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Discussion Starter #1
I recently got this cool STM on ebay, inclusive a silver cap and lig. The seller stated (in polish only) that it was made of solid silver, which seems to be true, since there is no brass visible anywhere. Based on the appearance, it is an early babbit model (stm, large font 7 on the side of the mpc). Now I was wondering if anyone knows more about this model, because I could not find any information on the net. When were these made? What was the occasion?
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Note that the fact no brass is visible doesn't necessarily point to solid silver. I have a silver plated mouthpiece with no brass visible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay... I try to put some up tonight. Can someone give me the weight of a early babbit STM for comparison? There should be some significant difference, if it is silver.
 

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It's most probably a silver plated STM Early Babbitt (I never heard of solid silver ones). If it has a tied fit on the cork it is from around 1974, a wider fit dates it between 1975 and 1980. Also some longer models (transitionals) exist. I have five normal gold plated metal EB's (8, 8*, 10, 10* and 12), but no means to weigh them accurately.

I assume you are familiar with these info sites (also showing pictures of silver plated EB's):
http://www.mouthpiecemuseum.com/MouthpieceMuseum/OttoLink.html
http://www.theowanne.com/knowledge/mouthpiece-museum/mouthpiece-museum-otto-link
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I know these pages but I cannot find any information about STMs in silver... it is merely saying they were "silver plated under the gold". This one has no gold anywhere, so it is unlikely that it was worn off by use. Here are some pics. Some have a yellow tint, this is because of the light. Actually it is very very silver :) in daylight.













 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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This one has no gold anywhere, so it is unlikely that it was worn off by use.
I've seen Links with all the gold worn off, exposing just the "silver" coloured nickel plate underneath. However your photo does look like silver rather than nickel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes indeed. The surface has this very white glossy appearance. Also, if it is early babbit it is likely not plated with rhodium if I get the mouthpiece museum right. Plus the cap and the lig are also silver.
 

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On the pictures your mouthpiece looks silver plated to me, it doesn't look like worn off gold plate (I have enough of those to recognize that!). I don't think the ligature is an original Early Babbitt type, it looks like a (silver plated) modern STM lig. So my best guess still is that this is an old EB Link that was silver plated on request together with a modern STM lig and cap.

I will ask SOTW member Horned Toad to have a look, who is a real expert on old Links (I'm only a collector / player).
 

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It appears to be silver plated to my eye. I have enough pieces plated to recognize the texture easily, could be wrong, but it LOOKS silver plated. The only way to tell I guess is to find a less visible spot and file a tiny bit.. probably you will see bras showing through.

Now before you get silly and do that, let's think for one second: The ligature is not an original EB ligature, but besides that, NO ONE (at Babbitt as far as I know) makes silver plated ligatures or caps, and the ligature has the exact same silver surface and color as the mouthpiece. We know the cap and lig are brass and they have been plated, and the plating matches the mouthpiece surface exactly ... result: the whole set was silver plated.
 

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Looks silver plated to me too. Links that look silver from a gold layer being worn off are showing the nickel layer that was under the gold. Nickel is a hard layer of plating. Gold can usually still be seen in the engraved low spots.

If it was silver, it is usually also worn off in spots showing the brass (sometimes you can see a bit of copper too... Like when refacing a modern STM).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Before I damage my toy I will try to find a place where I can get a measuring glass. Then I can find out by the density, what I got... hopefully they have those in this land of milk and honey :D How about that?
 

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Before I saw the pics I was betting this was an aftermarket job or one contracted out to Babbitt as they have taken custom orders over time.

That is my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone! I made the density check. It is around 8.6 which means some kind of brass :) Mystery solved. Thank god I did not pay for silver.
 
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