premier saxophone maker, Yanagisawa has built a reputation for quality,
design innovation & workmanship. They are especially well regarded
for their soprano saxophones, both straight & curved. This Prima model
built in the 1970's was the forerunner of the current top line SC900, widely
regarded as having intonation unsurpassed by that of any current (or past)
curved soprano sax. We have included two photos of the Prima & SC900
together for comparison. The two body tubes are of identical proportions.
We confirmed this with measurements by the dial caliper. Keywork is very
similar & tone hole placement is, as well, except for the palm keys.
The Prima's palm keys are of an earlier design, mounted on a single shaft
like the upper & lower stacks of a saxophone as opposed to the rocker
design of the SC900. Placement of the top five tones holes is different,
with the Prima having a stacked location as dictated by the keywork mechanics.
The Prima also has no alternate front F but does have a high F# key. Another
significant difference between the two is the curved neck of the SC900
vs the bent (normal saxophone) neck of the Prima. The curved neck is supposed
to offer better intonation while the bent neck produces a more sax like
sound. The intonation of the Prima is quite good, though not equal to the
SC900. On the other hand, the Prima has a warmer, darker tone. Which sound
you like best depends on taste, but the SC900 is rather bright. Metallurgy
likely plays a role in this difference.
20+ year old Prima is in like new condition, and except for two small pitting
spots is without blemish -- no dings, scratches or damage. Lacquer rates
at least 98%.