ASR Series Synthetic Reeds for Alto Saxophones
Advice for finding a synthetic reed of suitable strength
The strengths of Yamaha Synthetic reeds correspond closely to those of conventional cane reeds. So first, we recommend that you choose a strength which is the same or similar to the one you are currently using.
To find the optimal strength of synthetic reed:
Adjust the resistance by moving the reed slightly higher or lower on the mouthpiece. Higher makes the resistance higher, lower makes it lower.
Alongside the positioning of the reed, you can usually find a hint from the characteristics of the mouthpiece you are using. Usually, the mouthpiece consists of the parts such as ‘Baffle’, ‘Chamber’, ‘Facing’, ‘Tip Opening’, etc (see the image at the bottom of this article).
It is said that the ‘Facing’ and ‘Tip Opening’ particularly influence the sound and playability. ‘Facing’ corresponds to the length of the reed which vibrates when blowing. The lower part of the reed is touched to ‘Table’ of the mouthpiece. This is why only the part of the reed which corresponds to ‘Facing’ of the mouthpiece vibrates. The longer the length of ‘Facing’ is, the more resistance and bigger sound it produces. The shorter it is, the less resistance it has.
‘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, or vice versa.
Generally speaking, for the mouthpiece which has shorter facing and smaller tip opening, a reed of higher strength will fit. For the mouthpiece which has longer facing and bigger tip opening, a reed of lower strength will fit.
The Yamaha 4C mouthpiece has relatively shorter facing and smaller tip opening, enabling beginners to produce sounds more easily. Therefore, 3 or 3 1/2 will fit most.
If you don’t know the details about the mouthpiece you use, please contact the store from which you purchased it. How you play or the condition of the instrument may also be influential factors, so trying the reed before purchase is recommended.
The shape of tip of the mouthpiece and the reed are not the same. So how is it adjusted?
First, apply the reed to the lower part of the mouthpiece, then gradually move it upwards to the tip of the mouthpiece. If the shape of the reed and the mouthpiece are the same, they will fit. If they aren’t the same, the position of the reed is based on the point at which the tip of the reed and the mouthpiece get closest.
1) The shape of the mouthpiece and the reed are the same: adjust the reed based on the shape of the mouthpiece.
2) The curve of the tip of the mouthpiece is gentle and the right and left sides have a blank: adjust the tip of the reed to the tip of the mouthpiece.
3) The curve of the tip of the mouthpiece is sharp and the tip has a blank: adjust the left and right tip of the reed to the mouthpiece.
What's the difference between Yamaha Synthetic Reed and the reed attached to Venova?
Yamaha synthetic reeds were newly developed. Yamaha synthetic reeds adopt a new formulation of fibrous material. Plus, heat treatment improves sound production and tone. In addition, laser-engraved number adds a difference in appearance. You can use ASR series for YVS-120 and TSR series for YVS-140.