Saxophone/Yanigasawa T500


Hi, I came across your site by chance and saw the answer to Louise back in 2010. I am just about to buy one from a guy I bought my first Yas62 from which I have just sold so I trust in him. I have only seen a video of him playing the T500 but it sounds really nice. My answer is for $1700 Australian (about $2000 US) is this wise for an intermediate sax purchase. There aren't too many options in this price range except Jupiter Artist series or Student Yamahas so I feel ok with the price. Can you change out the s/steel springs for blue springs and better point screws if you wanted to later and would that make a difference in the mechanics. I am wary of a 30 year old sax but all my reading tells me they are a quality intermediate horn. Thanks

Hello Darren, Yes The Yanagisawa T-500 without a photo could be confused with the more expensive 800 series. The T-500 series was Yanagisawa’s attempt to produce a beginner/intermediate horn. These were only available in alto and tenor. The series was introduced in the mid to late 1970’s and continued into the mid 1980’s.  The typical way of identifying one of these is to look for the stainless steel springs used on the horn rather than the blued springs used on the higher end models (t-800) of this time period. The A-500/T-500 models and the 800 series horns had only a couple of minor differences, mostly in the materials used. Here are some of the differences, the 500 series did not have ribbed construction while the 800 did. The brass was actually imported from the US starting with the 800 series, so the quality of the brass got better with the 800 series. There are some minor differences in the pearls, how much they are hollowed out or the concavity of them. The 800 series had deeper pearls, also it was reported that the 500 series were a bit more free-blowing than the 800 series. As to the value, I would say, depending on condition, $250- $775, but we would need to see it. The value of a saxophone is relative. It's based on supply and demand, market conditions, and the economy. Lets not forget sentimental value. It's true value is in the musical tone and playability. How well does this saxophone perform it intended job...I seen expensive horns that played terrible and old beat up junkers that played fantastically! Remember that this sax was made in Japan, is a great saxophone for a college, high school student or semi pro player gigging on the side. This price seems high, but lets get real, its 2014, not 1986. If it was me, I would wait and get a pro horn...better investment for the future.also better resale value and overall a way better sax. My horn of choice is a Yamaha YAS 62  or  YTS 62. They were Yamaha's top of the line in the mid 1990's..get an older one... don't waste your money on a brand new one. Like a car, prices are full blown retail for a brand  spankin' new sax and older saxes (from the 1980s or 1990's) will have a better price. They are better horns, made during a fantastic period of Yamaha quality and consistency.
Grant Koeller


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Grant R. Koeller


I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.


Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

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