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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this secondhand Focustone 0.105 7* made of silver in the mail today and saw that the front rail does not look smooth or "perfect". On the other hand, there are no major dents or dings. I would like to have the experts have a look at it and help me with a welcome piece of advice if the mouthpiece might benefit from a gentle and thorough flattening of table and rails after the period of playing it has been through.
The Link Double Rings I own are quite different concerning the front rail. With the NY DR 4 that Erik Greifenhagen refaced to 0.105 the front rail is part of the baffle which means there is no "rim" or prominent front rail. With the NY DR 5* which has not been opened you can discern the front tip rail better.
 

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SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
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I'm no expert, but looking at the slight flaw in the tip rail in that photo, I would be very surprised if it would have any effect whatsoever on how the mpc plays or sounds. Speaking of which, how well does it play? That's the bottom line.
 

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The table should not have been changed.

It does look like its got some wear on it.

Ted uses really thin tip rails and most I have seen have definition. This one does not.

Im not sure how much Id worry if it plays great. Its really a matter of articulation.

You might shoot Sebastian an email or PM since he worked for Ted.

Its not perfect but its certainly not terrible.

Id rather have this than a baffle running into a tip rail. Pieces tend to play sluggish that way as in most cases the rollover is a little high near the tip.
 

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I have a metal mouthpiece that I had refaced by Ted. He did a superb job. However, it fell to the floor tip first which resulted in a slight dent which I dared to file. I didn't noticed any difference in response before or afterwards. Compared to my mouthpiece, yours looks pristine. As stated by others, if it plays great forget about aesthetics.
 

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What is unfortunate is that this would take maybe 2 seconds to clean up. I've done that to a number of pieces I've gotten in the mail from people and it's always helped (mostly with the mouthpieces not chewing up your reeds).

You'd expect if it was sold new from Ted that it would be more immaculate looking.
 

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Yes...Ted turns out jewelry....not that the piece is terrible but it would never leave a craftsman shop looking like that.

To me it looks like its been dinged gently and played a lot.

If it is silver, silver is soft. It tip rails do wear.
 

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I too would be surprised if that small of a defect would change the performance.
If there are sharp edges I would carefully get rid of any snags
 

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I sent a piece to Ted for touchup and replating, and the cost was minor - probably less than the cost of shipping from Europe and back.

For that level of investment, I'd want it correct, as in Ted-Klum-correct.
 

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The construction of the tip rail is excellent, but it's been beaten about a tiny bit maybe by mouthpiece cap. I expect it still plays as intended. Cleaning up the ding isn't a big job and I certainly wouldn't mess with the table or anything else unless there is something pretty wrong with how it plays.
 

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Id have ted to it too

otherwise you get people telling you its no longer teds piece if its worked on etc...

plus it will be as he intended.

and if it is something that needs plating he can do it

...if you decide to have it worked on
 

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Looks well worn ... my recommendation is to play it if it works for you but when it's not playing up to par, a touch up is required. Ted does tip work differently than most people out there and it should be done by him or someone who knows how to do that. I think he's usually pretty overwhelmed with orders but he may want be the one to do the work. Sometimes I get emails when he's too busy etc but I can also do it in such a was as to keep the shape behind the rail the same as it was in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have owned Focustones before and feel this one might benefit from a touch up. A hint might be that I usually don't find it hard to play a 7* tip opening with a RJS 2H. This Focustone made me go down one step to a Rigotti Gold 2. I will consider having it adjusted to standards, and of course I would like Ted himself to do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, MojoBari. This mouthpiece was sold as "wonderful condition", and the pic of the front rail did not have enough resolution to really judge it. I would else have counted off the price of a touch up.
I have written a message to Ted, and before I start thinking about it too much it will go back to the man who made it to inspect it and make it right. It does not respond as free and rich in the upper octave as my former silver Focustone 0.110, but I can't really tell if this is me, the reed or the front rail.... I used different reeds from 2 to 3.5 (Woodstone, Rigotti and RJS), and it responded best with a Rigotti 2 which is below of what I play today. I played Rigotti 2 about 5 years ago.
 

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It looks like it could be cleaned up, but if it plays the way you like, then don't bother.

What I actually noticed first were the two shiny spots on the left-side rail, one about halfway down and the other almost at the bottom of the picture. Without a closer inspection, I can't tell for sure, but these might be a problem. The issue here (and at the tip) isn't a "chip," i.e., the apparently missing material, but what is more accurately called a "dent." Most of the time, it isn't a tiny chip on metal or hard rubber, it is actually a deformation. If the deformation rises above the plane of the lay, then it changes the lay. The lay may only be changed by .001 at those two points, but it will have some effect. An actual chip or dent that doesn't push material above the plane of the lay is usually only cosmetic.

I get this a lot when bottom feeding for vintage HR pieces on Ebay. Close inspection often shows why they have a "vintage" sound. Tips and rails look perfect with just little nicks on the inside and outside, but with magnification I can see that some nicks have pushed material into the plane of the lay. Here is a picture of what I mean. This is more obvious than most.

Window Font Tints and shades Parallel Rim

Mark
 

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Thanks, MojoBari. This mouthpiece was sold as "wonderful condition", and the pic of the front rail did not have enough resolution to really judge it. I would else have counted off the price of a touch up.
If it was this one, I thank you for saving me the disappointment. I was looking for a "Little Falls" FocusTone, and was very close to buying that.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?250386

I have written a message to Ted, and before I start thinking about it too much it will go back to the man who made it to inspect it and make it right. It does not respond as free and rich in the upper octave as my former silver Focustone 0.110, but I can't really tell if this is me, the reed or the front rail.... I used different reeds from 2 to 3.5 (Woodstone, Rigotti and RJS), and it responded best with a Rigotti 2 which is below of what I play today. I played Rigotti 2 about 5 years ago.
This one may respond differently because the "Little Falls" had a slight internal modification, but it should be as rich in the upper octave as previous models - and more. That aside, as Sebastian has noted, there are few others that do tip rails like Ted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dr. G:

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, it's just that I feel it would perform better if the rails, especially the front rail, were in a better shape. I have written to the seller and have asked for a partial refund that will equal the touch up I will have to pay, but I won't start a fuss about it here.
It would be nice to know more about the difference between the "Little Falls" Focustones and later models. Thanks.

Mark:

You have got very good eyes. In fact there is a tiny dent in the left rail that I had not really paid attention to before I read your post. When I slide along the rail with my thumb, I can feel the deformation which proves it "rises above the plane of the lay". It's not much, but the 0.001 you mention aren't much, either.
The more information I get from you helpful guys, the more I feel it's the right and only decision to have it inspected and worked on.
 

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Just a friendly PSA: with the exception of the FT's marked "River Edge" they are all made in Little Falls and marked as such. It's where TK lives and where the production facility (Ted hated it when I called it the 'shop') has been since about 2011. The River Edge had a larger chamber than most and the closest you will find in his other lineup was the Precision. At some point in maybe 2013 he changed the mold again to have a tighter core like before and a more pronounced baffle profile. The versions up until V5 were all short run and harder to produce. If he's made any changes it has been to keep the SOUND but also make them easier to finish out from their raw state from the castings. They are all voiced to please Ted and deserve the moniker of focused.
 
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