Yamaha produces a few iterations of their student saxophones. The most prominent today is the YAS-26. Another common one is the Yamaha Advantage YAS-200AD.
You can easily find both models in music stores across the United States. But despite how common the Advantage is, not much is known about it online.
This post will compare the similarities and differences between the standard YAS-26 and the Advantage YAS-200AD saxophones. Let’s dive in.
Yamaha YAS-26 vs YAS-200ADII
The truth is, these are the exact same saxophone. Both the YAS-26 and YAS-200ADII come from the same factory, go through the same quality control process, and are readily available in music stores across the country. The only differences are in cosmetics, packaging, and market positioning.
We’ll dive deeper into these differences. But first, we need to explain what Yamaha Advantage instruments are.
What Are Yamaha Advantage Saxophones?
Yamaha has two lines of student instruments: the standard line and the Advantage line. The YAS-26 is the standard model that Yamaha pushes to the general market. You can easily find them in stores or online from sites like Sweetwater or Woodwind Brasswind.
The YAS-200ADII is from the Advantage line of student instruments. They’re exclusively found in brick-and-mortar music stores that carry large volumes of rental instruments. These stores have strict agreements with Yamaha not to sell Advantage instruments online, and are only allowed to rent or sell them to local markets.
Differences Between the YAS-26 and YAS-200ADII
Spec-wise, the two saxophones are exactly the same. Both have the same body, same nickel-plated keywork, and come with the same 4C mouthpiece.
The differences come down to two things:
- The YAS-200ADII has the Yamaha Advantage logo stamped on the bell. This is purely cosmetic.
- It also comes in a durable light-blue ABS plastic case.
Let’s go a little deeper into these differences.
At first glance, these saxes look the same. They have the same lacquer finish with nickel-plated keywork. But take a closer look and you can identify which is which based on the bell stamp and other markings.
The 26’s bell simply has the Yamaha logo stamped on it with no other decorative engraving. You’ll also find the model number “YAS-26” by the serial number on the backside.
The 200AD’s bell has the Yamaha logo in the same place, plus the Advantage logo underneath. The model number “YAS-200ADII” is stamped on the back by the serial number.
The YAS-26 comes in a simple wood shell case with nothing on it. The YAS-200ADII comes in a similarly-sized ABS plastic case.
The Advantage case is much more durable and made to withstand the rigors of a middle school band room. It also has molded grooves and feet that help several cases stack on top of each other. This stackability is especially handy for music stores that keep large quantities of saxes in storage.
Where Are the YAS-26 and YAS-200ADII Made?
Both the YAS-26 and YAS-200ADII are made in Indonesia in one of Yamaha’s privately owned factories. This factory is where most Yamaha student wind instruments are made and assembled today.
A handful of parts may have been made offsite in another factory, which is a common practice throughout the industry. Rest assured that any new Yamaha student saxophone maintains high quality control standards and will last you a lifetime.
How Much Does Each One Cost?
A brand new YAS-26 costs $2,428 on Sweetwater and Woodwind Brasswind. This price is consistent across several online retailers.
Yamaha doesn’t publish the MSRP for the YAS-200ADII. But considering it’s the same horn, you should expect the price to be around the same.
You can find both saxes used online for anywhere between $500–$2,000.
Why Have Two Model Numbers for the Same Saxophone?
Despite the rise of e-commerce, local music stores still play an integral role in Yamaha’s success.
School music programs make up the largest customer base for Yamaha Band & Orchestra. As such, local dealers are usually the ones working with teachers and administrators to get instruments into the hands of students. They provide services online retailers like Sweetwater, WWBW, and Amazon simply can’t offer.
To that end, Yamaha offers some exclusive products to local school music dealers that can’t be found anywhere online — one of them being the Advantage YAS-200ADII. This gives shoppers more reasons to consider their local music store over the online dealer.
Since these are essentially the same saxophone, we can’t really recommend one over the other. Regardless of which model you choose, you can trust that you’re getting one of the absolute best student saxophones out there.
We give the Advantage model a slight edge though. If you’re a parent shopping for your kid, the extra-durable case might be worth it.
Curious About Other Saxophones?
We have plenty of other guides to help you pick the right saxophone. Here are a few that may interest you:
- Cannonball AA-L Alcazar vs. A90-L Falcon Student Saxophones: Check out this comparison of two other student saxophones. These are similar in price and quality to Yamaha’s own offerings.
- The Ultimate Guide to Cannonball Saxophones: Our comprehensive guide to Cannonball saxophones. We go over every current model, plus talk about accessories and answer common questions.
- Big Bell Stone Series vs Vintage Reborn (Differences Explained): Take a deep dive into two of Cannonball’s most popular lines of professional saxophones. We explore the similarities and differences between the Stone Series and Vintage Reborn saxes.