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Over the years, I have moved from various tenor mouthpieces in this order:
-Leblanc Vito II (felt comfortable, too shrill)
-Selmer C* (comfortable, too closed for jazz)
-Meyer 5M (uncomfortable, this was when I was in high school and didn't have the chops to feel at home on the piece, being used to the C*)
-Rousseau 4R (comfortable, not enough color or too 2D/not fat enough, sterile)
-Phil Barone Vintage 7* (really uncomfortable/resistant, poor sound due to struggling)

Then, I tried my friend's Guardala Super King and it was EASIER to play than the Phil Barone. So, I bought my own Guardala.

-Guardala MBII, (still uncomfortable/not as bad as Phil Barone, WAY TOO BRIGHT!)

As I got accustomed to the Guardala, I went back to the Phil Barone with much better results.

-Phil Barone Vintage 7* (more comfortable than before, decent jazz sound, just not as clean as I want)

Then, another one of my friends let me try his Otto Link STM 7* and it was TOO EASY. I felt like I needed something more to push against, a harder reed or more open mouthpiece, the former being preferred. But he recorded me and it sounded like I was perfectly at home on the mouthpiece on the recording.

-Otto Link STM 7* (not enough resistance, great jazz sound)

Which leads me to my question: Why does the Otto Link 7* feel so much easier to play than the Phil Barone 7*?
 

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Beats me. Links are known to be a bit resistant, hence the term "link chops"
maybe you have a quite free blowing link or an especially resistant Barone, hard to tell, but you already noticed that you can get used to some resistance,since you were more comfy on your barone as before. If you sound really at ease with the link and get a great jazz sound, why not stay with it then ? you can experiment with slightly harder reeds to get the resistance you want.
 

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You don't mention which reeds and strength you're using. A minimum #3 reed is a good place to start on a Link 7*...my preference is a 3.5 in most any brand.
 

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-Guardala MBII, (still uncomfortable/not as bad as Phil Barone, WAY TOO BRIGHT!)

As I got accustomed to the Guardala, I went back to the Phil Barone with much better results.

-Phil Barone Vintage 7* (more comfortable than before, decent jazz sound, just not as clean as I want)

Then, another one of my friends let me try his Otto Link STM 7* and it was TOO EASY. I felt like I needed something more to push against, a harder reed or more open mouthpiece, the former being preferred. But he recorded me and it sounded like I was perfectly at home on the mouthpiece on the recording.

-Otto Link STM 7* (not enough resistance, great jazz sound)

Which leads me to my question: Why does the Otto Link 7* feel so much easier to play than the Phil Barone 7*?
You don't say how LONG you played on each of those mpcs, but reading this my guess is you may not have given it enough time on any one set up (mpc+reed). One thing I keep rediscovering whenever I decide to mess around changing reed brands or mpcs, is the amount of time it takes to readjust and get the full potential out of whatever mpc I'm playing. If one feels too easy or too resistant, that's a relative thing and at least partly the result of switching from one to the next. Just a thought....

Also, what you describe regarding the Barone vs Link doesn't sound like a tip opening issue, since they are both 7* openings. So it has more to do with the chamber (or facing) evidently.
 

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I've got both right here in front of me. The Vintage does not have a rollover baffle, and a stock Link does have one. Plus the VIntage has a large chamber, and the Link is small to medium.

A rollover baffle helps people who don't put a ton of air through the horn have a better sound. This is why you feel more resistance on the Vintage. Most pros play either old Links, or have their new ones modified to take out the rollover baffle because they put a lot of air through the horn and the baffle is a barrier. I can't even get a sound out of a stock link. I blow too hard.

My guess is, if you keep playing that Vintage until you build up your diaphragm, you'll keep liking it more and more.
 

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Maybe someone else (like Phil Barone of course) who is familiar with the Vintage can chime in regarding the presence or lack of a rollover baffle. It's my understanging that almost every mpc has at least a tiny rollover baffle. And a Link is definitely not a small to medium chamber mpc. Links have medium to large chambers, don't they?

Most pros play either old Links, or have their new ones modified to take out the rollover baffle because they put a lot of air through the horn and the baffle is a barrier..
I definitely have to disagree with this statement. A baffle is a barrier?? I don't buy that at all, especially if you're talking about a rollover baffle. Sure any baffle will speed up the air a bit, but it certainly won't prevent you putting a lot of air in the horn, especially with a medium to large tip opening.

But I do agree that with time you can adjust to the Vintage or any mpc, and that the issue here isn't the tip opening (at least with the Vintage vs Link, both being a 7*).
 

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+1
You don't say how LONG you played on each of those mpcs, but reading this my guess is you may not have given it enough time on any one set up (mpc+reed). One thing I keep rediscovering whenever I decide to mess around changing reed brands or mpcs, is the amount of time it takes to readjust and get the full potential out of whatever mpc I'm playing.
Great observation, so very true. Now that I'm playing a different mouthpiece chamber design, I don't get comfortable at all on a mouthpiece (Yani #9) I played many years. I'm sure I could adjust back to it, but it does take time...

Reed brand and strength make a huge difference on how a mouthpiece plays (different 'pieces require different reed combinations) as well.

Shawn
 

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I've got both right here in front of me. The Vintage does not have a rollover baffle, and a stock Link does have one. Plus the VIntage has a large chamber, and the Link is small to medium.

A rollover baffle helps people who don't put a ton of air through the horn have a better sound. This is why you feel more resistance on the Vintage. Most pros play either old Links, or have their new ones modified to take out the rollover baffle because they put a lot of air through the horn and the baffle is a barrier. I can't even get a sound out of a stock link. I blow too hard.....
UMMM NO, Links have a medium large to large chamber.

and the most sought after vintage links i.e. Early babbitt's, Various Florida STM's, and Slants, ALL have MORE baffle than the modern counter parts. and most people that can't get a sound out of a modern link is usually do to the fact that they are usually either accustomed to a baffle and don't have the necessary air support.
 

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UMMM NO, Links have a medium large to large chamber.

and the most sought after vintage links i.e. Early babbitt's, Various Florida STM's, and Slants, ALL have MORE baffle than the modern counter parts. and most people that can't get a sound out of a modern link is usually do to the fact that they are usually either accustomed to a baffle and don't have the necessary air support.
ABSOLUTELY correct......period.
My suggestion to the original poster would be to try harder reeds. Since he didn't mention what reed brand/strength he uses, I suspect that may be the main issue he's having.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
My bad. Here is a list of the amount of time and reeds I used with each mouthpiece:
-Leblanc Vito II (7th grade-9th grade, started on Rico orange box 2 1/2s and moved gradually to Rico 3s then Rico 3 1/2s)
-Selmer C* (10th grade-12th grade, started on Vandoren 2 1/2s, which are stronger than Rico 3 1/2s, and moved to Vandoren 3s halfway through 10th grade)
-Meyer 5M (11th grade-12th grade, tried all sorts of reeds but ultimately used Vandoren 3s, I like reeds with a lot of wood in the heart and less buzz)
-Rousseau 4R (halfway through 12th grade-Now/second year of college, my private lessons teacher told me that it was the ONLY classical mouthpiece that he wants his students to use, not that I argue, it's a GREAT mouthpiece, my teacher tried to get me to play Gonzalez 3s but I just don't like Gonzalez reeds, so I played the usual Vandoren 3s and after 2 semesters of practicing 4+ hours a day, I worked up to Vandoren 3 1/2s)
-Phil Barone Vintage 7*- came with my Barone sax that I bought right after I graduated (I have since decided to sell the sax and as it's replacement, bought a purple logo Yamaha 62), tried all sorts of reeds but ultimately stuck with Vandoren 3s that I have worn down on other mouthpieces, nothing else works for me at all, I even tried Gonzalez 2s, too strong.
-Guardala MBII- from Fall 2010 to the beginning of spring 2011, Gonzalez 2s (too strong)
-Otto Link STM 7*- My buddy let me try this mouthpiece with his Rigotti Gold 3s, which weren't strong enough for me. I only tried this mouthpiece for an hour.
 

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since you liked the link sound a lot but weren't comfortable with the (lack of) resistance I would suggest to explore this sort of piece a bit/lot more.
An hour isn't very much, find a good link ( which is a quest in itself, but you could start with going to a shop and take the best one around) and find a brand/reedstrength you like. stick with it for some time.
 

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UMMM NO, Links have a medium large to large chamber.

and the most sought after vintage links i.e. Early babbitt's, Various Florida STM's, and Slants, ALL have MORE baffle than the modern counter parts. and most people that can't get a sound out of a modern link is usually do to the fact that they are usually either accustomed to a baffle and don't have the necessary air support.
You're right, I was on pain killers when I wrote that. Medium to large. The Vintage has an even bigger chamber, though. My comment about having the baffle filed down is legit. I have two early babbitt links, one for soprano and one for tenor. The tenor has been worked on, and that may by why, other than the meds, i said that.
 

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since you liked the link sound a lot but weren't comfortable with the (lack of) resistance I would suggest to explore this sort of piece a bit/lot more.
An hour isn't very much, find a good link ( which is a quest in itself, but you could start with going to a shop and take the best one around) and find a brand/reedstrength you like. stick with it for some time.
Right. It takes a few weeks experimenting with reed strength and even brand when you play a new piece.
 

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http://www.theowanne.com/mouthpieces101/baffle.php

Theo explains what I'm talking about above with straight baffles. Sorry if I got off topic, but you guys got me wondering if I got something wrong.

"he straight baffle has a very consistent sound in all registers and will almost never sound harsh or too bright.



This is the baffle of choice for musicians who blow very hard. A person who blows hard creates a natural speed to the air-stream within the mouthpiece. This speed acts the same as a roll-over baffle. Because of this, the musician will sound too bright on a mouthpiece that has a roll-over baffle in it, and a straight baffle is needed to compensate. This baffle is also commonly used for soprano saxophone mouthpieces which have a tendency to sound shrill or ducky, particularly in the upper register."
 

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Focusing on the speed of the air flow is a useful visualization and teaching tool. It controls how the reed vibrates (mostly its amplitude). This sets up tiny puffs of air that "ring" a standing wave in the sax. But beyond the reed, this "fast air" just passes through the sax with no significant effect on the sound.

A baffle can speed up the air near the tip causing the reed to speak (vibrate) with less blowing effort (pressure). It is a venturi effect. Beyond the tip, this aerodynamic effect is not in play and air flows are not a significant part of the acoustics going on.
 

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Over the years, I have moved from various tenor mouthpieces in this order:
-Leblanc Vito II (felt comfortable, too shrill)
-Selmer C* (comfortable, too closed for jazz)
-Meyer 5M (uncomfortable, this was when I was in high school and didn't have the chops to feel at home on the piece, being used to the C*)
-Rousseau 4R (comfortable, not enough color or too 2D/not fat enough, sterile)
-Phil Barone Vintage 7* (really uncomfortable/resistant, poor sound due to struggling)

Then, I tried my friend's Guardala Super King and it was EASIER to play than the Phil Barone. So, I bought my own Guardala.

-Guardala MBII, (still uncomfortable/not as bad as Phil Barone, WAY TOO BRIGHT!)

As I got accustomed to the Guardala, I went back to the Phil Barone with much better results.

-Phil Barone Vintage 7* (more comfortable than before, decent jazz sound, just not as clean as I want)

Then, another one of my friends let me try his Otto Link STM 7* and it was TOO EASY. I felt like I needed something more to push against, a harder reed or more open mouthpiece, the former being preferred. But he recorded me and it sounded like I was perfectly at home on the mouthpiece on the recording.

-Otto Link STM 7* (not enough resistance, great jazz sound)

Which leads me to my question: Why does the Otto Link 7* feel so much easier to play than the Phil Barone 7*?
There's a lot of verbiage on here, most of it simply not true. First, this term "Link sound" which gets tossed around a lot on SOTW is ridiculous within itself because Links like Meyers and most mouthpieces with round chambers are one of the few mouthpieces that enable the player to get an individual sound so there is no "Link sound". Just listen to Stan Getz or Coltrane or early Sonny Rollins or Dexter. They all so entirely different..

I've been customizing and making mouthpieces from scratch for going on almost thirty years and this is very typical of what I see, only maybe a little extreme. What the OP is essentially saying is that there's no mouthpiece that he can get along with. Let me take you through the OP's post(s) and then the responses and I'll hopefully get to the crux of the matter and get to what ails a lot of us. Then, maybe I'll actually be able to solve this kids problem(s) and maybe some of the readers too. Don't take me wrong, I don't mean to be sarcastic or rude. I am just trying to help this individual and hopefully some other people too, that's all. So let's break it down. Phil Barone

OP-"Over the years, I have moved from various tenor mouthpieces in this order:
-Leblanc Vito II (felt comfortable, too shrill)"
PB-Now a Leblanc is just a stock mouthpiece and shouldn't be shrill by anybody's standard. It's very closed and has a big old chamber. It's just a stock student mouthpiece. Shrill? I don't think so. Shrill would imply that the mouthpiece has some kind of character or something built into it like a pronounced baffle in order to create a buzz or brightness and in a student mouthpiece this is unheard of.
PB-Then the OP says:
OP-"Selmer C* (comfortable, too closed for jazz)"
A C* is closed, we all know that but Joe Henderson played one and he sounded pretty amazing on it but Joe was Joe. However he played a D, not too much more open than a C*.
OP-"-Meyer 5M (uncomfortable, this was when I was in high school and didn't have the chops to feel at home on the piece, being used to the C*)"
Trane was known to play .085's and the OP is talking about a 5M. What I'm trying to say here is that there's a pattern. A pattern of a beginning player just not really linking anything, a kid that doesn't seem to be giving anything a chance.

OP-"Rousseau 4R (comfortable, not enough color or too 2D/not fat enough, sterile)"
Ditto
OP-"-Phil Barone Vintage 7* (really uncomfortable/resistant, poor sound due to struggling)"
Ditto and Mike Murley plays a Vintage 7*. If you don't know who he is check out http://www.mikemurley.com/links-contact.html He's a burning player from Canada.
OP- "Then, I tried my friend's Guardala Super King and it was EASIER to play than the Phil Barone. So, I bought my own Guardala."

OP-" Guardala MBII, (still uncomfortable/not as bad as Phil Barone, WAY TOO BRIGHT!)"
PB-I take it that he's saying that the Guardala was way too bright because they are so maybe there's so light at the end of the tunnel.
OP-"As I got accustomed to the Guardala, I went back to the Phil Barone with much better results."
PB-"Do I see some progress? It looks like he starting to realize that there's a learning curve involved.

OP-"-Phil Barone Vintage 7* (more comfortable than before, decent jazz sound, just not as clean as I want)"
PB-More progress and he's starting to realize that it's not the mouthpiece that does everything.
OP-" Then, another one of my friends let me try his Otto Link STM 7* and it was TOO EASY. I felt like I needed something more to push against, a harder reed or more open mouthpiece, the former being preferred. But he recorded me and it sounded like I was perfectly at home on the mouthpiece on the recording.
PB-He misses the boat here because Links have plenty to blow up against with their big old chambers. Every first tier tenor player used a Link, EVERY SINGLE ONE!
OP-"Otto Link STM 7* (not enough resistance, great jazz sound)"
PB-Maybe he needs a harder reed or more experience. But when he gets older and has to play up to speed and complex rhythms he's not going to want to have to worry about making changes to his embouchure etc.
 

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Here is a list of the amount of time and reeds I used with each mouthpiece:
.......................................................................
Just as I suspected. Not nearly enough time on any one mpc to say anything about any of them. I don't mean that as critcism or a put-down in any way. It's just a simple fact, and most of us have done the same thing at one time to some extent or another (especially after the advent of the internet and sites like this). My advice is pick one of those and stick with it for a while. In learning to play, a "while" varies from one individual to another, but it's always longer than you think you need.
 

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Just as I suspected. Not nearly enough time on any one mpc to say anything about any of them. I don't mean that as critcism or a put-down in any way. It's just a simple fact, and most of us have done the same thing at one time to some extent or another (especially after the advent of the internet and sites like this). My advice is pick one of those and stick with it for a while. In learning to play, a "while" varies from one individual to another, but it's always longer than you think you need.
I tend to confirm this opinion. I went through many mps, specially on alto and tenor. Now if you look at my setups below, I settled on what one could call good old standards. Of the shelf mps, no exotic refaces, no overhyped vintages. You can't go wrong choosing "....(when I was young it said IBM)...". Sometimes I think "all that hassle (and $$) to end up with standard mps...". I suspect building a solid air support (thanks bari sax !) helped me to get there.
 

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Hmmm...
I've got a Barone Vintage in an 8*. Not uncomfortable to play, not overly bright, and one of the least resistant pieces I own. Slap a Hemke 2.5 or 3 on it and it will do anything I ask of it. But after 40 years of playing mostly classical clarinet... Well, I've got 'chops'. :)

The way you hop from one piece to another it's no wonder you are suffering a 'dilema'. ;)
 

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I tend to confirm this opinion. I went through many mps, specially on alto and tenor. Now if you look at my setups below, I settled on what one could call good old standards. Of the shelf mps, no exotic refaces, no overhyped vintages. You can't go wrong choosing "....(when I was young it said IBM)...". Sometimes I think "all that hassle (and $$) to end up with standard mps...". I suspect building a solid air support (thanks bari sax !) helped me to get there.
same here, my fist jazz mpc was a HR link, 30 years later I find myself playing a HR link. ( be it the nicely made TM EB version)
It took quite a bit of mpc's ( in between those two links) to find out mpc's are not the most important thing to get a good sound...
 
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