Sax on the Web Forum banner

Which mouthpiece do you prefer?

  • 1. 30's Otto Link Four**** 8* (refaced by Jon van Wie)

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • 2. 50's Florida no USA 10*

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • 3. 30's Otto Link Four**** 10* (refaced by Freddie Gregory)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. 50's Florida no USA 9

    Votes: 3 60.0%
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,576 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

It's been a while ago since I posted my last silly mouthpiece compare clip, so here is new one :mrgreen:.

December last year we did 'My Shining Hour' as Tune Of The Month (TOTM). I recorded takes on four vintage Otto Link mouthpieces. One is a kind of 1935 Frankenstein Otto Link Four**** that is stamped 8* and was worked on by the late great refacer Jon van Wie (according to the former owner). I did some work on the baffle myself to make it sound a bit darker. Also recorded takes on a Four**** 10* (refaced by the great Freddie Gregory) and on my 1950's Florida no USA 10* and 9 to compare the sound. All mouthpieces are played with the same La Voz medium reed. Mixed two solo chorusses of each mouthpiece take into one comparison take.

- 'My Shining Hour' on four vintage Otto Link mouthpieces: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12074008

Time index:
0:09 - 30's metal Otto Link Four**** 8* (refaced by Jon van Wie)
1:56 - 50's metal Otto Link Florida no USA 10*
3:09 - 30's metal Otto Link Four**** 10* (refaced by Freddy Gregory)
4:13 - 50's metal Otto Link Florida no USA 9

The Four**** mouthpieces sound a bit more focussed, darker and less powerful compared to the Florida no USA's. I actually like all four of them and seem to sound quite the same on all of them.

Curious to which mouthpiece you guys prefer, so I added a poll :).

Also recently recorded a slower ballad ('Skylark') on three of the mouthpieces, in which you can hear other colours compared to the fast bop tune above.

- 'Skylark' (Four 8* JvW - La Voz medium): http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12085844
- 'Skylark' (Florida no USA 10* and 9 mix - La Voz medium): http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12085916
(Changing mpc each 16 bars, FLnU 10* starts at 0:15 and 2:13, FLnU 9 starts at 1:13 and 3:13.)

With thanks to SOTW member Oilywrag for the great backings (http://www.cksounds.co.uk/) :).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,397 Posts
Nice playing in the first tune, but you’re playing fairly differently in each section, so it's a little hard to make comparisons. For my ear #3 sounds best, but I've got to admit that most Links sound stuffy to me. It does suit the style you're playing and sounds focused. A little hard to know what's playing where in the second tune. Whichever one comes in at 2:13 sounds like it has a tinny high resonance that I don't find attractive, but understand how some might like this sound as it's brighter.

Have you tried any Morgans? I think they could suit your style and to my ear are less stuffy with a wider range of harmonics. I'm probably missing the point here as lots of people pay big money for these sorts of links, so are probably looking for a specific vintage sound. I doubt that most listeners have any appreciation for this, so it's really just a sax insider’s thing. I guess if it carries some reminder or feeling for the player that can be good. That brings it back around to not really mattering what anyone else thinks. Which one does it for you?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,576 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment Wade, highly appreciated :).

Fully agree with most of your remarks. I'm a vintage Link collector (besides an amateur player) and like to compare the sounds of the different mouthpieces to see what they can bring for me. Actually I already know quite well what I like and don't like, after years of listening to and playing Jazz. But I'm also curious to hear the opinion of others on the sound, knowing that each person has other tastes and preferences and that it won't have a big impact on my own choices :).

The Four 10* (Freddie Gregory refaced) mouthpiece you preferred is indeed the most focussed (or focused!) and clean sounding mpc of the four tested pieces. For bop tunes it's fine and I like it, but I prefer the others more. I actually enjoy and am looking for a stuffy Link sound with a lot dirtyness in the sound (like for instance Ben Webster has in >this< clip). My Four 8* (Jon van Wie refaced) can come close to that in certain tunes with a good reed. But I also love Texas Tenor sounds (Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet) and mainly play as soloist in a loud Big Band and for that type of playing the Florida no USA's are much more suited than the Four**** pieces. I play the Florida 10* for the last three years as my main piece, but I lately find it a bit to bright when really pushed (like you also heard in one of the clips after 2:13). So I'm leaning to the Florida 9 now, which is a bit darker but still has a lot of core and projection.

I've read about Morgan mouthpieces. Would indeed like to try the darkest (L) model if possible, but I don't like a 'clean' sound, have not much with HR mouthpieces and also am used to play bigger tips than 0.115 (the biggest they have if I'm right). So that are the main reasons (besides that I love Otto Link's!) for me to never have bought one. Also non of my friends have a Morgan, so my changes to try one are small.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,397 Posts
Many thanks for the detailed explination. Good for me to understand the logic of your choices and what you are trying to achieve. I guess I'm fairly primitive in my choices without trying to reference to any particular sound or player. Maybe my tastes will change?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,576 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you are some steps further in the process than me Wade :). It's better to try to be fully original like you do than to try to play as your hero's (mixed with some own stuff) like I try to do.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,397 Posts
Further ahead? Behind? Hey, we just play what we play and hopefully please ourselves, and if lucky, we get a few smiles and coins in the pocket from others. I often think of my playing as: I can't play "well", so I mind as well play "different". The mouthpiece thing is a good example. I just go for the extremes and play the brightest piece I can find or the darkest. Problem is that I have no idea what the guitarist is going to play (neither does he most of the time) so wind up having the wrong piece on the horn for the feel. I'm posting a piece like this shortly. I sort of like this piece I'm posting, but wish that I was using a very dark mouthpiece for it. Asking the guitarist to repeat what he did is like asking water to go upstream. If I had one sound (mouthpiece) that defined what I wanted to hear all the time, it would make life much easier. In this respect I envy you and others who know the sound you want and can focus on delivering through a consistent voice. Maybe I'll get there. For now I'll just have to continue to play chameleon.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,576 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey, we just play what we play and hopefully please ourselves, and if lucky, we get a few smiles and coins in the pocket from others.
That's very true Wade :). Looking forward to your new post.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,000 Posts
Curious to which mouthpiece you guys prefer, so I added a poll :).
The two Four****s sounded very similar to me, and the two Florida No-USAs sounded very similar to me. I much preferred the Florida No-USAs. If I had to pick one, I guess I would go with the 9. But they're so close, I would suggest playing whichever one is more comfortable for you. Which one do you play as your primary mouthpiece?

I'm also wondering why, with over 300 views, I'm only the fourth listener to cast a vote.

Regardless, thanks for posting this. I always enjoy listening to comparisons. It sure beats perusing all the for-sale ads that now seem to dominate SOTW!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,576 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The two Four****s sounded very similar to me, and the two Florida No-USAs sounded very similar to me. I much preferred the Florida No-USAs. If I had to pick one, I guess I would go with the 9. But they're so close, I would suggest playing whichever one is more comfortable for you. Which one do you play as your primary mouthpiece?

I'm also wondering why, with over 300 views, I'm only the fourth listener to cast a vote.

Regardless, thanks for posting this. I always enjoy listening to comparisons. It sure beats perusing all the for-sale ads that now seem to dominate SOTW!
Buck, thanks for listening and commenting :).

The Florida no USA 10* is my main piece for the last three years, but I'm leaning to the FL 9 lately (especially since my latest box of La Voz medium reeds seems a bit harder than before, so I start playing the FL 9 with a fresh hard reed and switch to the 10* when it gets a bit softer). Three of those four mpc's play very well, but the Four 8* has a lot of (Ben Webster alike) resistance and plays only well with some reeds. I loved the sound in the first 'Skylark' take, but this 8* is not so suitable for my Big Band solo work (amateur level that is). But I plan to give it more time, for me it has something special in the sound.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top