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Discussion Starter #1
My band director recently bestowed upon me a real gem of a piece: a Florida USA STM refaced by Brian Powell from a 5* to a .110 tip opening. I've been using Rico Royal 2.5 and an Oleg Olegature, but I've been craving something a little darker in terms of my reed/lig combo. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

This is my first post on SOTW so if there was a past thread please point me in the right direction, thanks everyone :)
 

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Self confessed GAS monster! Forum Contributor 2013
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Hey,
1st of all a huge welcome, this is a great place but be prepared for threads here going waaaaay off the point and into the twilight zone then never to be seen again...

Now, to your original point, ;)
how about a vandoren reed, 2.5, or 3 and rovner ligature, this should "stuffy it up" and help you get a darker sound.
 

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Band director huh?
Try a Hemke in a 2.5 if you don't like Vandoren reeds, and more time in the practice room working on 'voicing'. You can 'darken' your sound a little with just a few tweaks of the embouchure, tongue position, and 'enlarging' your oral cavity in general.
If that sounds like it takes too much work, then use the Rovner ligature with the Hemke reeds. :)
 

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Alexander NY's work really well on Links - but go down half a strength, so if you're using a Rico 2.5 try a 2 in the NY.
(and welcome to the forum)
 

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This is my first post on SOTW so if there was a past thread please point me in the right direction, thanks everyone :)
Welcome aboard!

My band director recently bestowed upon me a real gem of a piece: a Florida USA STM refaced by Brian Powell from a 5* to a .110 tip opening. I've been using Rico Royal 2.5 and an Oleg Olegature, but I've been craving something a little darker in terms of my reed/lig combo.
When you open up a mouthpiece, the baffle near the tip becomes higher as you open the tip. After the new tip opening is established, that part of the baffle is lowered (this can be a variable thing) and generally re-worked. One of the advantages of opening up a mouthpiece is that you have more available baffle to work with. It's possible that the baffle is still too high - for you - after being opened up. This can be altered within the mouthpiece, or through reed selection, or an adjustment in how you approach playing that mouthpiece.

IMO, the ligature is the least important part of this equation...I use a Rovner Dark on most of my setups and play with what most people would call a "bright" sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the solid advice! I'll try out some of your suggestions and spend some time shedding to get that sound in my head.
 

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Rico Royals are really bright for me; why not a Rico Orange Box? Try a 3, they are a little softer than the Royals. I mean, Ricos are what these mouthpieces were made for...

Regarding ligature, did the original Link lig come with it? I'd use that in preference to any of the other ligs mentioned. If that's not available, and I hesitate a little to say this, why not try one of the Wanne Enlightened Ligatures? They're expensive, but it's the right kind of lig for this piece. I hate Rovners BTW; yes they darken the sound, but they do so by making the reed not work correctly, as it lifts a little at the front of the table.

Regarding shedding, be sure you are taking in enough mouthpiece. Even taking the piece in 2 or 3 mm might help with tone color. Your lower lip should be very near the facing curve break point.
 

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For me, Rico Select Jazz 3M Unfiled work well for a thick, dark, resonant sound on a 7 or 7* -- so a 3S Unfiled ought to work very well on your 8 (.110").
 
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