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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.
So, I've been playing on a Ponzol M2000 (tip .110") for a few years and I'm generally happy with it. I'm trying to see if I can change my sound some via mpc to get some more brightness (I think).
I recently got a 5* refaced to 6* vintage Otto Link off ebay. I took a while to get used to it and find the right reed, but now I really like the sound. Problem is, my volume got reduced by a lot. The last two times I played with people, I was just getting drowned out which usually isn't the case with the M2000. In the big band, I felt myself getting another hernia I was trying so hard be heard.
So, I'm now reselling the Link. I think I'd like to try another vintage Link but in an 8 tip, but they seem to get pricey the bigger the tip.
Can anyone recommend a modern mpc to try? I'm thinking another Ponzol or Gaurdala, wwbw has these, and a return policy :). I'm looking to get more brightness, but I'm a little wary of some of the new mouthpieces advertised to "cut through electric guitar noise like a laser"
I guess my other option is drag around an amp and microphone when I want to play on the link.
Here's me on my Ponzol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkitDBwCYMA
and on the Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW1LeaI1DqI

Thanks
 

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First off, I think you have a very nice sound on both 'pieces! Personally, I prefer the Link. Speaking of Link's......yes, they can be very, VERY reed picky, but when you find one that does it for you, it's hard to beat. As far as the volume goes, I hear ya.....playing in a band, especially where other instruments are amped, you can easily get buried. It all depends on how much value you put in your sound, compared to "cutting through". You might want to invest in a small monitor (maybe a powered monitor) for yourself. As I've often done here lately, I'd highly recommend trying one of Sakshama's "Shorty" Dukoff lost wax copies. I absolutely love mine. I played on an old metal ToneMaster for many years and pretty much had the same experience as you. Sakshama's "Shorty" is everything a Link is, plus a tad more brightness and power.
Just my 2 cents worth! PM me if you have any questions.

Good luck!
John
 

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I like the sound you get on the Link more. It has more of the Ralph Moore sound to it. You didn't mention what size or brand of reed you play on. You may want to try a bit stiffer reed.
Have you tried any Theo Wanne's pieces? I play on a Gaia 7* with Superial 3.5's and it is just the right balance of tone and "cut."
 

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If you need a louder alternative to a Link you could try one of Phil's Hollywood pieces, I've been playing on one for a year and a half now and its been getting better all the time. Very versatile mouthpiece and gets you that fat tone with more projection than a Link.
 

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Very nice. I prefer the Link. The refacing job is good, but the baffle wasn't adjusted right. It sounds like the baffle curve in the first 1/4" is just on the verge of being a little too flat (straight where it should be slightly curved). This causes the tone to have a tendency to become a tad harsh and brittle on strong articulations in the upper middle register and higher. The piece doesn't blow as free and smooth, note to note, as it should, then. It could be fixed easily.
 

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You sound good on both pieces.
You have to determine what is going to work for you in all the varying musical situations you find yourself in. You’re the one behind the horn.
There are some great Link like pieces out there now that can give you what you want. The practice room is one place- but the bandstand is another entirely. Why do you think so many pro’s altered their Links?
Ted Klum, Theo Wanne, Phil Barone, Freddie Gregory, Peter Ponzol all make good to great Link like metal pieces that can give you what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies all. I'm playing on a 2H Rico Jazz Select. I tried a couple 3S reeds, but the link would squeak and the tone didn't sound as good. If the reface job needs to be touched up, any recommendations on who I can send it to? The initial reface was apparently done by Morgan Fry who looks to be in the UK.

http://cgi.ebay.com/OTTO-LINK-EARLY...177?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3365b04dd9

Here's my auction (although seems like lots of votes to keep it). You can see the baffle in a couple of the pictures.
 

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By all accounts, MFry is a very good re-facer. IMO, I think your initial thought about getting a Link with a slightly larger tip might be a good idea to get more volume, but the "cut" isn't going to happen regardless with these type pieces. However, in a big band setting, do you want to cut or do you want to blend?
 

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I think if both sound clips were of you playing in a big band, maybe there would be a few votes for the Ponzol M2000.
 

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I think you sound great on your Link. I was pleasantly surprised. You are in the zone.

I don't see what the problem is, just keep doing what youre doing.

Ralph Moore is not loud, Steve Grossman certainly is not loud, these days. Bergonzi, when he played a metal Link, wasn't house rockingly loud. Eric Alexander, when he was younger, tried to be really loud, but now, as he's matured, he's not loud, but NORMAL playing volume.

They "project" because their sound has presence & resonance in a room. Sometimes we confuse that with loudness.

The whole point is to emphasize the harmonics in your tone (which, it sounds like you are doing) and you will have presence & your sound will carry, much more than a higher baffle guy.

Don't put yourself thru a head trip, stay with what you got.
 

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Just to be contrary, after listening to the clips I think you sound better on the Ponzol.. the Link has potential but you seem to be fighting it an awful lot. Maybe you should hit up a shop and try some other Links/Link variations.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm not sure I'm fighting the link, but it's trickier to play, I think mostly because I'm used to the larger tip opening. Yeah, I'm probably not interested in having this piece worked on. I'm interested in trying a bigger tip link or something else. Those Freddie Gregory's look good, but not so cheap.

The main problem I'm having is volume, not tone. I love the sound of the link, although it's taking some embouchure changes to get it to play. If you heard me in the big band, you wouldn't hear anything, it's really much quieter. I'm tempted to keep the link and work with it, but I'd really only be using it in the practice room unless I was going to be mic'd.

I guess in the big band, I cut through a fair amount on the Ponzol. I think I do this with volume more than with the edge the piece has. I played with the link last week and it actually kind of screwed up the band. I think they were used to hearing me more. I probably lead the section more than tenor 1 should, but hey..

One of my thoughts in getting a new piece was to actually back off on volume a fuzz, but the 6* link brought it down way too much. Maybe some day I'll go pro and I'll get a microphone whenever I play :)

Thanks for all the advice. I'm glad I finally registered for this forum.
 

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I guess in the big band, I cut through a fair amount on the Ponzol. I think I do this with volume more than with the edge the piece has. I played with the link last week and it actually kind of screwed up the band. I think they were used to hearing me more. I probably lead the section more than tenor 1 should, but hey..
I thought you sounded fine on the Ponzol, and since it's working for you in your playing situation, I'd just stick with it. Maybe keep the Link in case your playing situation changes (small combo or band where you use a mic, etc). You can drive yourself crazy over mpcs and then end up right where you started.

FWIW, a bigger tip link will not be brighter (although it might be a fuller/bigger sound). It will probably play darker/warmer unless you increase the size of the baffle.
 

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I'm not sure I'm fighting the link, but it's trickier to play, I think mostly because I'm used to the larger tip opening. Yeah, I'm probably not interested in having this piece worked on. I'm interested in trying a bigger tip link or something else.
Every time you get that harsh attack on anything Bb3 and above, you are fighting it. The amount you notice it is proportional to how well you play, and you are playing so well, it's holding you back, IMO. A lesser player wouldn't care. Morgan does good work and he's a good tenor player, but this one is not 100% for an advanced player. The auction picts show that a lot of baffle was removed. 1/2" back from the tip you see the silver plating, so everything in front of that is raw brass.

I've done exactly the same thing to many of my own mouthpieces over the years, trying to get that perfect Link "thing". I know the sound/response issue well. After opening the tip, the baffle/tip rail need adjusting. In shaping the baffle curve, the sound gets better and better, until you go just a fraction of a mm too far (too flat or straight) and the Bb3 and up start to sound harsh on attack. That's where your piece is. That's no reason to abandon it. There's enough material there to open it to a 7 or 7*, or an 8, and reshape the tip. We're both in Seattle.
 

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Yeah, I noticed that because its something I've been struggling with in my tenor playing as well. There's some low note gurgles that I didn't notice with the Ponzol either. On the Ponzol you sound pretty much in control the whole time. I'd stick with the Ponzol for now and find a Link or Link-styled piece that suits you better. You can get plenty of volume/projection/what-have-you on these style of mouthpieces if you get the right one and work on it for a while.
 

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The sound you get on the Ponzol sounds just right for the type of music you played it with. You already have a winner in the Ponzol. Stay wood, Pinnochio, stay wood!!
 
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