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

curlybob

Member
Messages
44
Location
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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