The Selmer AS300 and the Yamaha YAS23 are both excellent student saxophones, but most of us can’t really afford two different horns or even want to. 

So, if you’re wondering whether you should opt for the well-established and high-quality Selmer AS300 or the diverse and durable Yamaha YAS23, keep on reading to find your best match.

Selmer AS300 vs. Yamaha YAS23: Short Answer

While both have the reputation of good entry-level student horns, if you’ve got the money to spare, you should probably opt for the Yamaha YAS23. It produces better sound and has better intonation, but of course, it comes at a considerably higher price.

Image Product Details   Price
Yamaha YAS23 Yamaha YAS23 Best Overall Check Price
Selmer AS300 Selmer AS300 Best for budget Check Price

The Full Comparison

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s delve into the tiniest details of the two to figure out which one would be the best choice for certain purposes or players with a certain concern in mind.

Design and Construction

In terms of body construction, the Yamaha YAS23’s neck, body, and bell are all made of brass, while it has power-forged keys that make them easy to press and play. Also, the YAS23 comes with tapered pivot screws for swift key action with accurate adjustment. 

And to top it all, the shape and dimensions of its keys are refined to give the player the smoothest playing experience possible.

Alternatively, the AS300 also has a brass body but comes with nickel-plated keys and ergonomic placement of the left-hand table and palm keys. With its gold lacquer finish, it gives a nice response and makes the horn suitable for ensembles and bands.

  • Winner: The Yamaha YAS23.

Handling and Playability

The Selmer AS300 weighs a little over 10 pounds, while the Yamaha YAS23 weighs a little over 14 pounds, which makes the former a bit easier to handle and carry, especially for longer periods of time.

Though both instruments are quite ergonomic, have a good key layout, and don’t feel awkward to play or hold. The YAS23 comes with the popular adjustable thumb rest, which makes for a comfortable playing position. It also enables beginners to reach the tough altissimo G note more easily, thanks to the front F-key mechanism. 

  • Winner: Tie.


The Selmer AS300 is equipped with plastic resonators that help its full-bodied sound’s intonation. Not to mention, the left-hand and right-hand sections are in-line to make it feel like a pro sax, like the Paris-made ones.

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Admittedly, the Yamaha easily outshines the AS300 when it comes to sound production, sound, and intonation. Thanks to its build and high-quality materials, its resistance, timbre, and resonance are all superior. The instruments also differ in that the YAS23 is in Ee while the Selmer AS300 is in E flat, which is a note up, making it sound brighter.

  • Winner: The Yamaha YAS23.

Durability and Case

The Selmer AS300 isn’t advertised as a heavy-duty or long-lasting sax, but it’s still good enough for the entry-level player. It comes with a strap and bell ring as well as a double-wall cushion case to keep it protected and without any scratches.

On the other hand, the Yamaha YAS23 is definitely a sax that will last with you through the years. Its construction is a lot more solid, and its high-quality finish leaves little need for maintenance and serving. 

Moreover, the keys of the sax come with polyester buttons to extend the horn’s durability, and they do the aesthetics a favor. Also, it comes with a plywood case that protects it well and keeps it in tip-top shape.

  • Winner: The Yamaha YAS23.


This one is quite easy. If you’re a budget-conscious shopper, a complete beginner, or aren’t sure if you’ll be using the sax for long, then you might want to go for the more affordable US-made Selmer AS300.

On the other hand, the Yamaha YAS23 does come at a higher price, but it also brings out the best of your talents with its fantastic intonation, tone, and sound. Though it’s worth mentioning that you can get a used one for half the original price.

  • Winner: Selmer AS300

Selmer AS300 vs. Yamaha YAS23: Pros and Cons

Selmer AS300


  • Highly affordable
  • Ergonomic key placement


  • Intonation and sound aren’t as good as the Yamaha YAS23
  • Less durable than AS23

Yamaha YAS23


  • Fantastic sound and intonation
  • Bright tone
  • More consistent tuning
  • Comes with an adjustable thumb rest


  • New ones are pricey for a student sax


So, when all is said and done, between the Selmer AS300 vs. Yamaha YAS23, the Yamaha YAS23 is definitely the better choice overall. But, if your budget doesn’t allow it, or if you’re a novice that’s only looking to experiment with saxophones, you might want to opt for the Selmer AS300.

Still, if you can find a used Yamaha YAS23 in good condition, it would be around the same price as a brand new Selmer AS300, but it would give you much better value and sound.

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