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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got this Link Slant Florida 5* (incl. original box) in an excellent condition today and had to compare it to my Slant Florida 8 (just too curious...). I found that the pieces feature the same measurements and design (milling lines), even the baffles looked quite similar. But then I saw that the rails are worlds apart: the "8" features very thin rails whereas the "5*" has rails at least twice the size of the the "8".
Can you experts out there explain about this? I have included pics. If you want to look at them hires, I'll include the Dropbox-link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1r4awxbhsjduv9u/AABnmCmbn1kP1lrzrP6Arxfta?dl=0

In case you want to guess, I'll just call the clips "Slant 1" and "Slant 2" and will solve the riddle later.

Slant 1

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5yd47a6odvvm5a7/Slant 1.mp3?dl=0

Slant 2

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7wrw6zppg80awqv/Slant 2.mp3?dl=0

"Greensleeves" is TOTM in the German forum, so I felt like using this idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had a go at both Slants with a lot of good light, a magnifiying glass and my set of feeler gauges. They are not precision gauges, so the different gauges might be more or less inaccurate. My guess is that neither the 5* nor the 8 have been worked on. The 5* comes to 0.090 which is a bit more than what standard Link charts offer for a 5* (0.086). The 8 is 0.105 or 0.106 which is less than the 0.110 I found in Theo Wanne's chart. The photograph of the 5* over-emphasizes the front rail. It's in fact thinner. On the 5*, the milling lines are clearer than on the 8. When I looked at the mouthpiece museum at saxophone.org I found that the rails on my 5* look quite similar. I used extra magnification to look at the rails all the way to the table, and there is no visual clue this piece was worked on.
Last: when I hold both pieces in parallel and look over them you will find facing length and curve to be similar
I think experts will be able to explain if Florida Slants no U.S.A. were made very individually and can vary a lot, or if there were different production lines of Slants in this Otto Link period.
 

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Just a guess, but since I've found thinner rails to sometimes brighten the sound and Slant 2 sounds a bit brighter/edgier, maybe the Slant 2 is the '8' with thin rails. It sounds a bit edgier to me. OTOH, given the larger tip which should warm the tone, it could be that Slant 1 is the '8.' It depends on which factor is dominant; thickness of the rails or the size of the tip.

There are two separate factors working here; tip opening and thickness of rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just a guess, but since I've found thinner rails to sometimes brighten the sound and Slant 2 sounds a bit brighter/edgier, maybe the Slant 2 is the '8' with thin rails. It sounds a bit edgier to me. OTOH, given the larger tip which should warm the tone, it could be that Slant 1 is the '8.' It depends on which factor is dominant; thickness of the rails or the size of the tip.

There are two separate factors working here; tip opening and thickness of rails.
You are absolutely right there: these factors really count.
After a lengthy visit at saxophone.org's mouthpiecemuseum I found an original 5* that is 0.092 and an original 7 that is 0.098. So it seems a fact that a facing number was not really reliable in the 60s concerning exact opening in fractions of an inch. A Slant that BP worked on shows a clear transition point where you can see the end of the original rail and the onset of Brian's work. so now I'm even more convinced my 5* was not worked on in any way.
You're absolutely right
 

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I found an original 5* that is 0.092 and an original 7 that is 0.098.
Then that 5* would actually be somewhere between a 6 and 6*.

I just realized you said you measured the 5* & 8 and they had the same measurements. What did the tip openings measure? Were they the same?
 

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Heiner, to me they both look original. The different rails could just be caused by using a different blank or a different amount of finishing time put in the mouthpiece.

Soundwise I didn't really hear much difference. My guess would be that the second clip is the 8 and the first the 5*, because you seemed to have a bit heavier attack in clip 2 (pointing to a bigger tip). Clip 1 also sounded a bit cleaner, which could point to a better control (and thus a smaller tip). You sound good on both :).

In general bigger tips should sound a bit darker compared to smaller tips, when all the other things are equal. But a slight difference in baffle could already destroy that theory, that's why I didn't go that way.
 

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Sound wise, I preferred slant 1.
Rails wise, the 8 tip looks more like I would expect as original and the tip rail on the 5 doesn't look original to me. I also see signs where hand finishing on the facing curve of the 5* starts (which doesn't mean its not original) but I don't see that on the 8 and for want of a better description, the rails and tip finish look more 'recent' in comparison to the rest of the piece colour wise.
As always, nice recordings, nice pics, nice pieces!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, saxlicker, for your kind words. This morning I took two more pics in broad daylight and added them in an even higher resolution in the Dropbox folder above. I'll include them here in a smaller, compressed version. Again, there is something that is misleading: with the 5*, the rails show a change in colour which must be the angle of sunlight. I can't detect any change of colour when I hold them in front of my eyes in a diffused light situation.
Anyway: Slant 1 is the 5* with more bottom, Slant 2 the 8 with a slimmer and more defined tone. I like both pieces, but I'm not sure if I will keep them both because I also have a Slant Eburnated Bar NY (was a 4, was opened to 0.108) which has a lot of bottom and sounds huge.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Definitely not, pontius. It would take a professional photographer's job to do both pieces justice, but I can clearly jugde the rails by now when I look at them in vita. The structure of the rails is so even all the way to the end of the window, and when I slide along with my finger, it feels absolutely like the rails on the 8: smooth and even.
What I found when I took the pics an hour ago: the 5* is slightly longer than the 8 and shows a slighly larger window as well. So I guess my friend mrpeebee is right: the pieces are different blanks from the same era.
 

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I've always felt that thinner rails = more "buzz" and while the two pieces sound quite similar I think No. 2 is the "8" tip — I hear a bit more edge..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I still do not believe the 5* was worked on, but of course I'm very interested to know what you find out and think. I bought it as an original Slant and don't believe the seller is putting me on. On the other hand, he might have been cheated before, who knows.
Anyway, I found this 5* at saxophone.org and claim if my piece was worked on, this "original 5* Slant" was worked on as well, because the front rail is as prominent as on my 5*.

http://saxophone.org/museum/mouthpieces/specimen/1084

Maybe some Slant did have a rather prominent front rails and others didn't. I took two more pics of the Slants' baffles to compare. Thanks for all your interest and comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
It has the "Tenney fat rail" look too. A shame since these are so hard to find in original condition.
That sounds really interesting. Could you please explain about those "Tenney fat rails"? Thanks.

I'm slowly falling in love with this Slant. I felt a slight change in my setup would help to let the upper partials sing with more room, so I chose my Gloger copper neck and a RJS 2H reed. Tenor was, like yesterday, my 1956 Mark 6. I really love the overall performance of this mouthpiece.
Of course your speculations and expertises about original vs. non-original are welcome, but I believe it is genuine and I know it's a keeper.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/66272036/Slant 5* Gloger RJS 2H.mp3
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I asked a friend of mine, a renowned manfacturer and refacer of mouthpieces in the U.S.A., for help and sent him the pics. Like Sebastian Knox he pointed out this piece is definitely not original. The guy in Germany who sold it to me agreed on a partial refund, so I will not give it back, but will keep it and will maybe have someone finish a job that was not done properly. On the other hand, the piece sounds surprisingly good. I tried it with a backing track last night ("Maiden Voyage"), and it worked nicely in the mix and offered a lot of colour.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/66272036/slant 5* gloger maiden.mp3

I don't know what a further refacing will bring. Maybe the baffle will have more of a clam-shell profile and the rails will be thinner. Both results will definitely take this Slant to where a lot of the refacings go: more treble, less mids, more bit, less body. I will have to think this over.
The seller sent me the link to the auction :

http://www.ebay.de/itm/122315147467?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

I must say that the offer does not claim this piece is original. On the other hand the shop does not state it's not original.... So they would definitely not take it back, so the loss is with the guy in the German forum who bought it and sold it to me in good faith. He even had to add about 28% for shipping, taxes and customs.
 
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