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M/Pieces - Ligs An alternative to the Yamaha 4c Alto mouthpiece

Daithi

Member
Messages
72
Location
Scottish Highlands
I have already bored everybody rigid with my questions about why it might be that I find a gear4music Alto with either its original mouthpiece or a Yamaha 4c quite difficult to blow. Browsing around tonight I saw a comment that the Yamaha 5c produces a slightly darker more mellow sound than the Yamaha 4c. After a bit more digging around I found this review:-

"The difference in volume and tone [with the 5c] was remarkable.......but best of all (and more importantly) , my saxophone was instantly much easier to 'blow', due to the shape of this mouthpiece. I cannot believe that I have played on a standard isssue 4C for so long, without exploring the options......definitely recommended!"

Has anybody here used these 2 mouthpieces on the same instrument with such results?

Well I used to be confused now I'm not so sure! Since I posted I found this comment on another forum
"
since 5C has a bigger tip opening and chamber size, it will create more "saxophonish" sound (no other way to put this; doesn't make it brighter nor mellower, but makes the sound more distinct between a sax and a kazoo), while a 4C will be more free-blowing."
 
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Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
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533
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Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Like with anything, opinions vary so much on sound and playability. I think the only thing you can do is try some mouthpieces and see how they work for you. Dawkes will do a 7 day trial and you pay only return postage and a £3 restocking fee for anything you send back. Cheapest way to find the right piece for you and you can try them in your usual environment.

I play a yanagisawa rubber (6) on my alto and find it really free blowing with a lovely tone. My tenor has always felt easier to blow but with the Yani things have evened out. I have also played Selmer C*, Meyer, Otto Link and Yamha 4c on alto. The Yanagisawa made a noticeable and immediate difference.

Experiment with reeds too when you try different mouthpieces. it can make a big difference.
 

Justin Chune

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The Athens of The North
Perhaps your sax needs attention or your reeds are too hard. I have a Yamaha 4c alto mouthpiece and it plays just as well as any of the others I have.

The difference between a 4c and 5c is about 4 thous of an inch. Has anyone else play tested your sax? I hope you resolve this soon.

Jim.
 

Daithi

Member
Messages
72
Location
Scottish Highlands
Hello Jim

So do I - its driving me crazy. Its a brand new gear4music alto which has had good reviews and seems ok apart from being much more difficult to blow than my Jericho tenor straight out of the case with the supplied mouthpiece - easy to blow gorgeous tone.

Nobody else has play tested the Sax - I am living in a very remote location in the Scottish Highlands.
 

jbtsax

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Perhaps your sax needs attention or your reeds are too hard. I have a Yamaha 4c alto mouthpiece and it plays just as well as any of the others I have.

The difference between a 4c and 5c is about 4 thous of an inch. Has anyone else play tested your sax? I hope you resolve this soon.

Jim.

I concur with Jim 100%. A Yamaha 4C with a 2 1/2 (or 2) reed should allow the player to get a well controlled sound without undue effort on the part of the embouchure or the air. An easy way to tell if it is the sax itself or the set-up is to play the mouthpiece and neck apart from the instrument. Set the embouchure to produce an Ab concert and hold the tone 20 seconds or longer at mf. Try a few different reeds as well. If you can do this, the "tone producer" is working and the problem is with the sax itself.

A common problem that produces a very resistant saxophone when you blow is a minor leak in the neck socket, in one of the palm key pads, or the high E pad. If you can't easily get it to a tech to be checked, fashion a leaklight and check the sax for leaks in a darkened room. That may provide a clue as to what is going on. The solution is not a new mouthpiece IMO.
 

kevgermany

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Too many factors to consider.

I don't agree with some of those comments about the 4C/5C - except that the tip of the 5C is a touch wider. I tend to agree with jbtsax about a leak, but I'll just add that quite a few times I've seen a change of mouthpiece make a 'leaky' sax play a lot better. The question is, is it a leak - or is it a mouthpiece problem. Making up a leak light is a great idea. Many saxes aren't very well set up, even from new. and it can make them difficult, or near impossible to play. Even if it was well set up, it doesn't take much to disturb a key or two and cause problems.

An alternative approach to a leak light is to force the the keys closed that jbtsax mentioned. Either get someone to press them closed - or use rubber bands tightly wrapped around the sax. Then play and see if it heps. Don't break the sax doing it... Not perfect as it may not get keys sealing perfectly, but it may give you an idea.
 

Pete Thomas

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Hello Jim

So do I - its driving me crazy. Its a brand new gear4music alto which has had good reviews and seems ok apart from being much more difficult to blow than my Jericho tenor straight out of the case with the supplied mouthpiece - easy to blow gorgeous tone.

Nobody else has play tested the Sax - I am living in a very remote location in the Scottish Highlands.

I think the gear4music comes with a no quibble return policy, why not send it back and by a Jericho alto?
 

TomMapfumo

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Skabertawe, South Wales
For what it is worth there are many excellent alternatives to the good old Yamaha 4C which are well worth considering:

1. Clark Fobes Debut - £36 from Howarth of London - really superb, hand finished piece.
2. Bari Esprit II - at £14 is an incredible bargain. I rate it very highly indeed.
3. Windcraft Ebonite Etude - £49 from Dawkes. Also superb.
4. Runyon 22 - about £30+ from East Coast Wind and sax.co.uk. Charkie Parkers main mouthpiece of chopice, made by his first teacher, Santy Runyon. Great sound.

Also the Hite Premier and Rico Graftonite are worth a look. Does sound that there may be a leak and/or a Jericho may be a better choice anyway.

Regards
Tom
 

Pete Thomas

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For what it is worth there are many excellent alternatives to the good old Yamaha 4C which are well worth considering:

1. Clark Fobes Debut - £36 from Howarth of London - really superb, hand finished piece.
2. Bari Esprit II - at £14 is an incredible bargain. I rate it very highly indeed.
3. Windcraft Ebonite Etude - £49 from Dawkes. Also superb.
4. Runyon 22 - about £30+ from East Coast Wind and sax.co.uk. Charkie Parkers main mouthpiece of chopice, made by his first teacher, Santy Runyon. Great sound.

Also the Hite Premier and Rico Graftonite are worth a look. Does sound that there may be a leak and/or a Jericho may be a better choice anyway.

I agree, all of those are good, however I also think there is so little difference between a 4C and 5C that the problem is not with the mouthpiece.
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
All my G4M saxophones play well and blow easily.

Mouthpieces have been recommended on this and another thread.

There's an old saying. " You can't dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper"

Whatever the problem is, the wrong solution won't solve it.

Get on the pc and search out a teacher. A couple of lessons and a once over of your instruments will be a sound investment.
 

Daithi

Member
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72
Location
Scottish Highlands
Thanks very much to everyone who has taken the time to comment on this thread and to offer advice - I hope the advice may be helpful to others with my problem and for now I am putting the alto back on the wall :)

"force the the keys closed that jbtsax mentioned. Either get someone to press them closed - or use rubber bands tightly wrapped around the sax. Then play and see if it heps. Don't break the sax doing it... Not perfect as it may not get keys sealing perfectly, but it may give you an idea." - sounds a great idea I will give it one last try.

"
buy a Jericho alto?" - If only :) - sadly they are unlikely to have the model I want for 4 - 6 weeks.

"
Bari Esprit II - at £14 is an incredible bargain. I rate it very highly indeed." - I have tried one and its better than the one supplied with the sax but doesn't resolve the problem

"
All my G4M saxophones play well and blow easily." - Good to hear but mine doesn't - that may be due to my health problem but then I have no problem blowing my Jericho tenor - maybe my quest for an alto that is as easy to blow is just impossible.

"
Get on the pc and search out a teacher. A couple of lessons and a once over of your instruments will be a sound investment." - In general that would be great advice and believe me I have searched the internet to no avail. The cost of "a couple of lessons" were I able to get them wouldn't make any difference to how easy it is to blow the sax would it? - although I appreciate the teacher might confirm that the sax is faulty - I thought money spent on a different mouthpiece might be a better option.

Thanks again everyone - I now realise there is no simple solution to my problem so I am putting it on the "too difficult" pile metaphorically speaking :)



 

Pete Thomas

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I agree, all of those are good, however I also think there is so little difference between a 4C and 5C that the problem is not with the mouthpiece.
You did not read my last sentence - I said that it did sound like a possible leak.

I did read it and was actually agreeing with it, but probably didn't word my response very well. (ie the "also" was referring to what you said in the last sentence) I probably need more coffee.

re: gear4music, I have a sneaky feeling that it may be one of those companies that (a) don't do a very good final check QC (if at all) and (b) may source product from different factories so you may read reviews that are actually about a different saxophone with the same brand name.
 

aldevis

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"
Get on the pc and search out a teacher. A couple of lessons and a once over of your instruments will be a sound investment." - In general that would be great advice and believe me I have searched the internet to no avail. The cost of "a couple of lessons" were I able to get them wouldn't make any difference to how easy it is to blow the sax would it? - although I appreciate the teacher might confirm that the sax is faulty - I thought money spent on a different mouthpiece might be a better option.


If you find a honest teacher, or even a friendly prepared professional, you also can have a one-off assessment.
Someone that could tell you in which direction to improve your playing, check your set up and tell you (maybe) to keep on playing on a Yamaha mouthpiece.
It would be money better spent than on a mouthpiece.
 

Daithi

Member
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72
Location
Scottish Highlands
re: gear4music, I have a sneaky feeling that it may be one of those companies that (a) don't do a very good final check QC (if at all) and (b) may source product from different factories so you may read reviews that are actually about a different saxophone with the same brand name.

That's very interesting, in fact a shock - I had spent some time reading reviews. Good to know for the future
 

Pete Thomas

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That's very interesting, in fact a shock - I had spent some time reading reviews. Good to know for the future

But don't take it as the gospel truth, I'm basing it on speculation including only a couple I've tried, what Stephen Howard has said and it being a large warehouse type company as opposed to a more personal family run business ala Jericho or bauhaus wher you can actually speak to someone doing the importing/checking as oppose to a nameless customer service person who sounds like they couldn't care less.
 

Daithi

Member
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72
Location
Scottish Highlands
If you find a honest teacher, or even a friendly prepared professional, you also can have a one-off assessment.
Someone that could tell you in which direction to improve your playing, check your set up and tell you (maybe) to keep on playing on a Yamaha mouthpiece.
It would be money better spent than on a mouthpiece.

If I still lived in Brighton that would be no problem but in fact I now live in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands - one of the most remote places in Europe apparently. Although Tesco's (surprisingly) deliver, we cant find a plumber, ariel rigger, joiner or roofer let alone a saxophonist :)

"Someone that could tell you in which direction to improve your playing" - yes I am sure you are correct but right now I am going crazy simply trying to source an alto that is as easy for me to blow as my Jericho tenor - it seems that is an impossible dream - (cue for a song :) ! )
 

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