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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use a 4C alto sax mouthpiece with strength 3 reeds.

I may want to upgrade to Yamaha 6C mouthpiece.

What is the recommended reed strength for the Yamaha 4C alto sax mouthpiece?

I wonder if strength 3 reeds are suitable for a Yamaha 4C alto sax mouthpiece.

By the way, can anyone recommend what reed strength should I use on the Yamaha 6C?


I heard that the yamaha 6C alto sax mouthpiece is more open than the one I have.

P.S- I am considering to switch to the regular metal ligature. I have a Rovner leather ligature.

What is the difference in sound between a leather and a regular metal ligature?:|
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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A 6C is just a wider (more open) tip, not necessarily an upgrade.

The best reed strength is whatever works best for you.

In my experience leather and metal ligatures sound the same, provided they are not broken and are a good fit for the mouthpiece or unless the mouthpiece or reed have some issues.

Presumably you mean a Vandoren LC27P ligature, they are the only leather ones I know of.
 

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What Pete said.
The Yamaha 4c, 5c, and 6c are the mouthpieces I use (have used). The 6c is the same as the 4c, only with a little wider tip opening (they are both at the narrower end of the spectrum of tip openings). The 6c is slightly quieter and gives just a little more flexibility in tone than its narrower brother.
I use 2.5 reeds on mine-it depends on what you are used to and what your natural embouchure "bite" needs as to what reed strength you would use.
I bought a horn recently which had a leather ligature with it, and I can not tell any difference in sound between that and the standard metal ligature I normally use.
I assume the Yamaha mouthpieces are fine for jazz; I have never heard otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A 6C is just a wider (more open) tip, not necessarily an upgrade.

The best reed strength is whatever works best for you.

In my experience leather and metal ligatures sound the same, provided they are not broken and are a good fit for the mouthpiece or unless the mouthpiece or reed have some issues.

Presumably you mean a Vandoren LC27P ligature, they are the only leather ones I know of.
What would be considered a major mouthpiece upgrade from the 4C?
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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What would be considered a major mouthpiece upgrade from the 4C?
Well, the first thing to determine is what is wrong with the 4C, and the second thing is what are you looking for in a mouthpiece.

Once you know that, it will be easier to find an upgrade. A good thing to do is try out as many as you can and find out if any fit the bill, ie work better for you.
 

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By leather ligature do you mean one of these? Sorry for the phone quality pic. It is what I have handy at the moment. Vandoren leather ligs are quite a bit more expensive than a Yamaha mouthpiece so I was a bit puzzled that you would be using one.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the first thing to determine is what is wrong with the 4C, and the second thing is what are you looking for in a mouthpiece.

Once you know that, it will be easier to find an upgrade. A good thing to do is try out as many as you can and find out if any fit the bill, ie work better for you.
I am looking to upgrade to a mouthpiece with a long facing, and a medium to high baffle with a much wider tip opening.

I want to look for a mouthpiece that can help me acheive a more darkish or bright sound. I practice the sax alot. I am in the process of getting a private saxophone teacher..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
By leather ligature do you mean one of these? Sorry for the phone quality pic. It is what I have handy at the moment. Vandoren leather ligs are quite a bit more expensive than a Yamaha mouthpiece so I was a bit puzzled that you would be using one.

View attachment 28778
Yes, the one that's in the picture you attached, I use those.

I plan to switch to this type of metal ligature:
 

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"Darkish or bright" are opposite directions. Among the more inexpensive mouthpieces, the Rico Graftonite in the A5 size is darker (warmer) for me. It has a larger tip opening, and a large chamber. That's about the limit of my experience.

Edit: The Graftonites come in three chamber sizes, from largest to smallest, A-B-C. The A would be the warmer, the C the brighter.
They come in three tip openings, from widest to narrowest, 7-5-3.
 

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Look around the site, especially in the LIGATURE threads. You will find enormous postings about whether or not ligatures affect sound. I'm one who think they do, but there is room here for those of us who disagree.

I prefer the metal ligs you showed in the photo. But even that will vary depending on the horn I'm using and the mouthpiece/reed combination. Some set-ups require a bit more dampening, so then I'll use a Rovner ligature of one design or the other.

Yes, dark and bright are opposing sounds, I agree. But testing and wisely choosing your reeds can make a bright mouthpiece darker, and vice versa.

What you need to do is to get yourself and your horn to a well-stocked music store and spend some time testing different mouthpieces. It is a fun endeavor and you'll know right away when you find the right one. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What Pete said.
The Yamaha 4c, 5c, and 6c are the mouthpieces I use (have used). The 6c is the same as the 4c, only with a little wider tip opening (they are both at the narrower end of the spectrum of tip openings). The 6c is slightly quieter and gives just a little more flexibility in tone than its narrower brother.
I use 2.5 reeds on mine-it depends on what you are used to and what your natural embouchure "bite" needs as to what reed strength you would use.
I bought a horn recently which had a leather ligature with it, and I can not tell any difference in sound between that and the standard metal ligature I normally use.

I assume the Yamaha mouthpieces are fine for jazz; I have never heard otherwise.
I use Strength 3 reeds on my yamaha 4C, because it doesn't give too much resistance on my horn/mouthpiece.
 

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I am looking to upgrade to a mouthpiece with a long facing, and a medium to high baffle with a much wider tip opening.

I want to look for a mouthpiece that can help me achieve a more darkish or bright sound. I practice the sax alot. I am in the process of getting a private saxophone teacher..
Which is it? Dark or Bright? If you want both, just find a middle of the road mouthpiece, and practice (wait you already have one!). If the 4C isn't doing what you want, pinpoint why. Is it you, or have you outgrown what that mouthpiece offers?
 

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I think the OP is trying to describe a piece with a good solid core but with ample resonance. If that is the case I think a good Meyer or possibly a Brilhart could serve nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Which is it? Dark or Bright? If you want both, just find a middle of the road mouthpiece, and practice (wait you already have one!). If the 4C isn't doing what you want, pinpoint why. Is it you, or have you outgrown what that mouthpiece offers?
I dont really know how to tell the difference between a dark/bright sound. I'm new to mouthpiece selection.
 

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Then your best bet is to mention a couple of players who have a sound that you gravitate towards. From there you may get some guidance. Dont feel so bad about not know the lingo. You can take 10 guys and put them in a room and they wont be able to agree if a piece is bright or dark. The terms are generally understood by players but there is no absolute measure. Its one of those things that keeps life interesting.
 

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A little reading told me that you've only been playing for ~3 years or so.
I would suggest that you stay with the 4C for a while longer. At least until you have figured out exactly the sound you're looking for.
Maybe then we can give you a few suggestions for different pieces to try.
This only the advice of an old private instructor. Take it as you will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A little reading told me that you've only been playing for ~3 years or so.
I would suggest that you stay with the 4C for a while longer. At least until you have figured out exactly the sound you're looking for.
Maybe then we can give you a few suggestions for different pieces to try.
This only the advice of an old private instructor. Take it as you will.
That is very true.
Once I start taking private lessons, and after 2 to 3 more years I will let you guys know about my progress.

As of right now, I am currently focusing on trying different reeds.
I am switching to Rico jazz select reeds.

I will switch to vandoren java/ZZ reeds after severl months with rico jazz reeds.

P.S: I have a moderate control over my sound.
I play with a moderate embouchure.
The yamaha 4c mouthpiece is truly a good mouthpiece for me now, it allows me to play low notes perfectly.

After using it for several years, I am considering to have my current mouthpiece refaced by someone who knows how to reface mouthpieces.
 

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Don't bother refacing a 4C. It's a $20 mouthpiece.
You would be better off spending the money on a good hard rubber piece like a Meyer or one of the many offered by Vandoren.
 

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I have been playing for 51 years and really like the Selmers for alto. The Super Session in a D tip is my fave for a big sound and I have used an S-80D for about 30 years. You should have some sent to you in various brands but remember that going to a more open tip will require a bit softer reed. The Meyer 5M/6M is the default alto mouthpiece for strong playing and is still a nice one to have. For a low price, try a Rico B5 as mentioned. You can find them at Amazon for under $20 shipped.
 
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