Are Syos mouthpieces good and how do they compare to vintage?SYOS - 9 Boquilhas de Impressão 3D + Otto Link, Selmer Soloist
- SYOS, or Shape Your Own Sound, makes 3D-printed saxophone mouthpieces that have recently gained popularity.
- Mouthpieces can be custom made or selected from a long list of Signature artist models, like Chad LB.
- Compare these mouthpieces to vintage mouthpieces like Otto Link Florida USA and Selmer Soloist Short Shank.
What does SYOS mean?
<p>SYOS (or Shape Your Own Sound) is best known for their bright colors. SYOS specializes in custom and Signature 3D-printed saxophone mouthpieces where the player starts with their ideal sound and designs a mouthpiece to fit - all online.
Their <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.syos.co/en/shop/products/custom-saxophone-mouthpiece/intro">Custom line</a> </span></strong>of mouthpieces start with a questionnaire of the player's experience, style and preferences in power, tone color, tip opening and color. The acoustic engineer takes those preferences and makes a new/modified mouthpiece design and 3D prints it - ready to play. </span></p>
<p><a href="https://www.syos.co/en/signature-saxophone-mouthpiece"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">SYOS Signature mouthpieces</span></strong></a> take this advantage a step further. Since a new 3D design can be replicated exactly, dozens with minor variations can be sent to artists to try, and when they pick one that they like, SYOS can remake them indefinitely and even modify them so aspiring players can play the same mouthpiece for only <span>€165.83.</span></p>
Many famous artists have joined the ranks of SYOS - from shredders like Chad LB, Ryan Devlin and Steve Kortyka to screamers like Scott Paddock, Mike Wilbur and Daro Behroozi to YouTubers like Insaneintherain, Saxologic and Dan Forshaw and dozens more. SYOS' artists and branding certainly add to a convincing proposition: a 30-day money-back guarantee (minus shipping) and modifications on Custom pieces until they are satisfied.
SYOS provides each artist with a referral code which gives a small commission of the sale to the artist and a discount to the customer - a win-win-win situation. This isn't unusual in business, but is a possible position of bias. Listen to their playing, try some if you can and keep reading to see if you should consider playing SYOS.
SYOS Custom 7** Abyssal Blue
After SYOS first started, I reached out to see if they had a list of similar vintage mouthpieces to their own, I soon learned that was the wrong way to think about it. SYOS does not replicate mouthpieces, vintage or otherwise, so they offered to send me some to test and review (disclosure: along with a referral code, though I always do those on the basis of an objective review).
I first requested two of the same mouthpieces based on the feel of an Otto Link Slant Signature, a standard for hard rubber mouthpieces. Both measured .107" with my Theo Wanne tip gauges. These two were my heaviest at 29.98g, about 2 grams lighter than a D7M hard rubber and 7 grams heavier than the later and larger Daro Behroozi. I suspect this earlier design has a higher infill percentage (read more) based on the bottom of the shank of each. especially considering the Daro has the longest shank and smallest chamber (more material).
Tone-wise, this mouthpiece is on the darker side and really responds well to subtone. The sound is spread with a bit of air, surprisingly easy to play down low and with a decent sound in the higher range up to G above altissimo C. This mouthpiece, and for the most part all SYOS, don't have a reed seal either due to texture or the final table pass, which I believe contributes to that. Notice the dip in the 3rd harmonic and up by 6k - the semi-rounded inner walls, straight baffle, baffle stops (the unique horizontal striping of material near the floor) and medium-large chamber come into play. Overall, the piece is useable, in tune and I try to use the full 1-5 star scale with 1 being unplayable and 5 perfect, a 3.1 is an acceptable rating.
SYOS Custom 7* Deep Magenta (Refaced by James Bunte)
I sent this piece off to James out of curiosity and only had it slightly refaced, not enough to really shift up the facing or completely flatten the table. He began smoothing the table, completely smoothed the baffle and removed the baffle stops to see what that would do. For the most part, it was to see the viability of the mouthpiece and put up a blind poll to see what my followers would make of it - a majority selected the blue over the pink when blind, and pink over blue when known.
The main difference between the two is a touch less air in the sound and a little bit of focus. The spectrum analysis shows higher 4-6k and less 1-2k. Listening to the two back to back, the pink seems brighter and more solid in the altissimo range, as James did polish the baffle.
Based on I feel, I think the pink ended up closer to what I would prefer, especially with the baffle work that James does. That being said, I think the polls still show that a reface isn't necessarily an improvement in this style of mouthpiece, though that may change if I end up sending it off for major work. The seal improved slightly, getting suction but still never quite sealing all of the way. The tip still measured a .107".
The Deep Magenta color is quite a curiosity as well. My camera struggled to get the color (along with most of the SYOS pieces). They do glow under a blacklight as seen in the video, so I imagine a high reflectivity of UV and IR light was messing with the image sensor.
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