YANAGISAWA - A BRIEF HISTORY (Models and Serial Numbers)
1893 saw the company formed to manufacture wind instruments. The Egawa Rappa factory was established in 1921 to make Signal Trumpets cornets and trumpets under the name Nikkan, by Mr. Tokutaro Yaganisawa, the first technician to make and repair brass instruments in Japan. It was to be 33 years before tenor saxophones were produced in 1954. The first T-3, silver plated and engraved with the design of a castle, was bought by an American soldier at the Komaki store in Tokyo. The following year, Yanagisawa, under the direction of Mr. Takanobu Yanagisawa, decided to concentrate on saxophone production, and sold the Nikkan factory. A year later, in December 1956, the A-3 Alto saxophone doubled the range! In 1965 the A-3 was superseded by the A-5 Alto saxophone, and a year later, the T-3 was superseded by the T-5 Tenor saxophone.
1966 also saw the introduction of two new models, the A-4 and the T-4.In March the following year, the B-6 low A Baritone was introduced to great acclaim. September 1968 saw the S-6 Soprano take its bow, followed by the SN-600 Sopranino with High E that December and the A-6 Alto a year later in 1969.The early 1970s brought the first alto saxophone with silver crook and body in February 1972, and the SN-6 Sopranino released in June. Hand made hard rubber and metal mouthpieces appeared in December 1973.
Towards the end of the decade, production of the professional range 800 series (Elimona) saxophones started in July 1978, while May 1979 saw the prototype curved Soprano SC-800.Standard altos and tenors were upgrade to intermediate 500 series at the beginning of the 1980s, with the Professional 800 series following suit in 1983, upgraded to 880 series. The 1980s also featured the world's first interchangeable neck soprano, the S-880, launched in 1985.After ten years, the 500 and 880 series were replaced by the 900 and 990 series. First the Soprano range in January 1990, closely followed by the Baritone. The Alto and Tenor 900 and 990 series were introduced in October that same year.The B-9930 silver neck and body Baritone was launched onto the market in January 1992, a time when a major upgrade was on the horizon. February saw an interim series 900u and 990u replace the 900 and 990 series five years before the major upgrade to the current 901 and 991 series.
1998 heralded the dawn of the Bronze Age at Yanagisawa. Having achieved the most advanced mechanism and reliability that has become synonymous with Yanagisawa; they continued their pursuit of sound with the launch of the 992 bronze series. These saxophones featured the same advance mechanisms as the 991 series, but the higher mechanical factor of bronze gave the darker sound that so many players today value in vintage saxophones. The range was supplemented two years later with the 902 series. The S-902 Bronze Soprano was introduced as the first bronze version of the intermediate 901 series. Alto, Tenor and Baritone followed in 2001. the dark sound coupled with fast, easy response have made these saxophones the choice of many advanced players.
Sandwiched between the launch of the Bronze series, in 1999 the A-9937 Alto arrived as the first all silver saxophone. This was closely followed by the T-9937 Tenor, while 2004 saw the launch of the 992 PGP series (Bronze pink-gold plated) saxophones.In their continuing search for the right sound for the discerning saxophonist, Yanagisawa have been relentless in their development of neckpipes to give the correct tonal qualities required to meet the demands of the modern player. The accuracy of intonation and tonal qualities has attracted a great deal of interest by professional musicians, not only for Yanagisawa saxophones, but for other makes as well.
A Guide to Yanagisawa Serial Numbers
1973 - 12731254 1987 - 00141658
1974 - 12745400 1988 - 00148774
1975 - 12753382 1989 - 00156006
1976 - 12764553 1990 - 00162968
1977 - 12775790 1991 - 00170073
1978 - 12781317 1992 - 00177116
1979 - 12791801 1993 - 00184318
1980 - 00102143 1994 - 00189050
1981 - 00106981 1995 - 00197400
1982 - 00111892 1996 - 00205400
1983 - 00117142 1997 - 00213000
1984 - 00122663 1998 - 00219500
1985 - 00128485 1999 - 00228250
1986 - 00134903 2000 - 00235000