Tutorials

M/Pieces - Ligs New mouthpiece

ESJohn

Member
Messages
87
Location
Ohio USA
Found a deal on ebay for a Yamaho 4C mouthpiece complete with the ligature and cover. Couldn't resist, Had watched some videos about upgrading from the stock (no name) mpc's and a comment made months ago on the forum stressed that they have a greater influence on the sound than the horn. I should have it by early next week. One of these days--a PPT! What kind of expectations should I have of the Yamaha? I'm sure it can't hurt, at least!
 

Ne0Wolf7

Member
Messages
417
Location
Long Island
The 4C is a stock mouthpiece, it comes with every Yamaha saxophone.
They are solid nonetheless, well made. 4C is a somewhat close facing.
What do you already have?
 
OP
ESJohn

ESJohn

Member
Messages
87
Location
Ohio USA
I have two mouthpieces presently. There is no branding noted on either one. Since being on the forum, I've heard nothing but good about the brand and the name across the top looks cool :). The seller stated that it was from a Yamaha sax that he owned. The mouthpiece had never been used. So it should represent some sort of upgrade for me. I'd love to own a Yamaha sax but this will do for now.
 

Alphorn

Member
Messages
309
Location
South of Munich
How long have you been playing? Just wonder because a Yamaha 4c is not exacetly expensive and I would have thrown out the non-brand mouthpiece the first day, as these can make live difficult when you need to blow around bad response etc. Have fun with your 4c.

Alphorn
 

Phil

Member
Messages
502
Location
France
Ive seen some decent non branded pieces for beginners. Of course, Ive seen some terrible examples. If your a beginner this piece is a better choice as you can be pretty sure any problem you have isnt related to the piece. In the least its a good way to remove an extraneous variable.
 
OP
ESJohn

ESJohn

Member
Messages
87
Location
Ohio USA
Agreed. The 4C wasn't expensive at all. I felt that the quality might be better than what I have presently. I've been playing (after several decades of not) since last fall. A video by sax.co.uk regarding upgrades, coupled with the ebay offer that same day, convinced me to go ahead. My sax kit is sort of a collection anyhow. The investment was small enough that I won't lose any sleep by making the purchase.
I have really learned about this instrument from the forum. Many thanks to all of you!
 
OP
ESJohn

ESJohn

Member
Messages
87
Location
Ohio USA
Got it today! I noticed right away that the Yamaha was thinner at the tip vs. my other mouthpieces. I coupled it with a #3 reed and had no trouble. As soon as I started playing, I felt that it required less effort to secure a sound and although there were just a few squeaks, I was able to back up just a bit and then nailed it. I could also pick up the pace (as long as my fingers could keep up, which they are learning to do) without running out of breath. I know that this is a standard mpc for Yamaha, but it is a definite upgrade for me. Beautiful gold ligature, too. Really enhances the look of the sax. It's very encouraging. Maybe I'll try a synthetic reed sometime, too.
 

Phil

Member
Messages
502
Location
France
IMHO synthetic are not an upgrade...more of a compromise. I still have yet to play a synth reed equal or superior to cane.

Stick to practice
 

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
Commercial Subscriber
Messages
1,196
Location
Bottesford
I still have yet to play a synth reed equal or superior to cane.
I've only tried a few, the best being a Hinoki,. I was really enjoying it but I put a la Voz on one day and haven't gone back,

Which synthetics have you tried or which ones haven't you tried
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Phil

Member
Messages
502
Location
France
I have tried fiberreed...pretty good
Fibrecells...hated everthing about it
Legere is ok
Plasticovers...they should be used for kindling

I could get by with synth buy why? I think cane produces a better tone personally.

There may be better than I have played but I dont care enough to research it when I have something that works.

Additionally, its dangerous for a mpc maker who tweaks and play tests every piece to change reeds. I dont need additional variables. So that makes me less likely to explore.
 

randulo

Europe
Subscriber
Messages
1,243
Location
Bordeaux, France
When I first rented an alto, I bought a Selmer mouthpiece. It was fine. When I bought a Yamaha saxophone, as sometone noted above, they come with a 4C. I have 5 or six mouthpieces and the 4C plays very well and the inside diameter is perfectly sized for the neck cork of the horn. It is secure and airtight, but slides on easily. I think this can be considered a "standard", decently-made, playable piece. Standard in that it doesn't have any particularities that would throw off a newer player or one with cheaper pieces. That's a guess, though, I have no data to back it up. I like the 4C just fine, but do play different pieces at different timers.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,238
Location
leicester
I still have yet to play a synth reed equal or superior to cane.
Opinions vary.... I've never played a cane reed that's as responsive and consistent as any of the synthetic reeds I've played - Fibracell, Hahn, Hartmann, Bari, Legere, Forestone - I've recorded with both cane and various synthetics and couldn't tell much difference in sound except a bit more edginess and a faster attack - 'Zingy' was the word that came to mind when I first got a Hahn carbon fibre reed, but you can learn to control this. Embouchure is everything.
Advantages of synthetics are that they don't warp, swell, go soggy or mouldy and they last a lot longer if you take care and don't accidentally damage the tip. Disadvantages are they take a few weeks to get used to and getting the right strength can be difficult - the reed strength comparison charts out there aren't always a good guide. Also saxophone teachers and other saxophone players may sneer at you for using anything but a proper cane reed. And of course they're more expensive
Synthetic reeds are not a magic panacea, I don't think it's possible to make a synthetic material that accurately mimics the properties of a bit of damp cane so they'll always be a bit different.. The tone can be brighter and have more attack and these are the things that cane lovers dislike about synthetic reeds, but some of us like a bit of brightness and attack.
If you want to sound like Johnny Hodges or Paul Desmond then it's probably best to stick to cane.

I'm not advocating that everyone goes out and buys a synthetic reed, many people are happy with cane and they should stick with what makes them happy.... What works for me will most definitely not work for others and I think that learning to play whatever reeds I had was an essential part of my sax education. Now I'm old I prefer to take the path of least resistance

Back to the Yamaha 4C - they're good mouthpieces, I've heard plenty of people get a good sound out of one and for some players there may not be any reason to change to a "better" mouthpiece. Yamaha's are fairly neutral, so you have to put in a bit of effort to get your own sound, but developing your own sound can be a lifetime's work no matter what gear you use.
Enjoy the journey, whatever the destination or mode of transport
 

Phil

Member
Messages
502
Location
France
A bright reed is personally something I dont seek out.

Like I said. The number one reason I dont even bother to research is that I make a play test mouthpieces. Ive been using the same setup longer than I can figure and there is nothing but grief to be had by changing the materials I use. I cant have a specialty reed change the way I work. I have had guys send me synth reeds to custom build a piece around it...that is no problem but otherwise I keep everything as consistent as possible.

If I was out playing gigs or just for pleasure that might be different....but for my purpose change is not a good thing....so I may sound like Im knocking synth reeds and maybe I am but I do admit my bias and reasons.
 

Ne0Wolf7

Member
Messages
417
Location
Long Island
I find synthetic reeds inferior in every way except longevity. I have one legere I use for marching band and pep band that I've had for two years now.
I find they make a less pure sound, respond slower, and have a pangy or harsh articulation, and are brighter, which are are qualities I could see somebody else liking, but are definatly not for me.
That being said, the girl who I sit with in band plays a legere studio reed, and the clarinet player next to her uses a legere signature.
 

Daniel37

New Member
Messages
5
Location
Wilson NC
Got it today! I noticed right away that the Yamaha was thinner at the tip vs. my other mouthpieces. I coupled it with a #3 reed and had no trouble. As soon as I started playing, I felt that it required less effort to secure a sound and although there were just a few squeaks, I was able to back up just a bit and then nailed it. I could also pick up the pace (as long as my fingers could keep up, which they are learning to do) without running out of breath. I know that this is a standard mpc for Yamaha, but it is a definite upgrade for me. Beautiful gold ligature, too. Really enhances the look of the sax. It's very encouraging. Maybe I'll try a synthetic reed sometime, too.
The previous replies are correct. I assume you have an Alto sax,if so a Rico Metalite 5m would be another good choice especially for marching band,as it plays rather loud. but you would maybe need a little softer reed.
 
Top Bottom