Web Forum

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05-15-2007, 08:17 PM
Sorry, I had this posted in the beginner section and thought this thread would fit better here:

Well, I've decided to get a used YAS-23 for my son. Been looking on e-bay (I know), and other "used" internet places. When I look for things, it becomes an obsession - learning as much as I can (even though I don't play). I was wondering if anyone can give a brief history, or point to someplace - of the YAS-23. When did it become available (how old can one actually be?)? HOW DO YOU TELL WHAT YEAR IT WAS MADE? Can I tell by the serial number? I've noticed some serial numbers followed by "A." Also noticed some simply say "YAMAHA" on the bell, followed by "Made in Japan." Others have the tuning fork emblem above, others have the emblem to the left, still others have some other writing between the "YAMAHA" and the "Made in Japan."

Here's what I've found so far:

Oldest ones have big 3-tuning-forks in circle emblem on top, with YAMAHA below and JAPAN below that. Serial numbers begin with a zero?

Newest ones have no tuning-fork emblems, have YAMAHA on top, Established in 1857 in the middle and JAPAN on bottom. Serial numbers starting with a 3?

There appear to be two other types of markings: The second to oldest has a smaller emblem in front of the YAMAHA on the same line, followed by JAPAN on the line below. Serial numbers starting with a 1?

The second to newest appears to only say YAMAHA followed by JAPAN on the line below. I've seen serial numbers starting with a 2.

I still don't know when Yamaha replaced the YAS-21 with the 23, think it was early 80's.



05-21-2007, 03:11 PM

YAS-23 replaced the -21 in 1979!

YAS-23 is still the current student model.

Early models (0xxxxx, and many 1xxxxx) had the fixed thumb rest instead of the adjustable one common today. There are no other major differences.

Serial numbers followed by an "A" mean they were sold in the "Americas."

Serial numbers in the "Americas" are in sequecial numerical order, but not every number was necessarily built. In other words, they may skip from 397xxx to 400001 for some internal reason, but a 4xxxxx is always newer than a 3xxxxx.

Models currently shipping are in the upper 4xxxxx (or maybe just breaking into the 5xxxxx) range.

A 38xxxx was checked and found to be sold in March of 2003.

New horns are assembled in China. The very newest horns do not say "Japan" on them like most of the ones out there do.


05-21-2007, 03:57 PM
my yas-23 i have for sale is an early one with a serial number 0707XX A. it has the fixed thumbrest and the tuning fork emblem to the left of YAMAHA with JAPAN below that.awesome player.

11-15-2010, 10:01 PM
Interesting findings on the emblems and first # of the serial # to get a rudimentary age. Mine is one of the oldest out of the 4 groups. I wonder if there are enough people that bought them new that still own them and they can give input on when they bought theirs to maybe find out when the changes occured. This has the most info in the Yamaha section so far, starting from oldest threads here (2003) going through any relevant serial# post or YAS-23 message up to this 2007 thread. I still have 3 years worth of posts to read yet. Hopefully I finish within the hour.

11-15-2010, 10:08 PM
Wow! My thread lives!!

11-15-2010, 10:51 PM
Bill thanks for making this thread. I'm up to 2008 now and still your thread was the most informative with actual info to be a little more specific in finding the age of the YAS-23. Also how did you acquire the info about the 4 different age groups?

I did find another thread that mentioned that Vitos from Japan should have same serial numbers but only adding a 1 to the first number. If that's the case then my YAS-23 would be a 1980 with it's 032xxxA serial.

Here's the thread :Vito Serial Numbers/Country of Origin (http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?41544-Vito-Serial-Numbers-Country-of-Origin...)

Here's is the: Vito Serial # Chart: (http://www.doctorsax.biz/vito_7131rk_ser_no.htm)

11-16-2010, 12:45 PM
....Also how did you acquire the info about the 4 different age groups? ...

I deduced the way the markings and serial numbers worked by comparing pictures of ones for sale (could see marking) and their serial number (usually had to ask for that from seller). As for the 4 groups, I just noticed 4 different markings when looking to buy. Several calls were made to Yamaha to get the numbers tied to sale dates in the ranges.

BTW, my son has been playing that horn I bought 3 years ago since he was 8. You'd think he'd be good by now, but...he isn't. He HATES practicing. He just now got to join the public scrool band (it starts in sixth grade here). He gets to play the beri because he already knew how to play the sax, so that was good. He always wanted to try the beri (wow, your parents were right afterall). Maybe later in life, he will realize "Hey, I know how to read music and play the sax...that's pretty damn cool!" Either way, our two kids are required to play something. Daughter has turned out to be a wonderful flutist. Life is grand.

11-16-2010, 11:58 PM
Great to hear about your kids getting into music young, Bill. Also thanks for your contributions to this cause it's invaluable.

11-29-2010, 08:07 PM

Mine has an adjustable thumb rest, the serial number 0xxxxxxx, and on the bell it has:

[Fork Symbol] YAMAHA

Im confused....

12-03-2010, 09:17 PM
OK, to add some input, I bought mine new in 2003. The serial is 169,xxx. On the bell, there's a small tuning for logo, YAMAHA under that, established in 1887 below that. Also, tuning for logo on the neck. It's got the adjustable thumb rest.

12-18-2010, 09:39 PM
Mine is serial number 014xxxA, with the tuning fork logo to the left of the YAMAHA with Japan under it.