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My daughter is starting sax with me, to prep for joining her 6th grade band this fall. She's doing quite well so far.

I spend nearly all my playing time on tenor, and I have probably a dozen mouthpieces for tenor, but I've never invested as much time/effort on alto setups. I've got an old Selmer S80 C* for classical and concert work that has served me quite well for 30 years, so I planned to get another for her... until I saw the prices (at least for new ones).

So - is the Yamaha 4CM a close match? I see the general profile of the mouthpiece and the square chamber look a heckuva lot like the S80. I'm wondering if the sound and response are also similar, as well as wondering if the tip opening is a match or if I should go up to 5 or down to 3.

Daughter has tried my S80 with fine results and finding a used one is still on the table, but at $80 for the 4CM vs. $170 for a Selmer, I thought it was worth the ask.

Any info helpful. Thanks!
 

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Lots of people are happy with Yamaha mouthpieces, but personally I prefer the Selmer - it seems more refined to me.

But I prefer the Rousseau NC4 to either. And it is a little cheaper than the Selmer S80.
 

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You can get the plastic version of the same Yamaha 4CM mouthpiece for a shade less than $30 if you are wanting to save a little more money. The plastic version is called the 4C. It’s still a very fine mouthpiece. However, the hard rubber Custom mouthpieces (i.e. the 4CM) are very nice and it will suit her just as well as the S80 for quite sometime.
 

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I think the quality of the Selmer S80 is worth the heavier price tag, but if she's just starting out it may be wise to start with a cheaper mouthpiece like a Yamaha 4C as previously suggested. As she progresses down the road you may have a better idea of what kind of mouthpiece she'll should be going for, and could invest more on it then.
 

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The CM is NOT the same as the C, they have different chambers , the CM has an horseshoe chamber whereas the C has a square chamber
 
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The CM is NOT the same as the C, they have different chambers , the CM has an horseshoe chamber whereas the C has a square chamber
You must have that reversed because I’m looking at a 5CM in my fingers right now. It is definitely a square chamber.
 

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Yes, indeed, but the most important point is that they are very different , the chamber is so different (CM square , C horseshoe) that they aren’t even close.

even the openings are different


Saying that one is the cheaper version of the other isn’t true at all.
 

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Saying that one is the cheaper version of the other isn’t true at all.
I’ve played them both to know that from a beginner’s perspective they would be equally served by either.
 

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well, they are good mouthpieces, but without any doubt different in construction.

I too have made the same mistake once, long ago, to think they were the same, until I have both and then I saw they were different.
 

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i have owned both and agree either is a fine choice . i have played dozens of s80 c*,s and only come across one with a poor facing . getting a used one is a pretty safe bet
 

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Look on eBay for an S-80D. You could play that your whole sax career.
I believe you could at that, but I wonder if anyone has ever played on a single mouthpiece for their entire sax career? That should be a category in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
 

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Just started playing alto again recently (soprano and tenor mostly) and was so impressed with the Yamaha Custom CM, I bought one for my tenor (and one for soprano, but primarily use a Soprano Planet). I'm using the 6, but the 4 is great, too. I have played an S-80, but I prefer the Yamaha, and I'm not sure why. They are very similar mouthpieces. The CM is more than double the cost of the acrylic standard C model, I assume because the CM is made from hard rubber (not plastic).
 

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Yamaha 4C is perfectly fine for any beginner. I wouldn't bother with the CM at this point. She'll probably upgrade to something that better fits her voice in about a year anyway. As a very experienced player yourself, you probably already know this but just want to confirm you aren't making a huge mistake with the Yamaha. Don't worry, you're not. It does the job a beginner mouthpiece needs to do, allows the student to easily produce a pleasant tone throughout the range of the horn. When she later decides she wants to sound like Desmond, Cannonball, Grace Kelly or Marcel Mule, then buy whatever mouthpiece is appropriate for that kind of sound.
 

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I recall when I joined this forum that the consensus seemed to be very much against the C*. Now it seems to have flipped.
 

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My daughter is starting sax with me, to prep for joining her 6th grade band this fall. She's doing quite well so far.

I spend nearly all my playing time on tenor, and I have probably a dozen mouthpieces for tenor, but I've never invested as much time/effort on alto setups. I've got an old Selmer S80 C* for classical and concert work that has served me quite well for 30 years, so I planned to get another for her... until I saw the prices (at least for new ones).

So - is the Yamaha 4CM a close match? I see the general profile of the mouthpiece and the square chamber look a heckuva lot like the S80. I'm wondering if the sound and response are also similar, as well as wondering if the tip opening is a match or if I should go up to 5 or down to 3.

Daughter has tried my S80 with fine results and finding a used one is still on the table, but at $80 for the 4CM vs. $170 for a Selmer, I thought it was worth the ask.

Any info helpful. Thanks!
Being a sax player yourself, you have an advantage over forum recommendations. You can actually play her equipment yourself to find out if it is sufficient.
 

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I believe you could at that, but I wonder if anyone has ever played on a single mouthpiece for their entire sax career? That should be a category in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Maceo Parker apparently has always used a Brilhart Ebolin 3, even as a student. I've heard he's used more than one (due to damage) but always the ebolin 3.
 

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Maceo Parker apparently has always used a Brilhart Ebolin 3, even as a student. I've heard he's used more than one (due to damage) but always the ebolin 3.
Ha! I can also see that. I have a wonderful Brilhart Ebolin 3, but it was refaced by Phil Engleman. It is such a lovely piece I can well imagine someone using it forever. However, going a lifetime without dropping it? Yeah, I would bet that Maceo Parker used more than one mouthpiece during his lifetime, but I doubt those folks at Ripley's would notice. 😉
 
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