Hello to you too Linden. So to my experience persons over 5′ 2″ (157 cm) ‘usually’ can handle altos/trebles. Shorter than that and ordering without in-person testing generally requires a vendor with a solid return policy and good reputation. (Read: one of the long standing recorder shops) (and be willing to take the hit on postage.) My most recent purchase – a blackwood alto – required an extra 100 USD just for the back-and-forth postage/insurance on a three-instrument trial. I consider it money well spent though. What an instrument!
I’ve always thought the adjustable foot on three-piece instruments solved the ‘reach problem’ for many players on the cusp of the issue. That, and what I recommend for my students in telling them that a thumb rest placed so that their right pinky approaches the lowest hole
perpendicular to the instrument, generally permits many shorter adults to make the reach and play cleanly. Often their right thumb is exactly opposite their middle finger. On plastic instruments I secure the plastic thumb rest with water-soluable white children’s school glue.
My license says I was once 5′ 6″, but my age is now ‘ancient’ yet I easily play keyless tenors with thumb rests installed as said. I’ve had more than one petite person find they could reach on one of my keyless (thumb-rest installed) tenors.
I didn’t want to come down too hard on Yamaha, but I too find they clog way easily. I use a 1:5 ratio of clear dish soap to water just before bed through the fipple window filling the windway of the head. They air dry and are ready in the morning. If speed is needed I blow dry using canned computer-cleaning air, BUT! I only do this on plastic instruments. I fear the extreme cold from the compressed air might freeze and hurt the wood cells of a wooden instrument.
I think that covers the topics. Again, just my opinions and adventures. Bon Courage!