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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Discussion Starter #1
Enough chatter - Find a good Link "Tone Edge" on Tenor, a two screw Selmer Ligature, and hit the practice room. :)
 

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YES! Until you can sound good on that set up you are just wasting money buying fancy gear. And when you can sound good on that set up you will know enough to make informed decisions. Basic gear and lots of practice is the way to go in my very humble and completely useless opinion.
 

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A "tone edge" on tenor? I guess you're talking about vintage stuff, because modern ones are terribly dark and stuffy.
Mascio, on the other side, is right: if you sound good with a modern Tone Edge you will sound divine on any other good mouthpiece...
 

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Finding a good one is a bit of a challenge but it can be done. I've played them off and on for a long time and finally found another good 6 from the early 80's that reminded me why I like playing these.
 

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Enough chatter - Find a good Link "Tone Edge" on Tenor, a two screw Selmer Ligature, and hit the practice room. :)
Agreed in principle but the modern stock ones I have tried anyway are all pretty crappy and don't sound very good. I had a 10* that played pretty well, it actually measured about a 9, not kidding. I think most people are better off with one of the fairer priced boutique copies from MPC, Phil-tone etc. But I know what you mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"Good" Tone Edge.
 

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Good Tone Edge = Vintage Slant Sig, Vintage Early Babbitt or modern Tone Edge having the qualities of previously mentioned vintage models.

Good modern Tone Edges can be found if you look around. There are also a few people that can turn a modern Tone Edge into something similar to a Slant or Early Babbitt style piece.
 

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i can go with the stipulation "a good Link", but to be honest i have never found a bad one, even though so many people complain. i have at least 10 Links, metal, rubber, open , close, and they all play fine. i can't help but think some people just make excuses, but it is nothing to argue about. So if you are just starting out in Jazz get "a good Tone Edge" and go practice, Good luck and God bless.
 

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Can't agree with the statement that there aren't bad ones but maybe I'm not good enough to play through it but why bother? Then again Jerry Bergonzi said he once tried about 25 of them(modern ones) before he found one that played good. I have to work, who has time for that ****? To me it's worth it to spend the extra money to get a modern version by a real craftsman that has good specs and geometry.
 

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i can go with the stipulation "a good Link", but to be honest i have never found a bad one, even though so many people complain. i have at least 10 Links, metal, rubber, open , close, and they all play fine. i can't help but think some people just make excuses, but it is nothing to argue about. So if you are just starting out in Jazz get "a good Tone Edge" and go practice, Good luck and God bless.
I beg to differ, now. My first Link was a HR modern Tone Edge. It was awful, truly awful and I kept it for years, even after trying some good Link.
 

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I still have a HR 7* that I bought in 1982.
I come back and try it every so often.
Solid sound and response.
I guess that's why I keep it, a benchmark.
If I came across a good 9* I might consider going back to a Link.
 

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I think that is a decent piece of advice but if only it were that simple.
I went 20 years without liking a link (metal/HR, alto/tenor) even though I ended up with a few....
I did pass them all on in the end.
But suddenly a few years ago, I found one I liked and began to crave after. I bought it and that opened the flood gates. I have a number of links I like these days so I wouldn't bet against them.
But for what ever reason, we didn't agree for a long time....no excuses, I just got on better with other pieces.
Were they all bad? was it all me?
 

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6K for a horn and $60 f0r a mouthpiece = Rockwell Table Saw and a Harbor Freight blade. I support getting a piece and playing the heck out of it but why have a piece of gear that may work against you?

Life is hard enough, suffering does not necessarily make a better player.
 

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6K for a horn and $60 f0r a mouthpiece = Rockwell Table Saw and a Harbor Freight blade. I support getting a piece and playing the heck out of it but why have a piece of gear that may work against you?

Life is hard enough, suffering does not necessarily make a better player.
Great thread, A Greene! I agree with both Phil and you. I tell people to just play modern stock pieces all the time. If adequately advanced, a player will know "it" if and when "it's time" to swap pieces. Still, the modern Tone Edges are a tough one, with the Vintage generally being "easier" to play as it includes some chops. I love Otto Link pieces and J.J. Babbit as well. Amusingly, I was committed to playing my Vandoren Optimum's stock for my classical practice sessions. Within a few hours I said, "forget" this and refaced the pieces. Then I was happy.

But it's true about finding a piece, a well make two screw ligature, and just playing. One thing I love about Doc's refacing was it's simplicity--I am a fan of simplicity though I rarely stick to my guns on it.
 

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I had a New Vintage Tone Edge that Matt Voss (hartt97) worked on. Got it from blue boy on here. It was a great piece for sure! I kept it as long as I could, but ultimately it didn't work for the type of music that I was playing on my old Couf. Now I have a different tenor and a two mouthpiece solution (with the 10E having some similarities to Matt's NVS.)

So I look at it like this; you can either test a bunch of TE's to try to find a good one, or take a chance on a used cheap one then have someone rework it, or save yourself the hastle (and possibly money in the long run) and get a good piece from Phil Engleman, Ben Allen...or one of the other artisans. I'm not a mouthpiece science guru, but the artisans are using better materials for their blanks anyway. Bit of a no brainer if you ask me...HR mouthpieces really aren't that expensive (well, most.)

Hmm...this should be a slogan or something. Very nice!
Life is hard enough, suffering does not necessarily make a better player.
 

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Enough chatter - Find a good Link "Tone Edge" on Tenor, a two screw Selmer Ligature, and hit the practice room. :)
Finding an adequate mouthpiece and sticking with it is sound advice. Finding a good Link "Tone Edge" might not be the easiest way to get that done. I tried a lot of new Tone Edge mouthpieces in the 90's, and I never liked any of them. Too hard to start the low notes; too much push required to get a "tone edge."

Legend has it that the early "slant sig" mouthpieces were far superior. Today those have two problems: 1) The costs range from way high to preposterous. 2) Almost all of them have been tampered with.

Why did medium tip openings almost vanish from the earth? I can only assume it is due to the electric guitar, the natural enemy of the saxophone. (Dexter Gordon used two mouthpieces in his career. The first piece, a metal Link 5*, was stolen. In interviews he would not say what brand the second was, but he did say it was also a 5*. Today I imagine those pieces are probably trading on ebay, opened to 10*. Vintage mouthpieces with their original medium facings are as rare as hens' teeth.)

Everyone knows Babbitt has come out with a new slant on the Tone Edge, so to speak, namely the Vintage model. I have not tried one of those, but I want to.

Morgan Mouthpieces has a plastic mouthpiece they too call Vintage. It is Linkish in concept. I have one of those. It is a 5, which is the same tip opening as a Link 5*. It plays great. I would not hesitate to recommend one of those to anybody, beginner on up.
 

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Agree - get a Tone - Edge, A Phil-Tone, Edge
 

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(Dexter Gordon used two mouthpieces in his career. The first piece, a metal Link 5*, was stolen. In interviews he would not say what brand the second was, but he did say it was also a 5*. Today I imagine those pieces are probably trading on ebay, opened to 10*. Vintage mouthpieces with their original medium facings are as rare as hens' teeth.)
By 1977, Dex was on a Link STM 8, according to this Downbeat interview: http://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/2013/01/dexter-gordon-chuck-berg-interview.html
Also, the mouthpiece that he used in the early 1960's (the great series of Blue Notes) was a Dukoff Hollywood.
http://www.bluenote.com/cdn/mceuploads/thumbs/50872038008fc.jpg
That said, I agree -- great classic sounds often came from very moderate setups.
 
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