Yamaha Design “Synapses” NPAS/NPTS


Conical Pouches Protect Saxophone Necks and Mouthpieces.


NPAS/NPTS pouches offer a way to store the neck and mouthpiece of a saxophone inside its bell when taking the instrument on the road. They are made of thick wetsuit material to prevent the parts from damaging each other, and their inner surfaces feature antibacterial fabric. The cone-shaped pouches provide the optimal fit for the inside of a saxophone bell.


The saxophonist assembles his instrument before the show. This ritual is a nice time to get concentrate on the music before play. When he loosens the cord on the pouch and brings the golden neck into the light, His passion grows and his feelings rise for the performance.


Soft cases and compact cases are convenient, but they don’t have space to store the neck and mouthpiece, so saxophonists typically wrap the parts in a pouch or cover and put them into the bell. The three-dimensional design of NPAS/NPTS pouches matches the shape of the bell, giving them a subtle, natural look when they are in use.


It is completely natural to twist a pouch when putting it into the bell, so the wetsuit material on the outside of the pouch is sewn in a diagonal, twisting pattern. The blue piping that holds the wetsuit material together helps keep the shape of the pouch and at the same time provides an intuitive encouragement to twist it.

Jose González
Jose González
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Three Dimensional Thinking Produces Vision of Twisting.

Saxophonists take apart their instruments and store them in cases. Cases typically feature storage space for necks and mouthpieces, but lightweight soft cases and compact travel cases do not. Many saxophonists tuck these parts into pouches or cloths and put them into the bell when they use the latter type of case. Despite the conical shape of a saxophone bell, most pouches and cases on the market to date have been flat, requiring saxophonists to roll them up with the parts inside before putting them into the bell. We believed that thinking in 3D would help us make a much more convenient pouch, so we began coming up with ideas.
First, we looked at a neck and mouthpiece and considered the most logical three-dimensional shape for them. Then we handcrafted a mock-up with a square bottom and a top that twisted 45 degrees, because we originally wanted the design to encourage the intuitive act of twisting. However, having four intricately twisting surfaces prevented the prototype from fitting snugly into a bell, so we thought some more and made more prototypes, finally arriving at a cone-shaped model that had only three twisting parts. We used wetsuit material for neck and mouthpiece protection and held it together with strong piping to help the pouch retain its shape and provide elasticity if it were dropped. We chose to make the piping blue to make it an accent that encourages the saxophonist to twist the pouch into the bell.

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