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Saxophones Best soprano model


People like Yanigisawa soprano’s and they get most of the recommendations. They have a clean sound, good intonation and are a favourite for classical students. However they do have quite a bit of resistance. The Yamaha YSS62 should be on your list, it is a fine instrument and free blowing with good intonation.

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Nigeld and GC in CT gave some very good hints as have others. All saxophones are imperfect instruments. They are not like a keyboard where you hit a key and the perfect note comes out. Your embouchure can make any tone go flat or sharp. Is your embouchure precisely the same for every note? Well, here's the really scary news: Every soprano maker has a prejudice towards accommodating a player's tendency towards tightening their embouchure when playing higher notes. The degree of this depends on the maker. As Nigeld said, a previous horn he had was pitched differently, so he had to adjust. From my experience the Yanagisawas tend to require more tightening of the embouchure the higher you play. That's not a fault, it's an accommodation to a natural tendency. However many others, B&S, R&C, Martin, Buescher (all ones I've owned) require a more relaxed embouchure to play in tune. If you're used to a Yani and then play any of the others the top end will play sharp. If you start with something other than the Yani then go to a Yani it will sound flat.

As mentioned by others, you asked for a list. Any of those mentioned are pretty good, but the real take home message is: YOU HAVE TO GET USED TO WHATEVER HORN YOU HAVE. That is the only way you will EVER play a soprano in tune. Another word of advice: use your ear. You can't always be using a tuner. You have to be able to hear if you're in tune and continually adjust until it becomes automatic. Playing single notes in front of a tuner isn't the same. Hear the pitch you are about to play and when it comes out of the horn ensure that it sounds in tune.
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I sold my Yanagisawa 800 series curved and bought a curved Bauhaus (Walstein). I found the Bauhaus better and it was 1/3 the price at the time.

I am toying with getting a straight sop and Bauhaus is top of my list still (though I would try before buying).

I also want to try Trevor James having been impressed by their altos.

I agree the mouthpiece positioning can make an almost unbelievable difference.
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