Is the Yamaha YAS-280 Still the Top Student Saxophone???

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Yamaha YAS-280 Alto Saxophone

Everybody always asks about the Yamaha YAS-280 Alto Saxophone.

If you’re a beginner who is starting out, I would consider the Yamaha YAS-280. This instrument sells for about $1,100 and some saxophonists have actually played on Yamaha Saxophones for their entire musical careers.

Unless you’re at the highest level of saxophone playing, this instrument is all you could ever need. It is the cheapest Yamaha saxophone you can get and it is truly an excellent instrument.

Check out the full unboxing and review of the YAS-280 in the video above.

Have this saxophone? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

The BetterSax Alto Saxophone

While you’re shopping for your next saxophone, we are now happy to also recommend the BetterSax Alto Saxophone. I have recently developed this instrument in partnership with Conn-Selmer to fill a gap in the market for a high quality, reliable and desirable entry-level saxophone at the affordable price of $649. This makes it a little more than half the price of the Yamaha YAS-280 yet comparable in quality and value.

My vision for the Better Sax alto saxophone is to change the way we think of an entry level instrument. I want people to be able to buy this horn and not have to think they are going to need a step up instrument a few years later. If your budget is around $650 this can be your one and only main instrument no matter what level player you are. This truly is a fantastic horn and I’m excited to finally get it into your hands!

You can purchase the BetterSax Alto exclusively here on

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Stefano says:

I am a professional saxophonist and I have both a Selmer Series 3 both a Yas 280 and the difference between the two is not that big. A professional notices certain nuances, but I assure you that they are not large enough to justify a price difference of almost 4000€. The yas 280 is an exceptional sax, it really surprised me.

Stefano says:

Is there a big difference between a 280 and a 62?

Monica Ranney says:

Hi. I saw your unboxing video and review of the Yamaha YAS-280. My son’s sax teacher also highly recommended it. I have been searching locally (Dallas, TX) and online and cannot find a new one to purchase except for the one on the Amazon link from the video but that seller is shipping from South Korea and only has 78% positive seller ratings. Can anyone let me know if this model is no longer being produced, or if it is still being produced, where I can purchase one new? I went on the Yamaha website to try and find an area dealer but I don’t even see the YAS-280 listed on the page that shows all their alto saxophones. I need an entry level/student model like the YAS-280. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Jay Metcalf says:

You may want to consider the new Better Sax alto saxophone at $649. For me it plays every bit as good as the Yamaha, but looks cooler for around half the price.

Strat says:

A year late… interesting. Down here in south texas, same question. After renting for a year I found that sells the 280 and exports to the USA. Import to texas is around $60, Sax price is around $1100 then shipping around $100. Took 5 days to arrive, tracked all the way, checked out in the UK and resealed in the original Yamaha box. Compared to rent to own (new yas280) it is in my estimation less than 1/2 the price here where I am.

Andy says:

I have the yas 21 was made around 1977 which I bought in 1981 second hand for £250. Still play it.

Joseph Capra says:

DEAL KILLER No gloves!!

henny siu says:

may i know the weight of bettersax while yas 280 is around 2.2kg.



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