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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've just added a soprano (Yanagisawa curved bronze 992) to the collection and I've been well and truly sopped. I absolutely LOVE it. However I just can't get on with Yanagisawa mouthpieces (they always hurt my mouth so I've not used them on my AWO20 or B992 and use Selmer Concept or S80C* on the alto, and S80C on the bari).

The sop came with an ebonite 7 as standard - I could immediately play up and down the range of the sop comfortably (with V12 2.5 and vandoren lig) but again the mouthpiece hurts my mouth. I've tried a Selmer concept so far (same reed and lig) as I play classical mainly, but am not getting the ease across the lower notes as I did immediately with the Yanagisawa.

Any recommendations for a mp that would work well on the SC992 for classical work? Just trying to focus in on a few options at the outset as I only ever try one or two at a time when I'm in the store. I was thinking testing Vandoren Optimum SL3 and S80 across a few openings initially. Any thoughts on other good ones to add to the test?

I will also try a Selmer lig on the concept to see what that does.

Thanks, Tim
 

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In what way does it hurt your mouth? Where exactly in the mouth is the pain felt?

When you say "I've just added" how long exactly has it been since you added it?

And how much time are you putting in on the soprano? It is certainly possible – particularly when you're new to soprano – to put in too much time.
 

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It's not a test 'per se', but my advice would be to start a discussion with Joe Giardullo from SopranoPlanet (easy advice, I know, but I am really convinced it's worth it, and then more).

Almost forgotten : welcome to the soprano side of the saxophone ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi JPW, it's more a discomfort than a hurt - I really don't like the feeling of the facings of Yanagisawa mouthpieces against my bottom lip, they feel quite flat/blunt and wide (the same reason I haven't used them on my E flat machines). It's not an overplaying thing for sure (and I am used to 1-2 hours playing a day).

Only started on the sop this week so it has not been long - but I've taken to it much quicker than I thought I would. Just need to do the usual fiddling around with set up - it's a shame that I can't get on with the supplied mp as it's just incredibly easy to play with it and I was playing full range straight out of the box, much to my surprise (and in tune!). Just need to hunt for something more comfortable that plays with that ease.
 

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Tim: I recently came upon a Vandoren SL3 and I'm really enjoying it. I posted about it elsewhere on SOTW. But I hesitate to make any recommendations about mouthpieces because we are all so different in the way we are built AND in the way we hear ourselves. The only way you will find out anything about mouthpieces is to do it yourself. Advice from strangers who are many miles away is just a WAG. I'd say get yourself to a large store that has a variety of mouthpieces and begin the testing process yourself.

One thing I've discovered over the years is that the individual reed you are using at the time is crucial to playing-results . . . maybe even more so than any mouthpiece.This is another issue that cannot be resolved by advice. Remember, one reed is not sufficient to decide what will work for you. It takes many examples of the same reed to reach any conclusions.

FWIW, I have several Yanagaisawa soprano mouthpieces because I've purchased several of their soprano saxophones over time and that's what comes with a new one. I don't care for them but a relative of mine (who gigs around London) loves his on his curved Yanagisawa soprano. To each his own.

I'm betting that after you give that SC992 more time in your hands and mouth that your issues will be resolved. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Dave, I most definitely have a lot of time ahead testing things out (and have two great specialist stores within a few miles of home), was just hoping to get a few recommendations to start the process off. Everything will be tested in the store. Well used to this process having been through it with the alto and bari.

I do think I can sort the Concept out with reeds and lig so may not even need to get as far as a new mouthpiece. Thankfully even if I do make any bad purchases it's not quite as painful as when I set the Bari up and everything cost 3x the price!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Hipparion! I'm very excited to have discovered the soprano side - not sure why I resisted so long but glad I finally made it :)
 

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If you're asking whether a Vandoren SL3 plays well with a Yanagisawa curvy, the answer is yes. Good low note response. It's a good combo for classical. Whether it's the best mouthpiece for that horn, as played by you, is something you'll have to investigate.
 

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That Yana 7 would be pretty open. I like a soprano at about .047" and a Selmer C* would work. I have played a lot of soprano in the past 66 years and find a Yamaha 4C (not 4CM) is the best I have found. Cheap but good.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Lostconn, yes that's very helpful - so I will definitely try out an SL3. As I said just looking to trim down the contenders initially - I'll know as soon as I've found what I am comfortable with.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Bruce, will definitely try out the S80 C* then! And will try the 4C - it was the first ever mpc I blew when I started playing alto.
 

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I agree with the above.7 is a bit open on sop. Sure some folks play bigger but sop embroschure is kind of a drag. I dont find big tips comfortable at all. I think a .060 or .065 is plenty big and not too much of a challenge if made properly. BTW: I make a sop piece.
 

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Phil (Sigmund451) certainly does make a sop mouthpiece! It is my favorite big-tip soprano mouthpiece - the Sapphire. Mine is .070.

For years I played tips in that range. But after my last band gave up the ghost in late 2014 and I gave up regular gigging, I found that the lack of steady playing caused me to lose some embouchure strength. That caused me to explore the smaller tips (some of which I already owned, so the testing phase became much more convenient). Among them was Bruce's favorite, the Yamaha 4C, Selmer's S-80 C*, D, E, an old (mid-1950's) Selmer scroll-shank C*, and several others. Then I came upon the SL3 and for me, that works perfectly for most of my soprano playing these days.

Keep in mind, I am NOT recommending any of those to the OP - I have no idea how he'd react to any of them. DAVE
 

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A Yani 5 HR has been my go-to for over 20 years although it may be different than the current model. It measures apx .053 as per Jody Jazz' chart. Egakki.com chart lists the 5 = .060 and the 7 = .065.

I don't think I'd call it a classical piece but it does do well with darker sounding reeds. The stubby Buffet C that came with my S1 or similar design like a Rascher/Buescher would be an alternative to Selmer, no?
 

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A Yani 5 HR has been my go-to for over 20 years although it may be different than the current model. It measures apx .053 as per Jody Jazz' chart. Egakki.com chart lists the 5 = .060 and the 7 = .065.

I don't think I'd call it a classical piece but it does do well with darker sounding reeds.
The Yanagisawa HR 5 is a very good all-around soprano mouthpiece. For me, who normally plays classical with a Vandoren Optimum, the HR 5 is a slightly more open piece with a broader sound, so I use it for jazzier/poppier material with a sax quintet/quartet. But for someone who plays a truly open soprano piece, the HR 5 could be a good choice for classical, providing more control without feeling too constricted.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks all for the advice, it's really appreciated. I went with a Vandoren SL3 and optimum lig / v12 and it's a great set up for me.

Thanks again for the recommendations and have a lovely weekend all.
 
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