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

curlybob

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Liverpool
I became aware of SYOS a few months ago when Tivon Pennicott (one of my favourite modern tenor players and keen instagram buddy started using them) - if you haven't heard Tivon, check him out! After a little research, I hooked up with SYOS and they sent me a Tivon Pennicott Artist model to try out. It was the same design he used and same tip opening - a 9.
Now I already own a variety of very nice mouthpieces (modern and vintage), and play about 3 of them regularly; a Morgan Fry "Reso" in a 7*, a 10mfan Merlot in 8* and a LeBayle LRIII in 8. They're all in the same "ball park" in terms of sound concept (warm, dark but with some power and projection). I was pretty sure the Tivon Pennicott would be in the same arena - listening to him play for several years, I had a good idea of his sound concept.
Sure enough it arrived and I played it immediately - it played pretty good straight away - the 9 tip opening didn't feel big or any extra effort. After trying a couple of different reeds (Rigotti, D'Addario ...) I found Vandoren JAVA 3s worked best. After a week or so and playing a variety of different gigs, I came to some conclusions. This was a completely different concept to any other of my mouthpieces and indeed to any of the 1000s of mouthpieces I've played/ sold over the years. The actual product is pretty valueless, not a exquisite, lovingly handcrafted piece of german quality rubber, or beautifully plated meticulously made metal mouthpiece - it's a lump of plastic! However, the value is in the technology and design, this was the first mouthpiece I had ever played that was completely even (tone, texture, ease) across the whole range of the instrument! Absolutely effortless (in a brilliant way).
I decided that I would put the SYOS technology and design to the test. I contacted Pauline again and said I loved the mouthpiece but could they make it "a tad darker and a little bigger on the very low notes - at very loud volumes the bottom end was prone to splitting a little". I was intrigued as to how they would interpret such a vague description of what changes I wanted. One week later I met SYOS at Liverpool Sax Day and they had brought my new "signature" piece. As soon as I played it, I immediately noticed it was a little darker and the bottom notes popped out perfectly with plenty of power! But it was even more, the mouthpiece played spectacularly well - even more presence and evenness than the Tivon Pennicott model. I played between them for a good while and the difference was perfect! I had enough confidence to use the new piece on a workshop I was teaching in front of 80 sax players - after 30 mins of playing!
I'm totally sold! I even got a Dayna Stephens model which has a beautifully dark haunting sound in a 10 tip opening - which again doesn't feel big or hard work - now I only have to decide which piece to play on the gig!
This is a radical design concept and is going to have lots of lovers and haters - same thing is still raging about synthetic reeds. I personally haven't yet found a synthetic reed I like but am always willing to try out something new - you never know!
Bottom line is that SYOS back up their product with a 30 day refund if you're not totally delighted!


* I’m now waiting on a couple of other custom models to arrive, based on the Dayna Stephens model - I’ve simply asked for a little more warmth and volume - will report back when I’ve played them ...
 
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randulo

randulo

Second grade, but not second rate!
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Syos has a wacky sale going on now: 50% off on a signature mouthpiece if you let them choose the color. They guarantee it will not be black or white. I'm tempted but I already have too many pieces.

 
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randulo

randulo

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I'd be ok with most of their colors, but I'm not familiar with the players mentioned.
 

curlybob

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47
Location
Liverpool
Just realised I never reported back about having a custom SYOS piece made.
Well SYOS asked whether I wanted to be an endorsee and develop an “artist” model.
We discussed what I wanted - based, as previously stated, on a Dayna Stephens model I had been playing. A bit more warmth and more volume was my main requirements. They sent me three different variations (all 3 looked different - physical lengths and shapes, chamber size etc). All three were great playing pieces and in the same ballpark but one really stood out. This mouthpiece was the strangest piece I’ve ever played - it achieved what I asked for but in a way I hadn’t imagined...
I’ve had a particular sound concept in my head for a long time and have some beautiful mouthpieces that enable me to achieve it at low and medium volumes (10mfan merlot, lebayle lriii, morgan fry reso - all beautifully made warm mouthpieces) but when I really push the volume ( and I can play loud) they tended to brighten up and the high partials increase - not shrill but brighter than I like. I’ve compensated for this by really opening my throat and essentially subtone palm keys and believe it or not altissimo.
Now I appreciate many players want to brighten up and “cut through” as they get louder in a live situation, however I just want to get louder - basically I want a ballad-ish sound but really loud.
The mouthpiece that SYOS made me sounds as warm and dark as my other expensive handmade/ boutique pieces but when I go loud is where it differs. I think the very nature of making sound louder makes it somewhat “brighter” ie the treble/ highs increase more than the mids/ lows. This SYOS mouthpiece is quite extraordinary in that when pushed, the trebles/ highs do increase and brighten up BUT there’s this huge bass response underneath that also increases simultaneously balancing out the treble - creating this overall ballad- like warmth with tons of power and projection.
I’ve played/bought/sold 1000s of mouthpieces and this piece is absolutely incredible. I am totally enamoured with it. I’ve been playing it exclusively for a few weeks - various gigs/ settings and am totally stoked with it’s performance. The bass “thing” it does is so unique, I’m currently working on exaggerating it - when pointed out, listeners can really hear it, almost as if there is a “shadow” or second voice in the sound. My other pieces sound lovely until I put this on, then they sound lifeless and weak.
SYOS have sold half a dozen of them so far and it is going to be available on their website soon (you can request it now).
I have 2 and they are both fantastic - as you can tell, I’m exceptionally happy with this company and highly recommend getting in touch and discussing your requirements.
Here’s a couple of egs
Please feel free to ask any ?s - happy to discuss this company/ product with you
View: https://youtu.be/1X-hWRmLuSY

View: https://youtu.be/iAt32uI_Uvw
 
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randulo

randulo

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They all look great on stage. I just wish I was playing on one! (A stage, I mean.)
 

trimmy

One day i will...
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Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
I agree. I had a look at the various Alto mouthpieces and couldn't really decide which one i'd want.
Syos should provide a clip of the Arstists (some have) I had to search each player and checked them out on YouTube to get an idea of who's sound i liked.
Thomas de Pourquery
Godwin Louis
Jordan Reed
I think I'd go with the Godwin Louis
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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I thought that was a lipstick!


I agree. I had a look at the various Alto mouthpieces and couldn't really decide which one i'd want.
I'm now waiting for my randomly choosen lipsticks to arrive! :w00t:

I went for an alto and a baritone one, both Knoel Scott. We'll see!
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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Syos should provide a clip of the Arstists (some have) I had to search each player and checked them out on YouTube to get an idea of who's sound i liked.
Thomas de Pourquery
Godwin Louis
Jordan Reed
I think I'd go with the Godwin Louis
I think I'll wait for the Curlybob version, it sounds more like what I'd want except the extra volume is not needed unless the girl next door is playing the piano.
 
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randulo

randulo

Second grade, but not second rate!
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When I first discovered the site, I mentioned it would be nice to have a video gallery of the endorsers playing them. It would just be a matter of adding the YouTube embeds. Maybe I will add some to this post.

I've asked Pauline about the 14 day thing.

And if it made me sound like @curlybob, I'd buy his mouthpiece in three different colors!
 
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