Yanagisawa Alto Saxophone (A-992) Review

If you’re a professional alto saxophone player or a serious student of the instrument, you might have decided it’s time to look for a top-of-the-line saxophone.

If that’s the case, you need look no further than the Yanagisawa alto saxophone A-992. State-of-the-art solid and intricate construction, elegant craftsmanship, and remarkable sound and intonation have all been combined into a single instrument that has been described as a “perfect” saxophone, able to handle classical, jazz, and any other type of music asked of it.

Whether or not it’s actually perfect is up to the player. However, it doesn’t take more than a quick inspection to show you that the A-992 is something special.

The Yanagisawa A992 alto saxophone makes BIG's list of the best alto saxophones and gets a BIG 5 stars.

BIG Rating

Highlighted Features

  • Octave system: The octave key axis is designed to rotate in a coated receptacle, giving the player smooth playing every time.
  • Rocking table mechanism: The C# and Bb keys are built for maximum speed and ease of transition between these notes.
  • Double connected table key: In addition to the C# and Bb keys being connected, the C# and B keys have the same mechanism connecting them.
  • F-auxiliary key mechanism: Helps to make sure the pads are sealed properly when playing the instrument’s lower notes.
  • "Indented" white shell keys: The indented white shell keys not only enhance the inherent beauty of the instrument, but they allow the player’s fingers to rest comfortable, and prevent slippage during difficult passages.
  • Ribbed construction: Inside the horn, a single metal rib runs the length of the instrument. The posts are soldered to this rib, which improves the saxophone’s overall toughness and long-life.
  • Metal thumb rests: Not only do they look nice and match the instrument’s aesthetic design, but they are also strong and fully adjustable.
  • Pointed pivot screw: These screws have a pointed end, to help maintain more precise and accurate action.
  • Air-tight waterproof pad: Air-tight pads support a more stable playing experience. Waterproof pads help extend their life.
  • Metal resonator: These give the saxophone a clear sound, no matter the pitch or volume of the note.
  • Blue steel springs: More resilient, durable and responsive than stainless steel
  • Double braced arm: Two arms connected to the pad cup help to make sure it is properly seated.
  • Included: Comes with a mouthpiece, ligature, mouthpiece cap, and case
  • Specifications
  • Key: Eb- Range: Low Bb to High F#
  • Neck and Body: Lacquered Bronze
  • Bell: Hand-engraved

Yanagisawa Alto Saxophone (A-992) Review

As already stated, the Yanagisawa A-992 might be the perfect saxophone for the serious musician. This instrument has everything needed to make you look and sound your best: on the outside, a lacquered bronze finish gives it a deep, mellow, rich tone that is matched in quality only by the beautiful darker finish. The inner workings on this horn are built for strength and ease of use. The internal rib provides a strong, durable framework to attach the rest of the instrument to. The keys on both the lower and higher range of tones have been designed to allow for a quick and smooth transition between notes. The pivot screws are fashioned with a pointed end to help keep the keys accurate and precise.

Comfortable to Play

The Yanagisawa alto saxophone is also designed with your comfort in mind. The white shell keys are constructed with a concave indention to help your fingers stay firm without unwanted slippage as you rip through those more trying scores. The strong, metal thumb rests match the lacquered bronze of the rest of the instrument, and are also readily adjustable to allow for you to hold the saxophone however and wherever works best for your playing style.

Built to Last

If you’re going to drop a lot of money on a high-quality instrument, it’s important that your instrument last, right? Every detail of this horn, even down to the blue steel springs, has been made to last. The air-tight, waterproof pads help ensure key longevity, and the previously-mentioned sturdy internal rib helps the horn stay together.

Warm Mellow Tone

Finally, though, it all comes down to sound. The lacquered bronze finish provides a nice, warm mellow tone, aided by the metal resonator, which helps every note from the lowest to the highest resonate with crystal clarity.

All in all, every detail and feature of the Yanagisawa A-992 is of the highest quality.


  • Solidly built from end to end, both inside and out
  • Uniquely dark finish is beautiful to look at
  • Uniquely “dark” sound is beautiful to listen to, and perfect for both classical and jazz
  • Durable and strong -- this instrument is built to last


  • Higher price point

So How Does the Yanagisawa A-992 Alto Saxophone Sound?

Yanagisawa Alto Saxophone A-992 Video


If you’re looking for the last saxophone you’ll ever need to buy, the Yanagisawa A-992 alto saxophone is pretty much impossible to beat. Everything about this sax is built with the professional, serious, long-term player in mind. Yanagisawa has put just as much, if not more, attention to the inside of this horn as they did the outside, from the use of blue steel springs to the solid, ribbed underbelly holding it all together. And on the outside? Well, it looks beautiful and it sounds amazing. What more could anyone ask for?

The Yanagisawa A-992 Alto Saxophone gets a BIG 5 stars and is highly recommended.

BIG Rating

Still not sure which sax to buy? Visit BIG's Saxophone Buying Guide for more information and buying tips.