YAMAHA YAS-280 Student Alto Saxophones Review

Selecting a good beginner saxophone from the vast array offered in the market is an overwhelming task for most saxophone students. Like most beginners, I faced this challenge for years. I would have given up on learning the sax had it not for a friend, who is an experienced saxophonist, recommending YAMAHA YAS-280 Saxophone. The lightweight, ergonomically designed, and easy to play student saxophone became my new pet and remained my favorite instrument throughout my school days.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Saxophone

The numerous saxophones available in the market differ depending on their construction, sound quality, and many other features. As a result, picking the right student saxophone might not be an easy task.

Here are considerations that could help you pick the best sax from the rest.

  • Buy a saxophone that is meant for your level
  • Give priority to new saxophones as they should be in a good working condition.
  • Look for a well built saxophone.
  • Test before you buy.

The YAMAHA YAS-280 Saxophone

Yamaha YAS- 280 alto saxophone is marketed as a perfect start for beginner saxophonists. Its ergonomic design facilitates a comfortable grip and makes it easy to access notes. Additionally, its lightness eliminates the unnecessary load that can strain your hands during long training sessions.

Like most alto saxophones, Yamaha YAS- 280 supports an easy sound production as well as an excellent intonation. In regards to design, this student saxophone is stylish and artistic. Its body is also resistant to corrosion and rust.

  • It is constructed from a light but durable frame.
  • Yamaha 280 comes with a bonus storage case.
  • Its keys are responsive.
  • It comes with a bonus backpack.
  • The student saxophone is coated with a gold lacquer finish for a more professional look.
  • Yamaha 280 is pricier than most beginner saxophonist.
  • It lacks a cleaning kit
  • Yamaha 280 is not ideal for the professional saxophonist.

Features and Benefits

It Is Ergonomically Designed

YAMAHA YAS-280 Student Alto Saxophones

Unlike cheap beginner saxophones that are uncomfortable to hold and play for a long time, Yamaha YAS 280 is lightweight and comfortable to hold. This feature is helpful if you love practicing for long hours as it shields you from hand strain. On top of the ergonomic design, Yamaha 280 also features an adjustable thumb-rest for comfortable thumb positioning.

Robust neck receiver

As a beginner, you may over-tighten the screws on your sax’s neck receiver and eventually break the receiver or even the screws. To shield your valued music instrument from this damage, Yamaha YAS 280 features a solid neck receiver that will hardly break due to over- tightening the screws. In my opinion, this is among the few beginner saxophones that come with such a strong neck receiver.

Ease To Access Notes

Yamaha YAS 280 alto saxophone features a low B to C# connector and a high F sharp key. As a beginner, you might find this feature valuable since it lets you access the low and high notes more efficiently thereby eliminating the frustration and strain that might result when you reach out for this notes.

Stylish design

Would you love to own a saxophone that looks as good as it plays? If you do, Yamaha YAS- 280 is a perfect fit for you. Unlike some subdued saxophones out there, Yamaha 280 features a gold lacquer finish and faux Mother- of- Pearl keys that make it stylish and professional.








Value for the Money


User Satisfaction



Despite the fact that Yamaha YAS- 280 seems like a good investment for beginners, it is not the only good product in the market. Some of the student saxophones that you would consider as its alternatives include Mendini E Flat alto saxophone with tuner, Etude EAS- 100 student saxophone, and Legacy AS750 alto saxophone.

Mendini E Flat Alto Saxophone

Mendini E Flat Alto Saxophone

Unlike Yamaha 280, Mendini E flat alto saxophone comes in Gold, Sky blue, black, green, nickel, red, and purple colors to let you purchase a saxophone of your favorite color.

It features fast play keys for easy play and quality leather pads. Mendini saxophone also comes with a hard shell case, a neck strap, a pair of gloves, ten reeds, a pocketbook, and a chromatic tuner. It is designed for students, and it costs $209.99.

How Mendini E Flat alto saxophone compares with Yamaha YAS- 280:

  • Mendini alto saxophone also features a gold lacquered finish
  • Its keys are easy to access.
  • The keys are designed with faux mother of pearl.

Etude EAS- 100 Alto Saxophone

Etude EAS- 100 Alto Saxophone

Etude EAS- 100 is a student saxophone constructed from an elegant metal frame to last long as well as produce a superior tone. Apart from its sturdy construction, the saxophone features a well thought key work that enhances smooth control and sound production. Its standard package contains a carry case, a cleaning kit, a ligature, and a mouthpiece. It costs 249.99.

How Etude EAS- 100 compares with Yamaha YAS- 280:

  • Etude EAS- 100 produces quality sound.
  • It is easy to play.
  • It lasts long

Legacy AS750 student Alto Saxophone

Legacy AS750 student Alto Saxophone

Legacy AS750 student saxophone is constructed from a sturdy metallic frame to withstand wear and tear. You would want to purchase this saxophone because of its stylish clear lacquer finish, a superior intonation, and tone. The saxophone's standard pack contains a mouthpiece, a neck strap, a ligature, and a backpack. It costs $259.99.

How Legacy AS750 compares with Yamaha YAS- 280:

  • Legacy AS750 is easy to play.
  • It lasts long.
  • The saxophone has a stylish finish.

Final Thoughts

Yamaha YAS- 280 is an ergonomically designed student alto saxophone with an easy sound production and a stylish gold lacquer finish. Moreover, this student saxophone has easy to access keys and a superior intonation. If you are still not sure which beginner saxophone best fits your needs, you can read more about our review and get informed ideas to help you decide. If you are still not sure which beginner saxophone best fits your needs, you can read more about our review and get informed ideas to help you decide.

Stephanie Su

Started learning music when she was four years old, Stephanie is a music teacher and a music therapist who is highly proficient in Piano, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele. She likes to learn, teach, and share her music playing experiences.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
S - June 17, 2018

Your website is very helpful.

I’ve been advised that the Yamaha alto saxophone YAS280 student model comes with the high F sharp key. Can you please help me locate exactly where this key is on the saxophone. Are you able to send me a photo or two please of the location? I’m a beginner saxophonist.



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