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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I have a question about a Otto Link STM mouthpiece I bought from the Original owner. It comes with the Original Pompano Florida box and T ligature but the font size is as big as on my Early Babbitt Link STM. A friend told me that there were "Early" Early Babbitt that were still made in Florida. It has less baffle than my Early Babbitt and plays more like the Floridas I had before.
Has anybody heart of this model? On the flow chart from Theo Wanne the bigger font (ca. 4mm) makes it to an Early Babbitt.
Any info would be helpful? By the way the mpc is for sale as I keep playing my Retro Revival DR NY.

Here are some pics:

View attachment 190122 View attachment 190130 View attachment 190138 View attachment 190146 View attachment 190114

Thanks,
Thomas
 

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Kanne, check this post of Theo Wanne:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ginal-facing&p=2580547&viewfull=1#post2580547

In 1973 JJ Babbitt bought all the ‘old’ blanks left over from the Pompano Beach, Florida factory. These mouthpieces became ‘transitional’ Florida Otto Links as they had the older Florida bodies, but where faced and plated using the later JJ Babbitt methods.
...
Molds and Bore Diameter:
A Florida made mouthpiece has a bore diameter of 0.662”. JJ Babbitt changed molds in 1973. The bore diameter fluctuated, though all were significantly larger than 0.662”.
...
Plating:
• Vintage New York and ‘Double Band Super Tone Master’ Otto Links had a Silver substrate under the gold.
• ‘No USA’ and ‘USA’ Metal Super Tone Master Otto Links prior to 1973 had nickel plating under the gold. A nickel substrate along with the bore size of 0.662” are the true ‘marks’ of a Florida Otto Link.
• In 1973 all Otto Links where plated at Anderson Silver Plating (right next door to JJ Babbitt in Elkhart Indiana) who has never, and still does not, use nickel. Hence, all post 1973 Otto Links have silver plating as a substrate underneath the gold plating.

The transitional Otto Links mentioned above have the 0.662” bore diameter, but the denim table and silver substrate under gold. These are the only exception to the plating rule above that I have seen.

Font Size:
Most Florida mouthpieces had a 3/32” font stamp. The NY mouthpieces were smaller, about 1/16”. And the JJ Babbitt mouthpieces used about a 1/8” font.
So if your EB has a small bore size of 0.662" and silver plating under the gold it's made from the old Florida USA blanks, but faced and plated by J.J. Babbitt after they bought Otto Link (around 1973/1974). They have the big font size of EB's.

Mouthpieces created from J.J. Babbitt blanks (produced between 1974/5-1980) had the larger bore size and silver plating under the gold.

I have two EB's of the earliest model (with the small bore) and three of the later. Baffle heights are all over the place, one early type has a lower baffle (like yours) and the other a higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
mrpeebee, your post was very helpful. Thanks a lot for the info.

The bore of the mouthpieces is around 16,8 mm (ca. 0,66"). Too me it looks more like nickel plating than silver. So I guess this mouthpiece is a late Florida USA blank that has been finished in Elkhart.
 

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The bore of the mouthpieces is around 16,8 mm (ca. 0,66"). Too me it looks more like nickel plating than silver. So I guess this mouthpiece is a late Florida USA blank that has been finished in Elkhart.
That's how it also looks to me (an early Early Babbitt of around 1973/4).
 

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Could you tell that what ’significantly larger bore’ means?
If EB made from Florida blanks is 0.662” , how much approximately would later models shank inner diameter be?
Thanks!
-Pete
 

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As a clarification for myself; is bore in this thread meaning; from the base of the opening window measured from table surface to the bottom of the roof of the mouthpiece or chamber OR the diameter of the shank? Ocurred to me that maybe I did not understand this correctly.
Asking this because did read from saxophone.org that EB is tighter shank than Florida STMs. And first EBs were made from Florida blanks, right.
So are we talking about two different things here?

Hopefully you get my meaning.
 

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As a clarification for myself; is bore in this thread meaning; from the base of the opening window measured from table surface to the bottom of the roof of the mouthpiece or chamber OR the diameter of the shank? Ocurred to me that maybe I did not understand this correctly.
Asking this because did read from saxophone.org that EB is tighter shank than Florida STMs. And first EBs were made from Florida blanks, right.
So are we talking about two different things here?

Hopefully you get my meaning.
Bore in this discussion is meant as the inside diameter of the shank.

I'm not sure about how big the difference between late Florida and late Early Babbitt is. I have examples of those in my collection, but no precise way to measure the inside bore diameter at the shank.

I didn't find the differences saxophone.org mentioned. My Florida's all have about the same bore size as the earliest Early Babbitt's. I say about because they all differ slightly, even one model can be made from different blanks in the life-cycle of that model. My main mouthpiece (a Florida no USA 10* from the 1950's) has a wider bore than all my other FL's and early EB's, but not as wide as the modern pieces (late EB's and modern STM's from after 1980).
 

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The is lots of variance within the so called periods of vintage STMs. I have two Early Babbitt STMs for tenor, both expertly refaced by Sebastian Knox. They are within .003" of each other in tip opening and both have large font numbers on the side. The big difference is in the body width and the window width as one of the Links is obviously wider in both these areas. Both play very well. My personal preference is for the one with smaller window/thinner body.
 

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https://www.saxophone.org/museum/mouthpieces/model/194

Here is mentioned difference in bore size
That's not my experience and also not what Theo Wanne writes on his Otto Link mouthpiece history site (which is in line with my experience):
https://theowanne.com/knowledge/mouthpiece-museum/otto-link-mouthpieces/

TRANSITIONAL EARLY BABBITT SUPER TONE MASTER:
They had the smaller bore diameters of the Florida models, and were nickel plated under the gold (like the Florida models). They had a larger font number stamped on the side of the body like the Early Babbitt models though.
1975 EARLY BABBITT SUPER TONE MASTER:
These mouthpieces were the first produces at the Babbitt factory after Otto Link’s move to Elkhart, Indiana. They tended to have very good projection, and were quite bright due to a high but short step-baffle. The window was narrower at the tip, adding a bit more focused sound than the earlier Florida models. They had a larger font number stamped on the side of the body, had a larger bore diameter, and were silver plated under the gold.
I read that remark about EB's being the brightest Link's a lot, but I've played Florida no USA's with more projection and brightness than EB's. Lot's of opinions, but I know Theo Wanne has seen a lot of Links and I value his opinion highly.
 

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I don’t necessarily agree with the notion that EB pieces are brighter.
My darkest Links are my Late Florida pieces (73-74).
My EB 9* and 10* pieces are similar in darkness.
The brightest Link I had was a no USA 9*.
 

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I find EB's stuffy bright most of the time. They are darker and stuffier for me than the USA and No USAs, but still have a weird brightness on top.

I wouldn't say they are the brightest Links though. I'd say the NO USAs with the thinner body take the cake on that.

Have fun playing horn!

Sent from my HD1925 using Tapatalk
 

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I find EB's stuffy bright most of the time. They are darker and stuffier for me than the USA and No USAs, but still have a weird brightness on top.

I wouldn't say they are the brightest Links though. I'd say the NO USAs with the thinner body take the cake on that.

Have fun playing horn!

Sent from my HD1925 using Tapatalk
Simon, I feel that your experience is the same as mine. I know many people tout the 70's STM's as being the brightest and they certainly have the most baffle but they are so heavy and unfinished that to me they have a stuffy feel like I can't put the air through. Very narrow voice from stock in my experience. It's like they don't ring or anything. I like the Links with no USA and have a shorter shank with the heavy rollover, not flat baffle. They play can play amazingly well as is or if you modify the baffle to be longer, very very powerful and a bit fuller.
 

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Simon, I feel that your experience is the same as mine. I know many people tout the 70's STM's as being the brightest and they certainly have the most baffle but they are so heavy and unfinished that to me they have a stuffy feel like I can't put the air through. Very narrow voice from stock in my experience. It's like they don't ring or anything.
That's also my experience (that no USA's can be brighter with more projection than EB's, as I wrote earlier in this thread), but there are also good EB''s with a nice ring in the sound. I have five STM EB's in my collection and my original EB 8* (which is a transitional EB, made from a Florida blank) has a real nice sound with a nice ring (with the right reed). It was for about 20 years my main mouthpiece, before I shifted about 10 years ago to a Florida no USA 10* (which can take more air).
Here is a sound clip on my EB 8*: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mur1QptxCX8

I like the Links with no USA and have a shorter shank with the heavy rollover, not flat baffle. They play can play amazingly well as is or if you modify the baffle to be longer, very very powerful and a bit fuller.
I have an original one like that too (in a 9 tip)! Very nice piece which can become quiet bright when pushed. More bright than my slightly later build Florida no USA 10*, which I prefer and is my current main mouthpiece..
Here is a sound clip on my Florida no USA 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL621LKJtgs
 

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That's also my experience (that no USA's can be brighter with more projection than EB's, as I wrote earlier in this thread), but there are also good EB''s with a nice ring in the sound. I have five STM EB's in my collection and my original EB 8* (which is a transitional EB, made from a Florida blank) has a real nice sound with a nice ring (with the right reed). It was for about 20 years my main mouthpiece, before I shifted about 10 years ago to a Florida no USA 10* (which can take more air).
Here is a sound clip on my EB 8*: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mur1QptxCX8


I have an original one like that too (in a 9 tip)! Very nice piece which can become quiet bright when pushed. More bright than my slightly later build Florida no USA 10*, which I prefer and is my current main mouthpiece..
Here is a sound clip on my Florida no USA 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL621LKJtgs
Very interesting! I haven't ever tried an original EB that I liked out of the box, as it were. I may like one that is more open as well in order for me to feel like there is a little spread in the air, as that is what I enjoy when I play. I have worked on quite a lot over the years though and every so often I find a player who usually is older who has been playing them and got used to making their sound that way and they get addicted to the immediacy that that shelf baffle that's high behind the tip gives them. It's more like riding the wave to get the sound, you just float on that small edge and it will cut through a lot. You don't have to work as hard in that approach.

I like that you have these two clips. I can hear similarities in both and to my ears I can hear that the baffle is high behind the tip rail on both pieces but the no USA seems to have a little more room 'further back' in the mouthpiece for the sound to open up. Still has that small edge on top but broader. The EB feels more centered with maybe a little less body. It's all pretty subjective.

For this reason I avoid the mouthpiece/sound conversation because it always depends on: the player, the reed/setup, the experience level, the approach/concept etc .. For me it's simpler to talk about the mouthpiece like a filter for your natural voice. What areas are you looking for more input from the setup and in what ways are you hoping it gets out of the way.
 

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Thanks Sebastian.

The baffle of the EB 8* is actually not that high, same goes for the Florida no USA 9 (I've sun much higher examples). But they are still high enough to make the sizzle that good vintage Links are known for. I agree with what you did hear about the openness of the sound: the FL can take some more air compared to the EB, but both are actually really good pieces with the right reed.

I posted some pictures of my collection in the past in below thread (but most are not really good pictures):
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...Otto-Link-s)&p=2132764&viewfull=1#post2132764
 

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Thanks Sebastian.

The baffle of the EB 8* is actually not that high, same goes for the Florida no USA 9 (I've sun much higher examples). But they are still high enough to make the sizzle that good vintage Links are known for. I agree with what you did hear about the openness of the sound: the FL can take some more air compared to the EB, but both are actually really good pieces with the right reed.

I posted some pictures of my collection in the past in below thread (but most are not really good pictures):
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...Otto-Link-s)&p=2132764&viewfull=1#post2132764
The angle of that EB stays high right up to the tip rail. That seems to be the default for this period. The picture is pretty good and at least lets me see the angles nicely.

That no USA 9 you say is original but it appears to have file marks behind the rail for about 3/4". It also doesn't have the baffle shape I was thinking you were mentioning which is that high rollover that is pretty convex behind the tip rail. Your piece appears flatter and longer, and more like the later no USA's with the regular length shanks.

Note, I make no claim about which would be 'good' or not. We can both agree it's largely subjective but man is it ever fun to talk about!!
 

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The angle of that EB stays high right up to the tip rail. That seems to be the default for this period. The picture is pretty good and at least lets me see the angles nicely.

That no USA 9 you say is original but it appears to have file marks behind the rail for about 3/4". It also doesn't have the baffle shape I was thinking you were mentioning which is that high rollover that is pretty convex behind the tip rail. Your piece appears flatter and longer, and more like the later no USA's with the regular length shanks.

Note, I make no claim about which would be 'good' or not. We can both agree it's largely subjective but man is it ever fun to talk about!!
Indeed always nice to talk mouthpieces Sebastian!

The Florida no USA was sold to me as original 9, but cleaned up a bit by Brian Powell (by the previous owner). To me it looks also like the shelf (not rollover) baffle was taken down a bit. My other EB's and FL's also don't have the real killing high baffle I sometimes see on pics of others (and I'm glad about that, I prefer a dark sound with edge when pushed).

The only rollover Link I have is an old Improved Tone Master 8, opened and refaced by Erik Greiffenhagen. That one can scream when pushed, but also sound dark and mellow when played with a lower air speed. That's actually what I like about Links: they all have their own characteristics.
 

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I haven't ever tried an original EB that I liked out of the box, as it were. I may like one that is more open as well in order for me to feel like there is a little spread in the air, as that is what I enjoy when I play.
I just remembered that I made an old clip about 7 years ago comparing my Florida no USA 10* with the five Early Babbitt's I own (a refaced 8 and original 8*, 10, 10* and 12). The refaced EB is the most bright one, the others sound much more mellow (probably also because of the big tips). The Florida no USA 10* is as bright as the 8, but with a more complex tone. Still all those EB's play well for me, so maybe you where unlucky or only tried smaller tip pieces (which will sound brighter than the ones I own).

Here is the link to a mouthpiece/sax compare thread I have running here, with a link to the YouTube video of the above mentioned clip:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...-sound-clips&p=4197422&viewfull=1#post4197422
 
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