Yamaha Synthetic Alto Sax Reed
Synthetic Reed with a Natural Feel!
Yamaha’s new synthetic saxophone reed makes finding a good reed easy. Normal cane reeds need special care and handling, which can be frustrating and time consuming. The Yamaha synthetic alto sax reed is ready to play right out of the package, so even a beginner can make a great sound. Put your energy into your playing, not fussing with reeds!
Design & Materials
Yamaha designed these synthetic reeds so that even a beginner will find them easy to play with a good sound, and with an appearance and texture similar to natural cane.
- Material: Yamaha created a new formula based on natural fibrous cane and with a similar tone.
- Texture: The simulated reed texture looks and feels like a normal cane reed.
- Shape: The original shape with a stronger central rib gives these reeds a well-balanced playability throughout the instrument’s range.
- Heat treatment: A special heat treating process leads to a deep tone and smooth sound production.
Yamaha synthetic alto sax reeds have been tested for over 320 hours of playing time, equivalent to 8 months of real-world use*. Even after this extended time, there was no detectable change in stiffness or shape. With such a long lifespan, you’ll buy fewer reeds and spend less money in the long run.
* 2 hours per day, 20 days per month.
Safe and Easy to Clean
The Yamaha synthetic alto sax reed contains no toxic substances* and can be cleaned with soap and water or disinfected with mouthpiece cleaner or rubbing alcohol to keep them sanitary.
* Materials tested according to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare standards, and are fully compliant with Japanese, European, and American regulations.
Ready to Play
Unlike natural cane reeds that must be broken in and wetted with saliva or water before playing, Yamaha synthetic reeds are ready to play right out of the package with no seasoning or wetting needed. This makes them perfect for all sorts of situations where keeping your reed wet is difficult, like marching band, cold weather, or for doublers playing multiple instruments.
In addition, the packaging these reeds are shipped in is water resistant and won’t soften or tear with a wet reed, so can be reused as a convenient reed case.
How do I choose the right strength of Yamaha synthetic alto sax reed?
Strengths of the Yamaha synthetic alto sax reed corresponds closely to those of conventional cane reeds. So, to start, it is recommend that you choose a strength which is the same or similar to the reeds you are currently using.
If the strength you normally use isn’t quite right, try adjusting the resistance by moving the reed slightly higher or lower on the mouthpiece. Higher makes the resistance higher, lower makes it lower.
Beyond that, the Facing and Tip Opening of a mouthpiece can help determine what strength of reed will work best. The Facing represents the length of reed that will vibrate when playing. A longer Facing produces more resistance and bigger sound, while shorter Facings give less resistance. Tip Opening is the distance between the tip of the reed and the mouthpiece. The bigger the distance is, the more resistance and bigger sound it produces, and vice versa.
Generally speaking, a mouthpiece with a shorter facing and smaller tip opening will use a higher strength reed. A mouthpiece with a longer facing and bigger tip opening will use a lower strength reed. If you’re not sure about the details of your mouthpiece, please check with the manufacturer or your local music store.
The Yamaha 4C mouthpiece has a relatively shorter facing and smaller tip opening, enabling beginners to produce sounds more easily. Therefore, 3 or 3 1/2 are good strengths for most players using a 4C.
While Yamaha synthetic reeds have a standard tip shape, it’s possible that for some models of mouthpieces the top of the reed may not exactly fit the top of the mouthpiece. If this is causing problems, it may be possible to trim the reed so that it more closely matches the mouthpiece shape.
To start, put the reed low on the mouthpiece, then gradually slide it up until the center tip of the reed is even with the center tip of the mouthpiece.
1) If the reed and mouthpiece have the same curve, then no adjustments are needed.
2) If the reed drops away faster than the mouthpiece and you can see the mouthpiece along the corners, trim straight across the center of the reed to flatten the curve.
3) If the reed hangs over the edges of the mouthpiece, trim the left and right corners of the reed to increase the curve.
Keep in mind that cutting away material is permanent, so be very cautious and don’t cut away too much at once!
In a word, no. Yamaha synthetic reeds are a completely new design that uses a new type of material and a new shape, along with a special heat treatment process. This gives these reeds a natural sound production and tone quality that is very similar to what you’d expect from a normal cane reed.
While these reeds are very different from Venova reeds, you can use the ASR alto sax reeds with the YVS-120 Alto Venova, and the TRS reeds with the YVS-140 Tenor Venova.
Yamaha Synthetic Reed Family
The Yamaha Synthetic Alto Sax Reed is part of the new family of Yamaha synthetic reeds. Check out the entire lineup: