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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just restored a vintage scott tube amp for a customer and he gave me his old tenor mouthpiece as a bonus gift. It is a metal Link 7*. He said it would be about 25 years old.
It plays better than the metal links I've tried at the store, if my memory serves me correctly. They felt really stuffy. Altissimo comes out easy on this one too.
 

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I believe that if it’s “STM USA” as it appears on the far right side of the chart it’s a current production Babbitt piece. Nothing wrong with that! It’s not as collectible as a Florida or early Babbitt, but if you like the way it plays and sounds that’s great and who cares.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe that if it’s “STM USA” as it appears on the far right side of the chart it’s a current production Babbitt piece. Nothing wrong with that! It’s not as collectible as a Florida or early Babbitt, but if you like the way it plays and sounds that’s great and who cares.
I'll play it no matter what it is. I've played new links at the store and not liked them though. They always felt dark and stuffy. I could go play a couple more to confirm. Maybe this one is old enough to be somewhat different?

It says "Super" Tone Mater. The tip number is on the shank under the USA stamp. It has the single scew ligature. It looks like is has a really short step baffle too as described on the theo wanne page.
 

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I believe that if the word, “Super”, is in quote marks, it’s an earlier version of the modern Babbitt. I have one like that with a stock facing and it’s a great mouthpiece. You will read that people feel that they are hit and miss, some are good and some have facing problems, like it’s a QC issue at Babbitt. If yours is good as is that’s great. You got a good one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe that if the word, “Super”, is in quote marks, it’s an earlier version of the modern Babbitt. I have one like that with a stock facing and it’s a great mouthpiece. You will read that people feel that they are hit and miss, some are good and some have facing problems, like it’s a QC issue at Babbitt. If yours is good as is that’s great. You got a good one!
I just read the thing about the quotes on the link identification thread and was about to quote that post that here. Since is has the quotes, the piece is from 1997-1999 or earlier.
This one feels like a hit.
Do you find yours dark? Bright? Middle of the road?
 

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It’s warm and darkish, but not muddy. Middle-of-the-road and warm, but can get a nice edge if pushed. I would not call it bright, but it has a nice colorful tone. I play a ‘33 Conn and it’s a great match for that sax. A lot depends on the reed. My Link responds well to changes in reeds, and I think if you spend enough time trying different reeds you will be able to dial it in to what you like. I am very happy with mine, factory facing and all. Congrats! Sounds like you made your customer very happy.
 

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One more thing. I have been told that some of the early “Super” modern Babbitt pieces, like yours, were made from EB blanks. I think these may have a slightly longer shaft collar than the others. So some of them are transitions from EB to modern Babbitt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It’s warm and darkish, but not muddy. Middle-of-the-road and warm, but can get a nice edge if pushed. I would not call it bright, but it has a nice colorful tone. I play a ‘33 Conn and it’s a great match for that sax. A lot depends on the reed. My Link responds well to changes in reeds, and I think if you spend enough time trying different reeds you will be able to dial it in to what you like. I am very happy with mine, factory facing and all. Congrats! Sounds like you made your customer very happy.
That's about how I'd describe mine. I'm playing an SML gold medal. The mouthpiece I was using is an Eric Falcon Warburton LA. Both are described in other threads.
I'm using the link with a Rico Royal 3 at the moment. Feels about right.

The customer seemed pretty happy. I was cleaning up after another tech's improper job. Someone else restored it and when the guy got it back it had a hum. Tech blamed it on the design but it hadn't hummed before. It is dead quiet now. He said the amp had sentimental value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I showed pictures of it to a local pro I know and he says it is an early 90s model. He says the shape of the beak helped him tell that. Household hardware Bullet Auto part Cylinder Metal Bullet Material property Cylinder Household hardware Gun accessory
 

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Links are great. The old ones, the new ones. There are so many great mouthpieces done in the style of a Link, but when you have a good Link you’re already there!
Yours looks to be in pretty good shape. Sweet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I played another link briefly a long time ago. It was probably a florida link. My teacher lent it to me a couple times when I was looking for something different. I recall finding it pretty bright. That was a long time ago.
So this is the first link I've played that I like. But it only takes one, right? And there are so many different links out there.

I'm comparing this piece to my old JJ DVNY and the Eric Falcon Warburton LA. This piece seems to do what both these pieces to in a way I like more. The JJ played mellow nice but didn't quite have the cut when pushed for rock and blues solos. The warburton had a great cut but sounded thin and could squeak if I didn't use a harder reed than I should.
 

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I'm glad you found a good link.
I'm an amateur player since 1985 and from the outset thought a metal link looked the business. Then I played some and found I didn't get on with them at all, they were stuffy and hard work.
I just moved away from the concept and even went off the look of them. As the internet sprang into life I became curious again after seeing so much love for them in cyber space so tried a few more but my experience remained the same. My curiosity remained but I conceded they weren't for me. Finally I played an early babbitt STM that belonged to someone else and knock me down with a feather......I really enjoyed it. It wasn't long before I got one for myself and have never looked back. That was probably about 2012 and I have learned a few things about why the EB version mouthpiece gave me so much more than all the others I'd tried. Part of that was developing 'Link Chops'. Yes! I buy in to the fact you have to acclimatise to some degree and that in turn made other STM's (previously uninspiring) more accessible. An STM with quotes around the "super" is a fine piece. Not the same as a modern link, an early babbitt link or a florida link but a fine piece.
I now think that most links can be good or made to play good with a corrected facing but that it's much harder to find a good modern link. But I don't know what the new Florida link has to offer.
So if yours plays nicely and the sound suits you.....you are in great place!
I've kept 4 and Just for fun I'm going to put my STM's in order of preference. Bare in mind the 1st 2 have more baffle and small floor to table height so much more scope to be tailored to suit.
1) Florida 7* - The voice is husky and solid but takes more effort to control than the Early Babbitt due to the facing. It is original so I'm loathed to change it as it's not too bad.
2) Early Babbitt 7* - A bit brighter than the florida and not as complex in its voice but again either original or re-plated. Plays easier than the Florida.
3) "Super" 7 - Never quite sure how to describe it. I just blow and its solid though a little reed picky. Never quite as excited by it as I am with the other 2. But never stuffy, a lot more power and brightness on tap compared to the modern one. Plays a little more sluggish than the Florida and the EB (feels like a longer lay).
4) Modern 7 - Just a lush smooth sound without the power of the other 3 and harder to change the sound. Even more sluggish than the "Suoer". Yet still a user friendly link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For what it’s worth, if the facing is stamped on the shank and not the body, there is no way this mouthpiece is vintage!
It is early 90s. Not quite vintage. But old enough to be better than the new ones. The guy who gave it to me thinks he bought it around '92.

I rocked this piece at my gig on saturday.
 

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It is early 90s. Not quite vintage. But old enough to be better than the new ones.
Not sure how you come to this wisdom. For what I have seen all 'modern' STM Otto Link's produced since the 1980's can be hit and miss in quality, maybe with an exception for the 1980's pieces (those are better). Babbitt regularly changed blanks in the range and non of the modern ones have the playing characteristics of the vintage (from before 1980) pieces. Which of course doesn't mean that you can't find a good and well playing Link in the modern series (I own a lot of Link's, including some nice playing modern ones).

Check also this thread with improvements on the identification chart from the Theo Wanne page:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...etal-quot-Otto-Link-Identification-quot-chart
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not sure how you come to this wisdom. For what I have seen all 'modern' STM Otto Link's produced since the 1980's can be hit and miss in quality, maybe with an exception for the 1980's pieces (those are better). Babbitt regularly changed blanks in the range and non of the modern ones have the playing characteristics of the vintage (from before 1980) pieces. Which of course doesn't mean that you can't find a good and well playing Link in the modern series (I own a lot of Link's, including some nice playing modern ones).

Check also this thread with improvements on the identification chart from the Theo Wanne page:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...etal-quot-Otto-Link-Identification-quot-chart
All I know is I've tried new metal links at the store and not liked them at all, they felt really dark and stuffy. This one plays a lot different than that. I have a small sample size of course though. Some people are saying links from the early 90s can play great. Maybe I'll try another new link at the store to remind myself. Would you say they are more consistent now, or just an inconsistent as when this piece was made?
If they are hit and miss then I think I got a hit. It only takes one good one!
 

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All I know is I've tried new metal links at the store and not liked them at all, they felt really dark and stuffy. This one plays a lot different than that. I have a small sample size of course though. Some people are saying links from the early 90s can play great. Maybe I'll try another new link at the store to remind myself. Would you say they are more consistent now, or just an inconsistent as when this piece was made?
If they are hit and miss then I think I got a hit. It only takes one good one!
The baffle of your Link looks indeed very nice and I'm glad you like it.

I don't think the latest Link's are better or worse finished than say 20 to 30 years ago. As always try before you buy is the best change in finding a real good one. I have five modern Link's in my collection and all play well, but not as good as the best of my vintage pieces.
 

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We’re the vintage pieces, like EB’s and Florida’s, hit and miss as well? There must be some old dogs out there, too.
 
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