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Yanagisawa Baris: B6 vs. B800 and B880 and "Elimona"

Hello all,

I want to start a thread here to discuss older Yanagisawa baris, particularly the model B-6 vs. the B 800 and B-880.

Working backwards, It is easy to pick out a B-880 bari as the pics I've seen show an oval Pearl high F key and a pearl side F# as well as 880 being stamped into the body.

The challenge here is I would like to determine what features separate a B-6 from a B-800. The "Elimona" B-800 model is easy to tell vs. a B-6 because they have a dual-arm Low C.

What I would like to determine is: Are there are B-800's built with only a single arm Low-C...and what other main features separate a B-6 from a B-800?

As I have looked at as many horns as I can find on the 'net, I have noticed three differences that warrant consideration to try to separate a B-6 from a B-800:
  • Thumb rests (metal vs. black)
  • Key mechanisms on Low A and Low Bb keys
  • Double Arm Low C key
As an example, here is a B6 horn S/N 7704XX: https://bassic-sax.info/pix/picture.php?/2133/category/80#&gid=1&pid=2

Note the following:
  • Single-arm Low C key
  • Metal thumbrest
  • The circled area on the Low A and Low Bb keys:

Here is B-6 S/N 5778XX with the same key features (and a metal thumbrest and single-arm Low C):

I think the two above saxes, being identical, are good examples of a B-6.

Now look at this sax: https://www.barnardrepair.com/baritone-saxophones-for-sale/yanagisawa-800-low-a-baritone-saxophone

What is it? The seller claimed it is a B-800; Pete thinks it is a B-6. I think what it is is up for discussion.

Note the following:
  • Black thumbrest
  • Single-arm Low-C
  • Look at the Low A and Bb keys...they lack the aforementioned key design

Here is my (October?) 1977 Vito Yanagisawa Stencil S/N 10771XXX:

Note the following:
  • Metal thumbrest (May be a Vito design spec; they did that with Vito 7131RK Yamaha YAS-23 Alto stencils; Yamahas had plastic thumbrests, Vitos had metal)
  • Different Low A and Low C key mechanism vs. B-6 - just like the Barnard horn I posted above)
  • Single Arm Low-C

I also know for a fact that the "Elimona" B-800 had dual-arm Low C, as there is a catalog picture of it here (I wish I could see the thumbrest on this horn):

So up for discussion:

  • Are the two "mystery" horns B-6's or B-800's?
  • Could the Low A / Low Bb key re-design be what "makes" a B-800, or is it the Low C key moving from a single to a double arm...or a combination of those features?
  • Did Yanagisawa make a B-800 that had the Low A / Low Bb design of the "mystery" horns but a single arm Low C key and then add the double arm Low C as part of the "Elimona" badging (that arm may have been developed as they designed the B-880 and then fitted to the B-800 as well)
If anyone has a "known lineage" B-800 that is NOT an Elimona, I would love to see pics of it.




Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Pete is the resident Yani expert. I will let him chime in with a reply.
Here's a Martin Stencil SN 01801852 (January 1980?) which I also think may be a "B-800" (Non-Elimona). It matches the "Barnard" horn above as best I can tell:

Note the following:
  • Single-arm Low C
  • Low A and Bb key design different from B-6
  • Black thumbrest



Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
A number of American companies used Yani for their stencils. My friend had a King bari that he sold that was actually made by Yanigasawa. Why? Because the German horns were too expensive at the time. JK's stencils were very expensive, and most of their production was going into Couf horns. Before that we saw JK providing horns for Selmer USA, et al. And the B&S horns ATT were not on the same level as the pro horns of the day--really, more intermediate at best--so trying Japanese brands where you got more bang for your American buck, would make sense.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Yo. Yes, we've been trading e-mails. I still think the Barnard horn and the one from https://www.zikinf.com/annonces/annonce-1734368 are B6s, not B800s. Quick reasoning:
  • Serial number
  • Keywork
  • Engraving
  • No Elimona stamp
  • No Yanagisawa “coin” badge
  • Keywork
Yes, I said “keywork” twice. Bell keys are the most obvious difference. Double-arm on the low C. G#/C#/B/Bb cluster is significantly different. Chromatic F# key shape is different. You might be able to argue left thumb rest color, but that’s pretty easy to swap out. Probably more, but I’m lazy and hungry .

I think it’s supportable that all B6s and/or B800s differ slightly and/or evolved over time. Maybe you can argue that really late 6s have a nice mix of 6 and 800 features, like Buffet did on some SuperDynactions that had the G# cluster and low C/Eb keywork of an S1 -- but Buffet never claimed those horns were anything other than SuperDynactions with interesting keywork. Heck, some of the horns were even engraved "SuperDynaction."

I'll revisit this probably later today. I'll highlight the comment on hungry. I also have to do grocery shopping.

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Thank you for chiming in Pete.

First off, I want to thank you. You helped me identify my Ditta-Giglia Evette Schaeffer Italian made tenor (quasi-buffet type action). You are an amazing wealth of saxophone information.

This Yani Vito bari stencil of mine is certainly intriguing. I'm wondering "what kind of Frankenstein do I have here". This post will have lots of links to pictures for you to check out if you are so inclined.

I have read that the "Elimona" (Elite Monarch) horns were special branding / marketing and badging / features that were on horns that were assembled by Yani's top technicians - thus my theory that there might be B-800 and 880 horns that are "plain" as well as "Elimona" that add premium features.

I agree based on what I've seen so far that the Yani branded (non-stenciled) "Elimona" horns I've seen do always have the "coin" badge and they say "Elimona" or "Prima" in the engraving.

The "Elimona" features I've picked out so far are:
  • Dual-arm Low C
  • LH pinky table black rollers look to be of different heights between the C# and B key
  • LH pinky table extra linkage between the Low C# and the Low B
  • Yanagisawa branded horn engraving, that says "Elimona or "Prima"
  • "Coin"
  • Pearl G# (on B-880 Elimona)
  • Pearl Side F# (on B-880 Elimona)
  • Oval Pearl front F (on B-880 Elimona; round pearl on B-800)
With the above stated, I found a 100% certain B-880 (because it is stamped) that I might argue is not an "Elimona" horn. Check it our here.

Here is why I think that B-880 is not an Elimona horn:
  • No "Prima" or "Elimona" engraving
  • No Pearl G# key
  • No oval pearl Front F key
  • No Pearl side alternate F#
I've been searching for a nice picture of a B-6 LH pinkie cluster on a Yani branded horn.

The best I can find is B-6 horn SN 5715XX:

Here is a B-800 Elimona (The "Sound Fuga" horn)...I *think* I see a linkage between the Low C# and Low Bb key. I used Google translate on the Elimona B-800 and B-880 ads and I read about the "improved table" mechanism. I also saw in the B-800 and B-880 ads that you have a close view of the LH pinky table that shows different shapes and different height rollers on the Low B and Low C# area as well as the extra linkage:

Back to the Barnard Yani branded "mystery" horn - Pinky table definitely matches B-6 design, supporting your thought that this horn is a B-6:

But the Low A and Bb keys are different than a B-6...in fact they look like B-900!:

I say again the Low A and Bb keys look like Yani B-900 keys...have a look here - and while you're looking at that B-900, notice the "Prima" in the engraving just to add extra confusion, LOL.

At this point, I agree with your theory that a bunch of stuff was evolving as late B-6's (1977-1980) were produced at the same time as the B-800 and B-880 horns (and I think Yani was evolving the Low A and Bb keys into what would become the B-900).

The three horns that support this theory of a hodge-podge of features from the various models are my Vito horn (10771XXX - October 1977) the Barnard Yanagisawa Horn (1079XXX - October 1979) and The Martin horn (018018XX - January 1980) that all have a B-6 style single-arm Low C and pinky table, B-900 style Low A and Bb keys, and no "Elimona" features as described above. That could make these horns a "non-Elimona" B-800 - or a B-6 with B-900 keys...I suppose only Yani knows.

One guy on a forum stated that Yani will provide info if I fax them my questions; I may try that just to see what they say.
Google translate is pretty cool on the iPhone! Here is what I came up with..I took a few liberties to try to make it into good English based on what I read, but here is a crack at Japanese to English on these ads:

Model B-6 Baritone saxophone
  • Professional model
  • Made/produced after long research and trial production
  • All key touches are designed for use from beginners to pros
  • The middle D-sound, which was difficult to produce in the past, is easy to produce
  • This is a high-end luxury product popular both in Japan and abroad
  • B-6 Eb lacquer with Low A (Also available in silver)

Model B-800 Baritone Saxophone "Elimona"
  • As a result of years of Yanagisawa's efforts in technology
  • It is our finest, highest grade product finally completed at last
  • Many modifications and improvements have been made to the body and parts - especially the gold pillars and keys which provide a wonderful return touch
  • Special additions have been made to make it a free blowing baritone sax and make it sing better than ever
  • B-800 Eb lacquer with Low A (Also available in silver)

Model B-880 Baritone "Elimona"

  • Released after three years of development of the Elimona series
  • Released as Model B-880
  • New mechanics have improved tone and sound quality
  • Re-ordered table key, thumb key, high F key and octave key
  • For the pro, we have designed a more usable and functional mechanism - especially the pinky table moves from C# to B to Bb; due to the fine, detailed design, it has become a smooth movement
  • In addition, by modifying the neck and body material, we have improved the blowing and sound quality
  • The sound-stage has been "powered up" and boosted by several levels
  • B-880 Eb lacquer with Low A (also available in silver)


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
> One guy on a forum stated that Yani will provide info if I fax them my questions.
I was going to mention this, if you wanted to put an end to any doubts or concerns. Here's the horn your "guy" was referring to. It's an A600 stencil. I have the fax, somewhere. Anyhow, it's mostly an A6, but the G key bar is made out of nickel-silver ("German silver").

The horns engraved “Prima” were sold to the Japanese market through Prima Gakki. Horns without the “Prima” engraving were sold through Zen-On. (Source.) It's not a model or anything.

SOTW thread. You'll note that one person mentions that he has an S880 that doesn't have "Elimona" on it. My opinion is, "Pics, or it didn't happen." I see no pics in that thread. FWIW, I've had people tell me for years that they have or have seen Bundy Special baritones, but I have yet to see a single pic of one. FWIW #2, the Yani tech referenced in that thread did not respond or comment on what "Elimona" means. However, if you want to write a paper or something, you can document that you pulled that info about "Elimona" from SOTW at date/time. (Pro tip: writing a paper and need references? Create a website and put whatever you want to prove on it and quote said website. {Yes, I'm kidding. Or am I?}) Anyhow, my opinion is closer to what someone else mentioned in that thread about "Camry" or any other product name: it sounds good and looks like a real word or phrase (e.g. "Camry" is an anagram for "My Car.")

I found out that I was referenced somewhere! And proven right! At least for folks not knowing the difference between an S6 and S800.

I'll look at your B6, etc. pics in a minute.
Awesome info; thanks Pete! That clears up the “ Prima” curiosity.

Edit: Elite Monarch thread here
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Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
I'll go with your thead on "Elite Monarch," as Barnes & Mullins is one of the sources I've used for Yani history, so kudos for finding that! I still have not seen an 800 without "Elimona," other than stencils. Please look for one and post pics. Again, "Pics, or it didn't happen."

*Deep breath.*

What I've proven for you is that, in late 1975, Yani did definitely switch the bell key design on the B6. In other words, from ...

1578789586481.png to 2020-01-11_17h42_40.png

... however, there was probably some overlap of styles, as Stephen Howard mentioned regarding the S6.

* s/n 975876 (Sept. 1975) Vito stencil - Old style
* s/n 1075xxx (October 1975) Vito stencil - New style
* s/n 00125570 (1985) Vito stencil - New style

* s/n 00114833 (1983) Vito stencil - New style
* s/n 00111780 (1982) Vito stencil - New style
* s/n 10771058 (October 1977) Vito stencil - New style
* B6 from 1988 - New style

I'll post more in a bit. Dinner! Yes, it seems I'm obsessed with food.
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Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
I did not focus on getting B800 pics (punny!) because there seems to be a dearth of B800 pics. To me, that usually means that either a) B800s were so great, nobody wants to sell one or 2) they weren't produced in large quantities or iii) a combination of those two factors. Not that there are a lot of B880s, either.

I think I can wrap this up with this horn:

* Another late B6, with original paperwork. New style bell keys.

So, that's 100% confirmation for me that the horns with the "new style" bell keys are just B6s. Not some sort of B800 offshoot. However, if you do talk with Yani and get further info, I'd be happy to see it!
Great find! B-6 with new style bell keys. Just like my Vito, the Martin stencil and the “Barnard” horn.

I will fax Yani and see if I get any info on these. I’ll ask specifically about the bell key revisions and post any response I receive.
Since I'm on a roll here and have been looking at so many Yani baris this week, I found a good web-page that summarizes many of the differences that Yanigasawa added after the B-6/B-800/B880 as they developed the 900 series bari horns here

Yanagisawa began stamping model numbers on horns around B-880 and newer, so identification of "what you've got in your hands" should be easier, but someone shopping might wonder what else is different. All credit for the below information goes to the SH Woodwind Repairs article, but I thought a quick summary would be useful to remove the opinions and just state the observed facts, and also allow one to see what makes A B-9XX horn different from its predecessors.

A few high points from the article:
  • B-900 has an adjustable thumb hook (plastic) and a large plastic thumb rest; B-901 has metal thumb-hook which sports a set of dimples on its base - "apparently this is to decrease the area of surface contact with the body, and thus prevent the thumb from dampening the resonances from the body tube"
  • B-900 has stubby parallel-point screws, B-901 has points
  • The 901/2 horns differ only in that the 901's body is brass and the 902 is bronze. Ditto the 991/992
  • 991/992 horns have pillar construction that has been switched from single to ribbed
  • 901 had some changes to the position of some of the toneholes (vs. 900) that will have changed both the tuning and the tone
  • 991/992 look almost exactly the same as the 901 but have pearl touches to the side F and F# keys
  • 901 bari cases are slightly internally different vs. 900 cases

All 900 series baris feature:
  • Detachable bell and top bow, a triple-point bell brace, drawn toneholes
  • Adjustable bumper felts. The adjusters, however, are made of plastic
  • Full set of bell key guards (even the C# has one)
  • Each key on Low A/Low Bb is fitted with an arm which drops down onto a corresponding arm fitted to the next key down, thus closing all the connected keys
  • Three regulation adjusters - a pair for the G#/Bis/Bb and one on the helper arm off the low F key


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Oooh. Found something cool. Well, at least to me. Linky. So, what are we looking at?

This horn has all the engraving, etc. of an S880: Elimona stamp. Yanagisawa "coin" badge. However, it's clearly stamped "990." It also clearly has the S990's altissimo G key. Interestingly, I also have a soprano in the same serial number range (001800xx vs. 00182990 on GetASax.com, both from 1992). I've mentioned that the 990 was introduced around ... 1990. I currently don't have any 900s or 990s of any pitch that were made that close to 1990. I do have a couple of 880s around that time, so I'll look into that.

EDIT: I'll also confirm that the SC800 doesn't have the Elimona stamp and coin.
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Hi, I'm trying to date my vintage baritone, it's a Yanagisawa Vito stencil and I think it's a B6 ie; metal thumb hook, single low C arm, 'plain low A and Bb keys' as per the Barnard horn and marked 'VSP Vito' on the bell.....any ideas of the date? Many thanks.
Too many X's. Add another digit to that serial and Pete or I might be able to figure it out. Most Vito VSP's were Yanagisawa B901's. You said it has a single-arm low C? Have any pics?
I'm guessing by the official Yanagisawa serial # list to be 1980's but as it's a Vito stencil I'm not sure it that's correct or not?


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
1980 or 1981, probably. B6, definitely.

As far as I've seen -- and I've seen hundreds of Yanis -- Yani stencils use the same serial number chart as their non-stencil saxophones. Mind you, Yani also screws up serial numbers with regularity. In this case, though, I think it's right.
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