Ever since I began playing the saxophone again a few years ago, I have also been on the prowl for the best mouthpiece I can find. While in the Navy, I started playing on a Guardala Brecker II metal mouthpiece. I loved it! I got a great sound out of it and used it in the big band, rock band, and other ensembles. I played it for a total of 11 years.
After leaving the Navy I all but quit playing. From 2007 until 2017 I didn’t play much, and I didn’t play the tenor sax at all because I didn’t have one. So, when I began playing again I had to buy a tenor. When I pulled out the old Guardala mouthpiece, I could no longer play it. It is possible the mouthpiece needs some work. At the very least, I think in needs to be re-plated. It is looking pretty rough. However, on occasion, when I pull it out, I sound pretty good on it. I attribute that to the fact that my embouchure is in better shape than when I started in 2017.
So, without the consistency I was used to in the Navy, I began looking for mouthpieces. I started with Vandoren’s hard rubber (ebonite), then the metal Vandoren, then a couple of other ebonite piece from Vandoren. Vandoren makes a really good quality mouthpiece at a very affordable price. I also purchased a Drake mouthpiece which is a hard rubber and plays well, but I have to have the perfect reed, and that doesn’t happen very often.
None of the mouthpieces I’ve mentioned have given me the consistency I need. From reed to reed, the mouthpieces all sound differently. Sometimes they can become down right difficult to play. It’s not from a lack of playing. At this point, I play almost every day.
The SYOS mouthpieces are 3D printed. It is made of some sort of plastic material. The inner geometrics can be easily programmed and implemented with 3D printing. They are very affordable and they really do play quite well.
I just receive one last week. At first, I didn’t think I liked it. I think I chose a tip opening which is too large for the strength reeds I used, which I consider fairly soft. I usually play Vandoren 2.5 reeds. I have found that a softer reed works much better. So I was able to make use of some of my older reeds with this mouthpiece.
I have found that it produces a great sound. It plays extremely well in the lower register (it produces sound easily). The upper register does not sound thin. It is simply a great mouthpiece.
Having said all of this, I think I may be done searching for a mouthpiece for a while. I am very excited about that. I feel like I will be able to get some quality practice in now without having to struggle to get the horn to play! Sometimes the struggle was so intense that I thought I needed to get the horn to a repair shop. What a difference this SYOS mouthpiece has made.