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I have been playing the alto saxophone for nearly 7 years my setup was a yas-23, meyer 6m, and vandoren java green 3 1/2. I found this setup to be kind of stuffy so after doing some research I switched to a vandoren jumbo java a55 and java green 2 1/2 reeds. Then I was able to upgrade to a yas-62 purple logo. I like the sound of the 62 much better, however around this time I started to have serious intonation issues. I would tune to an f# and while playing my high B would be nearly a quarter step sharp. My other notes also had some serious problems my low D being flat, my middle c being sharp, and my middle b being really sharp. I tried to adjust, however the problem was so bad that while the adjustments to my embouchure helped, still had intonation issues. I had my saxophone repaired thinking it was some leaks causing the problem. They were able to repair these leaks, however after I got it back I was still having intonation issues. I then tried going back to my meyer and that helped some, but it didn't solve it. I had really good intonation on the yas-23 and I thought the yas-62 would make my intonation better because Yamaha is known for high quality horns with good intonation, but ever since I have been playing it I have these serious issues. it has really damaged my confidence in my playing because I can't really trust that the note is going to be right like I could with the 23. Do any of you guys know what I should do to fix this? Any help would be appreciated.

ps I also recently started playing tenor and my setup is a yts-475 and an otto link 7* ny and I haven't had any problems with intonation on tenor.
 

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If I recall correctly, certain 62 Altos have a propensity to play very sharp in the upper registers. Curt Altarac (MusicMedic) even went so far as to develop a cure for the issue by re-tapering the neck of the 62. Again am totally going off of memory on this ...I know for sure it was a Yama Alto he did this to, am only 60% sure it was a 62.

Did the tech who serviced your horn also adjust the keyheights while testing it to a tuner ? Because something like a flat Low D is a simple, simple fix: open the height of the C-cup. I much prefer C cup to D cup, myself...

Likewise you say middle B and middle C are sharp...and you ahve noted high B is very sharp. A C and/or B can be sharp because the A and B cups are too open.

Do other sax players suffer the same malady when playing your horn ?

People like to say Yamahas have great intonation...but that doesn't mean that one can ignore proper keyheight adjustment. When the heights are out of whack.... even a Yamaha can get funky in the intonation dept....
 

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I have found that certain modern mouthpieces designed for the modern larger bore saxs can have intonation issues on 70's 80's and vintage saxs, I would recommend as a test that if you had no issues with your 6M on your yas23 that you try that on your 62. Also you have dropped a reed strength on switching to you new mouthpiece you may not realise it but you could be inadvertently biting on the upper register which will sharpen the notes, and in my experience is the most common problem that I see in players that do this.
Please do not beat yourself up over it you have changed your complete setup mouthpiece sax and reed, you will need some time to retrain your brain and muscle memories to adapt to the changes you have made, a few weeks of long tones will help if you still have your 23 try the Java and reed setup on it do you still play sharp in the upper register, can you consciously lip it down to be in tune which may indicate you are biting in the first place.
If you are biting and this may sound whacky but get the softest reed strength you can buy and try playing on it, I would hazzard a guess that half your top notes wont sound when you play as you will have throttled the reed to the mouthpiece and stopped the air flow, after 7 years you should have a well enough developed technique in breathing and embourchure and playing should not be an effort, if it is you have too strong a setup tip reed combination you will work your mouth harder which will tire quicker resulting in biting to compensate, it is occasionally goood to do this in practice to work the muscles in your mouth but stop when you start biting as this will help you build stamina.

Good luck.
 

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Kenny Garrick: I'm curious about which, if any, "modern" saxophones have larger bores than saxophones from the 1970's, 1980's, or vintage saxophones? Your comment about certain "modern" mouthpieces and those saxophones struck me as myth rather than fact.

I'm interested in what facts you have to back up your comment. DAVE
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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Go back and play your 23 and see if you're still having the same problems. Also, try the 23 neck on the 62. You can also try a different neck on your horn. Finally, buy a yanagisawa.
 

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Java mouthpieces tend to be more difficult to play in tune in the upper register, being Jumbo Javas more demanding. Also what you experience in the low D is kind of understandable.

I play a Jumbo Java A45, so I have had this conversation with even some other pro players that use them.

I would advise you to tune the low notes and keep working on voicing. Yes, voicing is the key for good intonation on alto and the tricky notes, as C#.... etc..



Also, intonation in tenor is another thing. Alto is a strange axe, as has been stated many times.


I have been playing the alto saxophone for nearly 7 years my setup was a yas-23, meyer 6m, and vandoren java green 3 1/2. I found this setup to be kind of stuffy so after doing some research I switched to a vandoren jumbo java a55 and java green 2 1/2 reeds. Then I was able to upgrade to a yas-62 purple logo. I like the sound of the 62 much better, however around this time I started to have serious intonation issues. I would tune to an f# and while playing my high B would be nearly a quarter step sharp. My other notes also had some serious problems my low D being flat, my middle c being sharp, and my middle b being really sharp. I tried to adjust, however the problem was so bad that while the adjustments to my embouchure helped, still had intonation issues. I had my saxophone repaired thinking it was some leaks causing the problem. They were able to repair these leaks, however after I got it back I was still having intonation issues. I then tried going back to my meyer and that helped some, but it didn't solve it. I had really good intonation on the yas-23 and I thought the yas-62 would make my intonation better because Yamaha is known for high quality horns with good intonation, but ever since I have been playing it I have these serious issues. it has really damaged my confidence in my playing because I can't really trust that the note is going to be right like I could with the 23. Do any of you guys know what I should do to fix this? Any help would be appreciated.

ps I also recently started playing tenor and my setup is a yts-475 and an otto link 7* ny and I haven't had any problems with intonation on tenor.
 

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Not sure about the whole equipment thing, but I know I adjust my embouchure for almost every note on my horn- I'm a big believer in staying with one setup and really getting to know it WELL. This way you know exactly how each note feels, from bottom to top, at every dynamic level.
 

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This
 
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