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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The claude lakey came with my sax & I find it nearly impossible to play cleanly, the yamaha 4c I find very easy to play.
I'm a (year playing) beginner and they kind of look almost the same to me?

Is it even worth persevering with the claude lakey mpc or should I sell it?
Every few weeks I dig it out try it again & put it away in annoyance & go back to the yamaha.
 

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Most lakey pieces play like pieces of garbage. Its one of the few pieces I really think is molded and not hand worked. Anyway, either way, they are extremely bright and edgy pieces. Its not the best choice for you at this stage. It is also very possible, even if you have a decent one, that the tip opening is too large on the lakey making it difficult to play. Put it away...sell it..whaterver. You wont make much money anyway since they are super cheap new.
 

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I do the same thing. I have 3 other brands from the Yamaha 5c and try them once in a while, but still come back to Yamaha. I keep the others to check my progress, i.e. when I'm able to play with them, I'll know I have progressed.
My concern is where to go when I "want" to move on from the Yamaha. But for now, just getting reeds to work well is enough. Yesterday I finally got a cheap plastic to do the job on tenor. It made my day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Most lakey pieces play like pieces of garbage. Its one of the few pieces I really think is molded and not hand worked. Anyway, either way, they are extremely bright and edgy pieces. Its not the best choice for you at this stage. It is also very possible, even if you have a decent one, that the tip opening is too large on the lakey making it difficult to play. Put it away...sell it..whaterver. You wont make much money anyway since they are super cheap new.
It has 'jazz' stamped on it and is made of plastic, I have to blow so hard to even get it to sound, whereas with the yamaha its so much easier.
Back in the cupboard it goes then, if its not worth much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do the same thing. I have 3 other brands from the Yamaha 5c and try them once in a while, but still come back to Yamaha. I keep the others to check my progress, i.e. when I'm able to play with them, I'll know I have progressed.
My concern is where to go when I "want" to move on from the Yamaha. But for now, just getting reeds to work well is enough. Yesterday I finally got a cheap plastic to do the job on tenor. It made my day.
Yes, what next to try?

Back when I was 17 the Berg Larsen factory was at the top of the industrial estate I worked on, I didn't play sax then and its sadly long gone.
 

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We all react differently to mouthpieces. New players are probably not sufficiently developed to make many long-term assessments of equipment, especially mouthpieces. I agree with the advice to stick with the 4C at this point.

However, I knew Claude Lakey . . . his shop and home was in my policing area and I stopped by regularly to visit with him and his wife. I bought several mouthpieces from him, too. I watched him hand-finish one of the clarinet mouthpieces - he even marked it "5*D" for me. I never got on with his alto pieces but I bought one for my daughter when she was in high school (I don't recall the design - never figured out exactly what "4-3" meant, but I think that's the one she has) - and she still uses it (some 30+ years later) on her altos in several bands with which she plays. She loves it.

I used to use his 5* and 7* on soprano - played the 7* on a tour of Israel many years ago. But for me, the sopranos are not bright, they are dark - and too dark for my tastes. Like I said, everyone is different.

Claude and his wife and mouthpiece operation moved to Texas from L.A. years ago and he is long gone from this earth. I don't know anything about who carries on his name now. Nor did I pay much attention then to how his blanks were made, etc. All of that made little difference to me, but with SOTW in our lives now, most of us ponder those things. Regardless, I'd hang on to that Lakey mouthpiece and re-visit it from time to time. When your embouchure develops and you learn to select reeds for different mouthpieces, you may find that the Lakey will play for you. DAVE
 

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We all react differently to mouthpieces. New players are probably not sufficiently developed to make many long-term assessments of equipment, especially mouthpieces. I agree with the advice to stick with the 4C at this point.

However, I knew Claude Lakey . . . his shop and home was in my policing area and I stopped by regularly to visit with him and his wife. I bought several mouthpieces from him, too. I watched him hand-finish one of the clarinet mouthpieces - he even marked it "5*D" for me. I never got on with his alto pieces but I bought one for my daughter when she was in high school (I don't recall the design - never figured out exactly what "4-3" meant, but I think that's the one she has) - and she still uses it (some 30+ years later) on her altos in several bands with which she plays. She loves it.

I used to use his 5* and 7* on soprano - played the 7* on a tour of Israel many years ago. But for me, the sopranos are not bright, they are dark - and too dark for my tastes. Like I said, everyone is different.

Claude and his wife and mouthpiece operation moved to Texas from L.A. years ago and he is long gone from this earth. I don't know anything about who carries on his name now. Nor did I pay much attention then to how his blanks were made, etc. All of that made little difference to me, but with SOTW in our lives now, most of us ponder those things. Regardless, I'd hang on to that Lakey mouthpiece and re-visit it from time to time. When your embouchure develops and you learn to select reeds for different mouthpieces, you may find that the Lakey will play for you. DAVE
Thanks for that wisdom Dave, Lakeys can be great and agreed not best for beginners. But oh yeah, probably the OP's is an old handmade and a very good mpc..way back I got a 6*3 tenor from him (in LA) and played it over 20 yrs til I picked up a Guardala.

I still have a very old HR 9*3 tenor, and a 7*3 newer one (90's), I don't think it's "plastic" looks like every other Rubber Lakey I've seen, it's also a very good player with no noticeable issues....On alto along with a Sakshama metal I use an 8*3 rubber Lakey. I've played this mpc for many years, it is a versatile great sounding and easy playing mpc.

I know the current Lakey Co states they carry on Claudes work. Seems they produce a pretty authentic "Classic" model. looks like rubber in the pictures..but who faces them, who knows ?

Anyway the newer stuff I have no experience with. I do see a plastic composite mpc and some metals. But I never played them.Long time ago I tried a Proto of a Metal I got from Norbert Stachel. I tried to love it but it turned out a Dud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We all react differently to mouthpieces. New players are probably not sufficiently developed to make many long-term assessments of equipment, especially mouthpieces. I agree with the advice to stick with the 4C at this point.

However, I knew Claude Lakey . . . his shop and home was in my policing area and I stopped by regularly to visit with him and his wife. I bought several mouthpieces from him, too. I watched him hand-finish one of the clarinet mouthpieces - he even marked it "5*D" for me. I never got on with his alto pieces but I bought one for my daughter when she was in high school (I don't recall the design - never figured out exactly what "4-3" meant, but I think that's the one she has) - and she still uses it (some 30+ years later) on her altos in several bands with which she plays. She loves it.

I used to use his 5* and 7* on soprano - played the 7* on a tour of Israel many years ago. But for me, the sopranos are not bright, they are dark - and too dark for my tastes. Like I said, everyone is different.

Claude and his wife and mouthpiece operation moved to Texas from L.A. years ago and he is long gone from this earth. I don't know anything about who carries on his name now. Nor did I pay much attention then to how his blanks were made, etc. All of that made little difference to me, but with SOTW in our lives now, most of us ponder those things. Regardless, I'd hang on to that Lakey mouthpiece and re-visit it from time to time. When your embouchure develops and you learn to select reeds for different mouthpieces, you may find that the Lakey will play for you. DAVE

Thanks, nice story as well.
I'll keep the mouthpiece then :)

At the moment I'm quite happy on the 4c though some notes I play sound great and some sound not so good when listening back to myself.
I don't want to get into buying lots of different gear, I just need to work out why the tone goes off on some notes & I don't think its so much tuning related.
 

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You don't say whether you are playing an alto or tenor sax. if it's an alto the Yamaha 4C has a tip opening of 0.063" and the Claude Lakey 4*3 has a tip opening of 0.080", therefore the Lakey has a wider tip opening and a lot harder to play for a beginner - you could use a softer reed for the wider tip opening if required and should play a bit easier in the meantime stick with the 4C.

Greg S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You don't say whether you are playing an alto or tenor sax. if it's an alto the Yamaha 4C has a tip opening of 0.063" and the Claude Lakey 4*3 has a tip opening of 0.080", therefore the Lakey has a wider tip opening and a lot harder to play for a beginner - you could use a softer reed for the wider tip opening if required and should play a bit easier in the meantime stick with the 4C.

Greg S.
Hi Greg, yes it is an alto.
I will try a softer reed in the lakey, what other brands would be a better upgrade?
I prefer a smooth tone rather than an in your face bright tone.
 

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starry: When you ask which brand(s), you might as well go to WW&BW's internet site and consider every mouthpiece they offer . . . there are tons of good mouthpieces out there. I know where to start on such a list, but my choices probably have no relation to what you want, need, or can play at this point. Name ANY known brand if you want to start a list.

Best that you work on your embouchure and reed choices - like was posted above, the closer the tip, the harder the reed; the more open the tip, the softer the reed, generally speaking. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
starry: When you ask which brand(s), you might as well go to WW&BW's internet site and consider every mouthpiece they offer . . . there are tons of good mouthpieces out there. I know where to start on such a list, but my choices probably have no relation to what you want, need, or can play at this point. Name ANY known brand if you want to start a list.

Best that you work on your embouchure and reed choices - like was posted above, the closer the tip, the harder the reed; the more open the tip, the softer the reed, generally speaking. DAVE
Ok thanks, atm I'm using a yamaha 4c and d'addario plasticover 2 reed.
Its ok right now but a bit fluffy sounding when I listen to myself on playback.
 

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Best that you work on your embouchure and reed choices
Ok thanks, atm I'm using a yamaha 4c and d'addario plasticover 2 reed.
Its ok right now but a bit fluffy sounding when I listen to myself on playback.
Starry, as someone closer to your end of the learning curve - I am astonished, continually, at what a difference getting on top of overtones made to the old embouchure; and tone production across the range. It is - seems to me - like the boot camp of sound production...
... And - at my stage at least - made more difference to being able to do what I want than any amount of mucking about with reeds and mouthpieces (although, admittedly, I do little of that anyway).

Really, believe me. When I could finally, reliably, produce 3 or 4 stable overtones Bb to C; my whole relationship to the sax changed.
 

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lesacks: I think you are right about embouchure development. But I want to emphasize that "mucking about with reeds and mouthpieces" is a necessary evil when dealing with the huge difference between a 4C and a Lakey. The reason being that in most cases, using the same reed on both of those mouthpieces is a formula for failure.

There is no law about where a new player should start . . . closed-tips or open-tips, although the conventional wisdom goes with new players starting on closed-tips. But if starry wants to try the Lakey (and he surely can do that), then it would be best if he "mucks about" rather than try the same reed on both pieces and walks away wondering what just happened.

Besides, it is fun, regardless of what level one is at, to try things. Oh, the purists may insist that it be done one way, but we are free to try. Folks once told us that a new player should not start out on soprano. I did just that and have enjoyed soprano saxophone for over 60 years now. While the generalized advice may be the best way to go, it certainly isn't the only way to go. DAVE
 

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Dave,
I don't think what in wrote could be construed as anything more than my experience, let alone purist advice! I was responding more to then"fluffy sound" remark than the mp/reed issue.
 

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Fair enough - and I failed to address the fluffy sound. But that is probably a reed-issue, as well, assuming the OP can get a nice sound on a few notes but not on others. Admittedly, that could also be a problem with his horn or his embouchure. It is always risky trying to assess someone's problem from halfway around the world.

I've never gotten on with Plasticovers. Besides the coating flaking off (well documented elsewhere on SOTW, and I've experienced that myself), I've found them to be unresponsive. Of course, there are those who swear by them, so just more subjective talk about personal perceptions. DAVE
 

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The 4C with a stiffer reed gives you a dark classical tone if thats what you want. I knew a band director that had all the altos and tenors (especially ) tenors on the 4C with plain Vandoran 2 or 2.5. Those give a nice dark tone that is consistent as your embouchure can make it? good luck. once you have a decent embouchure then the mouthpiece hunt can begin but the Yamaha are cheap, heck you could try a 5 or 6C if you wanted a bigger tone. ? K
 

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I thoughtt the same keith...i dont know what a fluffy sound is. If the op is getting an unclear sound on a 4c It seems like the time for more practice. The 4c is usually a clear straightforward sax tone. If its unclear i dont think the soulution lies in gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I thoughtt the same keith...i dont know what a fluffy sound is. If the op is getting an unclear sound on a 4c It seems like the time for more practice. The 4c is usually a clear straightforward sax tone. If its unclear i dont think the soulution lies in gear.


View attachment Jun,_26_15_15_21sax_a8f5fcf6[1].mp3

I recorded myself today, sitting in a field under a tree and just noodling about, (recording on my cheap)phone.
I don't know but my sounds seems kind of dull/fluffy?
Maybe its just the phone recording and being outside?

Please go easy on my playing :mrgreen:
 
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