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It took me 6 months to get my Guardala MB II under control. At first I could barely get air through it muchless blow it. I mean, I changed reeds, ligatures, and experimented with various distances of reeds and cork. A very experienced player who plays a metal Sugal told me to try a HR Otto link 8. About two years ago I progressed from a HR Otto link 6 to a metal Otto link 5. The link 5 worked really good except in the high register it tend to choke up sometimes. Not so with the Guardala MB. As far as I was concerned I like the sound of the metal over the HR. I can barely get a sound out of the HR link 8 with much huffing and puffing. The link 8 is about a 110 while the Guardala is 115. I'm just wondering why such difficulty in blowing the HR link 8? The experienced player also told me to stay away from metal mpc's. Why? I have a metal Dukoff D5 that I outgrew and wished to progress to maybe a D7 or 8. He claimed that metal Dukoffs are very shrill and that I play bright to start with. Can anyone address this please?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2008
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Your HR link is a very traditional mouthpiece with a large chamber, swimming pool baffle, and large bore, it's the antithesis of a MBII or Dukoff D chamber. Tip openings on HR links need to be modest because it takes a lot of air to fill the mouthpiece up. You might be surprised to find out that your 8 Link is actually a 105 or smaller tip. Modern Links are usually undersized a good deal. Sizing charts are almost worthless when comes to a JJBabbitt.

Your metal link was a smaller tip and more than likely needed a stiff reed to keep it from clamping off due to the increase of air pressure needed for high notes and altissimo. Better off with a 6, 6*, or 7 as they won't have that problem as much as long as you play a reed that is hard enough.

Basically the MBII is a low resistance piece. It has a small chamber, wedge baffle, middle of the road sized bore and a square chamber all designed to make it blow without much effort on your part. The hard part is controlling such a set up as it doesn't have the built in resistance of a link and doesn't offer you anything to push against. It's like going to the grocery store in a drag car at 220 mph two blocks from your home, it's over kill in so many ways that it doesn't make sense for anyone to use it unless your a seasoned veteran or perhaps Michael Brecker that needed such a piece because of his throat surgery to reduce back pressure that would have been caused if he'd used a larger chamber piece such as a Link without any modifications.

In the end the tone suffers from the use of such souped up mouthpieces. Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Chris Potter, Bergonzi, Eric Alexander, Wayne Shorter and the list goes on and on of those that used the traditional Metal and Hard Rubber Links in their careers and achieved a beautiful sound. Many feel Breckers sound was much better before he started playing the DG pieces....including myself.

Resistance can be cut down with a good facing and the right tip opening. Metal Links once you get used to them aren't nearly as resistant as you'd think and the tone is oh so beautiful compared to these more contemporary designs that seem to attract a lot of attention.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
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Heath, You got it right, the Masters used old Links for most part, and who could get better sounds ?? Bruce Brennan, NY
I have a list of great players in the early 40's about 90% of the known greats and some not so known and they allused between a 4 & 5 HR mouthpiece by Link !!!
 

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Wailin' said:
It took me 6 months to get my Guardala MB II under control. At first I could barely get air through it muchless blow it. I mean, I changed reeds, ligatures, and experimented with various distances of reeds and cork. A very experienced player who plays a metal Sugal told me to try a HR Otto link 8. About two years ago I progressed from a HR Otto link 6 to a metal Otto link 5. The link 5 worked really good except in the high register it tend to choke up sometimes. Not so with the Guardala MB. As far as I was concerned I like the sound of the metal over the HR. I can barely get a sound out of the HR link 8 with much huffing and puffing. The link 8 is about a 110 while the Guardala is 115. I'm just wondering why such difficulty in blowing the HR link 8? The experienced player also told me to stay away from metal mpc's. Why? I have a metal Dukoff D5 that I outgrew and wished to progress to maybe a D7 or 8. He claimed that metal Dukoffs are very shrill and that I play bright to start with. Can anyone address this please?
Friends don't let friends play Guardalas. Phil
 

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How about old Brass D-9 Dukoffs like Brecker played for a while?? Ala Saturday Night Live killin *** Solo"s
 
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