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Greetings all,

Recently I acquired a Yani alto, 991 which I'm liking lots! I play mainly in community concert bands (alto 1), sax quartets and sometimes lead alto in an amateur swing band. I'm interested in hearing from those of you with more experience on the Yani what mouthpiece/reed combinations you have liked best. I've been using an old Selmer S90 190 or a newish Meyer 5 Med. which I was using on my previous horn, but I'd like to experiment a little without getting into an expensive GAS frenzy, so I'm hoping your considerable collective experiences can provide some focus. FYI, I tend to favor a darkish, mellow tone over bright. Reeds ....open for suggestons. I have liked Gonzalez classical, Alexander Superial DC and Classical, Rico Select Jazz on the Meyer. A bit soured on VanDoren BB because of inconsistency. Thanks in advance for the benefit of your experiences. Ruth
 

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Ruth: It is a crap-shoot. We all have our favorites, none of which you may like. So in the end, you'll be searching and spending and testing, etc., etc.

I've had several Yanagisawa altos over time and right now, the AWO1 is it. For ME and what you outlined, the Selmer Super Session F (with soft reeds) is the warmest, darkest, smoothest player I have. DAVE
 

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Alto Ruth - I played my A992 in a community band for a couple of years (Now I'm playing clarinet in another community band :( )
I tried a lot of mouthpieces, and I settled on a Phil Tone Aurora as my favorite. Also quite good were the two vintage Meyers, Selmer Short Shank Soloist, and I also really liked Greg Weir's
version of a short shank soloist.

As Dave D has indicated, everyone has a different favorite. I think that it is generally agreed that the ones I mentioned are good choices. The Aurora is no longer made but Phil makes it's current replacement.
 

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I've played a Yanagisawa A990μB for many years; it's extremely similar to a 991. I've also played Selmer Series II and Series III altos in this period.

Generally, because just about any Yany will be a very responsive, relatively free-blowing horn, Yany altos are quite mouthpiece-friendly. I think the first question is whether you intend to use one mouthpiece for concert band and/or sax quartet, and a different mouthpiece for big band. If not, you'll have to choose a single mouthpiece with enough projection and brightness to work OK as a lead alto piece, while still being potentially refined enough to work as a concert band piece. Of course, it also will help to use a brighter, jazz-oriented reed in one setting and a darker, classically oriented reed in the other.

Of the mouthpieces I've tried, these are the ones that I think conceivably could work in both settings:
-Phil-Tone Solstice
-D'Addario Select Jazz
-Selmer S80 C**

Since I don't play in a big band, I favor more straightforward classical pieces for concert band and sax ensemble work. Of those I've tested, these are the ones I've found at least adequate:
-Selmer S80 C*
-Selmer S90 190
-Selmer Larry Teal
-Selmer Concept
-Vandoren Optimum AL3
-Vandoren Optimum AL5
-D'Addario Reserve D155

Of these, my favorite on my A990μ is probably the Vandoren AL5 (although I haven't yet tried the D155, which I like a lot on the Series III). It matches well with the Yany in terms of tone, responsiveness, intonation, and projection.

I prefer synthetic reeds (Forestone Black Bamboos or Legere Signatures). Of the cane reeds I've tried, my favorites for concert band probably were the Hemkes, although the Vandoren V21s are good too. But you'll have to find the combination that works for you. E.g., you may want to balance a darker mouthpiece with a slightly brighter reed, or vice versa.
 

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I play a yani 9933 alto and love it. Use a yani 6 hard rubber on it. Have lots of others and this works best for me.
 

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For lead alto in a big band I would start with a Meyer #6. Your Meyer #5 is probably pretty close. I personally play a Meyer #7 but I prefer slightly more open MPs for jazz playing. Honestly I don't think one ever need try anything else for lead alto.

For concert band I would start with the Selmer Soloist C*. I play one of the old ones but I have been told that the new reissue is very close. That old Selmer C* is a very versatile mouthpiece. I sometimes use it for lead playing when the band isn't very loud.

In my case I have been playing the standard Vandoren reeds for a very long time and I like the relatively consistent quality of the cane and the fact that I rarely find one cut way off center or defective. I typically use a #3 Vandoren, but I am likely to shave it down a bit, to make it probably more like a #2.5.
 

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Alto Ruth - I played my A992 in a community band for a couple of years (Now I'm playing clarinet in another community band :( )
I tried a lot of mouthpieces, and I settled on a Phil Tone Aurora as my favorite. Also quite good were the two vintage Meyers, Selmer Short Shank Soloist, and I also really liked Greg Weir's
version of a short shank soloist.

As Dave D has indicated, everyone has a different favorite. I think that it is generally agreed that the ones I mentioned are good choices. The Aurora is no longer made but Phil makes it's current replacement.
I can still make an Aurora for anyone who wants one. I also make the Novella Classic which is a whole lot like a short shank soloist. More like the really older ones with the rounded floor, not the chopped one.

If I am making a piece for a Yani I will generally make it a tad darker since the horns are a little bright. That being said, I really like a good Yani. Beautiful sounding altos.
 

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Thanks, all, you've given me some good ideas about things to try. Dave D, I remembered upon seeing your post that I have a Super Session D around here somewhere; and I'm pretty sure I still have a Selmer C* and an old Larry Teal. Now to find them and give all a try. Hope to get on without buying new expensive stuff. Even so, the set-ups I'm currently using don't sound too bad, but the itch to improve doesn't stop.
 

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Ruth: Oh, I'm the same way - always wanting to try something different. Most of the times I'm disappointed, but occasionally I come across something that piques my interest.

I mentioned the Super Session F only because among mine, that is the one that is the warmest and seemed to match the criteria you laid out (of course, from MY perspective). It is not my favorite and chances are that my results may not match yours. In fact, if I came across an SS-D, I would be interested in giving it a try because as I'm aging, my mouthpiece tip-openings seem to be reducing.

I'm playing a LOT less alto these days and more and more soprano and the same thing is happening on my sopranos. DAVE
 

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I played a Selmer scroll shank D and a Larry Teal on alto all through college. Upon graduating and moving to an area where the local sax guru was a student of Rousseau I was encouraged to try a Rousseau 4R. I did and have never gone back. It doesn't have the edge of the Selmers when pushed and the lowest notes are easier to produce on my Selmer SBA.
 
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