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M/Pieces - Ligs Anyone tried 3D printed custom mouthpieces?

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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I was in my local sax shop (checking carefully spelling) and saw a row of brightly-colored things on a shelf above the guy I was talking to. "3D printed mouthpieces", he said. I didn't ask about the price but preferred to sneak a look on the web. The price will be the same if I buy, so I'll buy it from the store as they've been great for tips and advice.

Has anyone seen these and more important tried them?

Syos Mouthpieces | What sound are you looking for?.jpg


Here's the site of Syos if you want to take a look. They're 200€ for a standard model and 300€ for custom. Is the 3D printed thing a gimmick? I'm planning to get to Paris and try them, regardless.

I see on the site that they're acoustic engineers or researchers. That means the S word, science must be used here. In checking out the company, I found they recently won an innovation award from the city of Paris. They seem like pretty cool people (there's a chat thing on the page for questions). I looked at the customization form on the site to see what kind of questions they ask for the custom pieces, and that is nicely done. They also can make a MPC like those of (or that sound like those of) famous saxophonists.

Has anyone seen and played such a thing?
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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Do you still play them? (You say "had")
 

ellinas

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I sold the alto piece here .... and I gave the tenor piece as a present to a friend as I have an incredible ny link mouthpiece that I like better. The tenor piece was killer.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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There is a review on Paul Haar's thesaxophonist.org site
Thanks for that. I got there just in time, since the site will be readable only by paid subscribers starting next month. Excellent review, I can see how his reviews would be worth a subscription if you're at the point where you can benefit from them. I'm not there yet, but I was intrigued.

@ellinas that makes sense :)
 

Al Ex

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Sylvain Rifflet and Thomas DePourquery, two (really) great french sax players use them, among many others. I think it must be great to have your own designed MP, but I guess it's especially useful to really experienced people.
 

Ne0Wolf7

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They must be hand finished, or chemically smoothed in some way. 3D printing works by depositing layer after layer on top of each other (fused deposition modeling), so each layer, probably between 0.5 on 0.2 mm, will leave a little ridge. He said its made from ABS, so they could have used acetone to vapors to smooth it over, which makes me wonder how accurate it could be to the specs. It also sounds like they didn't do that considering he could feel the layers. That means that the inside will have all those tiny ridges, which may or may not matter, but they must've hand finished it because it was playable (I printed a mouthpiece once and couldn't get any sealing until I "refaced" it).
I wouldn't call 3D printing a mouthpiece a gimmick, it's probably more precise than lathing a mouthpiece, but wouldn't be as good as CNC milling, which isn't temperature dependent or in need of some sort of hand or chemical finishing.
I've never tried one from SYOS before.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I have seen one, and it didn’t seem to have been hand finished - the table and rails were not smooth.
I don’t know how that works, but it seems to. Maybe the reed has enough elasticity to deal with small-enough bumps.
 

Jazzaferri

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The real trick in mpces is the final finishing and adjusting where the amounts taken off are measured in a few thousandths of an inch.

I dont know what tolerance printed MPCes can attain but to optimize a mpce requires play testing IMO

I dont onw or use a mpce that has not been set up individually by someone who knows what they are doing
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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I have seen one, and it didn’t seem to have been hand finished - the table and rails were not smooth.
I don’t know how that works, but it seems to. Maybe the reed has enough elasticity to deal with small-enough bumps.
Yeah, the reviewer said as much on his site and on that video. He found it surprising but didn't seem to say it changed the sound. Judging by the response from known players, that doesn't seem to matter. This is something I'd like to try, I could look at them at the store where I originally saw them.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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I dont know what tolerance printed MPCes can attain but to optimize a mpce requires play testing IMO
The site says 1/100 of a millimeter.
Indeed, they give you 15 days to send it back to get it adjusted the way you want. That assumes you're capable of expressing that, which I think I am not. I tried a mouthpiece in a stare once and when I got it home, I found it unplayable.
 

Phil

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Disclaimer: I have not played one of these.

However, having made mouthpiece for 15 years I remain of the opinion that most designs...to get the best results require play testing. This is especially so with a mouthpiece with a rollover baffle. The difference between a mpc that plays and one that sings comes down to a baffle adjustment of a gnats a$$ and adjustments in other areas that impact balance and tone.

However..there are designs that are less unforgiving where a well made piece can perform well....so in these cases a printed mpc may do quite well.

But yet another consideration is the voicing of a piece. Even if a piece plays well is it voiced in a positive manner? That starts to become subjective and when it machine made...if it is deadly accurate, it comes down to who designed the piece.in the first place.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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Significant wisdom, certainly @Phil. My problem, the problem of any beginner, is that we're just learning to get a sound and try to get it on pitch. We have no "right" to start the search for the perfect mouthpiece! In my case, I feel like I want to make sure I'm set up with the best for my comfort and sound, yet I have no personal sound. If I may, I think I'm way better than most at going in too many directions at once, renting a cheap curved soprano and buying mouthpieces. I should wait a few years, but I can't help myself. There doesn't seem to be an antidote for the addiction I have to the saxophone. I now realize, I should have tried to learn sax when I was in my teens, but at that time, the guitar was the thing, the accordion of the sixties.

Back to the 3D printed mouthpiece. As a tech geek for life, I am curious. Most 3D printed stuff doesn't interest me, but this idea, if it is sound (no pun intended) is a great application of the technology. Right now, they're expensive, without having the reputation of the great mouthpieces. If they are tailored to exactly what you want, they are probably well worth it. For me, this concept mixes two of my favorite things, the saxophone and technology we only dreamed of, watching the original Star Trek with their machine making synthetic everything.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Our local shop in Bristol has some of the SYOS mouthpieces and they say that they are surprisingly good. But they look like children toys.

One of the claims of the manufacturer is that they can create internal geometries and shapes that would not be possible with machine-cut methods.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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France
One of the claims of the manufacturer is that they can create internal geometries and shapes that would not be possible with machine-cut methods.
I suppose they can create any shape that material physics allows to remain solid! I'd love to see the printer, maybe the video (which I didn't watch yet) shows it. They do look like toys, that's why they attracted my eye, I'm a kid at heart!
 
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