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Saxophones Not sure about my Yamaha Alto 275

Jobylou

Member
Messages
322
I have been learning (for a few weeks) on a Stagg 77 alto sax. I had a yamaha 275 (brand new) for my birthday (well my birthday isn't until July but I could't wait!)
The thing is I am really used to my Stagg now and I actually prefer it.
What should I do? Should I persevere with the yamaha or should I sell it?
I would welcome any advice.
Thanks
Jo
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,666
My opinion, and it is only an opinion, is to persevere with the Yam, it is a far superior sax and will probably last longer and will definitely hold its value better than the Stagg will.
At the end of the day though it's your decision so don't rush into it.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
Hi Jo,

I'm a +1 for Taz's opinion - the YAS is a lovely instrument, and you may find that the more you play it, the more you like it.....

Cheers,

Amanda
 

Jobylou

Member
Messages
322
Thanks for the opinions, to be honest the yamaha seems easier to blow but I prefer the sound the Stagg makes.
I just keep going back to the Stagg! Driving myself mad!
I know it is also very early days yet though :)
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi there!

I think that there are other views about the Yamaha student saxes than those above; some consider that they are quite highly priced for student instruments, and can lack character; and if we listen to what you say it does seem that you are expressing a clear preference soundwise between the two. The Stagg is generally not that highly rated but you are making an important point in sharing your dilemma.

I have played a Stagg 77 alto sax, which sounded fine with my usual mouthpiece/reed/ligature set up. I have not played a YAS 275, but have played a YTS 32 Tenor, which I liked.

Sure, it might be a good idea to compare the two over the next few weeks or so, but it may be that you may want to think about other options if the Stagg maintains its current favourite status (get a tenor or soprano instead of the 275, for example).
My own awareness of Yamaha student instruments -having played 2 series trumpets and cornets is that the sound can be lacking in character though free blowing, and I sold my Yamaha 2310 cornet on (the trumpet belonged to a friend) ending up with a much more characterful Reynolds Argenta Bb trumpet.

I think that the Yamaha 6 series is a much more worthy collection of instruments IMHO, and would personally prefer a used one of those or a BW if I was looking for a good alternative alto.

Kind regards
Tom
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
A lot of good and interesting points above.

As long as the Stagg plays OK, I'd say go for the sound. Nothing worse than playing a sax that doesn't sound the way you want it to. Are you comparing the saxes using the same mouthpiece & reed? Cos that's going to have a huge effect. But... As you develop, so your sound will change and develop. And in a while you may find that neither will take you where you want to be.
 

MartinL

Member
Messages
366
I have been learning (for a few weeks) on a Stagg 77 alto sax. I had a yamaha 275 (brand new) for my birthday (well my birthday isn't until July but I could't wait!)
The thing is I am really used to my Stagg now and I actually prefer it.
What should I do? Should I persevere with the yamaha or should I sell it?
I would welcome any advice.
Thanks
Jo

I must say I had similar thoughts when I got my Yamaha YAS32 after playing a TJ horn revolution for ages but the biggest factor for me was playing in the wind band. The Yam is far more accurate musically, fits in better and now I'm used to it I love it.

Are you using the Yamaha mouthpiece? you can get a nicer sound if you swap... the 4C is great for learning but once you start looking for "your" sound then its time to change it... what to? that's a minefield... a "link" maybe?
 

Jobylou

Member
Messages
322
Well I am using the yamaha 4c mouthpice that came with the sax (on both instruments), also using flying goose 1.5 reed, but I have ordered a synthetic one to try.
Out of interest Tom, do you play woodwing and brass? I dusted off my tenor horn and had a quick blast, but would love to get a flugel (played 1 briefly in a brass band some years ago). I wasn't sure though if I should leave brass alone?
Still deciding what to do about the yam! Driving my husband mad!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
What is Woodwing.........................?:shocked::w00t:;}

Hi Jobylou!

Yes, I play soprano, alto & tenor sax, flugelhorn, trumpet, long cornet, short cornet & tenor trombone - not all at once but usually one sax and one brass - currently soprano sax and trumpet - which are very good to play together and both help the embouchure of the other. When playing other saxes I find that playing brass first is fine, but you do need to leave a gap after an alto or tenor sax for the embouchure to re adapt.

Flugelhorns are lovely, as you no doubt know. I have a Weril Regium II flugel which I play with a Curry 1HFL mouthpiece. I love the sound.

Kind regards
Tom
 

Jobylou

Member
Messages
322
What is Woodwing.........................?:shocked::w00t:;}
Whoopsie!!! That will teach me for trying to type on my ipad instead of a PC! LOL

Hey Tom, you are the music man - wow! I am so tempted to go and look at a Bach Strad Flugel that a local shop has in second hand, but I think maybe I should concentrate on one thing at a time - I am already trying to teach myself piano and sax!
I do love brass though - I love that I can just play it and not have to think, hmm - what do I press to make that note! Also the mellow sound of a flugel is heaven! The issue I have though is that I was tought incorrectly very early on and I use pressure to get high notes, so I would have to go back to basics I think with that as well! Also have not played for about 10 years.

Regarding Flying Goose reeds then - are they really that bad? Would they affect the sound of the instrument?
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
Regarding Flying Goose reeds then - are they really that bad? Would they affect the sound of the instrument?

Hi Jo,

You'll get involved in a whole new discussion about which reeds are best to use - ultimately down to personal choice, and the kind of sound you want to produce (yes, reeds do have an impact on the sound of the instrument)- but I can't remember seeing anything positive anywhere about Flying Goose Reeds!:)
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,916
Well I am using the yamaha 4c mouthpice that came with the sax (on both instruments), also using flying goose 1.5 reed, but I have ordered a synthetic one to try.

You might want to try some more conventional reeds before you dismiss the sound of your Yamaha. Eg Rico Royal, Vandoren Java are two that I like, I'm sure Tom could help you match brands of reed to the sort of sound you want. I haven't heard good things about Flying Goose and not everyone likes synthetics (I haven't tried them myself, though).
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Jlou!

It would really help you to try a few different reeds, as BM says. The three styles, roughly, are French Cut, American Cut & Classical Cut.

French cut is commonly used for Jazz music - reeds such as Marca Jazz, Vandoren ZZ, Superial DC's, Rico Jazz Selects & Rico Royals are all worth a try if you want a responsive complex sound, which can be bright. American cut is generally more suited to Rock and Pop music, with quite a solid, percussive sound - reeds such as Vandoren Java & V16, Rico Orange, LaVoz etc. Classical cut is for Classical music and includes Vandoren Traditional, Marca Superiere and others.

www.rapidreeds.com sell the Rico Royals and Rico Orange in packs of 3, and www.reeds-direct.co.uk have Marca Jazz and Hemke Reeds in boxes of 5 if you do not want to pay out too much. A couple of these would give a good introduction to reed styles and 2 hardness should be fine to start with. Do look on the Alexander Superials website to reed up about reed preparation, which is helpful reading and will help your reeds play at their best and last longer.

A number of reed types are good but packs of 10 reeds are always going to take you towards £20 or so, so having some smaller packs may be helpful. As your sound develops you will probably gradually find reeds which feel "just right", which is where a lot of us have got to, including the "synthetic" brigade.

Hope this helps
Kind regards
Tom

Flugel wise you could always try the Bauhaus Walstein Bronze ones advertised at www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk for approx £375.
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Regarding Flying Goose reeds then - are they really that bad? Would they affect the sound of the instrument?

I bought a pack. Tried three. It's like blowing a plank, and they kill the sound. Wasn't an expensive lesson, but they're so bad I wouldn't even think of giving them away. That would be a gift horse to look in the mouth. Might make good labels for my seedlings, though.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Maybe johnboy could suggest a way of making them usable.............:shocked::w00t:;}
Nick Wyver uses them to keep his eyes open during Ligature discussions.........!

Alternative uses:

1. Lollipop sticks.
2. Plant labels.
3. Bottle openers.
4. Trowels for plant plots.
5. Boot scrapers.

We could always have a whip round to send you some decent reeds if you like.
Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
Sax.co.uk also do Reed Packs which include 5 different reeds:
http://www.sax.co.uk/acatalog/Alto_Reed_Packs.html... which I've found useful for trying a variety of reeds without massive expense.
:sax:Amanda:sax:
 
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old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Anyone bamboozled the young man further by mentioning Legere Signatures yet?

Semi apologies for being semi serious.
 
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