Yamaha YSS Custom 875EX Soprano Sax

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This black lacquer beauty has a build quality to take your breath away and comes in a solid, well padded, plush lined lightweight leatherette case with reinforced corners, together with top and side handles and an adjustable shoulder strap for added convenience. Coming with both curved and straight necks, it offers the player maximum flexibility in any given situation. The curved neck clearly gives a darker character to the tone, while the straight option produces a cleaner, more clinical tone. Finger positioning throughout is good, but we particularly liked the positioning of the palm keys, which facilitated a precision and ease of playing to this section of the instrument.

Our sample 875EX was in tune, with the notes popping out just fine, with excellent sub-tones in the lower register, although we did find the bottom table C – Bb a little hard to get, but this was probably down to the springing needing to be taken out a little. Intonation was excellent, as was the instrument’s harmonic capability. The 875EX is very smooth and easy to play and is clearly aimed at the professional and semi-professional market. With it’s slightly shrill tonal character and its apparent lack of ability to “move sound around”, it won’t be to every player’s taste. However, the 875EX would seem particularly well suited to ensemble situations, where tone matching through a range of instruments is paramount.