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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just came across this gorgeous mouthpiece:) It plays every bit as good as my old SR Tech Tenor Legend HR, plus it has added depth and character to the sound. The notes seem to pop more when I play fast passages, there is almost a slight edge without it sounding edgy. After spending some time on this piece, when I tried playing the SR tech it sounded Vanilla and boring. To generic top to bottom "if that makes any sense"

Now I've been playing this with my Select Jazz 4M reeds, this mouthpiece is a 6* where as my SR tech was a 7*. The reeds do feel a little soft - I can't push as much air as I'd like to when I really get into it, so I have a box of 4H reeds on order which I'm very excited to try! I have a feeling it's only going to open up this mouthpiece even further!

Here is the interesting bit. After fiddling around with the mouthpiece, I noticed the stock ligature was garbage. The middle screw came up from the plate, only the o ring screw thing was securing the reed (Actually put an indentation in one of my reeds:0) Given that my reeds were not being properly held, I'm surprised it played as good as it did! I've since ordered an Ishimori ligature (Brass) and it should be here in a week or two. I love Ishimori's, so this was a no brainer brainer for me. In the mean time I needed a ligature that sealed properly, so I put my thinking cap on.

Now I'm not a fix it kind of guy, so I'm surprised I was able to pull this off! I grabbed an old Rovner ligature from my drawer and cut two small leather strips from the base of the ligature. I then used gorilla super glue to glue these strips onto the ligature plate of my T ligature. It now holds the reed rather well! Plays much better than before:) The leather dampens vibration a bit, so I can't wait for my Ishimori. Never the less I think this was a pretty good short term fix.

It's a late 60's, early 70's Florida USA STM 6* (manufactured before the sale to Babbit in 1973) Ligature and cap were original, she has never been refaced or touched in any way shape or form.

**** I'll post the ligature photo's in the next post, I could only upload 8 photos here :( ****
 

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Congratulations! I've been playing exactly the same mouthpiece as my primary one for a while now, same tip #. Out of the dozen or so Links and Link-style pieces I have, this model is my favorite too. I use a Rovner ligature on mine. Enjoy it!
 

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You might find more depth and flexibility in your sound if you switched to a slightly less stiff tongue depressor as well. If you don’t bite it won’t close up no matter how much air you move.
 

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Also would definitely benefit from having that tip rail cleaned up a little bit.
 

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I just sold the Rovner that fits a metal Link, a Star Series SS-3ML. I only mention this because it is the liveliest ligature I've ever tried - I actually thought it might fit one of my baritone pieces but it was too big for the Level Air and too small for the Brancher HR. Tenor Link metal is one of the recommendations for it. I had to get the soprano version for my tenor Guardala but it is smoking.
Anyway, nice makeshift fix on your Link ligature.
 

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Arguable whether it'd be called a tip clean-up or re-facing, but for sure you won't be able to claim it original anymore. But with the tip messed up like this, I agree with others, you should have it redone by someone good. My Link was cleaned up by the late JVW, not just the tip but the entire facing. I recommend you reaching out to Brian Powell and asking him to clean all up, facing and tip as needed while keeping it as close to original as possible.

How do I go about cleaning up the Tip Rail, would that be considered re-facing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Arguable whether it'd be called a tip clean-up or re-facing, but for sure you won't be able to claim it original anymore. But with the tip messed up like this, I agree with others, you should have it redone by someone good. My Link was cleaned up by the late JVW, not just the tip but the entire facing. I recommend you reaching out to Brian Powell and asking him to clean all up, facing and tip as needed while keeping it as close to original as possible.

How do I go about cleaning up the Tip Rail, would that be considered re-facing?
What exactly would the re-face do, and is it really necessary?

This is my only mouthpiece, I struggle going one day without playing my horn, let alone the weeks it will take to have a it re-faced.

What could the condition of my tip be effecting?

Before anybody said anything, I thought my mouthpiece played fantastic! It was just as clean and even more responsive than my SR tech with an ishimori.

Even with a mangled ligature.

To the other poster, I dont bite or close the Reed. I can play far softer reeds without an issue, altissimo and overtones are just as good with a soft Reed. I just dont like the shrillness / edginess when I tried to play louder or give the horn my all. I much prefer the focus and projection a very stiff Reed provides, I feel I have even more control over my horn since I can play louder and really project if I so choose.
 

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With that, I wouldn't change anything then. Just play it and enjoy it. Refacing with minimum touch just means someone knowledgeable could perfect rails, tip and table, make it play easier, be more tolerant of various reeds, their slight differences or placement on the mouthpiece. But again if it's playing well for you as is and you depend on it I wouldn't change anything.

What exactly would the re-face do, and is it really necessary?

This is my only mouthpiece, I struggle going one day without playing my horn, let alone the weeks it will take to have a it re-faced.

What could the condition of my tip be effecting?

Before anybody said anything, I thought my mouthpiece played fantastic! It was just as clean and even more responsive than my SR tech with an ishimori.

Even with a mangled ligature.

To the other poster, I dont bite or close the Reed. I can play far softer reeds without an issue, altissimo and overtones are just as good with a soft Reed. I just dont like the shrillness / edginess when I tried to play louder or give the horn my all. I much prefer the focus and projection a very stiff Reed provides, I feel I have even more control over my horn since I can play louder and really project if I so choose.
 

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I don’t think the tip rail is bad enough to warrant a reface. Not saying it wouldn’t help, but if this your main piece don’t f*** with it. When and if you find a better piece, then and only then consider getting this one “cleaned up”.

I agree with others that you should try a softer reed. Too many people use a hard reed as a substitute for developing good breath control. That said, if you are happy with your sound and your playing, ignore what other ppl say :) I mean, think of Plas Johnson, or Ernie Watts, or a hundred other giants...
 

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I moved your thread to the correct section.

Congrats on your STM Florida USA mouthpiece, its looks very nice, but not fully original to me. The baffle doesn't have the original EB shape and it looks like the table had some cleaning (flattening). Not fully sure, could also be the strong light reflections in the pictures.
 

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My concern would be chirping. The slight nicks would make me nervous. But I agree that if the whole piece looked like a mangled reject from the garbage disposal but played the way you want DO NOT MESS WITH IT.

For tip rail see FAQ:

http://www.mojomouthpiecework.com/FA...5/Default.aspx

"Q. Why does my metal mouthpiece chirp and squeak when I play it?
A. I have thought quite a bit on the physics of chirping. The driving force is high pressure. Players almost never chirp at low sound volumes. If a piece is uneven or the facing curve has irregularities, it will not be responsive and a player needs to use more pressure to make it speak. With high pressure often comes a tighter embouchure that closes off the tip opening some. This geometry is prone to squeaking. Especially if the tip is uneven and/or the baffle is high near the tip. It allows the very tip of the reed to vibrate like a mini reed at high frequency. The high baffle focuses the air even more. Try taking more mouthpiece in and/or playing while forming an "Ahhh" with you oral cavity.

...."
 

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If there is too much material directly behind the tip rail, it can cause chirping.
I have found this through trial and error in pieces I have worked on.
When opening a piece up, if the baffle isn’t carefully taken down just behind the tip, it has often caused chirping even at low volumes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I realized those photos may not have been the best. I'll attach three new photos that I just took. - The scratches you see look to be in the finish, you can't feel them with your thumb - It feels smooth as a babies bottom.
I bought this piece from my Sax Tech. He collects / buys and sells vintage horns and gear, I trust him when he said this mouthpiece was never re-faced or touched, he also felt the blemishes would not effect performance by any means.

This is where I can chime in, she plays fantastic! I don't notice chirping or squeaking of any kind - Sometimes if I keep the reed slightly below the tip, but if I align my reed with the tip exactly (When you push down on the reed it closes up with the tip) I have no issues.
I can hit 8 over tones on Bb - C#. Altissimo is probably better than with my SR tech - Response is quicker, when I play 300bpm + I hear each note pop more and my lines stick out vs being blurred together like with my SR tech.

All of this is with my "modified ligature" I'm very excited to get my Ishimori (The US website I ordered from had an inventory issue, they actually didn't have the Brass Ishimori in stock. They do however have Solid Silver:) so I ordered one of those instead at a discount due to there error, should come in by the end of the week!

As far as soft reeds go, I've been playing on soft reeds for the last 9 months (Since getting back into music) Java red 3's and Daddario Select Jazz 3S / 3M. I had no issues with Altissimo or overtones, controlling the reed, intonation ETC. I just couldn't play at my full capacity - I was playing so quietly all of the time. I tried 4M on my 7* SR tech for ****s and giggles, it blew me away.... I had more focus and projection, I could do more with my horn, it sounded like I wanted to sound in my head! There absolutely playable on my Link, they just feel softer like when I had 3's on my SR tech (Firmer than that, but softer than 4M on my SR Tech) Thus I'd like to try out the 4H on this Link and see how it goes.


With regards to the re-face, if anything I bet the subtle blemishes in this mouthpiece add to the "Character of the sound" Perfectly machined pieces like the SR sound generic in comparison. This piece has something going for it, I don't think I want to mess with that! And I just started using this piece, I can't wait until I've had 6 months on it and really learn the in's and outs further developing my sound with it!

:)
 

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Looks like a keeper! You are right those are better photos.

I consider a D'Addario Select Jazz 3M to be a medium to medium hard reed, not soft, but hey, if the 4's work for you they work for you. Congrats on the new mouthpiece!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've been absolutely loving this mouthpiece guys. Last week I received my Solid Silver Ishimori ligature, she opened this mouthpiece up like a dream. I love the tone, colour, response!
Funny enough, I've been on a reed hunt again... I played the Java Reds for months - Tried all other Vandoren reeds and kept coming back to the Java's. When I found D'Addario Select Jazz I fell involve! They were a larger reed and fit the facing on my SR technologies mouthpiece better. Eventually I jumped to 4M which improved things again by 10 fold. I noticed that those reeds are a little large on the otto link (Dimension wise) It was always a hassle to align the reed properly, sometimes I had my wonky G and G# issue going on which first happened when I used Java's on my SR tech, but went away when I switched to the larger select jazz reeds. This made me think of the smaller vandoren reeds and how they may play on the Link. This week I have a box of Filed Select Jazz 4H coming in, instead of grabbing those I picked up a box of Vandoren V16's #4 (Why I didn't just choose Java Reds I have no Idea...) I wanted to try the unfiled V16 one more time - Initial impression was that they were much easier to line up on my link (There smaller in size) and they played beautifully. However I did not like the tone - The depth and richness was wonderful, but they play to mellow and dark for my liking. Swapping back to my Select Jazz was like night and day - Similar focus and depth, with more edge and sprinkle of brightness:) I however liked the smaller dimensions of the V16's. Alas I'm going to pick up a box of Java Reds #4 today and give them a try. If I re-call, I preferred the tone of the Java Reds to the Select Jazz, however I liked the playability of the Select Jazz (Fit my mouthpiece facing better)

Now that I'm on a smaller facing mouthpiece, it's time to go back to the Java Reds. They should give me everything that I'm looking for:)

I've also found a new saxophone! She's a rare treat, I'll post a thread next week when I have her! Lastly my KB neck should be here in less than a month, I can't wait!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Reeds... Reeds... Reeds.... Frustrating...... Java Reds weren't doing it for me either, I actually struggled with them since the spine is so thick, my embouchure didn't like taking in as much mouthpiece. I went back to the 4M DSJ I had and it felt far more comfortable, I also love the sound I get. Bright, Focused, Colourful. They're finicky but I can live with taking a few extra minutes to line them up on the mouthpiece. I just ordered a box of 4H as I had originally planned - the 4M played perfect fresh out of the gate, so a 4H should be wonderful once I've broken them in and may last a tad longer.

Reeds are expensive.......

I'm grateful that I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm using the right reeds:)
 

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When the O-ring thing on the Otto Link lig is jutting out and hitting the reed, I sand it down. It then seals properly and you don't have to buy another lig.
 

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Toungue depressor?

How do I go about cleaning up the Tip Rail, would that be considered re-facing?
That is a major component of refacing/resurfacing. I never know what people mean when they say clean up because all the functional elements of a mouthpiece work together. If you re-cut the tip you have already inherently changed the whole piece. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Better to have a piece of gear that you feel comfortable getting used to. If after a good while you feel like you have surpassed the setup you are using, consider getting it fixed/optimized for better performance. Believe me it can take a long time before your gear really can hold a player back where hard work would have sufficed.

Also some other good advice here. Nothing wrong with hard reeds but they aren't necessary for a good sound. I love pointing to Walt Weiskopf who plays a 5* with Jazz Select 3M. Beautiful example of really playing a Link.
 
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