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Yamaha YAS-82ZII Custom Z Alto SaxophoneOn the 10th Anniversary of their introduction, the Custom Z saxophones have been reexamined from neck to bell. They now offer the ultimate combination of expressiveness, response and control while staying true to their free-spirited origins. Since the Custom Z was developed in 2003, the technology, craftsmanship and specifications of the Custom Z series have continued to improve to fulfill the needs of the highest level musicians. The new Yamaha YAS-82ZII alto saxophone is an ultimate horn for the working professional. The list of new features is impressive.One-piece bell with new engravingIn the tradition of those coveted vintage saxophones, the 82Z now comes equipped with a one-piece bell! This feature drastically improves low end response and offers the player a wider palette of tonal color. More elaborate with finer detail, the new engraving design offers delicate beauty.Metal ResonatorsDomed metal resonators offer an outstanding response and deliver a wider dynamic range. The entire range of the instrument has a clearer pronunciation, providing effortless playability all around.V1 neckThe wide bore taper of the V1 neck provides offers a free-blowing feel and the greatest possible flexibility. This combination of features allows the player the ultimate level of tonal expression.Improved Low B-C# connectionAn improved mechanism from low B to C# ensures a proper seal for these notes which promotes a clear response throughout the low range of the instrument.Lighter thumb hook and thumb rest basesLighter thumb rest and thumb hook base designs produce better response and a more cohesive tone.Adjustable Front F keyAn adjustable Front F mechanism gives the player the freedom to find the optimal level of resistance in the altissimo range.Z Style CaseThe 82Z saxophones come in slim, lightweight cases which provide excellent protection. A convenient shoulder strap is also included.
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Choose from the folowing Yamaha Warranties:
I had the chance to do a pretty thorough comparison of my ?old? YAS-82z and the new ?ii? version. The V1 neck was in use on both horns. My impressions ?.
Looks: It can be hard to tell the new one from the old on first sight. The designation ?ii? is not engraved anywhere on the horn that I could find. Instead look for the metal resonators and adjustable front F doo-dad. The new engraving isn?t that different from previously though, as Yamaha says, the engraving is indeed ?finer?. A smaller (finer) nib is used and the some of patterns are more delicate. But the design is not more elaborate in my opinion. The old horn looked very pretty so does the new one. The excellent Custom case is still the same shape but is updated with heavier latches and a more leather-like outer material. Now to the important stuff?.
Action: Simply put, the action is smoother! The keys are much less noisy and are in general smoother in action. The low C# was a particular problem for me on the old horn. It basically ?bounced? open and I felt that coming through the horn. It almost felt like I bumped into something when I pressed that key. On the new horn it?s quite and accurate. Yamaha makes a point of the new C# - B design on the cluster and yes, it?s a little easier to play, but I didn?t really have a problem with that move on the old horn. My new Z is a little stiff out of the box but I really enjoy the quieter, smoother feel. (Maybe it?s me that?s a little stiff out of the box? ?).
Tone: Overall the sound is a little darker. It's not very dark, like some Mark VI?s (I have one of those too), but more in that direction. You do get more fundamentals in the sound throughout the range. Another way of putting it is the sound is less ?nasal?. This is especially notable on the low tones, and this may be related to the new single piece bell modification Yamaha highlights (though I think the low notes and the older model were certainly acceptable sounding). The main thing is that you still get the same great projection with this horn, even if it is a tad more polite about it.
Intonation: Seems better for me. I always struggled a bit with open C# on the old Z and I feel that this is not happening on the new horn, however I?d like to play it more and in more situations before I say for sure. Note that plenty of players did Not have any intonation issues with the old Z. I?ll try to remember to update the playing in tune thing one of these days ?.
I?d rap it up by saying the new Z is a lot like the old one, 90% the same feel, but more mature or smoothed out. The older model is perhaps a bit ?idiosyncratic?. I can imagine you would not want to make the switch if A) you have no issue with the action or intonation on your current Z and/or B) you like the brighter sound of the old Z. I wouldn't consider making the switch without comparing the saxes side by side. As for me, the smoother action and the slightly dark sound were enough to make the switch.
I've played the 82Z before and didn't think it could get any better! I was looking to upgrade to the 82Z from the 475 but decided to take my chances on the 82ZII. I decided to go for the black lacquer (again, wasn't too sure about the gimmicky finish...and I am NOT disappointed). This is THE saxophone for any saxophonist. It literally blew me away (those metal tone holes!!). The response is great; it almost feels like it's playing itself! Just perfect :)
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