When people ask me what it takes to regulate a horn I tell them that you first set the horn up 'by the book'. It plays just like the Yamaha pros at a fraction of the price. The boss our Band Officer says to give them a blow during rehearsals and on gigs. And with that, order was restored. But I'm aware that tone is a very personal thing - one player's staid and stuffy is another's bright and thin. Needless to say the horn played rough down low.
They feature a smooth response and a deep, refined sound full of rich colors. For example, I get that sense of immediacy from a Conn 10M, and there's no way I'd describe that horn as being bright and brash. The 62 replaced the 52 didn't it? And in so doing it dramatically changed the landscape. I love my wood neck. . There's very little clearance between the outer edge of the thumb key and the adjacent edge of the key cup.
I think it is one of the best horns you can buy in this category. Likewise, the G key cup was mounted on the lower stack rod instead of it's own rod and featured a curious 'round the back' lever arm. The 855 was a tad brighter, but I had problems with the altissimo. Unusually, for the time, the action was powered with stainless springs - but they weren't simply put on the horn in place of standard blued steel springs. Technically-speaking this horn should be known as the MkI - and it would have been had Yamaha not very slightly tweaked the design some years later.
Proper point screws are used throughout, which bodes well for long-term reliability. At the time they only bought the altos. The keywork is extraordinary, extremely fluid. There's no out-and-out winner, but I've always liked the way a well-designed non-tilting table feels under the fingers. It also set a new standard for mass-produced horns, and in so doing threw down the gauntlet to other manufacturers. Tonewise the 62 starts out warmer than its cheaper brethren, and if you want to accentuate that warmth or pull more cut and brightness from the horn it'll simply follow you.
With that said, let's whip this horn on the bench and see exactly what makes this such an auspicious horn. Okay so now I take the Green Line barrel and put it on the Yamaha clarinet. Naturally, such brazen commercialism laid it wide open to criticism - and there was plenty of it. I have a shorter than normal little finger and often have to make adjustments to the position of the left little finger cluster; on this instrument that was much easier to do given the fine adjustment screws. Some saxophones are built without a high F key. I took it in for an overhaul - got the tone holes leveled, new pads, corks, etc.
I've been seriously thinking about it and now I'm finally decided that I want a tenor, I miss playing the sax. Everything was crisp and precise. But that is an alto vs. Then I switched to bari and played a Selmer Series 2 they had. Both approaches have their pros and cons - it just means that the player has to tailor their blowing to suit the horn. Some of them picked it up, some of them didn't.
That isn't even remotely relevant in this post! Maybe brightness is a Yamaha thing all around- since even their pianos sound bright. I guess some would consider it laughable - sacrilege even - that a mass-produced Japanese horn could have shoehorned its way into the annals of history. Finally, the whole outfit came in a well-made box case, complete with proper catches. Well at this point the building was at 72 degrees. On the purple logo model they were proper mother-of-pearl - but were later changed to plastic ones on the stamped logo model.
The mount point on the body is a bit small, and although the lug that secures the brace to the body-mounted boss is hefty enough, it relies on just those two protruding stubs to hold the bell in line against the inevitable knocks the bell will be subjected to. I've never had it overhauled and it still plays relatively well. Even if it's not your cup of tea it cannot be denied that it marked a shift in the way in which horns were presented. Barely a week goes by when I don't work on a horn that I don't much like, but I can nevertheless appreciate its place in the great scheme of saxophone things. The musical rap sheet includes tours with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and reggae master Half Pint, center stage at the L. I tried a 62 gold plate recently.