....alto sax mouthpieces are more suited to the straight-neck Conns.. This is mostly because (due to long shanks on a lot of tenor mpcs) the microtuner restricts how far on you can push the mouthpiece, therefore alto mpcs are more suitable for the Conns, unless you can find short-shank tenor mpcs.
Yes, I tried both tenor and alto mouthpieces and I'd need a hack saw to use the tenor mouthpiece.
I found that indeed it sounded more like an alto with the metal yanagisawa mouthpiece. On the other hand, the wonderful sweet brightness that I get from that piece on alto seemed completely distorted in a rather unpleasant way on the higher end of the range (the low end sounded fine). Maybe this is caused by the different bore size of the C-melody?
The mouthpiece that came with the C-mel is a literal no-name piece that seems much more suited to the horn as a whole. I was offered a vintage C-mel mouthpiece instead, but was advised that this mouthpiece was more open, perhaps closer to what I was used to. I think that was good advice. Compared to a metal Yanagisawa, it sounds more like a classical tone or maybe a thirties jazz tone, but it seems more consistent in quality up and down the horn. Perhaps I will need to try out a bunch of mouthpieces to find one that will work for brightness as well as for consistency. Or maybe I should just cut to the chase and write Ralph Morgan.
Be interested to know how you find the intonation on the Conn, using your metal alto Yana, I have a very similar alto mpc here that I need to check out on C-Mels.
The intonation with the metal mouthpiece on the C-mel seems fine. However..
... I'm a very part time musician. Were I to play any horn acapella, the chances are that I would not play it consistently in tune. But put me with a bunch of other musicians, and as long as I can hear myself, and as long as I pay attention, notes usually come out in tune (at least no one ever complains), even though with an open mouthpiece I can usually lip them up a little or down a lot at any time. That is to say, it seemed in tune to me, but your mileage may vary.
Interested to see you also use a Yana metal on your C-Sop, a Bb mpc I assume
Yes, it was an odd coincidence, that. I have no Bb soprano sax, so I went to that store with the idea of purchasing a Bb soprano mouthpiece that I liked which I could use to try out various Bb instruments to decide which one I would want to buy. They didn't have much selection, but I was tickled to find that they had a used Yanagisawa metal Bb mouthpiece, just like the one I had for alto but soprano-sized!! They sold it for (iirc) about 90 bucks, much cheaper than they go for at WWBW, so I was happy. I tried a few straight sopranos with it (though I was looking for a curved so I could pretend I was Jan Garbarek) and then.... I saw the C soprano under the glass of the counter. I thought maybe it was a sopranino or something. Imagine my surprise when I was told it was in C.
Well, I tried that horn next, but even I could hear that it wasn't in tune with itself from top to bottom. It was only after leaving the shop and while driving home that I realized that the reason it hadn't played in tune with itself was probably that I had to push the mouthpiece further down on the cork. So the next day, armed with a tuner, I went back, found indeed that the mouthpiece had to be pushed an incredible distance down the neck (thank goodness it was only keyed to high Eb!), and so I bought it. I can't wait to take it traveling with me this summer.
The C Soprano was sold with a Bb metal Selmer C*, presumably what the previous owner had used. It's a fine mouthpiece as well, but not as open as I prefer, so I use the Yanagisawa mouthpiece on it. What I'm going to do if I actually ever get around to buying a Bb soprano is a mystery at this point. IN the meantime I have two very nice mouthpieces.
So instead of a Bb soprano, my original objective, I have gotten two C horns instead. As you might surmise, you're dealing here with somebody who, for once in his life, has paid off his mortgage and so all of a sudden has a lot of money to get things he's always wished he could afford, which is the reason for all my purchases of late.
On the other hand, I have in fact used that Yana soprano piece to try out a couple more Bb sopranos in the meantime - a curved Cannonball and a Yanagisawa SC992. The curved Cannonball with that mouthpiece was so bright it was like playing a kazoo. I'm not saying it's a bad horn, just with that mouthpiece. The Yanagisawa, on the other hand, was one of the nicest-playing, prettiest-sounding saxophones of any size or brand that I've ever even touched. Wow!! It was hard to leave the practice room at the music store. It will probably be my next purchase when my bank account rises again.
I've been told that the alto piece was favored in the era of the saxophone, but I don't care for that approach. If you want more good C-Mel recordings from that era, look up Frankie Trumbauer's work, including TRUMBOLOGY, a very Weidoeft-style recording
Yes, now I wonder if Trumbaur might have used an alto mouthpiece. You can listen to a lot (maybe all?) of his band's recording for free at: