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Hi,

So I am considering the purchase of a STM. I currently play a standard Tone Edge in 7*, which feels fine (7 would too, I guess but an 8 opening would not) and someone lent me a STM NY in 7*. It's overall OK, but I would be much mor comfortable on a 7 opening I think.

My question is : is the standard STM easier to play than the NY, in which cas I could take the 7*, or should I stick to the 7 ? I won't be able to try them.

Thanks !
 

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the biggest difference will be which piece is made better since it can be hit and miss when it comes to out of the box links. Ive found the NY to be a tad more forgiving than the stabdard stm but again. Really its a crap shoot. Make sure you have the option to return it if it is wonky
 

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+1 to Phil's answer. I own a couple STMs and one New York model. The issue with the New York is that the shank is significantly smaller in diameter, which means that your cork will have to be sanded. That said, it's better than the stock STMs, and frankly all of them could use some tweaking by a refacer.

If you want a good playing Link, get one of the Phil-Tone Tribute LTD mouthpieces. I have an original Tribute (7*) and it is just fabulous. What a STM wants to be when it grows up.
 

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I too have played Phil's Tribute on tenor for over 5 years now - his version of the best of the older STMs. Those new STM's can be quite costly and I have tried a few over the years and they are miles away from Phil's Tribute. I got the NY cheap and sold it on. Playing it and then going back to the Tribute was a joy - not a bad way to rediscover just how good you mpc actually is. I have also tried STMs and my impression was there was less rigorous quality checks.

There are other copies of the STMs around as well as the STMs. I just feel that for the money they go for new it may be safer to look a something more reliable.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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Agree with all of the comments here so far (except for @skeller047's comment about the bore diameters, which wasn't my personal experience).

I've had several standard STM's and their playability varied quite a bit.

However, for a few years (until very recently) I owned an STM and a NY from about the same vintage (early 2000's) both refaced nearly identically by Brian Powell, and there was virtually no difference between them. I finally ended up selling the standard STM, but I still have the NY version.

I think though many of Babbitt's designs are quite good, their quality control is notoriously sketchy, so unless you're willing to get a piece refaced, or have the ability to try a few of them before buying, you're better off getting something more reliable.
 

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Regarding the bore diameter of the NY vs. the standard STM, I'm not the only one who has noticed this. There have also been comments here on SOTW and on YouTube about the standard Tone Edge vs the Vintage models, and the Otto Link Florida model vs standard STM.

It's not a huge deal, but I got my New York model at a time when I was trying a bunch of different mouthpieces (read: during a mouthpiece GAS crisis). I ended up spending an hour with some sandpaper and a dowel to open the shank of that piece so it would fit the cork the same as the other pieces I was playing. That said, it was also noticeably better than a stock STM.

Bottom line, the Tribute stopped my tenor mouthpiece search...
 

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Regarding the bore diameter of the NY vs. the standard STM, I'm not the only one who has noticed this. There have also been comments here on SOTW and on YouTube about the standard Tone Edge vs the Vintage models, and the Otto Link Florida model vs standard STM.

It's not a huge deal, but I got my New York model at a time when I was trying a bunch of different mouthpieces (read: during a mouthpiece GAS crisis). I ended up spending an hour with some sandpaper and a dowel to open the shank of that piece so it would fit the cork the same as the other pieces I was playing. That said, it was also noticeably better than a stock STM.

Bottom line, the Tribute stopped my tenor mouthpiece search...
I didn't mean to discount your experience (I apologize if my comment read that way). I was just saying that, while in agreement with the rest of your post, I couldn't confirm that particular aspect of it.

As I mentioned above, though I've owned a bunch of standard STM's, the only NY I've ever owned (and still own), is the one refaced by Brian Powell, and I bought it refaced. So it's possible that he (or the previous owner) opened up the bore like you did before I bought the mouthpiece.
 

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No worries, @mmichel. I didn't take your comment that way, just wanted to make sure that the issue was highlighted.

These bores are not so tight that they don't work, but they are tight enough that you have to either sand (or seriously compress) the cork, or ream the bore. Adriene Spencer (SirValorSax on YouTube) commented that he only plays that his vintage mouthpiece on a different neck because of this bore tightness.
 

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I have a couple of pretty good stock Otto Links: a 6* STM and a 7 STM NY for my tenor. I bought them used off eBay, wow, about 10 years ago by now, and I have the same experience with the shank bore. (Got them pretty cheap expecting to have them refaced/tuned up but nope, they work just fine for me.) The NY is a bit more reed and altissimo friendly than the STM but I use the STM more and it works great for 99% of my application. I thought about having the NY bored out a bit to fit but have decided to go the different neck since I have a Vandoren mouthpiece I also like with nearly same bore as the NY.

So, to answer the OP's question, I would say my NY is a tad easier to play, but, man, it all depends on the reed. With the right reed the STM plays just fine, bottom and/or top end, for me. Caveat emptor however - your mileage may vary! Make sure your lig holds the reed tight and sealed on the table as well. Late model STM/NYs ligs can be suspect to not do so.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 
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