Yamaha YAS-280 Saxophone Review

Since 1967, Yamaha has created a wide variety of saxophones for both beginner and advanced players. One of their recent models, the Yamaha YAS-280, is catered to the beginner. If you’re searching for a high-quality instrument, it’s no surprise you’ve come across the YAS-280.

This model is prided as one of the best choices for starting-out players. With the countless saxophone models on the market, it’s essential to find the right one for you.

In this Yamaha YAS-280 review, I’ll cover all the features and details of this well-known sax.

Features
Best Choice
Yamaha YAS-280
Mendini by Cecilio E-Flat Alto Saxophone
Selmer SAS280
Image
YAMAHA YAS-280 Saxophones Student Alto saxophones
Mendini By Cecilio Eb Alto Saxophone - Instrument Case, Tuner, Mouthpiece, 10 Reeds, Pocketbook, Cloth & Gloves- MAS-L Gold Lacquer E Flat Sax (Saxofon Alto)
Selmer SAS280 La Voix II Alto Saxophone Outfit Lacquer
Price
$1,365.00
$229.99
$2,190.00
Prime Eligible
-
-
-
Instrument Key
low B-C#
Eb
Eb
Best Choice
Features
Yamaha YAS-280
Image
YAMAHA YAS-280 Saxophones Student Alto saxophones
Price
$1,365.00
Prime Eligible
-
Instrument Key
low B-C#
Features
Mendini by Cecilio E-Flat Alto Saxophone
Image
Mendini By Cecilio Eb Alto Saxophone - Instrument Case, Tuner, Mouthpiece, 10 Reeds, Pocketbook, Cloth & Gloves- MAS-L Gold Lacquer E Flat Sax (Saxofon Alto)
Price
$229.99
Prime Eligible
-
Instrument Key
Eb
Features
Selmer SAS280
Image
Selmer SAS280 La Voix II Alto Saxophone Outfit Lacquer
Price
$2,190.00
Prime Eligible
-
Instrument Key
Eb

Features

As a beginner, it can be extra difficult to get good with a low-quality saxophone. Many ergonomic features on the instrument determine how easy it is to play. Some of them include the angles created between the hands, fingers, and wrist. If those angles are efficient and well-crafted, the sax will be much more pleasant to play. In turn, you’ll be able to practice for much longer. The YAS-280 was built with comfort in mind. This instrument is easy to play and ideal for long practice sessions and rehearsals.

Pros
  • Excellent intonation
  • Very comfortable to play
  • Built with excellent materials
  • Visually appealing
  • Excellent for beginners
Cons
  • On the expensive side
  • F and F# keys are a bit close together

The YAS-280 is made of yellow brass and has a gold lacquer finish. An innovative neck receiver also makes it more efficient to play. The neck is a crucial aspect of overall quality, as it sculpts the sound and affects the intonation.

This model has an improved high F-sharp and low B-to-C-sharp connection. If you over-tighten the screws, the neck receiver won’t be affected. Also, there’s a convenient adjustable thumb rest to ensure a comfortable playing experience.

In terms of appearance, the YAS-280 is appealing in several ways. The key touches are white polyester, which is nice. There’s also a Yamaha bell hand engraving, which adds to the overall appeal. Each of the keys is durable, easy-to-use, and nicely-shaped. The keys covering the vent holes have pads that provide an airtight cover on the instrument’s tube. Also, you’ll find that the YAS-280 is lightweight, weighing only 5 lbs 3 oz.

How Does it Sound?

The YAS-280 comfortably plays through all registers while maintaining good intonation. With that said, it’s excellent for both students and advanced players. If you get this sax as a beginner, it will grow with you as you improve. You’ll likely enjoy many years of quality playing experience. Like with all Yamaha saxophones, the YAS-280’s keys are smooth and high-quality.

This sax produces rich tones that are very pleasant to the ear. On top of being accurate and warm, the sound resonates well and fills a large room. To keep the superb sound quality of this instrument, and any other sax, it’s essential to maintain it regularly. Your choice of reeds and the mouthpiece also plays a significant role in sound.

Intonation

Sound quality is the most important aspect of any saxophone. What makes a good sound quality? The main two things are tone and tuning. In terms of tuning, the neck is a big factor. Since Yamaha carefully designs the necks, intonation is rarely a problem. To tune a saxophone, you can use a simple app-store tuner. Play a concert A, and pay attention to where the tuning needle goes. If it’s to the right of the center, the note is sharp, and if it’s to the left, the note is flat. To sharpen the tuning, push the mouthpiece further on the neck. For flattening it, do the opposite.

In The Box

Along with the saxophone, you get a 1-inch-wide nylon strap with an open plastic hook. It also comes with a robust case shaped like a suitcase. Yamaha includes a mouthpiece with the purchase. Overall, you have everything you need to get started.

Is It Worth It?

Before buying any saxophone, it’s essential to figure out if it’s the best choice for you. The Yamaha YAS-280 is priced at $1,365.00 and is an excellent instrument for beginners and advanced players. However, it’s catered more to beginner saxophonists. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and efficiently shaped. As you’d expect from Yamaha, the YAS-280’s intonation is stellar. Once you tune it, you’re good to go for the entire practice session.

The neck receiver is very stable and promotes an instant response and ease of play. Since beginners tend to be rough with their instruments, durability is essential. This saxophone is exceptionally durable and can handle some wear and tear. The low notes play very well because of an improved mechanism from the low B-C#. On top of that, you can adjust the thumb rest to your likings.

If you value appearance, the YAS-280 doesn’t disappoint. The gold lacquer finish and white polyester key touches are aesthetically pleasing. In the box, you get a strap, which is convenient. However, there are definitely more comfortable straps available. If you value the most pleasant experience, you might benefit from a better strap.

Yamaha is a world leader in pianos, guitars, and saxophones. The YAS-280 is one of the most excellent beginner saxophones on the market. In this Yamaha YAS-280 review, I’ve gone over all the significant aspects of this model. If you’re looking for a well-built, visually-appealing sax for beginners, the YAS-280 might be your best choice.

Yamaha YAS-280

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