I am going back to playing alto after struggling for 18 months trying to play tenor. I am so pleased I made the decision to do so, as the tenor is really too big for me, and I am delighted that I chose the Yanagisawa AWO-2. It is a really excellent saxophone in every respect. The build quality is first class, even down to the very nice case it comes in. It is supplied with an excellent Yani ebonite mouthpiece; I don't need to buy an new one yet. The key action is very slick and responsive. It is taking me a while to adjust , but it will be a huge benefit when I have become accustomed to it. The sound is wonderful - quite full and warm with a bit of edge when you need it. I took it to my saxophone lesson for the first time today and had the opportunity to compare it to my teacher's Selmer MK VI. To my ear the Yanagisawa sounded very good - different from the Selmer, but certainly not inferior.
If, like me, you are looking at the £400 price difference between Thomann and UK dealers, but are worried about buying an expensive instrument unseen, then don't be. I did a lot of research on the web and narrowed my search down to a Yamaha 82Z or a Yanagisawa and concluded I would be happy with either. I chose the Yani because everything I read said it would be suitable for an intermediate player, whereas I know from experience with my tenor that Yamaha have, with their G1 neck, achieved a great sound at the expense of difficult intonation at the higher notes. Further research told me that the bronze model sounds warmer than the brass model and that it was better for me, as an inexperienced player, to stick with the AWO-1 or AWO-2 rather than go for one of the elite models. That just left my confidence in dealing with Thomann. No problem, I have dealt with them before and they are very good. They allayed my fears about whether they could service the instrument if there was a problem - they can - and answered my questions about prices / exchange rates.
Buy one! You won't regret it.