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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I'm looking for a metal mouthpiece with good control, good core, and a bit of edge. I found my Berg 85/0 doesn't have enough fatness and also the air control in lowest notes (D to Bb) is not great, kinda warbles. I won't try another stainless steel mouthpiece since refacing will be very expensive (in case I should do that to tweak the edge, balancing, etc.).

Also I have the same air control issue for my Otto Link STM 7* and Dukoff metal LD7. For Otto Link merely because it is too open for me. While Dukoff is an excellent mouthpiece, this one has a rollover baffle that needs a very good control of air stream to create its best sound in the lower portion of the sax, and I don't have that control on the lowest notes yet. So I may keep that beautiful sounding mouthpiece for future use and get one with smaller tip opening (may be 6 or 6* i.e. 0.09 or 0.095) to have overall good control on air stream. I found Otto Link is a bit low in the edge department for me. I know too much edge and consequently turbulence reduces the control which will probably give me hard time in the lowest notes again, so I thought there may be a sort of middle ground to get a mouthpiece with a decent edge but good control and also good core to the sound.

I appreciate your feedback. I'm thinking of something in the range of 100 to 200 dollars. I'm fine with a used one.

Thanks.
 

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Most of the things you are looking for are things you are responsible for.
You could however experiment with reed brands and strengths or get on the mouthpiece bandwagon that we have all been on.
I would look for a piece that you can currently handle without too much baffle as you're airstream will provide enough edge when required.
Concentrate on getting these attribute through air control rather than high baffled pieces.
 

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You say "the air control in lowest notes (D to Bb) is not great, kinda warbles." Are you sure your problem is the piece and not the horn itself ? Maybe you have a leak or two down around the D or the E cup ? Maybe you could do a light-check for leaks ? What sax are you playing anyway ? Some of the old Conns can be a bit picky with regard to pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I thought of the leak too, showed it to my repairman, he said it's fine. He played it and it worked so I guess he has better embouchure and air control. I don't get that kinda warble with my Otto Link mouthpiece. He suggested to get a more user friendly mouthpiece like Otto Link (assuming it is a good Link). I just thought if there is any other metal mouthpiece out there that is famous for ease of use, with not a high baffle but also a bit more edge than metal Otto Link. The Otto Link that I have is too free blowing or just too open tip for me for the lowest notes (7*). If I don't find any alternative, I guess I will try to find a used Otto Link STM 6 and send it for reface, or find an already refaced one.
 

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Is the desire for a metal 'piece because of comfort?

There are a great many HR mpcs that could fill your needs (including budget).
 

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the only thing i can think of in metal that might fit your budget is a used vandoren V16. they are nice and similar to a link but are a bit brighter with more edge.

i'd honestly just go for a STM though... its a custom job, you'll likely get closer to what you're after
 

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Is the desire for a metal 'piece because of comfort?

There are a great many HR mpcs that could fill your needs (including budget).
i agree aswell. the best "link + more" sort of piece i've played is the drake NY, which is a resin piece. not sure about the new ones but i have an older model and its much smaller than a conventional HR tenor piece. about the size of an alto piece if that'll help in regards to comfort
 

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I must say I've had links in the past and never really been happy. However recently I got a Link 6 that was refaced to a 6* by Sakshama, and I absolutely love the piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's what I was thinking. How much was it?
I must say I've had links in the past and never really been happy. However recently I got a Link 6 that was refaced to a 6* by Sakshama, and I absolutely love the piece.
 

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I got it already refaced from the marketplace here, I don't remember off hand exactly what I paid for it but I think I got it for less than it costs for a new STM.
 

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Have your Link re-faced.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just ended up having the same result every time I try a hard rubber. I hear this low mid frequency that I think is to do with the resonation of the hard rubber. I don't hear that with the metal mouthpiece. I guess there is a different resonation of the metal body material but I don't notice it as much. I don't know I guess I just got used to the metal ones and most of the time it feels right to me. I still keep trying HR ones whenever I have a chance but I wouldn't order it remotely if there is no return policy.

Is the desire for a metal 'piece because of comfort?

There are a great many HR mpcs that could fill your needs (including budget).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just don't know if it's better to go to the route of selling my 7* link, buy a 6 and ask to reface it to 6* to make it a tad edgier or just using my 7* and they slope the table to reach 6* tip opening. I heard in the later route, you don't end up having opportunity to create a bit more of the rollover baffle and also I imagine going from 6 to 6* reface is more straight forward. What do you guys think?
Have your Link re-faced.
 

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Most of the things you are looking for are things you are responsible for.
You could however experiment with reed brands and strengths.....
This is the first thing to look for. Don't even change the reed brand yet.

Try going down in reed strength. You can get edge from the Berg or the Link with a reed that's easier to play.

Both should give you all the qualities that you're seeking.

With the Link try a 2 1/2 strength or even a 2 on a 7*. It will give you a brighter sound that's also a full sound that's much easier to play.

Remember the reed is the final component before you get to the player. Many mouthpiece problems are actually reed problems.

Also remember that if you get another mouthpiece the reed to match it quest will come next anyway.

So you may as well reverse the order and start with the reed.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I just ended up having the same result every time I try a hard rubber. I hear this low mid frequency that I think is to do with the resonation of the hard rubber.
That would seem to be an explanation, but is not actually true. It is to do with different not mouthpieces, not HR.
 

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Look you don't have to go to a hard rubber mouthpiece if you don't want to.

Although what Pete Thomas said is true , each mouthpiece is different and sometimes within the same brand and size.

As I said in my previous post , when it comes to reeds less is more.

I'm talking about the Pete Thomas school of going down in strength to solve a reed or sometimes even a mouthpiece problem.

Anyway if you like playing a metal mouthpiece you don't have to justify it with anyone.

You like what you like and they like what they like.

Life is simple.
 

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I just don't know if it's better to go to the route of selling my 7* link, buy a 6 and ask to reface it to 6* to make it a tad edgier or just using my 7* and they slope the table to reach 6* tip opening. I heard in the later route, you don't end up having opportunity to create a bit more of the rollover baffle and also I imagine going from 6 to 6* reface is more straight forward. What do you guys think?
Talk to one of the mouthpiece gurus. They'll be able to best advise you on what can/can't be done and where to start.
 

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So you have a 7* Link that plays ok in the low end but you feel that the tip opening is too large? If that's so then do what Equake says and try softer reeds. And I'd just add to do lots of long tones and overtones.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I tried softer reed but still it feels the air volume needed to sustain a good tone is a bit more than my comfort level especially for long notes. I have a few soft reeds. I'm going to try them all.
So you have a 7* Link that plays ok in the low end but you feel that the tip opening is too large? If that's so then do what Equake says and try softer reeds. And I'd just add to do lots of long tones and overtones.
 

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I tried softer reed but still it feels the air volume needed to sustain a good tone is a bit more than my comfort level especially for long notes. I have a few soft reeds. I'm going to try them all.
Ok then maybe it's time to look at other brands. Reeds change with the elements. Reeds that are difficult sometimes change and become easier later.

I would even consider going to a 1 or 1 1/2 strength until you can figure out what's going on. When you find a reed that's easy to play you'll make great strides.

If you try other brands and still can't resolve the issue then it may be time to look for other mouthpieces.

There are some great ones out there now. If you get to that point do as much research as you can and start your quest.

I still would try the reed route first.

Oh and a good substitute for long tones are ballads and way more fun.
 
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