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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, I am starting a long awaited project of reproducing the absolute best and rarest pieces from my collection. These are my personal players, which I would not sell and have no backups for, and would like to make available to my customers and friends. I am going to try to keep these as affordable as possible given the cost of the project. These are amazing pieces and deserve to be preserved. Some of them are simply impossible to find, the "missing Link" (quad ring) is among them and was the inspiration for this as I think many who love early Links will enjoy this to a great degree.

At the moment I am taking interest and emails for those who want to be involved and help decide which of my collection of killer players will take priority and at what numbers. Please take a look at the full writeup here:

http://hornedtoadmusic.com/select-collection-vintage-reproductions/#.XZTRyC2ZMWo

Send me emails (I won't be able to keep track of messages here) and I can keep them all together in one spot. Put "Select Collection" in the subject line and that will help me sort them. Discussion questions etc here are totally welcome and encouraged.

These will all be finished and quality controlled entirely by myself and those of you who know my work and integrity know the standard that I require. Thanks for looking and being involved.



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I erased several comments so I'll only offer that it will be miraculous if you can do it and I hope you do.
 

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Good luck, Marin.
I’m sure these will play great. I’ve had many wonderful pieces over the years that you have refaced.
I look forward to trying some of these.
All the best, Mark
 

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Im curious what the "intellectual property" implications are in making copies of other peoples designs? I suppose that as these are all old pieces any patent / copyright issues are long since expired, but I hope its something any business has considered before heading down this path.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Im curious what the "intellectual property" implications are in making copies of other peoples designs? I suppose that as these are all old pieces any patent / copyright issues are long since expired, but I hope its something any business has considered before heading down this path.
Well, I am also curious, but then a number of people are already doing just that. Additionally, these pieces have mostly been out of production since the 1960's at the very latest. They will also have my own input as a craftsman. Although the designs themselves are excellent, they also will all be optimized my myself. That is significant.
 

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Im curious what the "intellectual property" implications are in making copies of other peoples designs? I suppose that as these are all old pieces any patent / copyright issues are long since expired, but I hope its something any business has considered before heading down this path.
The design of a functional item such as a saxophone mouthpiece could be patented; whether it was or not would depend on choices made by the original designer(s). But in the United States and most other countries, the term of a patent is only 20 years.

A trademark related to a mouthpiece (brand name, logo, or tag line) theoretically could be protected as intellectual property indefinitely, but I assume an honest merchant would not copy a trademark.

No copyright issues that I can see relating to a mouthpiece itself.
 

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You said the quad ring : " It had a minor amount of work done to it, I improved it greatly....".

So it is not original. So as rare as this might be, what you think is so special about it is your work? I will assume that you are good. 10mfan verified it. How is it so special compared to any other vintage link ? There have been many who have taken what they think are the most special link and tried to duplicate it. I get that the 4 rings are rare. That doesn't seem to make a repro super special when the original piece was modified?

I have watched your videos. I do believe you know a lot about mouthpieces.
 

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If all the pieces are going to carry Marin’s facings then the quad ring is no different.
If it already has his facing on it that wouldn’t matter.
I wish you well with this project and hope I get a chance to try one of these sometime in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You said the quad ring : " It had a minor amount of work done to it, I improved it greatly....".

So it is not original. So as rare as this might be, what you think is so special about it is your work? I will assume that you are good. 10mfan verified it. How is it so special compared to any other vintage link ? There have been many who have taken what they think are the most special link and tried to duplicate it. I get that the 4 rings are rare. That doesn't seem to make a repro super special when the original piece was modified?

I have watched your videos. I do believe you know a lot about mouthpieces.
The quad-ring specifically is SUCH a rare mouthpiece. Many people would like to try one and maybe own one but will simply never have the chance. That group includes me. I never imagined to have that piece that is as rare as a unicorn, but here it is. I know I will never see another and most (just about everyone) will also never hold one. It is really a public service to make it available as best I can.

When I got it, it had minor work done on it, not drastic, but it was not a very good setup. I just put it to optimal configuration and it sings better than MANY MANY other Links of this period and newer as well. It does not have a huge baffle, nor is it a huge tip size or dramatic facing. I was in fact very conservative with it, yet it plays really very impressively. I used to play Tonemasters and Double-rings as well. I still like them but I kind of got away from that thing. I bought this on a whim because a friend suggested it and I realized it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. After my gentle setup it played so shockingly well that it is one of my main two pieces now, not something I intended. I actually thought I was being an idiot and spending too much on collectible objects, but no, it is 1 of just 2 that I want to play right now. It is that good.

Having played so many tonemasters and double rings over the years if this one win's my attention then there is truly something about it. What is that thing? I cannot say for sure but it is both unique and uniquely good. Yes, my work is good, always, but good work can only go so far. The design has to hold up it's own end of the bargain. I cannot say what is different about it but it plays different and I like it so much that I think it has to be reproduced. That's it. I think there are others who will like it, but it is a VINTAGE piece, not a super loud and bright modern model.

During the time period when this piece was made, most known jazz players had their pieces worked on anyhow. This piece had really very little work done and the way I restored it is very much in keeping with the original style of the piece, and definitely not more dramatic than someone like Trane would had done to such a piece. In that spirit it is absolutely good enough for me. I think anyone who knows tonemasters and early double rings would know immediately from playing this that it is definitely authentic enough to represent this rarest of Link models. But of course, each to their own. Those who are not interested won't want them and those who are thrilled to get the chance to own a great playing quad ring will also make their choices.
 

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Very interesting project Marin. :)

For me the tip sizes of your original pieces are not in the range I like to play.

Good luck with the project and it would be nice if you could update about your progress in this thread.
 

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I am curious as to how these will be different from every other "homage" on the market - other than your finish work, which is a selling point.

Are you going to cast the Link, mold the HR pieces, and machine the Berg from bar stock? That seems like a huge undertaking. Doing any ONE of those well is laudable.

Best wishes for your success.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very interesting project Marin. :)

For me the tip sizes of your original pieces are not in the range I like to play.

Good luck with the project and it would be nice if you could update about your progress in this thread.
The slant berg is a larger tip size at .110 but the Links are not so big. When it comes to earlier Links they only play the way the design was intended for at below .100. Of course we can modify them but the original way they play is more for smaller sizes. The FL Links started to get above that, such as the serialed 7* but that is a different creature.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am curious as to how these will be different from every other "homage" on the market - other than your finish work, which is a selling point.

Are you going to cast the Link, mold the HR pieces, and machine the Berg from bar stock? That seems like a huge undertaking. Doing any ONE of those well is laudable.

Best wishes for your success.
I am going to go with whichever method gives me the best accuracy. Which is the most accurate method is not exactly as one would think. Sure my work is a selling point, as is my quality control. Obviously I want to sell these but I don't go into this trying to make a big market play as I think there is plenty of that activity already. I just want to make these available and I have customers and friends who will already want them. But for a 'selling point' the other one is just that these are the top of the pile of pieces that I have found over the years as players and as well in some case as collectible rarities. I know a number of people would like to have that quad ring but I cannot sell the one I have obviously, that has it's own selling point. The other pieces are just the greatest examples of players among those models and that is valuable to my customers and friends who understand what my opinion of a piece means based on years of relationship with me. Anyhow, I just personally want to make these available and it's an interesting project for me as well.
 

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Sounds like a cool project. I think really what you are selling is the "Marinated Link" as in, the Link collection as curated by you. That's great, and it is interesting how another player, link lover, collector might very well choose very different playing Links in his/her "best of" collection.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like a cool project. I think really what you are selling is the "Marinated Link" as in, the Link collection as curated by you. That's great, and it is interesting how another player, link lover, collector might very well choose very different playing Links in his/her "best of" collection.
That is true to a degree. Some of the pieces are original and I have not touched them but at least they are still sourced and 'endorsed' by my preference... I guess. It is true that the interest in some of these particular pieces will depend on people liking what I like. Of course some people don't like what I like, and some folks really want big baffle pieces at .110-.120 but I think many manufacturers are already serving that demand, so I don't need to. In my decades of working with mouthpieces I have had a very high rate of satisfaction with my work and approach to setups, meaning a pretty high number of people who like THESE KINDS of pieces also share my preference for how I set them up. As I have always strived for 'restoration' instead of modification I think my approach is really how these vintage pieces should play. Probably everyone who works on pieces thinks that and good for them too. My long term customers seem to agree though. If someone else was going to make the pieces that I like, the way I make them this topic would be different I guess. The important point is, I want to see them made this way.
 

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Can’t wait to check these out.

In my experience, all of the Otto Link Slant sig tributes I have tried out there don’t compete with my 2 originals, so I’m looking forward to trying yours!
 

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This is a fantastic project, Marin. For me personally, the most interesting are: #1 “Missing Link” quad-ring transitional Otto Link Super Tonemaster; and #6 Berg Larsen Slant Signature 110/3 SMS. I wishh you the best of luck with it !
 

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As stated before, there are already several homage pieces out there, so it's likely an uphill battle to get your foot in the market. I'd say your best bet is to offer a piece that no one else has offered, but one that people want to try. If you get some traction with the first one, you'll be more likely to get repeat customers who are interested in your 2nd and 3rd pieces. It sounds like a cool project - I wish you much success!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As stated before, there are already several homage pieces out there, so it's likely an uphill battle to get your foot in the market. I'd say your best bet is to offer a piece that no one else has offered, but one that people want to try. If you get some traction with the first one, you'll be more likely to get repeat customers who are interested in your 2nd and 3rd pieces. It sounds like a cool project - I wish you much success!
I am really not so excited to make a huge mouthpiece business or compete in the market. I just want to make some of the pieces available that were so hard for me to find. As far as 'homage' pieces, most pieces are homage pieces in one way or another. As another friend of mine said, he was tired of so many people trying to reinvent the wheel. There is also a lot of hype. My own pieces are not or will not be 'homage' pieces but the actual pieces that I play, which are just really good. That project is worth it on its own, regardless of the market.
 
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