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Advanced Instrument Design and Maintenance

Yamaha Saxophone Neck Compatibility

The differences between new design and original design.

Yamaha saxophones have been in production for many years and numerous design changes have been made to better our instruments. As a result, however, information is sometimes needed to fit a new or different neck to some older instruments. Here are some tips on how to identify and address these differences.

Sax Fig 1a

Original design.

Sax fig 1b

New design.

As shown in these images, when a current neck is used on some older model saxophones, the octave mechanism (floating lever) cannot reach high enough to actuate the neck octave key. (These images are that of an alto, but it is the same for a tenor.)

Sax Fig 2a

Original design neck on an original design body.

Sax fig 2b

New design neck on an original design body.

The tenon diameter on the older and the newer design is the same, although some final fitting by a qualified technician may be necessary, as in any neck change. However, the neck register key contact point is lower on the original design.

Sax Fig 3a

Vinyl extension tube.

Sax fig 3b

Vinyl extension tube after installation.

A simple extension can be made by replacing the plastic silencer tube with a longer piece of vinyl or other tubing. This allows the artist to evaluate the playing characteristics of the neck. Once the neck is selected, a more permanent extension may be made from brass stock and silver-soldered to the body octave key, if desired.

The chart below presents an overview of the models (past and present) that are equipped with the different design styles. All current Yamaha “Custom” branded aftermarket necks (such as the C1, E1, and V1) use the new design neck register key.


Click here for more information about Yamaha saxophones.


Mark Sorlie
Mark Sorlie has served as the national warranty manager for Winds, Strings and Educational Percussion instruments for the Yamaha Corporation of America for over 10 years. He oversees the setup of custom level woodwinds and the repair of returned items, as well as handling warranty issues for dealers and end users. He is originally from the Dakotas, but has been located in the Chicago area for almost four decades. After years as a traveling musician he entered the retail and wholesale music world, where he worked as a repairman and in many other areas of management in the industry. He loves making music, traveling and cooking.

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