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M/Pieces - Ligs Review - Syos 3D printed mouthpieces and ligatures

First thing to say is I have been playing alto 2 years 8 months and soprano, a year and a half. My alto is a Yamaha YAS-480 and the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece came with it. Like many "serious" beginners, I got the itch to try other mouthpieces and see what they were like. The first was a Vandoren V16 6M. It seemed great in the store, then very hard to play at home. I eventually had it refaced to reduce the opening, but that's another story. I tried at least one other before seeing a bunch of bright colors on a rack in the local music store. I was immediately interested. After some back and forth on the Syos site, I asked them to make me a custom mouthpiece based on my uneducated "wishes", something with an opening between the 4C and the V16, a "dark" sound for ballads, etc. After a helpful back and forth of emails with one of the designers, he sent me this:

Magenta alto.jpg

Internal Geometry: straight baffle, with a small chamber
Characteristics: quite dark, focused, neat and clear sound
Tip Opening: - 1.70mm
Brightness: 2.5 / 10
Power: 8.0 / 10

Several people have commented on various sites about the finish (or lack thereof) of the surface. One detail of being a beginner is that I didn't notice or care about this. In the world of wine tasting, we speak of "mouth feel". The Syos, all three of mine, feel perfectly comfortable in my mouth. You notice a thin cushion, which comes with Syos products. I also have the thicker BG one on the other mouthpiece. I think these are a good idea.

I was immediately at home with the alto piece, and went to to try a confusing number of reeds from Vandoren 2; 2/12; 3 to Plasticover 2.5 ; 3, to Legère from 2 to 3 and a BARI. My go to reeds are still Vandoren 2 1/2, that's what Eric Marienthal uses, by the way. However all the former are used at various times and they all work well with the Syos pieces. (EDIT: no, in fact the bARI, the first synthetic I bought, has never been worth playing on any mouthpiece. It's unusable for me.)

Having gotten up my nerve to go a little wider, I ordered a brighter, louder blue piece:

Blue alto with wave lig.jpg

Internal Geometry: step baffle and medium chamber
Characteristics: very powerful and bright sound, edgy, free blowing and easy to play
Tip Opening: - 1.85mm
Brightness: 7 / 10
Power: 8 / 10

When recording, this piece is definitely louder than the first one.

The "wave" ligatures came later, but I've aded in the photo as I like the look of it.

Yello sop.jpg
When I bought the cheap curved soprano, I wasn't able to get decent notes anywhere on it with the standard mouthpiece that came with it. Syos came through with a mouthpiece for it that works very well with 1 1/2 cane and 2 Plasticover reeds. I don't practice it as much as I should, but the Syos soprano mouthpiece saved the day for me. I don't have to tell you that the embouchure change is radical between alto and soprano. Also, note the rubber mouthpiece cover in this photo.

Whether bari, tenor, alto or soprano, I would recommend getting a good idea of the tip opening that you will be comfortable with before trying to order a 3D printed mouthpiece. The baffle and other details are up to you on the custom, but you can also choose from an existing name design. I didn't consider ordering any name players models. I'm very pleased with every aspect of my Syos mouthpieces. Even though I have other pieces in total (4 other alto name brands, Yamaha, Vandoren, PPT, Jody Jazz) I still play both Syos every day as a part of my routine. There is a noticeable difference, even between the two Syos designs, but my playing adapts during the changes. If I absolutely had to choose one mouthpiece, I'd choose the blue, because it's probably the most flexible for where my playing is right now. It can do anything I want to do, and that's what you want from the hardware, right?
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Living the dream
Just a follow-up question then : why do you play all 3 pieces ? What do they individually bring to you ?
There are two alto and one sporano. The altos are very different, one fort ballads one for edgy funk and blues. This said, I'm outgrowing the narrow tip of the first one.
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