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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Anyone knows when Otto Link ligatures became as they are today? Did it change in 60s, 70s, 80s, etc.?
Someone is selling a couple of old Otto Link ligatures. He doesn't know how old and I don't have images of them.
I heard the old Link ligatures were very good. I tried 4 of the recent productions and didn't like any of them.
I read in SOTW that the old Link ligatures were good. I like to know how old it should be to be "good".
I read they had thinner plate, and screw barrel. Not sure what that does but I had hard time securing my reed unless it got so tight that it was hard to open. Also the plate was moving around when turning the screw. Can someone explain what the job of the barrel (which is not in recent production anymore)?
If there are any other differences, I appreciate if you can share.

I have other ligatures but I like to have a very good vintage Otto Link metal tenor sax ligature.

Not sure what they are going for these days and how easy it is to get one.

Thank you.
 

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I have some older Florida STM Link ligatures with the T stamp and find them ordinary at best.
In fact I really don’t use them as they don’t hold a reed firmly on any of my Florida pieces.
I now just use a Selmer 404 instead.
 

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The biggest reason for STM lig failure, I think, is if the ridge is not in the perfect center, the lig is forced by the ridge to be off center of the reed. Next is probably a flimsy plate. The 404 is the fix.
 

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I’ve always used 404s. They are great but add a little Selmer focus to the sound for me. I recently purchased an enlightened ligature. It feels and responds like a “corrected” STM ligature when I have the thick brass plate installed. I’m very surprised how good it is. Highly recommended.
 

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I’ve always used 404s. They are great but add a little Selmer focus to the sound for me. I recently purchased an enlightened ligature. It feels and responds like a “corrected” STM ligature when I have the thick brass plate installed. I’m very surprised how good it is. Highly recommended.
What size Enlightened best fits a metal Link? Seems like they make about 5-6 different tenor sizes ...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all. I will definitely look for Selmer 404 and also Enlightened ligature. I just checked Theo Wanne's website (T-OL for metal Link). Meanwhile I am also getting Marc Jean ligature which is available in Canada right now. I am curious to know what it does on Florida Link.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I’ve always used 404s. They are great but add a little Selmer focus to the sound for me. I recently purchased an enlightened ligature. It feels and responds like a “corrected” STM ligature when I have the thick brass plate installed. I’m very surprised how good it is. Highly recommended.
Thank you blue boy. That's helpful to know. Does it come with different plate material? If so, what plate material do you use and why?
 

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Z
Thank you all. I will definitely look for Selmer 404 and also Enlightened ligature. I just checked Theo Wanne's website (T-OL for metal Link). Meanwhile I am also getting Marc Jean ligature which is available in Canada right now. I am curious to know what it does on Florida Link.
Actually I often use a Marc Jean two screw lig on my STM 10.
It works nicely.
Hold the reed firmly and is a good fit for the USA pieces and no USA pieces.
 

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Thank you blue boy. That's helpful to know. Does it come with different plate material? If so, what plate material do you use and why?
Mine did. It was the ligature and 4 other plates. It seems there are some different plates these days. There used to be a thick copper plate, which was not part of my package. I like them in this order....

1. Thick brass - feels like a great STM lig
2. The alive gold - this came installed on mine and is exactly what the name says. Vibrant, but not shrill sound.
3. Titanium - vibrant like the gold, but more boxed in feeling.
4. Stainless steel - vibrant but boxed in to a more clean/clear sound with less color
5. Vintified - Rovner ;)

These are my observations on a Potter Link Clone 7* with Rigotti Gold 3S. I go for a classic jazz tenor sound with a little more focus and clarity. I blow on the bright side.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mine did. It was the ligature and 4 other plates. It seems there are some different plates these days. There used to be a thick copper plate, which was not part of my package. I like them in this order....

1. Thick brass - feels like a great STM lig
2. The alive gold - this came installed on mine and is exactly what the name says. Vibrant, but not shrill sound.
3. Titanium - vibrant like the gold, but more boxed in feeling.
4. Stainless steel - vibrant but boxed in to a more clean/clear sound with less color
5. Vintified - Rovner ;)

These are my observations on a Potter Link Clone 7* with Rigotti Gold 3S. I go for a classic jazz tenor sound with a little more focus and clarity. I blow on the bright side.
Thanks for the tip.
 

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Older Link ligatures (with the "T" on the thumbscrew) tend to be better - the plate and screw connection is better made, allowing the plate to "float" correctly. I used on on a Link for many years, and found that adding a piece of old pad leather onto the plate really improved the holding power of the ligature.

Newer versions are hit-and-miss, with the emphasis on the miss. Mostly because the plate tends to "lock" onto the screw, and twist once it gets under a little pressure on the reed, thus moving the reed off-center. I've tried the Enlightened ligature, and my advice is save your money (they are quite expensive). They work better than the Link lig, but there are still issues with a good hold, it's too easy for the ligature to slip when adjusting the mouthpiece. If that doesn't bother you, it will work fine.

Another option, less than either the Enlightened Ligature or the 404, is the D'Addario / Rico "H" ligature - I have a couple of these laying around and they work well. You might have to bend them a little to work over the middle hump on Links, especially if it's off center. They won't work on the new "Vintage" model because that mouthpiece is a little bit larger...

Even cheaper is the D'Addario / Rico standard inverted ligature. It's very minimal, light, it's inverted (which I think is a good thing), and works very well. That's the ligature I use on my Tribute mouthpiece, and because it's nickel plated, it looks good on it :) For my tastes, it's the best option, and it's definitely the cheapest !
 

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The Selmer 404 is probably your best bet; it's affordable, easy to find, easy to use, and gets the job done. I've recently been happy with an Ishimori ligature, too, but it's significantly more expensive and basically does the same thing as the Selmer 404.
 

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I have all kind of Link ligatures (and metal mouthpieces) from the 30's till current and you find good and less good examples in all models.

I general the Florida ligatures are seen as better, but it really depends on the one example you have and how it fits your STM mouthpiece.

For the record: I played for 20 years an EB STM 8* with the original ligature (a Florida USA type), which worked great. For the last 10 years I play a 10* Florida no USA with a modern STM ligature, which combo also works great (that ligature fits better than some of the original Florida ones I have)!

So I wouldn't chase a purchase for a vintage ligature (they are expensive) and would just try one on your piece which fits well and holds the reed tight and on a fixed place. That could be a Selmer 404, like many mentioned, but I don't have experience with them because one of my many Link ligatures also does do the job for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Older Link ligatures (with the "T" on the thumbscrew) tend to be better - the plate and screw connection is better made, allowing the plate to "float" correctly. I used on on a Link for many years, and found that adding a piece of old pad leather onto the plate really improved the holding power of the ligature.

Newer versions are hit-and-miss, with the emphasis on the miss. Mostly because the plate tends to "lock" onto the screw, and twist once it gets under a little pressure on the reed, thus moving the reed off-center. I've tried the Enlightened ligature, and my advice is save your money (they are quite expensive). They work better than the Link lig, but there are still issues with a good hold, it's too easy for the ligature to slip when adjusting the mouthpiece. If that doesn't bother you, it will work fine.

Another option, less than either the Enlightened Ligature or the 404, is the D'Addario / Rico "H" ligature - I have a couple of these laying around and they work well. You might have to bend them a little to work over the middle hump on Links, especially if it's off center. They won't work on the new "Vintage" model because that mouthpiece is a little bit larger...

Even cheaper is the D'Addario / Rico standard inverted ligature. It's very minimal, light, it's inverted (which I think is a good thing), and works very well. That's the ligature I use on my Tribute mouthpiece, and because it's nickel plated, it looks good on it :) For my tastes, it's the best option, and it's definitely the cheapest !
Thanks for the info. I knew about H ligature. It's good to know people are happy about them too. 👍🏼
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have all kind of Link ligatures (and metal mouthpieces) from the 30's till current and you find good and less good examples in all models.

I general the Florida ligatures are seen as better, but it really depends on the one example you have and how it fits your STM mouthpiece.

For the record: I played for 20 years an EB STM 8* with the original ligature (a Florida USA type), which worked great. For the last 10 years I play a 10* Florida no USA with a modern STM ligature, which combo also works great (that ligature fits better than some of the original Florida ones I have)!

So I wouldn't chase a purchase for a vintage ligature (they are expensive) and would just try one on your piece which fits well and holds the reed tight and on a fixed place. That could be a Selmer 404, like many mentioned, but I don't have experience with them because one of my many Link ligatures also does do the job for me.
Ok. Thanks. I will definitely check out some of the newer production Otto Link ligatures too.
 
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