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Hey guys, a few days ago I posted a thread about being interested in buying a Florida link tribute, but I wanted to also talk to about some other things like my goal as far my tone to see if any of you can possibly help me out, my favorite player by far is Coltrane and he is the guy I try to emulate the most, however i feel like my setup just inst working out. for the past two years I have played pretty standard mouthpieces (Modern Tone Edge Jody Jazz HR) with rather large tip openings (7* to 8) and while I think those pieces are great and pretty versatile I don't think they are for me anymore. I have also talked to a few other guys who I can tell for sure dig Trane like I do and when I ask them about their setup it seems to be pretty similar, a 5 or 6 tip opening vintage link with a harder reed, Which I have read is what Trane also played on, while I know playing the exact same setup as your heroes wont get you to sound like them it might get me closer like those guys since I transcribe and listen to Trane a lot. So my question is, do you think I should possibly invest in an actually vintage Florida Link rather than buying one of the tribute pieces? Would it better in the long run? give me your thoughts. I know with the vintage ones you can get a bad one but I know at least there will always be a market for them so at least I can resell it. Thanks
 

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I deleted your other (double) thread sonndd54.

I wouldn't focus too much on getting an (expensive) vintage Link, because you could reach your goal to sound closer to JC probably also on another piece. It's more in your head than in your mouthpiece, but a good mouthpiece helps of course. I think you could get close also on a modern STM around tip 5 or 6 (not a Tone Edge) and a harder reed, depending on your playing experience.

In case you never saw it: check this video of Don Menza showing that you can sound like who ever you want on one mouthpiece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oc0VzGBPxY
 

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mrpeebee's got it right: don't invest the coin in a vintage FL Link. I'd find a used modern Super Tone Master in a smallish opening (5* - 6*) and start working off that. If that still isn't getting you the sound you're after, I'd send that piece away to a refacer who can help work the dimensions of the piece in a way that'll move you toward your goals.

FWIW - The best "Florida" Link I've played was a modern STM refaced by Ed Zentera. I really regret selling that piece. Blew away every vintage FL Link I've played/owned (nearly a dozen).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
mrpeebee's got it right: don't invest the coin in a vintage FL Link. I'd find a used modern Super Tone Master in a smallish opening (5* - 6*) and start working off that. If that still isn't getting you the sound you're after, I'd send that piece away to a refacer who can help work the dimensions of the piece in a way that'll move you toward your goals.

FWIW - The best "Florida" Link I've played was a modern STM refaced by Ed Zentera. I really regret selling that piece. Blew away every vintage FL Link I've played/owned (nearly a dozen).
I have always felt the modern links to be a hit or miss type deal with their quality control I ordered one once and immediately returned it because the table was uneven...I'll consider the refacing thing though, I was actually considering getting a Vandoren v16 metal T6, do you think that might be a better option or the refacing thing?
 

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I have always felt the modern links to be a hit or miss type deal with their quality control I ordered one once and immediately returned it because the table was uneven...I'll consider the refacing thing though, I was actually considering getting a Vandoren v16 metal T6, do you think that might be a better option or the refacing thing?
You're correct about the modern Links, but if you find a good one (or one with a good reface) it could do the job. I'm actually playing a Florida no USA 10* myself and can assure you that it's a better player than any modern Link I've found, but I still have some decent modern Links too.

I only once play tested Vandoren metals, but for me they sound to generic and don't have the depth of a real Link (no other mouthpieces have that for me, that's why I play a Link). But you might try one for yourself if you have the option, in the end we are as player all different and what works for me doesn't have to work for you (and the other way around).

As mentioned before it all starts with you, having the style and sound you want to play in your mind. In the end, after a lot of practice and playing, you will find your own style and come close to that on most mouthpieces that don't have an extreme configuration.
 

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Don’t bother with a tribute because none are even close and cost as much or more. Look for a normal tip Early Babbitt like a 6 or 6*. Also, the Links that came right after that with the quotation marks around the “Super” can have the similar pronounced baffle.
 

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You'll save some money on a vintage Florida STM going with a 5 or 6 tip; and that's right in their sweet spot. I had a 5, and though I favor more open tipped tenor mouthpieces, I never found that magic in a vintage STM that was more open than a 7*. But the problem finding a 5 or 6 is that so many folks wrecked them trying to open them up. But if you can find one that hasn't been altered, you'll have a great mouthpiece.

And yeah... once you get an itch for a particular piece of equipment, a "tribute" or other modern alternative just ain't gonna scratch it.
 

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I have always felt the modern links to be a hit or miss type deal with their quality control I ordered one once and immediately returned it because the table was uneven...I'll consider the refacing thing though, I was actually considering getting a Vandoren v16 metal T6, do you think that might be a better option or the refacing thing?
You're right that modern Links being hit or miss. Unfortunately, if you can't get to a music store and try a dozen or so Links, it's a gamble (as you already discovered). Refaced modern STMs are not uncommon, so you might get lucky and find one that's already been refaced in a smaller opening. If I were you, I'd buy the cheapest modern STM I could find that's close to my desired tip opening (say $75) and then send it away for a reface ($125-$150). Some of the popular refacers offer a "Florida special" or some sort of treatment that'll bring the interior dimensions closer to that of a Florida Link. Then, at the end of the day you've got roughly $200 into a mouthpiece that'll play at least 90% as good as the "real deal" and you won't have to worry about facing imperfections.

Also, don't think that original facings on vintage Floridas are guaranteed to be perfect. Like today, there are pieces with good facings and pieces with bad imperfections.

Personally, I've never cared for Vandoren pieces of any variety - very one-dimensional to my ears.

Good luck!
 

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The problem with just getting a newer one refaced is that they don’t address the thing that makes the older ones play better, the area after the baffle going into the chamber and the height of the chamber floor. This is always too low on later models of Links.
Also, the profile can be too high.
 

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To reiterate what has been said already, You definitely want a smaller tip size to get the Trane vibe. I would look for an modern STM NY 6 and have it set up on the brighter side with a more aggressive facing curve at that same tip opening by someone like Norbert Statchel or similar pro.

Don’t get caught up in the tunnel vision that you need a vintage Selmer tenor to get that Trane vibe either. Absolutely not true. Lots of fine pro saxophones will get the job done just fine.
 

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Get something on trial so you can experience it for yourself. Only keep it if it rings your bell.

I have played many “tribute” pieces that were better than many vintage pieces of the good years. Even a good one may not work well for you.
 

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I kind of have a different opinion here. I have played a handful of vintage and modern links as well as some of the replicas that are being made.
My opinion:
The boutique replicas are far beyond a standard modern link in terms of sound and performance/response. Then the vintage links seem to have even more in terms of sound, though they may need a reface to perform like a boutique mouthpiece. Basically in order to become a better musician, I would suggest vintage or replica over a modern standard link mouthpiece any day. Yes, a well trained musician could find a decent modern link among a bunch in a trial, but this isn’t realistic for a developing musician.
Many of the boutique mouthpiece creators are doing a good job and I would suggest them for most players.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah I was thinking the same thing.. I wasn't to sure if I should buy another modern Link, I was considering the Sakshama tribute piece and we have been emailing back and forth and has told me he can sell me a Florida no USA model. I have been looking at these vintage pieces and most of the Florida 6s I have seen are being priced in the $700-800 range, I have also seen 5* Florida Links for $400-500 on eBay but i'm not to sure if I should trust those. While that is pretty pricey it might be better because this might be best for the sound I am looking for.
 
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