Baritone Sax Shopping!

I bought my Yamaha YBS62S a few years ago, and I haven’t really shopped for another bari sax – I haven’t had any reason to shop, I’m happy with my horn…

Tim from Embrun Music dropped me a message about checking out a P. Mauriat low Bb bari that he had in stock, and I had to go check it out. I haven’t played a lot of modern baris, and I hadn’t played a low Bb horn since my Mark VI and Conns.

The Mauriat surprised me with how well it played. I’ve tried some tenors and altos, and they weren’t really my thing, but this bari was fun! And I didn’t feel like I missed the A from my 62S. It was light, but felt solid – definitely a horn that I would consider taking to a jazz gig. Here’s a quick clip of the horn.

After I checked out the Mauriat, Tim offered to let me try his Yanagisawa BW02.

This baritone saxophone was frightening! I loved the way it played! It spoke so evenly, and I particularly found the response impressively quick in the low end. That low A popped out so easily. I found the keywork to be more comfortable than the Mauriat (possibly because it felt more like my own horn). I have never had a Yanagisawa bari in my hands, so this was a real treat. I could definitely take this horn to any gig, and I left seriously considering a Yanagisawa baritone sax. This horn was amazing, and I’d love to check out some of their other baritones as well.

While I knew that I wasn’t buying anything that day, I am always excited to check out horns. It’s hard in Ottawa to find several baritone saxophones to try in the same room, so this was a lot of fun.

What horn are you playing now? Would you trade it? Have you ever stumbled across a bari sax that blew you away, even if you weren’t shopping for one?

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