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YSS-675+ Berg HR 70/2 YAS-475+ Guy Hawkins Metal 8 YTS-82z+ Berg HR 110/2 Bari S6+ Berg Metal 120/2
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Hi All,

My current alto set-up is a YAS-475 (which is a killer player- I have owned and sold higher end Yamaha altos) with a Beecher Diamond Inlay S6S.

I am though having some problems with intonation. Most of it is manageable, but lower register notes are very flat, and middle E and high C# are very sharp. There are other quirks but they are less of an issue.

My question is could something with this horn being an intermediate instrument be the problem? I am a more advanced player, so possibly this horn is built to suit less developed players using a more closed mouthpiece?

I'm wondering if I should experiment with different necks? I have read that there can be some success in improving intonation with trying different necks.


Thanks,

- Jonathan
 

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I am not familiar with YAS-475 but I believe Yamaha is doing the best when it comes to intonation in general. I notice that your mouthpiece is Beecher Diamond Inlay S6S. I used to have a Beecher Diamond Inlay S5S and it is the worst mouthpiece I ever own. I read a lot of complaint here about this piece. Have you tried any other pieces something like Meyer 6m and still experienced intonation issue?
 

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Ditch that mouthpiece. I have had nothing but bad luck with those Beechler off-the-shelf mouthpieces in alto and tenor. Try a standard Meyer or Meyer clone and see if your problems go away.
 
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It could be setup of the horn (key heights and so on), IIRC Yamaha actually has a recommended setup but I don’t know if most techs follow it.

That said, you are complaining about the worst notes on the horn, and C# in particular is extremely sensitive to embouchure. I have an older 62 (mark I) and I find middle E always wants to be sharp, and this is consistent across mouthpieces. I have a Meyer (one of the new NY pieces) and it has the same tendencies as everything else. Ironically the mouthpiece that has the closest intonation is a Lakey, but whether I play a Tone Edge or the Lakey the inconsistencies in tuning are reliable across the horn. So no, I do not think a new mouthpiece will fix your issue.

I suspect you are using a tuner? One thing to remember is that if you play in a big band or anything where you have harmony, the chords will sound best at just intonation, which is further from equal temperament than the variation you will see on a Yamaha horn usually. Intonation is not a static but a dynamic thing. Unless they are wildly out of tune, it’s something you need to control with embouchure.
 

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I too am not a fan of Beechlers, but some people like ‘em. Your problem sounds like too tight an embouchure. I suggest the Duke article referenced by @saxoclese TL;DR? Push in, take in more mouthpiece and relax your embouchure.

I have posted elsewhere about “tuning your horn to itself”. This is a similar approach to the Duke paper.
 
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