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should it be done ? i don't know anything about refacing, i have an otto link stm 6*
If it needs to be changed, a refacing is the best way to go.
 

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IMO, you should know (find out) if the piece is correct, meaning: flat table, tip opening per markings and balanced facing curve.

Then you have good information to make an informed decision about what needs to be addressed.


As an example, someone sent me a Link STM soprano piece. Here is what I found:

table was very high in the back and in the front; the rest was completely concave, more than any piece I've ever seen.
The facing curve was actually ok and reasonable
The baffle was completely misshapen ( I'll attach a picture)
and the tip opening was significantly less on one side of the tip than on the other.

It played with issues, the most glaring was that it would squeal out of the blue sometimes. That was the misshapen baffle and the lower tip opening in combination.


Until you know what you have, it's hard to know what should be done. View attachment 75817 View attachment 75818
 

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should it be done ? i don't know anything about refacing, i have an otto link stm 6*
1. Do you like how it currently plays?
2. Have you played a similar 'piece to compare?
3. Have you researched the multitude of refacers on this forum?
4. Once you do #'s 2 and 3 and can answer #1, since it's your mouthpiece, do as you wish.
 

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In the case of modern Links, I would say 80% of them "can" be played out of the box. If you know how to adjust your reeds (to work with the irregular facings) you will be fine. Maybe 10-20% are good enough to not benefit significantly from hand finishing (refacing).

If you can play test 5 or so at a music store your chance of finding a good one goes way up. Unless the 5 are the leftovers after players have already picked out the good ones.

Modern Links are priced low enough IMO that they should not be bashed for poor quality. You can afford to buy one and have it hand finished by a refacer of your choice and it will still be cheaper than many high end boutique mouthpieces for sale.
 

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In the case of modern Links, I would say 80% of them "can" be played out of the box. If you know how to adjust your reeds (to work with the irregular facings) you will be fine. Maybe 10-20% are good enough to not benefit significantly from hand finishing (refacing).

If you can play test 5 or so at a music store your chance of finding a good one goes way up. Unless the 5 are the leftovers after players have already picked out the good ones.

Modern Links are priced low enough IMO that they should not be bashed for poor quality. You can afford to buy one and have it hand finished by a refacer of your choice and it will still be cheaper than many high end boutique mouthpieces for sale.
The recent ones seem quite good. I got a another damaged one that might have been from the 90s very recently, the pretty bad ones, and with some help from the amazing Mojo Bari vids, got the beast working quite well. Mojo's user group is invaluable in providing really solid Excel curve points. Thanks Mojo!!!
 

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From my experience, defects in an alto mpc, could be compensated by using a matching reed, but not in a soprano mpc. Perhaps my Tone Edge and Meyer alto mpcs have factory defects but I could still live with them. My Tone Edge and S 35 soprano mpcs have different story. I have no complaint against them in the lower and middle registers but when it comes to high notes, the intonation is terrible, not to mention the fact that there is much resistance when I play said notes. I had them refaced and I would like to believe now that I have solved my problem.
 

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In the case of modern Links, I would say 80% of them "can" be played out of the box. If you know how to adjust your reeds (to work with the irregular facings) you will be fine. Maybe 10-20% are good enough to not benefit significantly from hand finishing (refacing).

If you can play test 5 or so at a music store your chance of finding a good one goes way up. Unless the 5 are the leftovers after players have already picked out the good ones.

Modern Links are priced low enough IMO that they should not be bashed for poor quality. You can afford to buy one and have it hand finished by a refacer of your choice and it will still be cheaper than many high end boutique mouthpieces for sale.
Maybe so. But something's not right, when it could be done correctly in the beginning. Its inefficient to add extra machine or finishing steps, hence the additional production costs. The cheapest way to produce the same end product, is to minimize the number of operations and tool changes. Its really funky that a producer is knowingly shipping articles that are essentially rejects. I guess the market is taking care of it: You can buy a copy from a competitor that essentially is getting it right without a refacing, and thus cheaper to the consumer. Its a matter of time before these name brands either change and catch up, or get replaced and cease to exist. I guess the whole term "refacing" doesn't belong in a conversation about a new piece. Its either "faced" or not.
 

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Maybe so. But something's not right, when it could be done correctly in the beginning. Its inefficient to add extra machine or finishing steps, hence the additional production costs. The cheapest way to produce the same end product, is to minimize the number of operations and tool changes. Its really funky that a producer is knowingly shipping articles that are essentially rejects. I guess the market is taking care of it: You can buy a copy from a competitor that essentially is getting it right without a refacing, and thus cheaper to the consumer. Its a matter of time before these name brands either change and catch up, or get replaced and cease to exist. I guess the whole term "refacing" doesn't belong in a conversation about a new piece. Its either "faced" or not.
Mass production, and even "job shops", work on a PPM (parts per million) quality system, which was first documented with Toyota (Toyada Mfg). Most parts only have 10% of the total checked. If the first 10% they check, pass Quality, then the whole lot moves on. Nothing is 100% checked except for First Articles and products the Customer demands. 100% checking a final product, raises overhead (Quality Assurance is pure overhead Indirect Labor!), and raises costs significantly. It is a balancing act of cost vs quality. Want one, you can't get the other!
 

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Mass production, and even "job shops", work on a PPM (parts per million) quality system, which was first documented with Toyota (Toyada Mfg). Most parts only have 10% of the total checked. If the first 10% they check, pass Quality, then the whole lot moves on. Nothing is 100% checked except for First Articles and products the Customer demands. 100% checking a final product, raises overhead (Quality Assurance is pure overhead Indirect Labor!), and raises costs significantly. It is a balancing act of cost vs quality. Want one, you can't get the other!
FAI, yes. 10%? Not in my industry. Besides, regardless of what a company decides is a reasonable rejection rate or MTBF, or whatever, its still REJECTABLE even after receiving. If its not to print, we send it back, and they can repair or replace. Eitherway, whether I buy one or one thousand, I'm not paying for rejects. But somehow, the producers seems to have made it acceptable in this industry, and its the buyers bad luck? incredible....

And PS - if we were talking about PPM, there'd be no issue. We are talking about PPT, parts per 10.....
 

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Its really funky that a producer is knowingly shipping articles that are essentially rejects. I guess the market is taking care of it

Not just "the market".
I am forever hearing folks say "stop complaining; go practice.That's what will take care of it."

And lots of people believe that, and it contributes to players, especially students and beginners, thinking "it must be me", playing on messed up equipment and being miserable more often than not.

I always offer to inspect anybody's mouthpiece (when people contact me about it) and tell them what I find. The only cost to them is postage both ways. There is no cost to inspect it and tell them what is what: the accurate tip opening, the quality of the facing, the flatness of the table, whatever I see.

I suspect other independent mouthpiece makers do something similar.

I do it because I think players are then better prepared for what is really happening, both with their piece and with "the market".

Remember, major mouthpiece makers sell their product to shops or distributors, not players. The pieces are received , put in a drawer or on a shelf and they don't come out until a shop orders it or somebody asks for one, in a day, a week, a month or a year.
 

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Mass production, and even "job shops", work on a PPM (parts per million) quality system, which was first documented with Toyota (Toyada Mfg). Most parts only have 10% of the total checked. If the first 10% they check, pass Quality, then the whole lot moves on. Nothing is 100% checked except for First Articles and products the Customer demands. 100% checking a final product, raises overhead (Quality Assurance is pure overhead Indirect Labor!), and raises costs significantly. It is a balancing act of cost vs quality. Want one, you can't get the other!
I was formerly a quality control inspector for a SCUBA manufacturing company. Please don't say "Nothing is 100% checked..." That is really dependent on the product and its ultimate intended use.

It may even apply to some mouthpiece manufacturers, but certainly not all.
 

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I was formerly a quality control inspector for a SCUBA manufacturing company. Please don't say "Nothing is 100% checked..." That is really dependent on the product and its ultimate intended use.

It may even apply to some mouthpiece manufacturers, but certainly not all.
You took that out of context Dr G. Nothing is 100% checked, unless required by the customer (medical, military, aerospace, and a few other industries require 100% checking of parts and componants -- I conformal coat and solder circuit boards by the way --and yes SCBA, SCUBA, and anything Oxygen related falls into the 100% check category!). We also carry warranties on our serialized products, in which we fix them under RMA.

But the mouthpiece industry is an odd one. So many "problems" are simply fixed with a properly designed and faced mouthpiece, paired with the proper reed, and a ligature that holds said reed to the moutbpiece securely.
 

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FAI, yes. 10%? Not in my industry. Besides, regardless of what a company decides is a reasonable rejection rate or MTBF, or whatever, its still REJECTABLE even after receiving. If its not to print, we send it back, and they can repair or replace. Eitherway, whether I buy one or one thousand, I'm not paying for rejects. But somehow, the producers seems to have made it acceptable in this industry, and its the buyers bad luck? incredible....

And PS - if we were talking about PPM, there'd be no issue. We are talking about PPT, parts per 10.....
I've worked in Contract Manufacturing for 11 years. First metals and plastics, now electronics. Both companies ISO shops. Both making relatively small runs of products. One private, one public. And yes, if a bad product slips through, it gets returned, our cost (unless it turns out to be a bad engineering and print problem...which does happen!), and corrected.

It seems common mouthpieces don't go through this. And as someone here mentioned, mouthpieces ship to shops and distributers, and often, those shops and distributers simply shelve the mouthpiece until sale time, wkthout first checking the condition of the product (as other industries often do).
 

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I've worked in Contract Manufacturing for 11 years. First metals and plastics, now electronics. Both companies ISO shops. Both making relatively small runs of products.
I think we are speaking the same language. I'm ok with checking 10% or 1 of 10, if that's all you need to insure 99 of 100 are good. If you are producing thousands, you can get there with a reduced sampling, because you know your process control is good and you have the history from checking 100% for a while before going to a lot test of 1 of 10. If anything goes wrong, like a machine bearing, power interruption, CNC file corruption - you'll see a huge increase in rejects greater than the 10% and trigger a production stop. And like you've pointed out, and as history bore out, its far more profitable to produce the highest quality at any production cost, than to put out inferior (let alone faulty) products, and loose all your market share to the other guys (ref. Honda/Toyota/Nissan vs GM/FoMoCo/Chryco circa 1980). Obviously these guys should hire you or us as consultants...geez.....
 

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I think some mass producers, like Babbitt, have tolerances based on what will sell. Not what will play well. So they may release a lot of mouthpieces that are considered defective to members of this forum but not the larger market. This is why they are still successful at this business.

A few of you do not understand why they can not all be made right the first time. There are many different manufacturing processes out there. I'm sure most could be improved but not to the level you want without a lot of added cost due to changing the process.

Say you have a process that makes a great mouthpiece. Part of that process is hand finishing the facing. This takes 1-2 hours for each mouthpiece and relies on talented employees you may have trouble retaining or training. So you decide to eliminate that step and go with the facing quality that comes off your machines. You also lower the cost of the mouthpiece by $100. I think this is where the process at Babbitt and a few other companies has settled into. You can be outraged if you want to be. But there is still a market for their product at their price point. They have been financially successful for decades.

You as the customer can add this hand finishing step back in by sending the mouthpiece to a refacer of your choice. You get what you pay for. You should not expect them to give it to you at their current price point. Or, you can choose a different mouthpiece from a producer that has hand finishing as part of their process. Or, that has a better process that does not need (much or any) hand finishing.
 

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You as the customer can add this hand finishing step back in by sending the mouthpiece to a refacer of your choice. You get what you pay for. You should not expect them to give it to you at their current price point. Or, you can choose a different mouthpiece from a producer that has hand finishing as part of their process. Or, that has a better process that does not need (much or any) hand finishing.
Exactly.
 

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As an example, someone sent me a Link STM soprano piece. Here is what I found:
View attachment 75817 View attachment 75818

This is how a Link STM left the factory. If anybody had cared, it would not have been put in a box and shipped out.
For most players, they buy a piece partially based on the reliability/reputation of the maker. If they have no particular knowledge about mouthpieces, they wouldn't know just how awful this is and why it plays as poorly as it played.
They don't know, possibly, that it should be returned as defective, so they keep it. Then buy another one sometime later. And....

Did they get lucky this next time or not?
 
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