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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All :
I am starting again with the alto sax after many years away. I bought an Otto link Super Tone master 6. I have been doing long notes and playing some songs last 15 days at least 1 1/2 hours a day and on weekends 6-8 hours.
My problem is that I can not find a proper reed that make me feel that I am improving.. every day i feel that my sound is getting worst.. instead of improving.. Is this normal ? I have read that first weeks the Otto links are difficult to adapt but after three or four weeks you start to find the proper sound. Is normal what is happening to me? I have been using rico royal 2, 2 1/2, 3... Vandoren 2, 2 1/2 , 3.. Vandoren V16, Vandoren Jazz, Vandoren, Rico 2 , 2 1/2 , 3...
I appreciate your comments...thanks
 

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A few suggestions:

1. Pick a playable reed and stay with it for a week or so. Switching does not help.
2. Links are not very consistent. Consider a different piece for a while. The Hite Premier is remarkably good, consistent and cheap. I would not hesitate to play a gig on one.
3. Your best bet is to hang out with a good player or teacher. Lot more fun; lot less worry!

Best of luck!
Dale
 

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You might have better success with Hemke or LaVoz.
You don't mention what brand/year sax you're playing. It could be that the mouthpiece just isn't a good match for your particular horn, or, it's defective.
If it's possible, try the mouthpiece on a different alto to see if the results are the same.
 

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If it has the ligature with the large thumb screw, you may want to use extra care getting the reed very straight and having the lig tight. This seems to be needed on the metal Links.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You might have better success with Hemke or LaVoz.
You don't mention what brand/year sax you're playing. It could be that the mouthpiece just isn't a good match for your particular horn, or, it's defective.
If it's possible, try the mouthpiece on a different alto to see if the results are the same.
I am using a chinese Alto ( San Carlo). I have also a Meyer 5M mouthpiece ( hard rubber, 0.071" tip opening ) and I get a better sound with it. The Link is 0.075", so there is not a big difference in opening. I am going to ask another alto player ( experienced one) to test the mouthpiece in his horn , so I can check if a defectivo mouthpiece, a defective sax or....ME...!! Thanks for commenting.
 

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My advice (which is worth nothing) is to find a synthetic reed that you like and your problems will be over.. forever. I'm 64 and have been playing for four years. I neither have the time nor the money to screw around with cane reeds. My view on this may change later, but that's it right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I made the test today.. I went to a friend musician and asked him to play my sax with the Otto link mouthpiece.. the result : He asked me if I don´t want to sell the Alto to him .. ( He is a tenor player..).. So it is not the sax... not the mouthpiece.. ( his sound was very good...( he is a Tenor saxophonist)... so ...it´s ME.. I NEED TO PRACTICE A LOT MORE...Thanks for your comments..... ( right now I am practicing with long notes....)
 

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The Meyer is one of my favorites on alto and the Links are an alto mouthpiece I never liked. I know Ben Harrod at Link in the 60s and had mouthpieces he made for soprano, tenor and bari but could not get a good sound from the altos. These were the coveted FL slant models too. About 25 years ago a student of mine had a Link 5* she wanted to sell. I took it to a rehearsal and after about 40 minutes, I was dead trying to get the beast to play. Same results for the STM on alto......I just never could use one AND I can work with almost any mouthpiece on alto and get by.
Use the Meyer. I you still want to change, try a Selmer Super Session or a Runyon. I still use Selmers on alto.
 

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Links tenor mpcs are sold by the tons from most music shops around here while the altos aren't pushed as hard but they do sell them in fact, most unspecialised small shops don't sell anything else in metal than Links. I did try to come to terms with the beast and got a 7 a 6* and a 5* trying to get a sound that I liked and could control , in the end I gave up on them because, although I liked the spread sound that I got from it, I found that I couldn't get good and consistent control with this mouthpiece. I think that the besides any faults of my own, the mouthpiece is not well suited to the alto (and its technical manufacturing inconsistencies make finding a good one on Tenor also not an easy task!). I only know one great player Benjamin Herman who plays on a Mark VI and a Otto Link (don't know if completely original....... I should have asked when I met him) and his sound is great but I couldn't come to terms with this mouthpiece, so after a very long time searching now I am on my Ponzol M2 which I like very much, occasionally I do look for something else but in the end I do go back to it.
here is Benjamin Herman on his Otto Link
 

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Links tenor mpcs are sold by the tons from most music shops around here while the altos aren't pushed as hard but they do sell them in fact, most unspecialised small shops don't sell anything else in metal than Links. I did try to come to terms with the beast and got a 7 a 6* and a 5* trying to get a sound that I liked and could control , in the end I gave up on them because, although I liked the spread sound that I got from it, I found that I couldn't get good and consistent control with this mouthpiece. I think that the besides any faults of my own, the mouthpiece is not well suited to the alto (and its technical manufacturing inconsistencies make finding a good one on Tenor also not an easy task!). I only know one great player Benjamin Herman who plays on a Mark VI and a Otto Link (don't know if completely original....... I should have asked when I met him) and his sound is great but I couldn't come to terms with this mouthpiece, so after a very long time searching now I am on my Ponzol M2 which I like very much, occasionally I do look for something else but in the end I do go back to it.
here is Benjamin Herman on his Otto Link
Peter king played a MkVI with a Link STM 5* very successfully for many years.
But he is a great player.
 

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I think you are trying to do too much at once. It takes time to find the perfect setup. with your practice schedule, I'd try for a week on ONE setup, unless you find you are not comfortable with it, then try another for a week. I know a lot of sax players that will take the horn as is, get whatever reed looks good, and consider that good enough, but to get the perfect setup can take years. Remember, what works for someone else might not work for you. A friend and I both use my tenor sax, and until I got a new lig this week, she and I were constantly re-adjusting the reeds, and another friend tried my tenor, and couldn't get a decent tone at all with my setup, but with an old Selmer C* rubber MP, he sounded amaizing.

I think my point is find something you are comforable with, and stick with it for a while. Then you can really focus on your improvement. Once you have pushed yourself to a a level where your progress slows down greatly, then start trying alternate setups, for a while on each setup, to find what works best for you.
 

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Try losing the link. Sumpin' about links that never get good results with alto players ...
nonsence. I like otto link .It started with slant 6* (now same one on ebay for 250euro wow) and i was in love because of fat tone, better intonation, whole thing just felt better than all the meyers i had before
(and i owned all of them, the small and big chambers in all sizes from 5 to 8).
Because of the dark tone i couldn't play lead in big band so i started with florida models ( from5*to 7* ) and they are all wonderfull. I play now on double ring which is amazing.
So i think otto link, especially the old stuff, there is nothing better.
 

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and that is the same with meyer if you by them now, you have to bring them immediately to the refacer. Luckely the alto stuff is way cheaper than the old meyers. another thing is that we need to practice, for instance the guy from the video,Benjamin, he practice at least one our on long tones each day.
 
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