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SYOS

M/Pieces - Ligs Test of Five Mouthpieces

randulo

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I'd like to hear your opinions about these mouthpieces. I know I've done this before, but this time I have a sequence I can play almost the same each time. If you want to do a blind test, you'll need to listen to "MPTest5" which has the recordings one after the other.
A few caveats about this whole idea:

I didn't want to spend the entire morning on this so it is limited to the song which does NOT use anything low or high going from low (concert) A to a octave key D. There are bigger difference in the bell tone and highs between mouthpieces. I'm more interested in these more common notes.

The order played was random. I probably should have played closed to open. I had to go back and remove all compression and reverb. EQ is flat now except when I'm looking for a particular sound. IOW, the recordings were made with everything set the same, same mic, same distance and position, same reed. All effects and EQ are off.

So, the files are:

MPTest5 is one after the other, starting with all five at once!
all5 is all of the recordings played at once, which is kind of funny.

The rest are the five names abbreviated, Syos blue, Syos pink, Vandoren V16 reworked, PPT and Yamaha 2C. 4C (thx @CliveMA)
As much as I tried to play them the same, I am far from a classical player, and even in the jazz context, I can't stop myself from expressing, so there are small difference (besides a few finger flaps or forgotten notes.




Screen Shot 2020-06-05 at 10.46.55 AM.png
 
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CliveMA

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Thanks for your sound tests. Brave man Charlie Brown.

In my personal opinion (and remember I am a beginner whose ear is definitely quite limited!), my favourite is the Vandoren V16 on which you seem most comfortable and articulation is clearest. My least favourite is the PPT which seems to have a buzz I personally don't like (was it 5 on the random track?) Second favorite for me seemed a tie between the pink SYOS and the Yamaha 4C. Pink SYOS seems a bit foggy and the Yamaha 4C lacks clarity on some notes. 4th for me is the other SYOS which you seemed to struggle on (is it too open perhaps?). 5th for me is that buzzy PPT which I struggle to listen to the whole way through.

Your tastes may well be completely different! I'd happily listen to you on Vandoren V16 or Yamaha 4C. :popcorn:
 

sax panther

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listened to the blind test first (on proper headphones), picked my favourites, and then listened to the individual ones to find out what they were. I liked the blue syos and the Vandoren the best.
 

Mark Hancock

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They all sounded good to me, but for this piece of music, I preferred the sound of the 5th and the 3rd. They both have a nice air texture to them and I can hear a bit more the reedy sound, which I like. Out of those 2, you sounded more comfortable on the 3rd to me.
 

Halfers

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I think there must have either been a recording issue or you were very spitty when you played the PPT.

If you were going to be employed as my own personal minstrel, and I was feeling particularly picky, I might ask you to play the Blue Syos, but you're not, so not sure how helpful that thought will be..
 

nigeld

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My favourites were the Vandoren and the Syos Pink.
The Vandoren was the smoothest, which I like, but you may not.
The SYOS Pink was maybe a bit hard for the top notes, but otherwise good.
The Yamaha seemed a bit polite - nothing to dislike, but not very exciting
The SYOS Blue didn't feel quite comfortable to me.
There seemed to be something wrong with the reed in the PPT recording - water under the reed?
 

randulo

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Thanks all who've so far "sounded off".

As for comfortable, what invalidates such a test to an extent is that normally, you or I would play a day on a piece, and within some random time get comfortable with it, except if it really sucks for whatever reason. So, yeah, one of more of these was too different from what I use every day for hours. However, that one was possible less comfy sandwiched between two "strangers".

I have to admit, I actually do not hear much difference between the pieces except for the sizzle some have. The PPT has had that issue since day one, that's why it's in a drawer. I was very generously offered a full refund on it, but declined as it is partly a donation to the site and I thought maybe I'd play it better later in what I laughingly call "my career". :)

I actually forgot the order on file MPTest5:

Yamaha 4C
Vandoren V16
Syos Blue (louder, more open brighter)
Syos Pink (softer, more closed)
PPT

However, the order I played/recorded them in is reversed!
 

randulo

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Here are the waveforms in order to the recordings. I made each (no retakes, hence mistakes). I made the individual files in the same order. However, the serial recording of all 5 is in reverse order, starting with the Yamaha 4C (incorrectly noted as 2C).
Screen Shot 2020-06-05 at 2.29.14 PM.png
 

randulo

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Additional data:

Yamaha 4C - 1,60mm

Syos Magenta (pink)
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

Vandoren V16 1,80mm

Syos Blue
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

PPT is a 5 but I can't find the exact opening. I know Pete told me, but I can't find it.
 

DavidUK

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I may be blind, but have you said what reed you're using? I'm sure it'll be the same on all five but that introduces another issue as what works with one MP won't with another. Same with the sax, what is it?

I tried all sorts before I bought my PPT 6** but even then I had to find the right reed for it, preferring now RJS (now D'addario). But put my PPT with this reed on an old Conn and it doesn't work. I had to change the MP completely for that. However for most horns the PPT/RJS works well.

Just saying it's not a true test for anyone to go by for their own selection process other than to tell you, and you only, what MP sounds best when fixed to that one horn of yours with that one reed of yours.

If you have another horn and/or another reed choice (do you?) the sound may well change again and our preferences may change with them.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Yes, finding a reed that suits the mouthpiece makes a big difference. My Legere Signature plastic reed sounds so bad on my Selmer Soloist mouthpiece that I was not going to try to use it any more, but it sounds good on a Berg Larsen.
 

randulo

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If you have another horn and/or another reed choice (do you?)
These tests were on a Vandoren Blue 2 1/2, I can't remember how old it is, as I have several ranging from a week to several weeks. The sax is a Yamaha YAS-480. I've discussed the issue with Pete, but I don't want to start sending things back and forth to the UK, especially now. It's not important, but maybe some day I'll do something with it. It is also the one piece that has a larger opening, so it wobbles on the neck without plumbers' tape. It stays in a drawer 90% of the time. This is in no way to be negative about PPT, I'm sure they're excellent! Everyone is different, it's not at the top of my list.

My older Yamaha YAS-23 isn't playable currently. I have reeds from 2 to 3 cane, ZZ, Vandoren Blue V16, V21, Rico and Legère, Plasticover, and other synthetics. After periods of experimentation, I always come back to 2 1/2 Vandoren. If I find a mouthpiece hard to play I will slip in a 2. The ZZ (Jazz) feel a little rougher but often work fine. I've never been able to get a sound out of Ricos on any mouthpiece.

The first mouthpiece I bought, when I rented my first alto in 2018 was a Selmer. I have it but never play it. I don't think I am ready for a 6. Maybe some day we'll be able to try them in stores again?
 

CliveMA

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If the Vandoren V16 is an A5 its tip opening is 1.88 not 1.80 according to Vandoren website. That is the smallest tip opening they offer.
 

randulo

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If the Vandoren V16 is an A5 its tip opening is 1.88 not 1.80 according to Vandoren website.
Indeed did I say A5? It's an A6, it was 1,96! I thought it great in the store, when I tried it. Then I got it home and couldn't play it. I got Café regular @Phil to work on it for me and reduce it to about 1,80 or around a 5. As he says, the nomenclature around 5, 6, 7 etc is pretty fuzzy between manufacturers.
 

DavidUK

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The PPT shouldn't wobble on a Yamaha neck, sounds a bit dodgy all round. How about sending it to @Phil in France to give a 2nd opinion? It may be that Pete would replace it on Phil's say so if it turns out to be defective.

I'm fretting that you're not getting the PPT out all the time as it was a revelation to me after dozens of MPs passed under my nose from horns I'd bought. that recent Very Vintage Berg which came with the SDA was far inferior to the PPT as was a vintage Florida Link. I have a few odd MPs in a drawer but only open it if something fussy comes along, like the 20's Conn.
 
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