saxplus has some EB links NOS both metal and HR for tenor and alto if anyones interested. Also some of the weird super long first babbit "lets randomly redesign the most celebrated mouthpiece in history for fun and profit" ones.
it's so hard because of all the goofy names but the real early babbit links are basically exactly like late florida links in (nearly) every way design wise and functionally accept the facing on the babbits is machined and really sucks.
all florida links basically had hand done facings with sandpaper.
early babbit links are done by machine with a grinding wheel.
So "early babbits" are unfinished and unplayable florida blanks as they come.
I just got two of the early babbbit ones a rubber and a metal for tenor.
The facing on the metal one was horrible, like the worst I had ever seen.
First stroke to flatten the table only touched the rails so the reed wasn't even on the table at all and man at first did it play stuffy like crap. After the reface I can't tell the difference between it and a late florida.
very clear and focused sounding and a lttle brightish.
BETTER STILL was the hard rubber tone edge early babbit.
Once I refaced it it is BEAUTIFUL sounding exactly like a florida slant.
WAY better than anything that can be had today.AMAZING and i can't stop playing it -- very pleased ! a new slant link.
the transitional ones are the first babbit re-write of a classic. I have no idea how they sound but if they sound good its only by accident.
I guess by transitional they mean the transition from great florida links to crappy modern ones. possibly the "transitional" ones are only half crappy.
I have a late Florida & a Transitional. It's completely unfair to compare the two, as the Florida is of course a good bit shorter, but also the Transistionals have cavernous chambers. So whereas my Florida gives a Trane-like crystal projection, the Transitional is much rounder. It plays bigger than the facing suggests. FWIW, the Transitional is the only metal Link in my collection with a correct facing all the way down.
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