What are your opinions on Custom EX's

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  1. #1
    cnjenga's Avatar
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    Default What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    I currently play on a Custom EX (Series I) but when I purchased it I did not have many options to try out. If I remember correctly I tried out a Yamaha Custom Z (Series II), a Yamaha 62 (Series III), and a Yamaha 475 along with my EX of course. I wasn't impressed with the custom Z I thought that specific horn was pretty muffled, I've never liked any 62's Besides for one that my friend owns which is amazing, and a 475 was pretty much just a 23 with a high F# key. Anyway, I'm curious towards what most people who own a custom EX or have any knowledge of them think of them compared to other horns that they have owned or tried.

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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    I play a YAS-875Ex, and it is a great horn. I bought it mainly because it allows me to play softly in the very bottom notes if I want to. Otherwise, it is in tune from the very bottom to the top.

    I usually play it with a Vandoren Optimum AL3 or AL5 since I prefer a clean sound.
    Soprano: Yanagisawa SC9930. Alto:Yamaha YAS-875EX, YAS-62. Tenor: Yamaha YTS-82z. Baritone: Yamaha YBS-62.
    Mouthpieces: Vandoren(SAT), Phil-Tone(A), JodyJazz(AB), SopranoPlanet(S).

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    Distinguished SOTW Member artstove's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    There is nothing inherently wrong with Yamaha horns. So if you like it, it is a good horn. You tried it against other horns, so you have already done some comparison. If you want more comparison/context, try other horns to see if they are better for YOU. It doesn't really matter what any of us on here think about it. The main exception to that is if there is something specific you don't like about it, people on here might be able to provide some guidance as to other horns that are different in that specific area.

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    Homely Saxman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    I'll play any sax I can get my hands on, but I can't imagine playing any other alto than my Custom EX. The tone is astounding, the keywork is astounding, the build quality is astounding; it's a perfect horn as far as I'm concerned. The Custom Zs and 62s I've tried didn't impress me nearly as much. Of course, everyone has their own opinions, but it is a very well made horn that will serve you well and last a long time regardless of what you want in a sax.
    Last edited by Homely Saxman; 02-21-2017 at 11:00 PM.
    Alto: Yamaha Custom 875-EX; Vandoren Al3, Vandoren Blue Box 3.5; Lebayle AT 7, Rigotti Gold 3M
    Tenor: Selmer Mark VII; Rousseau Classic 4R, Vandoren Blue Box 4; 10mfan Robusto 7**, Rigotti Gold 3M
    I write music sometimes

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    cnjenga's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Quote Originally Posted by artstove View Post
    There is nothing inherently wrong with Yamaha horns. So if you like it, it is a good horn. You tried it against other horns, so you have already done some comparison. If you want more comparison/context, try other horns to see if they are better for YOU. It doesn't really matter what any of us on here think about it. The main exception to that is if there is something specific you don't like about it, people on here might be able to provide some guidance as to other horns that are different in that specific area.
    I was just wondering what other people think of the horn itself, not if I picked the right horn.

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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    I think they can be nice, especially for classical playing. For me they are too heavy and don't make the best jazz horns, but others may feel differently.
    1936 Conn 10M tenor, 1941 Buescher "Big B" alto, 1917 Conn curved soprano

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Quote Originally Posted by dctwells View Post
    I think they can be nice, especially for classical playing. For me they are too heavy and don't make the best jazz horns, but others may feel differently.
    I'd heard that generalization as well. But coming from a non-classical player who has subjectively despised Yamaha horns for decades, a silver plated EX tenor I tired at a Symposium a few years back was the only Yamaha horn I did not detest. I would play jazz, rock or whatever with it without reservation.

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    nvilletele's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    I have heard a lot of criticisms (valid or otherwise, and I wouldn't really know which) about one brand of horn or another, but never heard of any called out as being despicable. I get you don't like Yamahas but I can only imagine what sort of evil some Yamaha horn may have done to you in the past to be worthy of being despised.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Tongue, meet cheek...

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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Grumps, you would really detest my horn, because it's SO basic Yamaha, it's not funny!
    Strive to be better than the day before.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrellMass View Post
    Grumps, you would really detest my horn, because it's SO basic Yamaha, it's not funny!
    You know that time I tried out that EX tenor was very traumatic for me, not detesting it and all.

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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    I play Yamaha 875EX for all of my main horns. I like them because I can pick up and play them, don't have to work too hard at intonation, and I know them inside and out. It's also a nice bonus that almost any tech can fix them.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-875EX, Selmer Soloist C**, Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YAS-875EXS, Rousseau RC4 (refaced by Brian Powell), Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Rousseau NC4, Ishimori lig, Hemke 3.5
    Kessler Solist Bari, Rousseau NC4, BG Tradition lig, Hemke 3.5

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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Not only that, but the build quality is outstanding on the Yamahahaha's, so is the ergonomics, it's the best key action out of any horn out there, they are extremely easy to play on, altissimo is very easy, and mine sure was purdy, when I had it...a silver Custom Z tenor that I had for 10 1/2 yrs, I never really liked the sound on it, but it was sooo easy to play on, the intonation I didn't have to work hard at, but was always bored playing on it.

    It had all this going on for it, but the sound wasn't happening!...Every tech I've been to out here in my hometown, LA, say exactly the same thing, that they are sterile sounding, that they have no character, blah, blah, blah...I'm playing now on a King Super 20 alto and King Super 20 tenor, (with a bn Keilwerth SX90R tenor as back-up)...my King's are totally the opposite of Yamaha's, hahaha...full, rich sounding with oodles of character, they are very big sounding, resonant horns!

    The Kings are not as easy to play on, key action wise, but it's the sound, man...the sound!...People that play on Super 20's know what I'm a talkin' about! I should have switched a long time ago, but the Yamaha was sooo easy to play on, and I really didn't care about the sound at the time!

    I have a Yamaha motorcycle that I like, and I bought a new Yamaha Montage keyboard that I like as well, but give me another Yamahahaha saxophone, and I'm going to throw it right back at u!

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    Saxmantrader's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Well cnjenga, if you ever wanna sell that EX, hook me up man!!
    I personally love the EX model and I love the sound I was able to get out of it with various Links and Vandoren V2t6 mouthpiece I own

    And if anyone is interested in a Mint H Couf Superba tenor for trade for you Yamaha, Shoot me a quick hello haha

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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Quote Originally Posted by HeyJoe View Post
    Not only that, but the build quality is outstanding on the Yamahahaha's, so is the ergonomics, it's the best key action out of any horn out there, they are extremely easy to play on, altissimo is very easy, and mine sure was purdy, when I had it...a silver Custom Z tenor that I had for 10 1/2 yrs, I never really liked the sound on it, but it was sooo easy to play on, the intonation I didn't have to work hard at, but was always bored playing on it.

    It had all this going on for it, but the sound wasn't happening!...Every tech I've been to out here in my hometown, LA, say exactly the same thing, that they are sterile sounding, that they have no character, blah, blah, blah...I'm playing now on a King Super 20 alto and King Super 20 tenor, (with a bn Keilwerth SX90R tenor as back-up)...my King's are totally the opposite of Yamaha's, hahaha...full, rich sounding with oodles of character, they are very big sounding, resonant horns!

    The Kings are not as easy to play on, key action wise, but it's the sound, man...the sound!...People that play on Super 20's know what I'm a talkin' about! I should have switched a long time ago, but the Yamaha was sooo easy to play on, and I really didn't care about the sound at the time!

    I have a Yamaha motorcycle that I like, and I bought a new Yamaha Montage keyboard that I like as well, but give me another Yamahahaha saxophone, and I'm going to throw it right back at u!
    This is why we have different strokes for different folks. I HATE Kings. They have some of the worst intonation of any horn and I can't deal with the ergonomics. I can fix the sound of a horn by using different mouthpieces, throat positions, voicings, etc. I can't fix the mechanics on a horn though.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-875EX, Selmer Soloist C**, Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YAS-875EXS, Rousseau RC4 (refaced by Brian Powell), Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Rousseau NC4, Ishimori lig, Hemke 3.5
    Kessler Solist Bari, Rousseau NC4, BG Tradition lig, Hemke 3.5

  18. #16
    (formerly borganiboy) Borganiboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    They are amazing horns, simples
    Wedding Solo Sax www.smoothsaxsound.com Tenor Hanson LX, Andy Sheppard Autograph 10 mp, Soprano Hanson LX Van V16 www.jazzclams.com
    Alto www.dbsoundproject.com www.youtube.com/saxdaveboy www.soundcloud.com/db-sound-project

  19. #17
    dogster's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Quote Originally Posted by cnjenga View Post
    I currently play on a Custom EX (Series I) but when I purchased it I did not have many options to try out. If I remember correctly I tried out a Yamaha Custom Z (Series II), a Yamaha 62 (Series III), and a Yamaha 475 along with my EX of course. I wasn't impressed with the custom Z I thought that specific horn was pretty muffled, I've never liked any 62's Besides for one that my friend owns which is amazing, and a 475 was pretty much just a 23 with a high F# key. Anyway, I'm curious towards what most people who own a custom EX or have any knowledge of them think of them compared to other horns that they have owned or tried.
    To me they are a little heavy sold my Ex Custom
    soprano loved the sound but the weight was too much

  20. #18
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Quote Originally Posted by HeyJoe View Post
    Not only that, but the build quality is outstanding on the Yamahahaha's, so is the ergonomics, it's the best key action out of any horn out there, they are extremely easy to play on, altissimo is very easy, and mine sure was purdy, when I had it...a silver Custom Z tenor that I had for 10 1/2 yrs...
    He was asking about Yamaha EX horns, not Z.
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Homely Saxman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    Quote Originally Posted by dogster View Post
    To me they are a little heavy sold my Ex Custom
    soprano loved the sound but the weight was too much
    They are pretty shockingly heavy; I remember my high school had an old pre-low A bari sax and my EX alto weighed almost as much as it. I can definitely see that being a problem, but I've gotten used to the weight at this point. on the plus side, that extra density makes them nearly indestructible, which I learned firsthand about five years ago after my neckstrap broke before a concert.
    Alto: Yamaha Custom 875-EX; Vandoren Al3, Vandoren Blue Box 3.5; Lebayle AT 7, Rigotti Gold 3M
    Tenor: Selmer Mark VII; Rousseau Classic 4R, Vandoren Blue Box 4; 10mfan Robusto 7**, Rigotti Gold 3M
    I write music sometimes

  22. #20

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    Default Re: What are your opinions on Custom EX's

    I once owned two 875EX tenors at the same time. One was a killer, the other was just okay. Every horn is different. I tried a used 875EX alto that couldn't subtone at all and I didn't like it. I currently have an 82Z alto that plays much better than the 875EX alto I tried. Every horn is different as I said before.

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