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Discussion Starter #1
I find that on my Mark VI alto, if I tune to the G (concert Bb) then the notes like middle Eb and D are about 20 cents sharp. The notes above the G from high A to high F are also around 20 cents sharp. Would it be best to tune to the sharp notes and have the G be flat? Either way, I am still not achieving and even intonation throughout the range of the horn.
I try to play with a very relaxed throat and embouchure but something still feels tense within my air stream. I am using a Phil-Tone Meyer 6M by the way.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Play longer (practice) and tune to something other than Concert Bb to find a compromise on the horn.
 

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I had trouble playing a modern Meyer in tune on a Mark VI also, and I have had a few Meyers. I like the Selmer Soloist style mouthpieces for good intonation on a Selmer alto.
 

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Your symptoms are indicative of the mouthpiece chamber being slightly too large for your mouthpiece/horn/embouchure/reed combination. You could improve the situation by displacing some of the chamber volume with a throat insert, some silly putty, nail polish, etc.. Experiment with using some putty to reduce the volume in the throat/chamber area, away from the baffle. That will make the mouthpiece play at a higher pitch. You will then have to pull out more to tune your Concert Bb (or A). Pulling out will lower the upper register. The D2/Eb2 should improve as well. PM me if you want a complete analysis.
 

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Try to tune your flattest notes accurately, with your most closed embouchure.....then open up slightly to adjust the sharp notes. This I think Keeps the tone from squishing when you try to bring up the flat notes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've done that before but my teacher has taught me to keep the same embouchure for every note.

The problem with the intonation may have been my reeds. I'll test more to see what happens.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Never heard of reeds causing intonation to go sharp on top. Too soft or worn out can cause you to be flat on the top part of the horn.
 

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You'd be hard pressed to find a saxophone that has perfect intonnation. Throw in the effect of mouthpiece and reed and it's even harder.

If players didn't adjust depending on the note, they wouldn't be able to play in tune. You can tell when a player doesn't have command of their instrument's intonnation when they play a D2 and it's terribly sharp.

In my experience, having the mouthpiece on further (sharper) then playin with a looser embouchure is better. You hurt the sound if you try to squeeze a note sharper. Additionally, playing with a looser embouchure lets you put more power through the horn and it opens up the top end too. I used to put a lot of pressure on the reed and I couldn't play loudly for the life of me.

Part of getting to know your sax is getting to know its natural innotation and being able to compensate for it.
 

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Your symptoms are indicative of the mouthpiece chamber being slightly too large for your mouthpiece/horn/embouchure/reed combination.

I have the middle D and surrounding notes intonation problem on my Mark VI Alto when I use a Yamaha 4C on it that is not pushed onto the neck that much.

When I use my Dukoff and push it onto the neck right up to the end of the cork then I don't seem to have many intonation problems at all and even pushing the Yamaha 4C right up to the end of the cork seems to help a fair bit with the intonation with that mouthpiece.
 
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