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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so I have come to a conclusion... I'm probably going to have my Florida Era USA model Metal Otto Link touched up. WHY? Well, it plays fantastic... when the ligature is rotated to the right side of the mouthpiece in combination with a Mark VI or some more vibrant horn than my SBA.

So, one thing at a time. If I play the mouthpiece with the ligature centered on the piece the sound is brighter (which I like) but the mouthpiece isn't isn't as flexible (which I don't like). If I rotate the ligature to the right the mouthpiece plays very flexibly (which I like) much like a good mouthpiece should.

Why not just play it with the ligature rotated to the right? Well, in learning to rotate the ligature to the right, I've begun hearing my sound as it really is on this piece, and that is kind of dead in a certain sound spectrum (which I don't like). I think it has to do with the horn to some degree, as when I play Mark VIs, the sound is much more alive (same mouthpiece).

I love my horns flexibility and character, and after a close call I've decided to keep it, which means I need to address the mouthpiece situation. I've played other mouthpieces (hard rubber) that sound more alive on my horn (I have recordings as proof!), so I have hope that I can find a good match. HOWEVER, this Otto Link is close (minus the dead spot) to the sound I want (and even thought I had).

I know the rails are uneven. Ken Barry from Saxscape confirmed it for me.

Should I have the rails matched up? Should I have the mouthpiece slightly closed to make it a little brighter? Should I do anything? Should I just go shed (I do that a lot, which has grown my ear into the predicament I'm in now)? SOTW, help me, your my only hope. :bluewink:

EDIT: Yes its the facing curve that is uneven, and YES, that same deadness is present even when I play with the ligature in its centered, brighter, less flexible position.

EDIT: The best way I could describe the deadness is a lack of punch in the mids. I have done a medium amount of experimentation with reed brands, and that doesn't seem to make a difference, meaning a brighter reed doesn't take away the deadness.
 

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Some may argue but I dont see how you can lose on a job done properly. It should not take doing lig yoga to get a piece to play. Aside from that you still are not happy. Just because it is vintage does not mean it should not be touched. A larger percentage of the old links played better but they were still mass produced pieces. A really screwed up piece is just that. Being a Fla it has potential. I see no reason for you not to tap into it.
 

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Remember, when you reface a mouthpiece, you better have a back-up. Theres no guarantee that the mouthpiece will play better than it does now. You may not like it when the rails are balanced. It's like shooting crap. It's safer to adjust your ligature or move your reed. Most refaced mouthpieces suck. They almost all end up on ebay.
 

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Some may argue but I dont see how you can lose on a job done properly. It should not take doing lig yoga to get a piece to play. Aside from that you still are not happy. Just because it is vintage does not mean it should not be touched. A larger percentage of the old links played better but they were still mass produced pieces. A really screwed up piece is just that. Being a Fla it has potential. I see no reason for you not to tap into it.
Do you give a money back quarantee if it don't work.
 

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Refacing is always a gamble. Even if you bring your piece to one of the top refacers, any small change will alter the tone and response of your piece. I know you are very demanding of your equipment and as a consequence you will hear and feel the difference. Your piece should play better, but that's not necessarily what's the most important. The question is : will you like it as much or more after the refacing? There's no guarantee. I wouldn't send my main piece for refacing without a backup I'd be happy to stay with, that's just too risky.

Edit : we must have been posting at the same time martin...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Refacing is always a gamble. Even if you bring your piece to one of the top refacers, any small change will alter the tone and response of your piece. I know you are very demanding of your equipment and as a consequence you will hear and feel the difference. Your piece should play better, but that's not necessarily what's the most important. The question is : will you like it as much or more after the refacing? There's no guarantee. I wouldn't send my main piece for refacing without a backup I'd be happy to stay with, that's just too risky.

Edit : we must have been posting at the same time man...
Maybe, I should give mine another week or 2 before deciding I'm unhappy with it and sending it to the possible gallows then. Thanks for the warning.
 

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Refacing is always a gamble. Even if you bring your piece to one of the top refacers, any small change will alter the tone and response of your piece. I know you are very demanding of your equipment and as a consequence you will hear and feel the difference. Your piece should play better, but that's not necessarily what's the most important. The question is : will you like it as much or more after the refacing? There's no guarantee. I wouldn't send my main piece for refacing without a backup I'd be happy to stay with, that's just too risky.

Edit : we must have been posting at the same time martin...
I'm sorry. I type very slow.
 

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Maybe, I should give mine another week or 2 before deciding I'm unhappy with it and sending it to the possible gallows then. Thanks for the warning.
You wouldn't be taking your piece to the gallows, I don't think. Just choose an expert refacer who is willing to work with you to get exactly what you want from the piece.

Wolfe Tayne is still refacing pieces. He charges a measly $50 + $5 shipping and will reface the mpc for free if you don't like the work done.

http://www.focusedfacings.com/101.html

60 years in the mpc business is a long time.
 

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I wouldn't send my main piece for refacing without a backup I'd be happy to stay with, that's just too risky.
I wouldn't send my main piece for refacing AT ALL!!!! Get a good back-up piece, and send IT for refacing. I think Adam Niewood puts it very well on his site:

"I don't make a habit of working on player's main #1 mouthpieces; that is a recipe for disaster... I prefer to attempt to work with a piece someone is not happy with, and turn it into a good back up, (or even better) the new #1."

This is the approach you should take - if you send your main piece for work, you're just looking for trouble.
 

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But he is unhappy with the piece.

I am no refacer, but if it has uneven rails, it will not play up to its full potential.
 

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But he is unhappy with the piece.

I am no refacer, but if it has uneven rails, it will not play up to its full potential.
My main piece has a concave table and a facing that's a little uneven, with a length that's a bit too short for the tip opening. I wouldn't let anyone touch it.

The tricky thing is "efficiency" and "evenness" is someone else's "too free blowing" and "lack of character".
 

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A mouthpiece doesn't have to be messed up to have character. The things you like about your Link are built in with the excellent chamber design and baffle profile.

I say get it sorted out, but I wouldn't close it to get a little more brightness. That should come anyway once it's working properly. A good facing curve and properly defined tip is all it takes to make a Florida Link sing. Yes, I'm typically reluctant to work on a guy's main piece, but not when it's a mess. If it's broken, fix it.


Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A mouthpiece doesn't have to be messed up to have character. The things you like about your Link are built in with the excellent chamber design and baffle profile.

I say get it sorted out, but I wouldn't close it to get a little more brightness. That should come anyway once it's working properly. A good facing curve and properly defined tip is all it takes to make a Florida Link sing. Yes, I'm typically reluctant to work on a guy's main piece, but not when it's a mess. If it's broken, fix it.
The thing is already plenty bright on a Mark VI. Its on my silver plated/gold washed SBA that its not doing the job. When and if I do this, I'll definitely have the rails done first, and see how that goes first. Thanks for the advice!.
 

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Hi Ben do you use the original ligature? If so maybe you should try out a rovner. In my case it solved many response issues. It would certainly be a better investment than possibly ruining a vintage link, that you actually like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Ben do you use the original ligature? If so maybe you should try out a rovner. In my case it solved many response issues. It would certainly be a better investment than possibly ruining a vintage link, that you actually like.
I have a few different ligatures, and the original is one I really like out of the bunch. They all manifest the same response problems which are fixed when rotated to the right. Thanks for the suggestions. I actually really hate Rovners, and I think they sound terrible for any genre/style of sax playing. I suggest you get rid of your rovner (seriously)! They muffle the sound and take out some of the important overtones in the saxophone sound spectrum. You'll be better off without it. The ease of response you're experiencing can also be experienced with a normal (non-muffling) ligature, a well working mouthpiece, and a good embouchure.
 

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I have a few different ligatures, and the original is one I really like out of the bunch. They all manifest the same response problems which are fixed when rotated to the right. Thanks for the suggestions. I actually really hate Rovners, and I think they sound terrible for any genre/style of sax playing. I suggest you get rid of your rovner (seriously)! They muffle the sound and take out some of the important overtones in the saxophone sound spectrum. You'll be better off without it. The ease of response you're experiencing can also be experienced with a normal (non-muffling) ligature, a well working mouthpiece, and a good embouchure.
Well I tried a bunch of them on my Florida link including a FL, different BGs and the like. I ended up buying the rovner because it handled the best and had the best price. Soundwise it wasn't my favourite but the issues I had with the original Lig were gone and that was my goal.
But that's just my opinion and other people my have different experiences including John Coltrane or George Coleman for example ;)
 

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Ben, from reading about your issue my advice would be to ask a top grade refacer to balance the facing curve of your Florida (and checking the flatness of the table). I own lots of vintage Links, from which some have been refaced (or touched) before I got them. I have two Florida no USA pieces (a 10* and 9) that are both checked and touched by the great Brian Powell. Both pieces sound and play very good IMO. My guess would be that just balancing a facing curve shouldn't have to much impact on the sound, but (like stated by others here) you can never be sure. That's why you have to talk with a refacer about your exact requirements BEFORE he starts the job, to get a feeling about the risques.

It looks to me that the issue with the sound on the SBA (the dead spot) comes mainly from your sax (ofcourse in combi with the Florida mouthpiece). Do you encounter the same issue with other MPC's on the SBA? It could be that cleaning up the facing of your Florida will solve it. I don't have that issue at all at my SBA in combination with Florida's, but ofcourse your ears and playing skills are far beyond mine.

Did you ever try another neck on your SBA? I have two necks for my SBA and they sound quite different (one is much darker). I made a soundclip on YouTube and posted that in this SOTW thread (in case you would be interested to hear the differences):
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?157187-Selmer-SBA-Neck-Comparison-Blues
 
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