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The New Yanagisawa AW01 range replaces the long standing A901 series.
This first level Yanagisawa has long been popular with upgrading players and also more experienced saxophonists. The price has always been attractive to players wanting a first 'serious' upgrade, although you may find it in some 'intermediate' lists all Yanagisawas are really pro instruments: Handmade in Japan to the most exacting standards with industry leading materials and precision.
The New AW01 range really does have some major modifications whilst retaining the classic Yanagisawa sound and feel that have made them so popular.
- The bore size and tone hole size and positioning has all been modified. This is the core of how a Sax plays in terms of response, intonation and resonance.
- Yanagisawa are using a different source of brass; the mix and quality of zinc and copper can affect the resonance in particular, much testing was done to ensure the best tonal possibility from a new source of core brass.
- The right hand 'pinky' keys (low Eb + low C) have been modified in shape and feel to faciliate faster finger movement at the bottom of the instrument.
- The front F key has been ergonomically re-designed to sit more easily under the players finger when operated.
- Additional 'feet' have been added under the right hand side keys (Bb, C and high E) - this is to basically give the mechanism more support and a more positive 'feel' for the player when depressing the key.
- The AW range also benefits from a new strengthening plate on the front of the crook, this is essentially to add core weight around the neck area which can result in the player feeling more strength to the sound.
- Finally for body spec changes there has been a new plate added to the left hand palm key area, this should provide some extra resonance (and arguably projection) especially on those notes as it adds core weight to the corresponding area of the tube.
Finishing off the outfit is a new case and new engraving which of course is all wholly aesthetic but a nice touch nonetheless.
In summary this new Yanagisawa AW series raises the bar for most of the competition and is a serious range of Saxophones to look at for anybody upgrading or wishing to purchase a pro model. The AW01 and AW02 have less ribs and plates running down the body than the AW010 and AW020, this tends to make them feel a little more lively and responsive but without the same depth of sound.
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