A permanent fix for the stuffy high “G.”
Yamaha’s YBS-61 baritone sax, made over 30 years ago, was an excellent instrument. However, the original octave vent design caused the “G” and “G#” in the second octave to be stuffy, unfocused, and uncentered.
Why? The lower octave vent is at the wrong location – too far down the body tube – which causes the problems with those pitches. Yamaha eventually corrected this problem in later versions of their YBS-61 by redesigning the octave mechanism and moving the body octave vent higher up the tube.
For years, there have been rumors of a “factory recall” issued for the earlier YBS-61’s, and many of these instruments have been improved by relocating the octave key. When our shop was approached with the task of doing this modification, we contacted Yamaha for advice. A “Warranty Service Manager” responded with the following:
There really wasn’t a ‘recall’ on these instruments that were discontinued over 30 years ago, those are the the type of things that are conjured up on sax blogs. I do have some notes on a procedure that is not guaranteed to be better or worse. You are welcome to try it but the results are not a guarantee that you or the customer will like it better. Good luck with this and have a great day.
Maybe there was no official recall – and no guarantees – but Yamaha did, in their later production, relocate the body octave vent to the same location recommended by the aforementioned “procedure.”
To do the conversion, we performed these steps:
- Drill a hole for the new octave vent.
- Solder the new octave vent in place.
- Disable the original vent. You could remove and patch over the body tube; we chose to plug the existing vent by machining a brass insert and soft soldering it.
- Fabricate an extension and solder it to the existing key.
- Setup and regulate the octave mechanism as needed.
The image on the left is an original YBS-61. The image on the right is the same horn after we performed the update.
And here are more pics of the updated sax.
The end result? The “G” and “G#” were dramatically improved, and no longer required any favoring to respond.
Thanks again for working on the horn. I am VERY pleased. I was seriously considering figuring out how to get a 62 if the fix didn’t work, but I love my horn even more now. I really appreciate your work.