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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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These are very "iffy" and come from China. I doubt it will be a keeper. With a reface, possibly OK but the ones I have seen from China are not very good.
 

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save your money and buy something reputable and decent - $39 dollars for a metal mouthpiece, it's going to be cheap materials, plating, minimal finishing, it's going to be cheap - personally I wouldn't waste time or money on it.
 

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there is no way to know how mouthpieces offered by any Chinese vendor on ebay are.

The vendors are very rarely the makers and the vendors buy form different makers , whoever offers them a product that they can sell at the best price.

You have to understand that in China something like a mouthpiece is rarely manufactured by a company specialized in musical instruments but it is generally made by a company which makes mechanical metal parts for the industry.

The level of technology isn’t different but the approach to the finished product is completely different! For all they know this is a piece of metal that could be used on a garden hose.

There would be rarely any testing and all they do is they take a mouthpiece (regardless of its “ sound” and mostly based on the shape and brand) and they copy it as best as they can.

Would the mouthpiece ever been tested as in played, to hear, feel and see if the mouthpiece is playing well? I doubt it, I even doubt that the maker knows how to play saxophone altogether!

It is possible to reface these things to a higher standard but whether this would be bringing you to have a good mouthpiece.........I don’t know.

The refacing process, although one can say that makes all the constructional elements exact ( flat table, straight rails, chamber and baffle.......), doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the outcome will be the one that you were after when you started the process!

Would this not be the case there wouldn’t be so many refaced mouthpieces of all kinds for sale everywhere.( and the worst of all are the several times refaced mouthpieces! How perfect can they be?)

Which brings me to the point I am trying to make.

Buy some well made mouthpiece second hand. Even a hand made piece could cost you an acceptable amount and if it isn’t your thing (and often, regardless from how well it was made, it might not be) you sell it on and buy another one.

In a few years I have tried many mouthpieces, at a certain point I had acquired a Ponzol and a Brancher which were my favorite. The Brancher I bought for 100€ including the ligature which in itself is expensive.

I am sure that if you would buy one of this chinese contraptions and you will have it refaced it would cost you more than that in the end, and if you don’t like it and you want to sell it on to limit your losses, you will be left with an unsellable but expensive ( by that time) pieced of metal.

True you can still use it on your garden hose. :)
 

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SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
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I love this cookie-cutter description (for a mpc!):

"This well crafted hand made instrument, and made from all new heavy gauge yellow brass material. With decades of experience behind the manufacture of this fine instrument, you can be absolutely confident in its performance and durability."

Obviously a 'form letter paragraph' that they attach to every piece of ^&*% musical item they sell.

I wouldn't touch this thing with a 10-ft pole!
 

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the ones I have ordered - which look exactly like that - play better than stock Links and as well as anything else stock I have tried in the last 10 years.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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These are very "iffy" and come from China. I doubt it will be a keeper. With a reface, possibly OK but the ones I have seen from China are not very good.
Bruce have you compared this one with similar looking Chinese pieces, e.g. the Huastar and Sharkbite? Although I have to say sadly some of the stuff from there is crap, I really like some Chinese mouthpieces, especially Huastar.

There is also an exceptionally good make from China called Kanee.
 

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the ones I have ordered - which look exactly like that - play better than stock Links and as well as anything else stock I have tried in the last 10 years.
But the mpc pictured is nothing like a Link. It's got a very high baffle and probably a smaller chamber (can't tell that for sure), so really no comparison to a Link.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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But the mpc pictured is nothing like a Link. It's got a very high baffle and probably a smaller chamber (can't tell that for sure), so really no comparison to a Link.
That's right, although the photos make it hard to tell. However i would not buy that mouthpiece expecting it to be anything like a Link.
 

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There is a time where material matters and until there is evidence that China has changed its ways I am hesitant to put anything in my mouth that carries that label.

Zero controls, no protections against lead and other hazardous materials.

I could get blanks for a song but I try to avoid making my customers ill or worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
the ones I have ordered - which look exactly like that - play better than stock Links and as well as anything else stock I have tried in the last 10 years.
Really? Do you play them often and have you ever had any worries about Lead content or such? Did you have to do anything to it out of the box? Could you comment on what seller you got it from, what # facing you got and what the tip opening was?
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Really? Do you play them often and have you ever had any worries about Lead content or such?
I would be more worried about lead content in vintage Links.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would be more worried about lead content in vintage Links.
Haha, I was actually thinking the same thing. I just didn't want to annoy the vintage community :p
Edit* I know little about the actual standards of vintage USA instruments vs. Modern China.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
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Just google China and cadmium poisoning. It's the plating process you'd have more to worry about, as opposed to probable lead content in the mouthpiece (which you'd only have to worry about if reworking the metal... like refacing one).
 

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I would be more worried about lead content in vintage Links.
With all due respect Pete, I have to disagree. And Im not a fanatic over germs and these things. Im also not phobic towards China. I believe my concern to be well tempered by logic. Links pose a very small risk.

Most brass has some lead in it but it is extremely small in percentage. When rivers literally run with garbage and waste one has to ask.

The Chinese record for safety in most areas leaves some of the most to be desired on the planet.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Links pose a very small risk.
Minimal I would think.

When rivers literally run with garbage and waste one has to ask.

The Chinese record for safety in most areas leaves some of the most to be desired on the planet.
However one has to wonder whether all the people worried about Chinese mouthpiece poisoning drink apple juice, most of which comes from ... guess where?

I have no problem with people who think everything from China may be toxic, but for me life is too short anyway to worry.

I like Chinese food, and will continue to eat it just as I will continue to bravely try Chinese mouthpieces, or mouthpieces from anywhere.
 

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the ones I have ordered - which look exactly like that
This kind of illustrates the main problem I have with the stuff. You buy some item and you know 1) what it looks like, and 2) it was made in China, and that's all you can tell us. There might be a name on it, but that's only weakly attached to it - it's probably available under other names, or made by a different factory but with the same name engraved on it. I guess Otto Links are still made in the US, but that's not all - they have a name, that for better or worse is associated with the style and quality of their mouthpieces.

As for Chinese food ... I don't mind it, but it tends to make the lady of the house ill - probably just coincidence and one bad neighborhood restaurant, but there are plenty of alternatives. But at the grocery store, with the exception of typical Chinese items like fermented tofu, I check for, and do not buy, food originating in China, and for that matter usually I can find fermented tofu etc from Taiwan. I'm sure there is wholesome food from China, but I'm not interested in the gamble.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
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However one has to wonder whether all the people worried about Chinese mouthpiece poisoning drink apple juice, most of which comes from ... guess where?
Big difference. The apple juice is brought in by a domestic company which puts its name on the product, is regulated and has to adhere to strict standards. Also, should there be a problem, they can be held liable. These mouthpieces on the other hand are purchased straight from China with no name brand behind it, shipped without inspection, and should they have plating that will eventually poison you, your heirs will have absolutely no legal recourse. And yes, China does have a recent history of slipshod manufacturing plants poisoning their own factory workers and shipping products into other countries that are indeed deadly. They've only been caught so far when named companies or border inspections uncovered them. But if you want to advise others to take such risks buying direct from China without safe guards and putting these things in your mouth... well, I can't stop you. I can only point out the folly in doing so.
 
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