Yanagisawa AWO1 Professional Alto Saxophone
Handmade in Japan – Replaces A901
Yanagisawa makes the highest quality professional saxophones on the market today! They are a specialty manufacturer of professional handmade saxophones. They are a small factory blending old world craftsmanship with modern design and performance. The Yanagisawa AWO1 is the most affordable in the Yanagisawaline of professional alto saxophones. Don’t let that fool you though, the Yanagisawa AWO1 is a true professional, handmade sax!
The Yanagisawa WO Series
Released in 2014 on the altos, the new WO Series saxophones represent the first major redesign of the Yanagisawa alto sax in over 20 years! Building on the outstanding platform of the A9 series, the new WO Series improve on the excellence of Yanagisawa! Impeccable intonation & build quality are a staple of the Yanagisawa line. The WO series bore has been further refined for a richer tone with several enhancements to the mechanical purity that is Yanagisawa!
The Yanagisawa AWO1 replaces the A901 series. It features single post to body construction for quick response and lighter overall weight. The Yanagisawa AWO1 also adds the full palm key plate mount previously only available on the A99x series as well as a neck plate. While many might think these additions to be small, in the end, they add to the mass of the sax at the top of the horn adding a richer tone throughout the whole instrument. The Yanagisawa AWO1 offers the customer an outstanding professional level saxophone at an affordable price. These saxophones give you the highest quality in all levels without sacrificing anything.
For more detailed information on the changes in the WO Series from the previous A9 based models, please check out Dave Kessler’s blog post by clicking here (opens in a new window). The Yanagisawa AWO1 features all of the same WO Series improvements as the higher end “Elite Series” models.
Intermediate or Pro?
In the past (and still to this day), companies did advertise the A901 (the predecessor to the Yanagisawa AWO1) as an “Intermediate” model which would then lead people to think that the replacement AWO1 should be too. However, the truth is that the A901 was NEVER an “Intermediate” sax and neither is the Yanagisawa AWO1! This is all due to MANY years ago when the Yanagisawa distribution was handled by Leblanc (Yanagisawa is now distributed by Conn-Selmer, Inc. in North America). They would list all of the 90x series instruments (alto, tenor, soprano & bari) as “Intermediate” models to help justify the price difference for the more expensive 99x series models. This was one of the worst marketing flubs we have ever seen.
The Yanagisawa A901 and the current Yanagisawa AWO1 are Handmade Professional Saxophones! Anyone who tells you different simply doesn’t know their Yanagisawa saxes!!! This is one of the reasons why Yanagisawa adopted the new “Professional Model” and “Elite Model” branding in the WO Series. You will find that the single post models (AWO1 & AWO2) are the “Professional Model” and the heavier ribbed model AWO10 and higher models are called “Elite Model”.
AWO1 vs. AWO10 Models
The primary difference is in the weight of the construction. The Yanagisawa AWO1 uses “Single Post to Body” construction whereas the AWO10 uses a heavier “Ribbed Body” construction. What this translates to is that the posts that suspend the keys up from the body are individually soldered directly to the body tube on the AWO1. On the ribbed body AWO10, large groups of posts are first silver soldered on to a brass plate, or “rib”, and then that entire rib is soldered on to the body tube.
The end result is that the body tubes of the Yanagisawa AWO1 have less weight attached to them and this give quicker response. The heavier construction AWO10 has a thicker “core” to its sound due to the extra weight, but it also requires more effort and power from the player in order to get quick response. For more advanced players, the AWO10 is the more complex tone and the overall more versatile saxophone.
Neither is truly “better” than the other but rather depends on the player. The AWO1 is the least resistant and easiest model to play. So especially for student musicians & hobby players, the Yanagisawa AWO1 offers an exceptional combination of performance, quality and price value. There are of course other keywork differences in the AWO10 (mentioned in description tab) but the core difference between the horns is the construction.
Every horn we send out to a customer is not released from us unless it has been completely setup in our shop first. This is because the setup on the horn is of the utmost importance! Sometimes, a saxophone (regardless of who the manufacturer) comes in needing 20 minutes of adjustments and then the very next one can require 2 hours! So if you were to get 5 of the same model right out of the box, they will all play different. This leads players to believe that they are “good” or “bad” saxes. The reality is that the one that was the best out of the 5 was likely the one that needed the least amount of work and the “bad” sax was the one that needed 2 hours worth of adjustments!
Once the same 5 saxophones are properly regulated and adjusted to perfection, they become near identical saxophones. Even the pickiest of players would be challenged to pick a true “favorite” horn. However, since most stores do not or even can not perform this setup, the player never knows this and is simply relying on the luck of the draw. This is why we perform our setup (in our www.SaxophoneRepairs.com ProShop) on them before delivering your new sax to you. You trust us with your purchase and we want to make sure that you are rewarded by giving you your ideal saxophone setup flawlessly!
|Bore||New WO Series Professional Bore|
|Body Material||Yellow Brass, Gold Lacquered|
|Body Construction||Single Post to Body Construction with Full Seat Palm Key Mount|
|Country of Manufacture||Handmade in Japan|
|Octave Mechanism||Top Mount Octave Mechanism with New Neck Plate|
|Pads||Premium Leather with Domed Resonators|
|Mouthpiece||Yanagisawa Ebonite 5|
|Case||New Deluxe Case|
18 Month, 0% Interest Financing!
Purchase your new Yanagisawa AWO1 from Kessler & Sons using First Mutual Finance and receive special 18 Month, 0% Interest Financing!
Click Here for more information on financing program details and to apply!
18 Month, 0% Financing Option Available on New Instrument at Advertised New Price Only. Full details on financing page.
Does not apply towards Store Used Demos or Used Instruments. Demos and Used models can still be financed under standard terms.