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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got what used to be a real nice STM. It played as it was supposed to for about a year, but in the last week or so, it's gone off to the point where it's almost impossible to use as the lower register just isn't sounding properly anymore. There's moisture, and quite a bit of it, all along the reed - where it meets the table - after using.

Is it possible that a faulty ligature could be the the problem? If not, what could've caused this?

Thanks in advance
 

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What kind of Link is it? is it just a standard out of the box factory modern STM? Has it been refaced? Has it taken any damage?

When I bought my first tenor I had a link stm 8* and to be honest it didn't play very well. I replaced the ligature but that didn't do it. I found it was a matter of long tones before I could play it. That being said after I started to get the hang of the piece I bought a V16 Metal which was great, I then moved to hard rubber links because of a change in taste, and recently I've moved to a Florida STM No USA. For fun I got my old link refaced (I have a great friend who does all my pieces up) That made a big difference to me.
 

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There is always the possibility that the table has gotten damaged/warped but the first place to look would be the lig and reed. Have you changed reed brands or boxes lately? I have never liked the STM ligs and had trouble getting the reed centered and stable. Try some different reeds and maybe borrow a Rovner type lig and see if that helps. I don't really care for the Rovners but they are great for experimenting with odd sized mouthpieces of which an STM is due to the shape of the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bruce -

No change of reed at all I'm afraid, but I suspect the ligature too, so a few days ago I bought a Wanne Enlightened which has yet to arrive, and I'm hoping that this will fix my problem. I'm reluctant to change reeds 'cause the ones I use have worked perfectly with this mpc up to about a week ago as I say. And I'm buying a couple more mpc's just in case because the STM was the only one I used it was so good - sold both my others.

Thanks
 

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A lot of times, these new off-the-shelf Links have tables that are way too concave - meaning that the front and back of the table are "higher" than the center and this leaves a big gap between the middle of the reed and the mouthpiece table material. When the lig clamps down on the reed, it can "bow" the reed a little or basically just cause pressure on the reed where you don't want it. Also, the fact that the reed is not lying flat on a nice even surface just makes them feel strange to play in my experiences. It's a pretty easy fix, it usually just involves flattening the table out, which then in turn shortens the facing length and closes the tip opening by just a tad, and then you have to put the tip and facing length back on spec. This is basically a "reface", very standard procedure for mouthpiece work, and many times the newer Links will play much better after this because they've often got other issues like uneven facing curves, funky lengths that don't match the tip opening of the mouthpiece, or tips that don't match the reed shape.
 

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Have you had your horn checked? It would be very strange for a mouthpiece especially a metal one, to just start giving you a bunch of trouble over the course of a few days. More likey a reed issue or a leak that has progressively gotten worse. Sometimes when the weather changes in the Spring and Fall things get worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've bought a new mpc, a new ligature for the mpc that I THINK may be the problem, and if these don't address the problem, I"ll get the horn checked. Although with the amount of moisture all along the mpc table and back of reed I can't imagine that it's the horn. The offending piece is a re-faced STM btw so no concavity probs there I'd think, and as I said it's been a truly excellent piece up to now. Whatever happens I'll post the upshot here.
 
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