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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi :)

I have been focussed on Tenor for the last 3 years but before that I’ve been an Alto player for about 20 years.
In my recent Tenor phase I have settled on a great refaced modern STM 8* (taken down from a 10*). This mouthpiece was already worked when I got it.
I really love the ease and playability of this Tenor STM across the range and dynamics, and how reed friendly it is.

Now I can really feel what isn’t working so well on my Alto.
I have a standard HR 8 Otto Link that I bought about 20 years ago (so late 90s) I played a 7 before that.
This mouthpiece is the one and only that I have played in all this time.
I think I can feel where the facing curve is letting me down.
Like I feel the resistance increase as the dynamics come down.
And as I wear a new reed in over time it crosses over from being on the hard side to soft and nasal very easily.

I’d like to get my Alto piece refaced but am very afraid of altering the tone. Also is it possible I might even *like* the inconsistency!?!
Can a refacing be done and keep the sound character intact but just look at improving efficiency??

I guess I could get another Link 8 and have this refaced, but they vary so much right that this will be different. I could get used to it sure.

Any thoughts much appreciated :)
Thanks
 

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In general you can keep the tone but some things may be altered.

If you like a piece but have some reservations its always a safer route to pick up another link and have the work done on it. Its not like hr links are hard to come by.
 

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Here's a sad story for you:
I've been playing a refaced Meyer 7 medium chamber on alto for 10 years. I really liked it, but the low register always offered some sort of "delayed" resistance. I got the piece checked by a good friend in Amsterdam and we found out that the rails weren't even (the piece was sealing anyways, somehow).
So I decided to send it to a refacer, one that was many many times praised for his excellent work. He checks it and tells me there's leaking on the tip rail, and on the side of the table. He asked 120€ in order to set it straight without altering the tone. My piece comes back after a week, very safely packed, and very good looking. You can imagine my sadness when I blow it and I find it's just not singing as before. I try then the suction test with many reeds, but each one of them fails to stick to it for more than half a second before popping away. I call the guy, I tell him the issue, and he accepts to have it sent back again. Once it comes home for the second time, I immediately try the suction test again. Maybe the reeds stick for one second now, but still far away from the good old firm sealing it used to have. It plays better but it has the same problem in the low register it used to have, plus overall it still feels more resistant in general. The guy tells me "try the suction test with the whole neck attached, you'll see that it holds for longer!". I then stop answering the guy, because I hate when they pull my legs. End of the sad story.
Consider really if having a piece you love refaced it's worth the risk.
 

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At the risk of being flamed here Im gonna finally say it: There are some guys operating here in Europe with stellar reputations. However, Ive seen a good number of samples from these experts and they seem like they were refaced with no schedules or gauges. They sport curves that make no sense, tables that are off, and uneven side rails. I dont know where the reputations came from but they dont hold up to math.

I have asked customers about how these guys got such good reps. They stated that in Europe there have previously been limited options and limited craftsmen so a lot of players who dont know how a piece should perform helped them to become internet legends....kind of like we had in the US years ago.

In defense, the suction test is far from 100 percent reliable. If it doesnt play properly and seal properly in use that says it all.

All that said, the moral of the above (even if the work is done perfectly) is wise. Dont mess with your main piece if you can help it.

Sebastanio: I invite you to send me that Meyer, if you dont like the work you dont pay. I dont want to be accused of not being willing to put my money where my mouth is. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys :)
I think I just needed to hear it from someone... no don't reface my main piece!
 
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