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If I start looking for a back up for my main piece (a no USA STM), what would be the best starting point for a reface:

a) the same type, same tip (in my case: 9* - which are hard to find)
b) same type, bigger tip (to have it closed)
c) same type, smaller tip (to have it opened)

I came across a), however its tip and facing are totally different. I am wondering if I should try to buy it to have it refaced, or if I would be better of with (originals?) of the b) or c) type.

Any input is highly appreciated!

Thx, Makemyday
 

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It is easier for the refacer to open a tip than close one. But there needs to be adequate thickness in the tip material to open it or table materail to close it. With old Links, sometimes the curved sidewalls start too close to the window. Then opening the tip will make the window wider as you cut into the sidewalls.

But in general, +/- .015" can be done to a tip. Most of the time a refacer can do more, but the geometry becomes a bit distorted from the original design of the mouthpiece. Sometimes the results are better than the original design, sometimes not.

A man's got to know his limitations.
 

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Agreed 100% with Mojo. Most of the time I've found that the best results come from the least amount of changes - i.e. starting off with a mpc the same size as you want it to end up at, and then just refacing the table and rails. Changing the tip opening a lot, especially when you open it, changes all the internal angles like Mojo said, and although they can turn out to be fine players, many times (especially with metal pieces where you have to be careful how much baffle material you remove), it's difficult to get the baffle to a good angle for a nice tone and response if you open the mpc too much.

For whatever it's worth, by the way, I find that the modern day regular Super Tone Masters are top notch pieces when refaced, and actually prefer mine to every other metal Link I've ever tried of many vintages... Some of the "Early Babbitt" or "late Florida" blanks can be overly bright... The double-ring Florida Links are really killer though if you can find one of those somewhere for not too bad a price.
 
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