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Discussion Starter #1
I recently aquired an Otto Link Florida USA STM tenor mouthpiece. It has been barely played and can be best described as near mint, "time machine" condition. It is marked as a 6 opening. I would like to have it opened up to a 6* which is my current preference or even take it to a 7*. I have test played this mouthpiece and I am really happy with it but am wondering if I sent it out to one of the highly regarded refacers associated with this type of mouthpiece and having work done on it; anywhere from just "balancing" it to openeing it up to 7* if this might be a wise choice. The problem here is that it is in such phenomanal original condition that any work on it might devalue it in some way. The bottom line for me is the performance of the mouthpiece, I am hoping this is going to be my "number one" piece. Not interested in selling it.

Any thoughts on this from the forum will be appreciated.
 

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If you reface it, you WILL devalue the piece absolutely. If you understand that, and don't mind, go for it. It's your piece.

I would also say to be careful what work you do to it, because if you like the way it plays and sounds right now, it's always possible it could lose that "thing" when you get it worked on.
 

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I'd leave it as it is, I have one vintage mouthpiece that fits the description of what you have and I decided to leave it as it is for the reasons Buddy Lee stated. There are a multitude of options for Link like mouthpieces so I personally would explore those.
 

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Don't do it. You could change your mind in a couple of months or weeks or it could turn out that it won't be you're best piece after the refacing work or it could sound and feel very different from now after that. You could also find another piece that plays better for you. In all these cases you would have a devalued Florida Link left.

If you really think that this is the mouthpiece for your life then I'd say give yourself a couple of months and try to adapt to the original facing, try different reed strengths and cuts and handle it with care. But I wouldn't change it when it's original.

If you want a piece like that but in a wider tip opening I highly recommend to try some modern mouthpieces with similar designs. In my experience Florida Links aren't the non plus ultra magic mouthpieces that can't be copied (I had a few of them). Believe me, there are lots of options out there that sound at least the same or even better. At the end it's physics and not myths or magic.

Saying this I believe at the same time that the original ones won't get cheaper in the next years. The myth is strong and they get a historical value as well when they're untouched.
 

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Altering a coveted mouthpiece no longer made of considerable value with only the hope that it will play better, is rather foolhardy considering you're putting more money into it and its value will undoubtedly be destroyed. If you're truly "happy with it", why wreck that because of a number that you don't think suits you? Play it and get over the stigma, or sell it for full value and find one with a number you're happy with.
 

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I recently aquired an Otto Link Florida USA STM tenor mouthpiece. It has been barely played and can be best described as near mint, "time machine" condition. It is marked as a 6 opening. I would like to have it opened up to a 6* which is my current preference or even take it to a 7*. I have test played this mouthpiece and I am really happy with it but am wondering if I sent it out to one of the highly regarded refacers associated with this type of mouthpiece and having work done on it; anywhere from just "balancing" it to openeing it up to 7* if this might be a wise choice. The problem here is that it is in such phenomanal original condition that any work on it might devalue it in some way. The bottom line for me is the performance of the mouthpiece, I am hoping this is going to be my "number one" piece. Not interested in selling it.

Any thoughts on this from the forum will be appreciated.
I reface for a living and I know how rare it is to find something like this. Original examples are getting harder to find. Someone would probably trade it. Plus if you can learn to play it ... I think the benefits of that outweigh changing the opening. The other factor here (which I know you don't care about) is the value of it. Original will sell for more.
 

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You can get it refaced at any time, however, you can never undo a reface to make it original again. I'd say give it some time as is, and you may find you actually enjoy it more as a 6 than a 7*. When you eventually drop it on the tip, then it's time for a reface :)
 

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6* is plenty big. Players get way too hung up on having to have a certain size. You can get plenty of volume and projection out of it. You might get a touch more volume from a 7* but its negligible. Smaller links have a certain vibe that WILL change as it gets more open.

If it is in that kind of condition you will may as well take a chain saw to its resale value.

This is why I made the Tribute...you can get a florida with a good tip size or have them customized to your liking on the LTD version.

You dont risk a piece that cant be replaced or undone. I dont think opening a link that isnt a fantastic example is a bad idea but trying to monkey around with a piece that is already excellent is like playing with fire.
 

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If you are contemplating having the piece refaced, then you are prepared to spend $100-200 in attempting to make the mouthpiece more to your liking. Instead of a reface, spend that money on a variety of reeds. Try a Hartmann Hemp, a Plasticover, harder, softer, etc. Go outside your comfort zone. It could be that you will find the right combination for a lot less, and your mouthpiece will not be devalued. I've seen used synthetics sell and trade here on SOTW, so your experimental reed fund could go farther than you think.

And forget about tip numbers. I see this all the time. "I play a 7*." So what, I play a 2,549 squared. The difference in actual tip measurement numbers from one manufacturer to another, and also between mouthpieces by the same manufacturer make the numbers almost meaningless. The issue is how does it play/sound for you? Forget about the number and try 30 different reeds to find out.

For jollies, I just refaced a Buffet hard rubber tenor piece from .060 to .130 (a tip opening sometimes referred to as a "Link 10"). Some claim that these Buffet pieces are Chedeville blanks, but I consider them semi-junker blanks good for experimenting (unlike your pristine STM). It obviously changed the way the piece plays. Surprisingly (to me since I've never played anything bigger than .105) it wasn't any more difficult to play because of the progressively longer lay. In fact it was easier than some of the Brilharts with short facings. It's not like a larger tip opening is a "big boy" mouthpiece.

You might listen to some Coleman Hawkins and see if there is anything good about your #6 facing.

Mark
 

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If you are contemplating having the piece refaced, then you are prepared to spend $100-200 in attempting to make the mouthpiece more to your liking. Instead of a reface, spend that money on a variety of reeds. Try a Hartmann Hemp, a Plasticover, harder, softer, etc. Go outside your comfort zone. It could be that you will find the right combination for a lot less, and your mouthpiece will not be devalued. I've seen used synthetics sell and trade here on SOTW, so your experimental reed fund could go farther than you think.

And forget about tip numbers. I see this all the time. "I play a 7*." So what, I play a 2,549 squared. The difference in actual tip measurement numbers from one manufacturer to another, and also between mouthpieces by the same manufacturer make the numbers almost meaningless. The issue is how does it play/sound for you? Forget about the number and try 30 different reeds to find out.

For jollies, I just refaced a Buffet hard rubber tenor piece from .060 to .130 (a tip opening sometimes referred to as a "Link 10"). Some claim that these Buffet pieces are Chedeville blanks, but I consider them semi-junker blanks good for experimenting (unlike your pristine STM). It obviously changed the way the piece plays. Surprisingly (to me since I've never played anything bigger than .105) it wasn't any more difficult to play because of the progressively longer lay. In fact it was easier than some of the Brilharts with short facings. It's not like a larger tip opening is a "big boy" mouthpiece.

You might listen to some Coleman Hawkins and see if there is anything good about your #6 facing.

Mark
Sage advice, my man. Particularly about the reeds. If you need more resistance, if it blows too freely for you, try a harder reed.
On the strictly technical side, once you break the plating on it by sanding on the table and rails in a refacing, you have essentially ruined the mouthpiece no matter how good it plays. If you try some others and you're sure you need a larger facing, by all means sell it to somebody who is looking for that mouthpiece. BTW, it turns out that 6* is the most popular facing on a STM, so you will have no trouble trading or selling.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Since first making this post this morning I have been playing this mouthpiece for about two hours; long tones, scales, arpeggios etc. and it is just marvelous! It most definitely is excellent in its current original state. I just want to thank everyone who responded to my original question. I am so apprecitive of the SOTW community; what a great resource we have here. Thanks everyone!
 

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Against popular belief, some of these Florida pieces are horribly faced from the factory.
Yours doesn’t seem to be one of those so I’d enjoy it the way it is or sell it on to someone else who will.
There’s already plenty of Florida/Powell/Falcon pieces out there to choose from if that’s what you’re after.
 

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1. Stay awake on the ebay thing.

2. Snag a modern STM for cheap.

3. Send it to a refacer with instructions to do whatever you were shooting for with your vintage beauty. They will flatten, trim, and adjust, so you can check out the 7* scene, with a reliable piece, if you are wondering about that.

That way you can check out the situation with very little risk. Only then consider changing what you got.

[Although, even after that I would find it extremely difficult to mess with a vintage metal piece with that tip opening that was playing well. I do not think I could bring myself to do it.]
 

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[ADMIN EDIT: Marketing removed]

My philosophy is that if you have a good product you can afford to offer returns because almost no one sends them back. I could not sleep at night if I jammed a high dollar piece down someones throat and said..."Sorry, no returns". To me those are ill gotten gains. Players deserve more respect than that.
 

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I didnt see anyone mention having a refacer do a check of the table and facing curve without altering it. I think it's worth having it it evaluated. After some time you may find it to be reed-picky and at least you'd know why.

If you find out it has some quirks, you might have a better idea abouts the reeds, ligs or personal changes you can make to work around those quirks.

Just a thought.
 

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If it 'ain't broke,it don't need fixing' learn to play it how you want it-it sounds like a good 'un!
Its a link...something will technically be found wrong with it. That does not mean it needs to be fixed.

Having good pieces checked is like going to a surgeon...his job is to cut, he will likely find something you need fixed.

Not much difference with refacing. There is almost always something that "Needs" to be addressed.

If there is an overt and explicit problem that is an entirely different matter.

Slap on a reed and play.
 

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If you really like the way it plays as it is, don't change it. Learn to play it. It can take at least several months before you really tune into it. Maybe going slightly up in reed strength will help you, rather than opening the tip. Refacing it is a great risk; you may regret it. If it was just an OK piece, then my advice might be different. I have had many pieces refaced in the past. I have learned the hard way that often it is better not to reface, unless the piece has serious issues, which doesn't seem to be the case.
 

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Its a link...something will technically be found wrong with it. That does not mean it needs to be fixed.

Having good pieces checked is like going to a surgeon...his job is to cut, he will likely find something you need fixed.

Not much difference with refacing. There is almost always something that "Needs" to be addressed.

If there is an overt and explicit problem that is an entirely different matter.

Slap on a reed and play.
+1! Wise words from a very experienced mouthpiece specialist ...
 
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