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

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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 added 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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Hipparion

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Just a follow-up question then : why do you play all 3 pieces ? What do they individually bring to you ?
 
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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 soprano. The altos are very different, one for ballads one for edgy funk and blues. This said, I'm outgrowing the narrow tip of the first one.
 
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TheSax.Info

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First, I'll tell @Pete Thomas that the Featured Reviews feature worked on me. I'm posting here, aren't I? :D

@davidk, I read an article a couple years back regarding 3D printing of rare mouthpieces for (IIRC) the Smithsonian. Does Syos happen to have, say, an original Adolphe Sax mouthpiece copy?
 

Dr G

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My guess is no, since they design them from scratch according to physics. You can ask them.

Please ask them how they get from first principles physics to determining what sounds good.
 
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Please ask them how they get from first principles physics to determining what sounds good.
Screen Shot 2021-01-24 at 09.56.36.png
I suggest you go read the web site, where they discuss that.


You can contact them there about any question you many have, too.
 

Dr G

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View attachment 16872 I suggest you go read the web site, where they discuss that.


You can contact them there about any question you many have, too.
Thanks, but I have read that and found it wanting. I was hoping that you had something different.

My background is in physics and engineering, and see this as little more than marketing.

”By studying on the one hand the physical phenomena pertaining to the saxophone, the clarinet and the mouthpiece, and on the other hand the perception of musicians and the way to describe auditory sensations with words, we are able to associate tonal characteristics with the various geometric elements that make up the mouthpiece (chamber, baffle, tip opening,…).” This is no more “scientific” than other mouthpiece makers.
 
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Phil

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l know the sound you want by counting every word of your email and putting it into a formula. Certain words are weighted differently and impact the end result.
 

7201

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Sorry Randulo but I have to disagree with the mpc monogamy comment .
At some point we all come across a mpc that ticks all your boxes ; one that absolutely works for you . The mistake I certainly have made is thinking there has to be something better...a little wider ; a little brighter...
I certainly wish I would have stuck with certain mpcs : i must have had 100 mpcs over the years; maybe five I remember and regret selling . Now i have this Berg i am gonna commit to it ; keep it !!
As to the monogamy comment ; how many players do we see who use the same link usually or Berg whatever constantly . I have had the pleasure of speaking to one very famous player who told me his worst fear was his dental state deteriorating ; followed by losing his Otto Link !!
The biggest names have an easier job than "jobbing" musicians. They turn up to every gig ready to be themselves in a scenario tailored to what they deliver. For example, Brecker and Sanborn were never booked to play in a Miller band.

In a recent interview, Gerald Albright talks about changing mouthpieces depending on the job in hand. Some change some don't. There are a myriad of things that can be changed - horn, reed, mouthpiece, mic, preamp, reverb, recording studio - because they have a different sound. Some musicians obsess about notes, some about sonority. If the change makes you more comfortable in your playing - actually, it's more (for me) about my head space - then you feel able to deliver what you want to be able to say.
 

Merryfisher

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For the record, £199 is on the cheaper side of pricing for mouthpieces these days.
i agree - i got one (the Chad LB 10 tip) when they had an offer on, and it was made & delivered to me in 4 days for £133 (149 euros). Really pleased with it, it plays really good....i would say it fantastic value for the price
 

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