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Mouthpieces and Tuning....Matching Mpces to horn.


Senior Member
Warsaw, Poland.
Following on from a for sale thread I noticed on this forum, I have got an interesting tuning situation.

I recently got a second tenor sax as a back up/alternative to my Borgani. I had been looking for a while and wanted a different sound. I therefore ended up with a Yamaha YTS 62C with a custom G3 neck for a good price in superb condition.
I have had it for 2 weeks now and am well used to it's playing. It stands up well as a good tenor sax with great (for me) ergonomics, full sound, can whisper and roar, all in all a fine instrument.
When it arrived I used my Link STM 7* - which has been worked on, also my Francois Louis Spectruso 8.
Both played well, different sound, different feel, close to perfect intonation up and down the horn with slight adjustments from me.
Next came my EB Tone edge, 7, a classic and a fine piece.
Great full sound tuning seemed good all over the horn except the palm keys.
Here they are a semitone out - sharp c# = D, D = D# etc....
My question is why this may be ? Is it due to the chamber size ? or what ever else could it be ?
On my Borg all the above Mpces play perfectly well with great intonation.... I'm flummoxed :confused:
Try pulling the mpce out til you get an in tune octave d on a long tone. Find the position that gives you a good sound and plays perfectly in tune.

Then while playing a long tone, without changing embouchure, carefully remove thumb from octave key and let tone drop octave. Report back whether low d is in tune with octave d sharp or flat.
Hi Ray,
This is kind of a weird one. the EB isn't significantly different to the STM w/r/t intonation. There is either an obvious oversight (e.g. octave key sticking at just the wrong time) or something subtle and unusual going on between the neck and mouthpiece.

Normally, I would agree with Jazzaferri, -- line up the Ds then see how the top end relates to that baseline. But I remember that Link and it's a great player with no quirkiness about it like this. Still, it couldn't hurt.

I'm a bit stumped aorn. Sorry that's not more help.
Well I tried the Octave D tuning method and to get 2nd Oct D in tune I really had to pull out the mpce so it was only on the cork to the extent of 8mm...hence not very stable.
So played oct D with oct key then dropped to low octave D -Result both pretty much in tune.
Then going to the top of the horn into the palm keys still got progressively sharper.
I then tried the same experiment using softer reeds java 2 1/2.
This was noticeably better.
I think on this horn this Link likes the softer reeds (on my Borg I use Alxndr Superial 3 1/2).

Same experiment again, pushed the mpce further on this time and made sure to relax my jaw more than usual. Again both D's pretty much in tune, palm keys better, still slightly sharp but now within a reasonable range.

Still this horn is better with the STM and the F Louis that the TE Link - at least for me.

One thing I noticed the other day when I removed the octave mechanism for a clean and oil (just in case).
On the body the key regulating the top octave side vent has a pretty chunky piece of new cork,the sax had just been seviced prior to my purchase, and this may be preventing that key from opening as much as it should. This may make for some tuning irregularities, but I am unwilling to sand it down as it will compress over time.
Thanks Guys !
Hmmmm. How far on are the other two?

It seems to me that either the chamber on the EB tone edge is much smaller and you exert a fair bit of lower lip on the reed or somehow it's not compatible with the custom neck. I hope Morgan jumps back in on this one as this is definitely a strange'un.

It occurs to me to ask, are the other two mpces that work well about the same place on the cork on your Borg or are all the mpces out further?
The other 2 are on about the same, 2/3 rd's down the cork, as normal and solid.
They again are in approx' the same position on the Borg, but the Borg has a longer neck and is much less of a pronounced "swans neck" shape.
Maybe it just is an isue of compatibility with the G3 neck on the Yamaha.
Sounds like it is. Not familiarm with the EB Tone Edge. Is it a smallish chamber or ?
Sounds like it is. Not familiarm with the EB Tone Edge. Is it a smallish chamber or ?

It's what I would call a medium-large chamber. It's technically a large chamber, in that the throat is wider than the bore. But, come to think of it, the chamber area under the window is maybe as much as 1mm narrower than the STM, and less square. This is enough to make some difference, but not usually a deal-breaker.

If this is an acoustic problem it is that the pitch of the mouthpiece on that neck (which varies with mpc volume, but also with chamber shape and neck opening size and shape) is too high for this particular sax-reed-neck-player combination. That pulling out doesn't fix it but a softer reed helps some is consistent with this theory.

I just asked a good player I know in Belgium who endorses Yamaha about this. He plays my Large Chamber HR pieces on a G1 neck and before that an FLZ which is more similar to the EB Link. Anyway, he tells me that step baffle pieces seemed to work better on the G3 than the G1, the more traditionally shaped pieces better on the G1 than the G3.

hope that helps some.
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Thats very interesting, thanks Morgan.
The G3 is apparently a "darker/softer" sounding neck, due to different bore taper, shape etc, with more resistence - from my research.
Hence I could imagine it is complemented by a higher baffle piece, whilst the G1 neck is "brighter/harder" less resistence, hence maybe complemented by larger chamber pieces...
Obviously all depending on the desired sound one wishes to achieve of course.
I have just tried the Tone Edge experiment again, adjusting once again throat/oral cavity etc for playing this mpce, with a 2 1/2 reed - without playing any other mpce before, therefore a fresh embouchure, and it can be controlled and the tuning brought down, but really still this mpce has to be pulled out so much on the cork as to be unstable.
I guess this piece just cannot be used with this horn neck combo..
Hah.....I am sooo glad that Morgan chimed in's always better to have someone who has taken a deep draught from the Paerian spring commenting.

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