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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always started my beginner students on Yamaha or Jupiter 4C:s, but the local music shop (small town) doesn't stock them any longer (it will be a high shipping cost if you want to order them).

I still want to support the music dealer though, and the only mouthpiece in his catalog right now is the Graftonite. Which of the Graftonite models do you think would function best as a beginner's piece (for 10 year old kids)?

Of course I will try them out, but need a suggestion for what to start with.
 

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I would say that if your local music dealer is any good, he will keep stock that local teachers tell their students to buy. Otherwise, I would think that postage from (say) the UK will not be very much - have a look at places like dawkes.co.uk, starland.co.uk and johnpacker.co.uk and there should be plenty to choose from. I have only used a couple of Rico Graftonite mouthpieces - both were fairly open facings with a high baffle and wouldn't be very good to start with, but I believe they do make a model that would be suitable. Again, surely, your dealer could lend you a couple to try if you are going to be sending students his way? Good luck!
 

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Rico Royal B3 should be fine. I gave my 8 year old nephew one when he started learning alto last summer.
Openings for Rico are 3 = .070", 5 = .080" and 7 = .090"
(The Yamha 4C is .063)
Chambers are A = Large: Darkest sound. For concert work
B= Best allround chamber
C= Most projection for rock, jazz and marching band.

The advantage of Rico Graftonites is that they don't break so easily as the Yamaha's. Good thing for music schools. ;)
 

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if you drop it bounces right back.......
 

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Yes, another warning against the B5. I got one as a step-up piece and it was way too open for me. I ended up sticking with a Selmer C* Soloist. I just enjoyed playing this m/p more than all the others and it sounds good.
 

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It is stunning that the only thing they'll catalog is Rico Graftonite...

I would be concerned if they didn't stock at least the Selmer C*.

That being said, a A3 or A5 might be OK in a pinch...

I use the Graftonite C5 for Pop & Rock.
 

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I have a B5 on a Yamaha YAS-23 (my practice alto).

It's very bright and open and as others have said, probably not a good choice for a beginner (although I like it).

I would go with the B3 or A3 for alto if you have to use a Graftonite.

(I also use an A7 on tenor for concert work.)

If you're supplying the local shop with customers who will buy the Yamaha 4C's, I'm surprised they wouldn't stock them.
 

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I bought my Rico Royal A3 out of curiosity when they were first introduced, quite a long time ago now. I bought the Metalite version in a large tip opening at the same time.

The Rico Royal A3 is my favorite inexpensive mouthpiece for alto, and I am a player of 44 years experience with a master's degree in music. It is dark but can be easily pushed into an edge with a solid airstream, so it is an easy to control but versatile mouthpiece. It has excellent intonation on every vintage horn I have owned or played (1920's late Buescher TrueTone, 1930's Martin HC Comm 1, 1951 Buescher 140 [same as late 1940's Big B], 1955 Conn 6M, and 1967 Selmer Mark VI). The lack of a long facing or large tip opening will hold back the volume for some players who like that screaming edge, but I get all the volume I need from it for most types of playing. The lack of (extreme) volume is more than compensated by the consistent intonation. I never tried it on modern horns like Yamaha or Yanagisawa, but I cannot imagine that it would not be good on these horns if it covered the aforementioned range of classic saxes with aplomb.

The Selmer SuperSession D would be a fine choice as well, albeit 10 times more expensive. Either of these mouthpieces will give you room to develop tone and assist in building your intonation, a crucial aspect of sax playing.

Just my 2 cents,

Sax Magic
 

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Rico Graftonites are excellent, professional grade mouthpieces, provided that they match well with your horn. They were my main pieces when I had a Selmer copy, as they matched perfectly with them. While I have tried virtually all the different tip sizes and chambers, my personal favorite were the A3 and A5, as I got a smooth, dark tone that could also be pushed for massive projection.

When I switched to a Yamaha, I stopped using them, as they obviously did not match well with the horn. Even if I experimented with different reeds, tips sizes and chambers, I received a lot of resistance and stuffiness. It was quite evident that their design did not match well with my Yamaha.

However, if your horn matches well with the Graftonites, keep it. As I have stated before, "The Graftonites offer performance that rival and even exceed mouthpieces costing far more."
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for your suggestions!

It's a small music shop with not so many saxophone customers, so we're happy that they are able to have any wind products at all. I've been told that to be allowed to be a Yamaha dealer you got to have a really large stock of Yamaha products all the time, which probably wouldn't be economical for this shop.

Anyway, I'll try out the A3 and A5, and if they don't work, obviously the shop must offer an alternative or I'll take my business elsewhere.
 
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