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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have some old and new recorded soundclips of 'Honky Tonk Blues" played on four different Otto Link mouthpieces with a tip opening of 10* (0.135 inch). These mouthpieces are used: a metal Florida no USA 10* (1950-1960 model), a metal Early Babbitt 10* (1974 model), a HR Tone Edge 10* (1980-now model) and a metal New Vintage Tone Master 10* (2010 model). All takes are recorded on a Selmer SBA tenorsax of 1952 and a La Voz medium reed.

I just compiled one track out of the four takes and uploaded it to YouTube with a picture movie behind it showing which mouthpiece is played where in the clip. By opening the detailed description under the video you get a time index, which makes it easy to jump directly to a certain part of the recording.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA8uMZ2dMC8

or

Time index:
00:00 - Theme (no sax)
00:26 - Otto Link metal Florida no USA 10* (theme, 2 voices)
00:52 - Otto Link metal Florida no USA 10*
02:13 - Otto Link metal New Vintage Tone Master 10*
03:34 - Otto Link HR Tone Edge 10*
04:55 - Otto Link metal Earbly Babbitt 10*

My personal preference goes to the Florida no USA 10*.

Just posted these clips here for information. Please don't bother to much on my playing, I'm just an intermediate player who likes to make these kind of (silly!) comparisons.
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

Regardless of what you say, you don't sound like an 'intermediate' player to me. I agree with your #1 choice. If I had to pick a #2, maybe the HR Link. I like your sound on all of them - sounds to me like you've listened to a lot of Arnett Cobb's playing.
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

So the real question, how many Links do you have again?!?

I did like #1 the best. Metal FL no USA 10*. The HR did sound appealing also, and the Babbit sound is interesting although doesn't seem to fit your personality as much. I enjoy these comparisons - it's always interesting that while there is certainly a difference from mouthpiece to mouthpiece, a players identity or personality always shines through.

Nice subtone on the HR piece...definitely a darker sound on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

My favorite is the Otto Link metal Florida no USA 10*
Thanks for listening :).

Regardless of what you say, you don't sound like an 'intermediate' player to me. I agree with your #1 choice. If I had to pick a #2, maybe the HR Link. I like your sound on all of them - sounds to me like you've listened to a lot of Arnett Cobb's playing.
Thanks for the compliment, so mabye I'm an advanced intermediate :bluewink:. Indeed Arnett Cobb is my favorite tenor player, great that you hear some of that in my playing :).

So the real question, how many Links do you have again?!?

I did like #1 the best. Metal FL no USA 10*. The HR did sound appealing also, and the Babbit sound is interesting although doesn't seem to fit your personality as much. I enjoy these comparisons - it's always interesting that while there is certainly a difference from mouthpiece to mouthpiece, a players identity or personality always shines through.

Nice subtone on the HR piece...definitely a darker sound on that.
Thanks for listening Shawn :). I also like the HR Tone Edge (one of the 21 Links I have currently :mrgreen:), especially the low end. In the upper register it sounds a bit closed for me, just like the New Vintage Tone Master. I think those chambers are too big. The Early Babbitt projects very strong, just like the Florida no USA, but it's a bit too bright for my taste.
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

Thanks for the comparison. I enjoyed listening to the subtle differences between the pieces. Good sound on all. To my ears, the Early Babbit sounded very different than the other pieces, maybe brighter and more "in your face" for a Link. As always you have a nice vintage sound.
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

And yes the HR was definitely the darkest as Fsawas9 said, other than the NV Tonemaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

Thanks for the comparison. I enjoyed listening to the subtle differences between the pieces. Good sound on all. To my ears, the Early Babbit sounded very different than the other pieces, maybe brighter and more "in your face" for a Link. As always you have a nice vintage sound.
Thanks for your comments :). The EB was indeed quite "in your face", but I also played that take at full volume (the other takes where played softer). Also the more pronounced baffle of the EB Links makes a difference. The Florida no USA can also be very loud, but the sound stays fuller (darker).
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

I prefer (1) Florida and (2) EB.
The one I prefer less is the NV.
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

I liked the first and last (in the song). The modern one sounded really thin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

I prefer (1) Florida and (2) EB.
The one I prefer less is the NV.
I liked the first and last (in the song). The modern one sounded really thin.
The New Vintage sounds indeed a bit thin (especially in the upper register), but that could also be partly due to the reed. I used an old La Voz medium on it that was close to the end of it's lifecycle (same reed was used on the Tone Edge take). Mabye another reed gives better results, but I don't play both modern Links much, because the vintage pieces (Florida and EB) do sound so much better (IMO).
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

I keep thinking that if a refacer successfully messed with the rollover or added a SMALL wedge to the NV Tonemaster, it could be a much better piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

I keep thinking that if a refacer successfully messed with the rollover or added a SMALL wedge to the NV Tonemaster, it could be a much better piece.
Indeed installing a wedge could make the NV Tone Master (and the Tone Edge) a bit more responsive in the upper register, but I have already a lot of better playing pieces in my collection, so I won't invest money in that. Also a smaller tip piece could have some advantages for big chamber mouthpieces, sometimes in combination with a reface to a bigger tip (which creates some extra baffle). I recently played a NV Tone Master 9* at Hans Dulfer's place and that one had a bit more projection, but was (IMO) still not as good as a vintage Link can be. I guess the issue is related to the chamber configuration (slope and floor construction) of those newer Links.
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

Hi Peter-

I liked the EB STM the best, Florida STM #2, Tone Edge, and New Vintage Tonemaster.

You seemed to be taking some more risks with the EB and that added a different flavor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

Thanks for listening Jeff :). Soundwise the EB 10* is a bit too bright for me, but for as far as playing concerns I fully agree with you.

I recently bought a metal Early Babbitt 12 and that piece is a bit inbetween my Florida no USA 10* and the EB 10*. I like the sound very much and just recorded that same Honky Tonk Blues with it: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11352960
This track has some reverb on it, the 10* takes don't.

Plan to make another comparison like in this thread with that new EB 12 and some other pieces I have with a tip above 10* soon.
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

It’s funny; I like the New Vintage Tone Master best! It may be because it has a breathier sound at the start of the clip kind of Ben Websterish but it also has a nice fat sound. I play a 9* EB Super Tone Master but I recently picked up a 9* Vintage Tone Master cheap that I really like. It is not as loud as the EB but I really like the sound it gets. The only problem with it is the tip does not line up with the reeds. I have two vintage Tone Masters and they line up perfectly so I am not sure why they decided to make them that way. Because of the tip not lining up altissimo is pretty much non-existent and the piece doesn’t articulate as well as I am sure it could. I don’t play much altissimo but I do use it for effect like the Jazz and R&B guys used to so I do need it to work well. Red Prysock used it for great effect without playing much up there and I have stolen quite a few of his licks. LOL If it weren’t for that I would probably try it out on my gig. I may have to talk to a refacer about fixing it up.

PS Keep doing these, I love the vintage stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

Albey, I also think the New Vintage Tone Master has a nice low end and buzz to the sound, it's not a bad piece at all. But the highs are a bit thin, an issue I don't have with the FL and EB 10* Links.

I guess your 9* Vintage Tone Master is a recent New Vintage Tone Master, because the real Tone Master (1940-1950 Links) where never made in such a tip size (they came in max 5*, with occasionally a 6 or 7). I have some old Tone Masters, at present an original 5* and a refaced 8 (I had some others too). They play quite different compared to the New Vintage TM. Indeed my New Vintage TM also has a strange tip shape, not matching my reeds exactly. But I don't think that has to be an issue for altissimo: IMO the 'bad' altissimo of these pieces is due to the very deep chamber and sloping curve from the low baffle into the table. The high frequencies just die in those huge chambers.

I love Red Prysock, great sound he has :). I think he used different pieces in his career (Berg Larsen, Dukoff, Otto Link). A real great player like him can play on everything I guess!
 

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Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

I was surprised at how different the Florida no USA sounded compared to the others, and to my ear it was clearly the best sounding (I know it's subjective). The other three sounded kind of 'tubby.' I wonder if 10* is the most ideal size for those large chamber/low baffle mpcs. Much as I like large tip openings, I'd want more baffle with such a large tip. I think you'd get a bit more punch with a 7* or 8 tip with those low rollover baffles. That's just my preference, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Otto Link 4 x 10* MPC Comparison - Florida no USA vs Early Babbitt vs Tone Edge vs NV Tone Maste

JL, thanks for your comments. The Florida and EB have more baffle and a higher floor compared to the NV and Tone Edge, that's why they sound less 'tubby'. I have some medium tip pieces with a roll over, but I often find with those smaller tip pieces can't take all the air I would like to get through them. They also often sound a bit brigther than I prefer (depending on the baffle ofcourse). A lot about that has to do with a good breath control and technic, but I'm not an advanced player and still have to do a lot of work on those things. For me it's just fun to play around a bit with the vintage pieces I have and see what differences they give within my (limited) abilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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