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No setup, tight from the factory. I asked the store owner if they set it up and he said they are play tested at the factory. I'll play it for a week and bring it to the tech next week if it needs tweaks.
 

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So, I went to my lesson and showed my new horn to my teacher. He said "give me that thing" and was the first one to play it. He sounded a bit stuffy and he said it played a bit stuffy. It didn't really surprise me since I expected a leak or two and some minor alignment issues. I took it next and played it and it felt stuffy to me too. As the lesson went on, it got a little better. My chops were not there either because I hadn't picked up a horn in 2 weeks. He said I sound a lot better on the Z than the 54.

I picked up the Z this morning and played some riffs and stuff and man does it play and sound great. Is there something about a new horn out of the box that it needs to be played a little bit and it opens up? I'm going to take it to my tech today anyways just to give it a once over.

Intonation is almost perfect. I was going a little sharp on the high end but not nearly as much as the Z I had on trial weeks ago. I think with practice and getting used to the horn I'll be fine.

My teacher was poking fun at me that I buy too many horns. Heck, I want to be 100% happy with what I have. If I keep loving the Z, I might sell the 54 and pick up a tenor.

Oh, and he swore up and down that my horn is NOT unlacquered. I told him that it starts looking that way and dulls up pretty fast. He still insisted that it was lacquered. I explained to him from my understanding that all the horns are finished the same way except a CLEAR lacquer is applie to the lacquered horns. That's why both look the same at first. Accurate?

EDIT: I know there was a thread about serial numbers. Apparently they have a new system on newer horns. Mine is C19XXX
 

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THe UL horn will be shiny, but definitely a more yellowish color than the lacquered horns. Trust me, within a few days you will know for sure! Also, mine came with a little warning card from Yamaha stating that the horn was unlacquered. USA Horn has some good photos of new horns where you can see the color difference.

My alto was ever-so-slightly stuffy on certain notes, but there were slight leaks up and down the horn. The adjustment screws did their job and I was able to get them sealing. I can feel very slight vibrations in the horn when blowing very softly now, and they only get more noticeable when more air is pushed. My R&C alto also gave this effect, but not too the same degree- required more air. I think some of it is attributable to the lighter mass/thinner metal in the body tube, but that is complete and total speculation on my part.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I got the pink warning card in there too stating that it was unlacquered.

I doubt I s hould touch the adjustment screws myself. I don't want to mess it up.
 

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Well, it wasn't the tech that said that, it was the store owner. But yeah, I completely dismissed that statement when he said it. I remember a couple of times flying home from Berklee and made the stupid mistake of checking my horn as luggage. Boy, was it screwed up both times. I've seen the way luggage handlers and UPS drivers toss boxes around...
 

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i think the horns are play tested , adjusted, then shipped. along the way from japan the horn is then introduced to many different temperatures and humidities and cork and bumpers will swell. when the horn is pulled out of the box, there will be a few leaks but as the felt and cork compress from playing it will fix itself to an extent. you might want to wait till you have about 20 hours play time then get it adjusted, time for further compression.love both my Z's. i bought the tenor first. best i've ever played. i've owned a mark VI for 20 years, an SX90R for 7.
 

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First, they do set it up at the factory but the pads are brand new and still changing so they compress the keys and pads with corks to keep the pads from changing. However, the very minute the corks are removed...usually by the store...the pads begin to take their natural shape, which may or may not be ideal...usually not. This is why stores usually do an additional set up. If your store did not, it's very simple for a tech to make these minor (yet vital) adjustments to a new horn.

My horn also looked like it was lacquered when I first got it...lets see if your teacher changes his mind in a year:)
 

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I'll try and post a recording a little later. On a side note, the LeBayle mouthpiece I never cared for much on my 54 sounds GREAT on the Z. I'll post a recording with that and my standard DV#6.
 

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Well, I took it to my tech and he found a couple small leaks and adjusted the G# a little bit. Looking forward to playing this horn all weekend!
 

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This is going to sound weird, but I would love if you could post some pics once the horn begins to change from shiny to, well you know, the real unlacquered look. I am trying to see what the yamaha's end up looking like after a time.
 

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patseguin said:
I'll try and post a recording a little later. On a side note, the LeBayle mouthpiece I never cared for much on my 54 sounds GREAT on the Z. I'll post a recording with that and my standard DV#6.
Hi

LeBayle Metal + 82Z UL seems to be a nice combination.
There's a player here in Japan, Kobayashi Kaori, who uses the same setup and I think she sounds great (at least to my amatuer ears).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-fxs_ZWXH4&mode=related&search=
What's the model and tip opening of your LeBayle by the way?
 

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Well, after the minor adjustments this horn is friggin amazing. I'm still using my DV the most because it's what I'm used to. However, I may start using the LeBayle a little more. I bought the piece from Roberto's Woodwinds and they don't advertise which Lebayle it is. I think it's the Jazz model, but it's a 7 opening.
 

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Great lesson here. Setup is KEY to how well a horn plays. I think a lot of people swap necks and mpcs to get their horn to play better when often an adjustment by a good tech will do wonders.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just an update - this horn is still amazing. My Ref 54 has not been played since I got my Z. The lacquer has dulled only very slightly, but I wipe it after every use.
 
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