Let’s talk about the SYOS mouthpieces I have purchased. I genuinely like the sound I get, but getting that sound is not as consistent as I would like. When I get the sound I’m looking for to happen, things are great, but it does not happen every time I play the horn. Granted, none of my other mouthpieces give me what I want to hear every time. However, there is something different about the SYOS mouthpiece when my reed is not perfect.
The sax becomes harder to play when the SYOS mouthpiece and reed combination do not work. It is so bad that I’m constantly sticking the leak light into the horn to look for leaks. If the reed is not working optimally with my other mouthpieces, the malfunction stops at the mouthpiece. Technically, I suppose that is true of the SYOS, but somehow it seems much worse!
Regardless of the sound SYOS produces, the comfort of the mouthpiece is lacking, and it feels wrong and rough and is hard on the embouchure. It is tough to improve and learn new things if the instrument seems to be working against you. It is almost like the mouthpiece is leaking, making the saxophone very difficult to play. I have been using these mouthpieces for more than 3 months and am often disappointed.
My favorite mouthpiece
To date, I have to say my favorite and most reliable mouthpiece is the Vandoren v16 metal mouthpiece, T8, T9. As with the SYOS mouthpiece, the Vandoren mouthpiece does not always give me what I want, but it is more reliable than the SYOS (for me). Also, I prefer the sound Vandoren produces; it is a smoother, richer sound. It seems the reed can vibrate more freely, which is less stressful on the embouchure.
The SYOS produces a lot of volume, but that isn’t everything. I have found it hard to control and constantly get what I call “squawks.” It is pretty irritating. When I find the perfect reed to use with the SYOS, it is a great performer.
Again, I prefer Vandoren; even if I don’t have that perfect reed, Vandoren will still give me a usable sound without painfully taxing my embouchure. The Vandoren does not produce much volume, but that is not its purpose, and it makes a particular sound, which I don’t get from other mouthpieces, at least not as quickly.
I have always liked the sound I get with Vandoren metal, a classic tenor saxophone sound. There is more I need to learn about using it. So, I believe I will stick with it and make it my primary mouthpiece.