SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing the Lorenzo Ferrero signature model 8* tenor saxophone mouthpiece from SYOS mouthpieces in France.  This is my fourth SYOS tenor saxophone mouthpiece I will be reviewing today.  I have already reviewed the SYOS Chad LB signature model tenor sax mouthpiece ,the Tivon Pennicott signature model tenor sax mouthpiece and the Michael Wilbur signature model tenor sax mouthpiece  and I thought all three of these mouthpieces played excellently so I was excited to review this Lorenzo Ferrero signature tenor sax mouthpiece as well.

This SYOS company hit the saxophone mouthpiece scene not too long ago and immediately caught the world’s attention by producing these really bright colored 3D printed saxophone mouthpieces made of plastic.  I remember thinking they were strange looking and looked like something one of my fourth grade saxophone students might have walked into their sax lesson with.

I must admit, that at first, I was very skeptical when I received my first SYOS mouthpiece months ago, but after playing them I have been very impressed with each one I have reviewed.

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you haven’t heard of Lorenzo Ferrero before this, you can learn more about him by checking out his website at lorenzoferrero.com. A side benefit to having all these SYOS signature model mouthpieces is that the saxophone world can learn about sax players we might not already know about.

I have had a bunch of requests over the last few months to review other SYOS mouthpieces but with the whole COVID-19 pandemic going on, I decided to take a break from mouthpiece reviews.  I took about four months off and then couldn’t take it any longer!  I emailed SYOS and asked if I could review the Steve Kortyka alto mouthpiece (Steve is a burnin’ sax player with Lady Gaga that I first encountered on Facebook), a Michael Wilbur tenor mouthpiece, a Lorenzo Ferrero tenor mouthpiece and this Dayna Stephens soprano mouthpiece.   SYOS also sent a Knoel Scott alto saxophone mouthpiece to review as well.

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The reason I was interested in trying the SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero signature model tenor sax mouthpiece was because I had already reviewed the Chad LB, Tivon Pennicott and Michael Wilbur signature tenor sax mouthpieces.  You can see in the chart below, how all four mouthpieces are rated and how they compare to each other.   According to these numbers, the Lorenzo Ferrero SYOS mouthpiece is between the Tivon Pennicott and Michael Wilbur mouthpieces as far as brightness and is ranked lowest for volume between these four mouthpieces.  Although 6.4 might seem like a low volume rating compared to the other SYOS mouthpieces, I could get plenty of volume and power out of this Lorenzo Ferrero mouthpiece.  I write about the volume in more detailed further on in this review.

Neff Reviewed SYOS Tenor Sax Mouthpieces

SYOS Mouthpiece Brightness Power
Chad LB 7.8 8.0
Michael Wilbur 5.7 7.5
Lorenzo Ferrero 3.7 6.4
Tivon Pennicott 2.4 5.5

 

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Before we get to the playing of the SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero tenor saxophone mouthpiece, let me share  a few tidbits of info from the SYOS website on these saxophone mouthpieces.

First of all, you have two choices when you visit the SYOS website and order a sax mouthpiece.  You can order a “SYOS Signature Mouthpiece” which is basically what the mouthpiece that the player whose name is on the mouthpiece plays.

If, however, you want to be unique and are on a quest to find your own unique sound, you might want to pick the second choice of ordering a custom mouthpiece from SYOS which I have to say looks like a pretty cool process.  Here’s what you do on the SYOS website:

  1. First, you choose what saxophone you play. Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bari Sax
  2. Second, you choose whether you are a beginner, intermediate or professional sax player
  3. Third, you choose what type of music you play (you can pick more than one category)
  4. Fourth, this is the coolest part, you choose your sound preferences.  There is a slider for tone that goes from very dark to very bright.  You can choose where in that tone spectrum you feel you would like to be.  There is also a slider to choose how powerful you want to be.  The slider goes from soft to powerful.   Now here’s the coolest part because as you are reading this you might be confused about how you might choose what you want or you might be confused about what your preferences are.  SYOS gives you a bunch of examples with sound clips!   How cool is that?  The following list of player are listed and rated for tone and power. Ben Webster, Chris Potter, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz and Wayne Shorter. (Can I just point out at this point,  how awesome Chris Potter must feel about being included in this list!)
  5. You click “Submit” and wait by your mailbox for your custom mouthpiece that will answer all your dreams to be delivered.

SYOS Michael Wilbur Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here is a quote from the SYOS mouthpiece website on the specifics of ordering a custom mouthpiece from SYOS:

SYOS is the first custom mouthpiece maker to use a high-tech process to design its products. It is different from all the other brands who only make standard series of mouthpiece models. SYOS gives you the possibility to have your custom mouthpiece created on-demand according to your needs and preferences.

  • You are helped by an acoustic expert who will help guide you in your sound research.
  • You can test the mouthpiece(s) at home or in rehearsal without having to go in to a shop.
  • You can try your custom mouthpiece for 30 days, with the possibility of requesting adjustments on its shape to modify the sound, to get it even closer to your need.

Simply fill out the customization form on our online shop: you tell us about your saxophone level, the music you like, your favorite sound, which kind of sound you are looking for (bright? Dark? Powerful? Warm…) and we design your mouthpiece based on that. With SYOS, satisfaction is guaranteed. If you have any question, we can answer you on the mouthpiece chat, or you can give us a call: we will help you define your requirements.

Here is a few comments about the material SYOS mouthpieces are made from in case you are curious:

We use ABS plastic to craft our mouthpieces: this material allows us to get the highest degree of precision, with an improved resistance and durability. And you can get that in 18 colors to build a perfect style on stage!

The plastic we use to make SYOS mouthpieces has been certified non-toxic in laboratory (EN 71 and CE 1907/2006 standards). In fact, the same kind of plastic is used to make toys for children, which can be put in mouth without any risks. At the opposite, with the “ebonite” plastic, some sulfuric acid releases are observed when the mouthpiece is old, which gives it a yellow-green color.

And finally, here is a quote about the manufacturing process and how the minute details affect your tone which I found interesting:

For wind instruments, it’s the internal geometry of the bore that gives all the acoustic properties. We work at 1/100th millimeter to adjust the shape and the length of the baffle, the chamber section and size, the tip opening, the facing length… We study and compute the effect of all these parameters on the sound, to predict the timbre of each combination of them.

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Ok, so let’s get to the Lorenzo Ferrero tenor saxophone mouthpiece I received form SYOS. The mouthpiece came in a package and inside the mouthpiece was in a drawstring bag.  Included in the bag was a ligature and rubber mouthpiece cap.

I checked the mouthpiece very closely and saw no signs of damage, nicks or abrasions.  It looked good to go. The Lorenzo Ferrero 8* tenor saxophone mouthpiece is white, which for the record, is my least favorite saxophone mouthpiece color to review because it is so hard to photograph.  The photos I have included in this review are the best I could get and believe me, I took photos of this mouthpiece with all sorts of backgrounds and in all sort of lighting.  A white mouthpiece is just really hard to photograph……..

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece felt really light as you would expect a plastic sax mouthpiece to feel.  The table had some texture to it that I could feel with my fingers.  Whatever process they use to make these sax mouthpieces does leave some texture marks on the mouthpiece.  You can see fine lines going across the table and fine lines going down the baffle as if the machine that created the mouthpieces left these lines on the plastic.

The mouthpiece looks pretty well made.  The table, rails and tip look well made, even and conventional.   The baffle is a straight short shelf baffle that is high and straight until it hits a straight edge.  After that straight edge, the baffle heads in a straight diagonal line through the chamber and terminates at the rear of the chamber where the bore starts.

I would describe the chamber as a medium small chamber for a tenor sax mouthpiece.  The baffle through the chamber most certainly takes some of the size out of the chamber but it looks to be about the size of a typical hard rubber Otto Link tenor sax mouthpiece chamber to me.

The side walls are scooped a little bit.   There is also a nicely engraved S on the top of the sax mouthpiece and a signature on the side of the saxophone mouthpiece which I assume reads “Lorenzo Ferrero” although I can’t make out what is written.

The SYOS tenor sax mouthpiece comes with a SYOS ligature which fits the mouthpiece nicely when it has a reed on it.  It seems to hold the reed on the mouthpiece pretty firmly when the ligature is slid all the way down and is tight around the reed.  I personally prefer a mouthpiece ligature that I can move forward or backward on the mouthpiece to effect the playability of the reed so when play testing this mouthpiece,  I decided to switch to my Vandoren V16 Optimum tenor sax ligature and kept that ligature on for the three sound clips provided below.

I will warn you that the SYOS ring ligature can move when you have to adjust the mouthpiece on the cork so if you need to adjust the sax mouthpiece for tuning,  it is best to grab it around the shank of the mouthpiece to move it on the cork.

I used 3 different reeds on the SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero tenor sax mouthpiece.  A Boston Sax Shop 2 1/2 and 3 and a Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 Strong.  All three reeds played well on this mouthpiece and I thought it would be interesting to provide clips of all three reeds for comparison sake.  Although I usually provide clips with added reverb, I didn’t in this case just because I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too many clips.

For the record, of all the SYOS mouthpieces I have reviewed so far, the Lorenzo Ferrero model I am reviewing today got the least amount of suction when applying the suction test to it.  It always got suction, but the reed would pop almost immediately every time.  I don’t think this is necessarily bad as the mouthpiece did get suction and played great for me but thought it was worth mentioning.

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

As I expected, the Lorenzo Ferrero model mouthpiece was not as bright as the Chad LB or Michael Wilbur model mouthpieces that I have reviewed already.   So far, my experience has been that SYOS has really nailed these number ratings for brightness and volume that I posted earlier in the review.

The volume rating for the SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero is 6.4.  I would agree with this rating although I think I could get a substantial amount of volume from this mouthpiece.  Remember that the 6.4 rating is in relation to other high baffle SYOS tenor mouthpieces and I think that many other mouthpieces brands like Otto Links would be rated less than the 6.4 volume rating in the SYOS rating system.

I really enjoyed playing the SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero tenor sax mouthpiece and really think it offers something special as far as tone.  The mouthpiece sits more in the middle frequencies to my ear.  It has a nice thick rich tone but it doesn’t have as many of the higher brighter overtones that the Chad LB and Michael Wilbur had when I played them.  I find the tone to contain something interesting and captivating to me that is hard to put my finger on.  I found myself listening, over and over again, to some of the slower melodies I played during the sound clips.  I feel like the tone contains an interesting character that is mature and authentic.  Not even sure what that means, but I am trying to describe some feelings I have here and it’s hard to find the words to describe a sound or feeling.  You’ll have to listen to the clips yourself and figure out what you hear and think…..

Although the mouthpiece has a nice focus and core to the sound, the 8* tip seems to give the tone a nice thickness and big warm character in my opinion.  When pushed, the tone seems to gain some edge more than it does brightness in my opinion.  I am usually not a big fan of edge but combined with the warmth and fullness of the tone, I found the added edge very interesting.

The intonation was dead on and was actually better on my middle E than most other high baffle tenor mouthpieces are.  During the third clip,  I play and A going to E nice and slowly and the E was pretty much perfectly in tune without much adjustment on my part.  Usually, on high baffled mouthpieces, that middle E can be quite sharp.  I was really surprised by this as I usually only experience a more in tune middle E with lower baffled tenor saxophone mouthpieces.

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you like the sound and look of the Lorenzo Ferrero signature tenor sax mouthpiece by SYOS, you can find them at  the SYOS website.  SYOS HAS AGREED TO GIVE READER’S OF THIS REVIEW 5% OFF THE PURCHASE OF A MOUTHPIECE IF YOU USE THE COUPON CODE NEFFSYOS WHEN YOU CHECKOUT ON THEIR WEBSITE. (Neffmusic also gets a small commission from each sale using this coupon which helps support this website).

The SYOS website has a ton of artists and signature models available so if the Lorenzo Ferrero model isn’t your cup of tea, there are a ton of other sax mouthpieces to choose from including the Chad LB,  Tivon Pennicott and the Michael Wilbur model for tenor sax that I have already reviewed.

Or, you can be courageous and go for a custom sax mouthpiece made specifically for you.  The amazing thing is that SYOS has a 30 day return policy which is unheard of in the sax mouthpiece industry.

The other great thing about the SYOS saxophone mouthpieces is the price point.  As of today, the signature model sax mouthpieces are at about 165.83 EUROS (Approximately 189 USD as of today), which in my mind is a great price for a sax mouthpiece that plays this well.  The custom model sax mouthpieces are 249.17 EUROS (Approximately 284 USD), which is still a great deal for a custom sax mouthpiece that is made to your preferences.  From what I read on the SYOS website,  you can send your custom sax mouthpiece back for adjustments if you want tweaks made to it also which is amazing.

If you have played or end up buying a SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Tenor Saxophone mouthpiece make sure to use the promo code NEFFSYOS to save 5% and please come back here to tell us what you think.

If you have any other thoughts or comments about this review, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.  Thanks,   Steve

*Each clip below is different and using different reeds. For best results, it is best to listen to these clips with good speakers or headphones.

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model 8* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-BSS (Boston Sax Shop) 2 1/2 Reed-No Effects Added

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model 8* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-BSS (Boston Sax Shop) 3 Reed-No Effects Added

SYOS Lorenzo Ferrero Signature Model 8*Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 Strong Reed-No Effects Added

Disclosure:  I received the sample mouthpiece reviewed above for free in the hope that I would try it and perhaps review it on my blog.  I also receive a small commission when you purchase from the SYOS website using the 5% off coupon code NEFFSYOS above that helps to support this site.  Regardless, I only review sax mouthpieces that I enjoy playing and believe will be good for other saxophone players to try also.     Steve
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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Avatar Jeffrey Swers says

    Hi Steve,

    Nice review. I really love these SYOS mouthpieces and I think your tone on this piece is the best of the SYOS tenor pieces you review. One question, the volume ratings in your table do not match the numbers I see listed under “power” on the SYOS website. For example, when I look at the SYOS site the Chad LB is an 8 for power but you have a 6.8 listed for volume. Are power and volume the same? Perhaps SYOS changes the power estimates as it adds more pieces to their inventory?

  2. I’ll have to check out the ratings. I took these numbers from my reviews in the past where I got them from the SYOS website but maybe SYOS has changed their ratings for these pieces since then. I’ll take a look and update these. Thanks!

  3. Hi Steve,

    Nice review. I really love these SYOS mouthpieces and I think your tone on this piece is the best of the SYOS tenor pieces you review. One question, the volume ratings in your table do not match the numbers I see listed under “power” on the SYOS website. For example, when I look at the SYOS site the Chad LB is an 8 for power but you have a 6.8 listed for volume. Are power and volume the same? Perhaps SYOS changes the power estimates as it adds more pieces to their inventory?

    I updated the rating on my site to match what SYOS has changed their ratings to. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Avatar Michael Caldwell says

    Ooo. I like this. I think it has more body than the other SYOS I have heard. Love the low end.

  5. Most curious, is this mouthpiece made from a 3D printer and then hand finished? I liked the sound from your 3rd playing sample the best. It has a bit less edge and is fuller, but I have old ears.

  6. Most curious, is this mouthpiece made from a 3D printer and then hand finished? I liked the sound from your 3rd playing sample the best. It has a bit less edge and is fuller, but I have old ears.

    Yes, they are made from a 3D printer but I don’t think they are hand finished from what I understand. I think they come out and are ready to go. I might be mistaken about that but that is my understanding. Steve

  7. Avatar Jeffrey Swers says

    I am also curious as to the chamber size. On the SYOS website they characterize the Lorenzo Ferrero piece as having a small chamber but you comment that it appears to be a medium large similar to a Link. I would characterize a Link as a medium large chamber as well. Thanks to the SYOS freaks promotion I now own five SYOS mouthpieces and I also would say I am not sure exactly how SYOS characterizes the chamber size. My impressions by eye do not always agree with what is on the SYOS site. I would be interested to know exactly how they measure the chamber and if it is relative to something everyone knows like a Link or relative to other SYOS models. Usually small chamber pieces have a very focused sound which I hear more on the Tivon Pennicott piece (also small chamber) versus the Lorenzo Ferrero piece. SYOS has several pieces that have similar power/brightness ratings achieved with different baffle/chamber combinations. As a scientist I find the entire SYOS concept fascinating. I would love to try an entire series of mouthpieces which have all parameters fixed except one which varies to see the exact effect on the power and brightness.

  8. Jeff, I actually changed the description to medium small chamber. I had compared it to my 10MFan Robusto earlier today and realized the chamber of the SYOS was smaller than I thought it was with the baffle running through it. I would consider a Selmer Soloist to be a small chamber, a Meyer to be a medium chamber, an Otto Link to be large chamber and a NY Otto link to be an extra large table. That’s how I have always thought of chambers in relation to size. Steve

  9. Hi Steve,
    I bought the Chad LB model a few months ago and I agree that the sound may get a bit on the high side when playing on the second octave or higher but I love it on the low register so I guess I will keep on working with it and see what happens. For the photos you have taken, I see this model having a step baffle slightly shorter as the only difference with the Chad LB. It makes sense that it might be a bit darker.
    By the way, the perfect sealing is accomplished if you sand the table of the mouthpiece with very fine wet sandpaper over a really flat surface like a glass, I wrote Syos about it encouraging them to get a better finishing.
    Nice review!

  10. Avatar David Yukimura says

    Hi Steve,
    Always love your reviews and hearing your playing on your example clips.
    Just wondering why you chose the 8* mouthpiece over your usual 7* opening.
    Maybe you didn’t have a choice?
    Thanks,
    David

  11. Hi Steve,
    Always love your reviews and hearing your playing on your example clips.
    Just wondering why you chose the 8* mouthpiece over your usual 7* opening.
    Maybe you didn’t have a choice?

    I chose an 8* just because it looked like it had a high baffle like the other SYOS pieces I reviewed. In retrospect, I think I would have liked an 8 better. I like 7*’s for piece with an Otto Link like baffle. 8’s with pieces that have a medium baffle and usually 8*’s for pieces with a high baffle. The Lorenzo Ferrero baffle is short enough that the 8* tip opening felt a little too big for what I prefer. Still played great for me, but I think I would have been more comfortable on an 8. Steve

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