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Saxophones Which alto?.....guidance please.

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Hi all,
I`m thinking of going back to a Yanagisawa alto....I once had a 901 and later a much missed 9930 (the last of the entirely hand made jobs?). I`m playing a very nice purple logo YAS 62 at present, but have a hankering to go back to my roots and would like to hear some views on which Yani, if at all!
Just to complicate things, however, I`ve heard really good things about the Bauhaus M2 AS.
Any thoughts on these as an alternative choice? I like a dark and `smoky` sound to be in there on call, plus a bit of available fire when things get chilly.
Easy to please , aren`t I?:confused:
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi Paul,

If money was no object then an Inderbinen Alto would be my first choice! If you can wait for it, as I think the current waiting list is getting up to two years now! :(

I’ve not played the Bauhaus Walstein M2 Alto, but if it’s anything like my Soprano it’s a good sax. I don’t know if it would give you the dark smoky sound you’re after though. Mouthpiece choice would sort that out to a degree.

Currently I’m playing a Yani A901 with a 92 Bronze Neck and love it! I was playing an Otto-Link STM Metal 7* but found the high notes a little thin so opted for a Berg Larsen Grained Ebonite 95/2! Seems better top to bottom now! The Yani’s are great horns but lack a little in character, if you know what I mean. You can still get the A9330 for about £3500.

However, if I was going to spend that kind of money then I’d seriously look at the Rampone R1 Jazz Alto! Bet you could find one that has that little extra character and the dark smoky sound you’re after!

Of course there’s always the Selmer Ref54!

The P. Maurait 67 really appeals to me and costs around the same as a Yani A901 or BW M2!

There is simply too much choice out there! But if you get to a shop to try them out – the aforementioned would be worth a serious look!

Best of luck in finding your new horn!

Paul :sax:
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Thanks Paul. A lot to think about there. And think I will. I`m quite happily playing my YAS62 at present, but I feel that I`m not quite there yet, despite all these years. I`ve kind of settlerd down on the alto, particularly now that my Rheumatoid Arthritis makes an evening of Bari playing a bit daunting, so I`d like to get it right. I played a few Mauriats, and liked them all, my old Selmer 6 was a disappointment, the Ref. 54 is rather expensive for an old `codger`- so who knows? This time I talk first and think long!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Paul, sorry top say this, but it seems to me that you should stick with the Yamaha until you're clearer on why you want to change - and what you want... Other suggestions may help with your thinking, but I don't hear a good reason for change coming from you.
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
True Kev...wise words. I am aware that I want to change, that there is a fuller and warmer sound to be had.....but, but! However, I agree that the process should be cautious, which is why I want to talk about this with all you others out there (which is nice anyway). In the meantime I`m happy to play my very nice YAS62- which I may keep anyway! I think that what awoke my interest in the BH M2 was Stephen Howards `smokey ballads` comment on its sound. That`s where I am...in my dottage!
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Paul, sorry top say this, but it seems to me that you should stick with the Yamaha until you're clearer on why you want to change - and what you want... Other suggestions may help with your thinking, but I don't hear a good reason for change coming from you.
He's got GAS! Nothing stands in the way of GAS :))) Wise words but aren't we all striving for the ultimate sound?
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
True Kev...wise words. I am aware that I want to change, that there is a fuller and warmer sound to be had.....but, but! However, I agree that the process should be cautious, which is why I want to talk about this with all you others out there (which is nice anyway). In the meantime I`m happy to play my very nice YAS62- which I may keep anyway! I think that what awoke my interest in the BH M2 was Stephen Howards `smokey ballads` comment on its sound. That`s where I am...in my dottage!
Don't mean to teach you to suck eggs, but how much expermenting have you done with different mouthpiece/reed combinations?
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Played loads, but mostly I now use either a Yanagisawa 7 metal, quite bright and forward, or a Yani 7 ebonite which is mellower, warmer and `dryer`. Also got one from Windcraft supposedly based on Paul Desmond`s, but I prefer a more open lay. Reeds are either Rico Jazz Select 2H or La Voz mediums. Recently I was given a pack of Zonda 2`s, but they don`t seem to come `alive` for me.
I also have a Bari `72`m/p which is quite `shiny` but, again, not as open as I prefer. Used to Like Links but have been disappointed in them over recent years. Play a great Lawton metal with my sop, but have never tried an alto version.
Tend to use Rovner ligs, which seem to give some variability, and have been considering the Bois `ring` ligature just to see if I like `em.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
Change the mouthpiece, change the reed, change the lig, but whatever you do.....stick with the YAS 62!

Not that I'm biased!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Paul, maybe try one of Morgan's Floridated links. I got one for my tenor from one of the other guys here, and although I prefer the PPT for sound, Morgan's piece is really good.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Paul, maybe try one of Morgan's Floridated links. I got one for my tenor from one of the other guys here, and although I prefer the PPT for sound, Morgan's piece is really good.
Aren't these tenor only?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Paul!

In a recent discussion about Tenor mouthpieces and producing a smoky sound one of the members mentioned his Peter Ponzol Vintage Tenor a meeting that need. I would concur with the same mouthpiece on Alto - a Ponzol Vintage 0.085" - which I play with a Francois Louis Basic Ligature/Marca Jazz 2.5 reeds. I am sure that my Ref54 alto adds to this but I find that the mouthpiece, which is an exact copy of an original Meyer mouthpiece has some real depth and smokiness when played with a restrained airstream. Obviously sax wise I am biased towards the Ref54 ( www.jazzshed.co.uk have an exc. cond one for £2500).

Kind regards
Tom
 
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