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I don't know a lot about Otto Link mouthpieces but I'm curious about which HR alto piece offers the darkest sound? Give me your opinion, please.
 

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I wouldn't use a Link, I'd use a Meyer. And probably a large chambered #6 or #7.
 

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If you can find (and afford) a vintage MC Gregory, and you're looking for dark, you'd probably be happy with that.

For modern pieces, as far as I know Lee Konitz has been playing a Vandoren V5 for quite a few years, and I consider his sound dark (but with flexibility). I bet you could also get good results with a good classical setup like a Vandoren Optimum mouthpiece and pretty hard reeds.

I briefly owned a Morgan large chamber alto piece that I could not for the life of me get to work for my needs, but it was a well-made piece and extremely dark. Junkdude could probably set you up with one of those.

If you buy a new Link or Meyer you'll probably have to get a mouthpiece tech to correct the facing, anyway, so I'd just get a Vandoren or Morgan if I were buying new.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, lots to think about.
 

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I play a slant sig 6* on alto. It's just not a dark mouthpiece.
 

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I have found that certain early NY era (1st gen) Slants can play on the darker side, the later ones always play considerably brighter for me
 

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I have a 80’s tenor Link Tone edge 8 and it is dark, but I haven’t compared with other era TE.

For this reason, I also tried a 80’s alto TE 6 and it is not dark at all. My link STM metal 7 on alto is the darkest mouthpiece I have.

Also, not sure if it is the tip opening or it is variation of each piece, my tenor STM 7* is darker than a 6*.


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I used a TE #7 for about 20yrs until I switched to a Meyer. I bought the Link it in the late '80s and it played great, not too dark and it could be loud.
In the end, I stopped just because it was kind of hard blowing and it gave me a hard time when I hadn't been playing much. But I loved the sound.
 

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I'm currently playing a modern (got it new about a year ago) Tone Edge 7* on alto, it's pretty dark, and I say that as a guy who can't stand bright at all in my own sound. I tried a few though, and some were definitely brighter than others. And also I sanded the baffle down a tiny bit more after identifying this one as my favorite, and got it really in the sweet spot.

I had a vintage (Slant Sig?) alto Link years back that was really bright. So that probably wouldn't be the direction to go.

The STMs can be pretty dark too, but I haven't tried them in a comparable tip opening, and of course the quality control on all JJ Babbitt mouthpieces is practically non-existent so as everyone says, individual pieces can vary widely.
 

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I have a Ted Klum Acoustimax which plays quite dark for me, and it also has an intriguing spread and buzz to it, like a tenor HR Link. I have never had that before on an alto mpc.
 

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I play a slant sig 6* on alto. It's just not a dark mouthpiece.
+1
A friend recently leant me some pieces to try and I ended up buying the slant Link. It's not so dark. However I also tried the earlier "Eburnated Bar" Link and that seemed quite a bit darker. I am though basing this on two vintage pieces, both refaced--not a big sample. If you can you should try some Links, and other pieces mentioned in the thread.
 

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Links arent that dark on alto

maybe post a audio or video link of how dark you want

you can go all the way dark to dead....there are infinite choices and we dont know your concept of dark.
 

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Links arent that dark on alto

maybe post a audio or video link of how dark you want

you can go all the way dark to dead....there are infinite choices and we dont know your concept of dark.
Just get a regular old True Tone, not a Rasher. Rasher costs more and probably isn't as dark. The vintage TT is dark and dull as a goose fart. Opening up the tip will make it a slightly louder goose fart.

Mark
 

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I have a few Link alto pieces. The darkest is a Four Star Model, nice dark old fashioned sound. I have a EB STM 6*, fairly dark, too dark to use as a lead alto piece but nice for combo work. And I have a Tone Edge 9 that I bought new in 1977 so it may qualify as EB, I'm not sure. Anyway it is the perfect balance between dark and bright for my taste. I have a couple Meyers but they are all brighter than my Otto Links.

Also as a side note, I have a Selmer Soloist (on the table) C* that is very nice for quite combo work, a nice dark, pretty sound.
 
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