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Is a 2 1/2 reed on soprano inhibiting my intonation issues? My setup is YSS-675, Vandoren V5, S15, and V16 2 1/2's. I find a 3 is too hard, but should i strengthen my "chops" so that I can play 3's?Any comments appreciated:)!​
 

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I think those mouthpieces have small tip openings. I used to have to push my S15 in real far on my old Borgani sax to not be flat. I have found recently on a curved Prestini and an old curved '25 Buescher, I can play in tune using 2.5 Vandorens on an Otto Link 7*STM or an I Selmer Super Session mouthpiece without pushing in much past the middle of the cork. I can't play well in tune with a Rico Royal Graftonite, a G Selmer S-80 or an old, small tipped, large chambered Buesher original mouthpiece. So, it may be using a harder reed or finding a mouthpiece which has a smaller inner chamber to allow it to be pulled out farther, assuming you are playing flat.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Is a 2 1/2 reed on soprano inhibiting my intonation issues?​


I'm not sure what you mean by inhibiting. If there are issues, is it good to inhibit them?

Anyway, if a 3 is too hard, then it's too hard, don't strain to use something unsuitable.

A 2.5 should have no problems with those mouthpieces, and to be honest, a certain reed strength (especially something as bog standard as 2.5)has little bearing on intonation anyway.​
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Honeyboy, I play flat at the bottom end of the "spectrum" and sharp at the top. If I tune to B (concert A) then A,G,F are flat, C,D,E are sharp.
 

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Yamaha Junkie, as long as you have a good instrument that is in good working order your set up will produce good results, although I personally prefer Vandoren classical (aka blue box) on an S15.

I have played S15s for years with reeds from 2.5 right up to 4s and found them to be one of the most reliably in tune mouthpieces available (at a reasonable price). Your tuning problems stem most likely from an under-developed embouchure. It is important, certainly at your stage, NOT to loosen the embouchure in the low register and also not to pinch at the top i.e. keep an entirely consistent embouchure from top to bottom. It is true also that soprano needs more pressure from the embouchure than the lower saxes (but then this is so with all wind instrument families). Attentive practice over a fairly long period of time will solve this for you, please don't expect quick results or instant fixes.
 

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Yamaha junkie-

Before you drastically change your setup, try a reed change. If a 3 cane is too strong, try a Legere Signature 2.75. They are wonderful for a powerful sound and they have a bit more flex than cane without sacrificing stability. Check out the "reeds" thread for more info!
 

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Personally, I have never played Legere that I liked. I have found, for me, the Fibracells to be very good. I play on .055 to .063 tips on Soprano, and just recently moved up from a 2 1/2 (Med) and 3 (Med Hard) to a 3 1/2 (Hard) and 4 (harder? lol) .

I have been playing soprano since 1995, so that could have something to do with it :) . The reed switch has only been recently though, when I noticed my high end was getting unstable, and my low end was "warbling".

Switching to stiffer reeds, was actually much less taxing on the embouchure, as I was no longer fighting the reed to stay stable in pitch. If you fight the reed, then it is either too soft, or too stiff, or maybe just the wrong cut (American, German, or French!). Play around with different brands, strengths, and materials. It isn't a cheap quest, but when you hit a reed you like, you'll know it, cause it will be virtually effortless!

Same hold true for mouthpieces.

Keep in mind, that when I started soprano, I was playing a 2 1/2 E. Rousseau (I miss those reeds!) reed on a Runyon "Spoiler" #6 mouthpiece. After switching to a Rovner Deep V metal #6, I switched to #3 reeds, then to Harry Hartman Carbon Toptones in a Med Hard. When the Carbon Toptones were redesigned, I hated how the played and sounded! So, I tried fibracell, and stepped up to 3 1/2 and 4 (after determining that the unstable notes I was getting were in fact caused by the too soft reed, that my embouchure had grown stronger and accustomed to the larger tips I am now playing on my other saxes).
 

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I completely understand. I suggest them because the new Signatures for soprano are very impressive in contrast to the others on the market nowadays. I've personally seen them made at the Legere factory in Ontario. The new quality controls and innovative manufacturing techniques are awesome- they are now better, stronger, and faster!!!

The soprano in particular has a fantastic sound and response.

But, hey, to each his own!
 

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I completely understand. I suggest them because the new Signatures for soprano are very impressive in contrast to the others on the market nowadays. I've personally seen them made at the Legere factory in Ontario. The new quality controls and innovative manufacturing techniques are awesome- they are now better, stronger, and faster!!!

The soprano in particular has a fantastic sound and response.

But, hey, to each his own!

Interesting. I just gave up on them, when I tried Alto and Tenor Legere reeds in 2003. They felt, and played like, a worn out stuffy cane reed, not a new crisp cane reed as advertised. Very disappointed! Happy with my setups now, but I may try them at a later date, when I have some money to gamble!
 
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