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I'm digging a bit deeper into the history of my favourite mouthpieces: I own a Tonemaster from the 40s as well as Double Rings from the early (NY) and late (Florida) 50s. My pieces have lost the gold plating, but I find there is brass underneath. I have learned about the geometry of the different models, but there's one thing I can't judge. I understand that at some point in the 60s Link used silver, and then later nickel or rhodium as a coating to make the gold plating last longer (with little success...).
There are a lot of experienced mouthpiece guys over here, so you can maybe tell me if and how the coating (silver, nickel, rhodium) affects the sound of vintage Link mouthpieces.
 

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The only thing I've noticed with bare brass vintages mouthpieces was the seal between the reed and table seemed to be affected but this was with a short shank Dukoff. I don't think the plating was done as well as a Link andthe material is different. I think the Dukoffs are bronze.
I wouldn't think a thin layer of gold or anything would affect the sound but re-plating may.
 

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First, there is no evidence the Rhodium was used in plating Links.

IMO, plating does nothing to affect the sound. But if the plating is missing, this may be an indication that some brass is missing too due to wear. On the facing, this will effect how it plays.
 

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First, there is no evidence the Rhodium was used in plating Links.

IMO, plating does nothing to affect the sound. But if the plating is missing, this may be an indication that some brass is missing too due to wear. On the facing, this will effect how it plays.
I was always told the silver under the gold on links was rhodium. Is that false?
 

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Generally nickel under gold.

Heavy plating is between 3 and 4 microns thick. That is really super thin.

If you can tell the difference in a plated vs non plated piece I take my hat off to you.

Of course dont discount what Mojo said. If you have played through the plating on the facing eons ago there may be some measure of metal wear.
Plating wont put it back in proportion of how it has worn. It would need the facing refreshed. However, that does not mean it needs refacing simply due to the absence of plating. I dont want to imply that.
 

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I was always told the silver under the gold on links was rhodium. Is that false?
That's indeed false.

Check this post of Theo Wanne: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ginal-facing&p=2580547&viewfull=1#post2580547

Plating:
• Vintage New York and ‘Double Band Super Tone Master’ Otto Links had a Silver substrate under the gold.
• ‘No USA’ and ‘USA’ Metal Super Tone Master Otto Links prior to 1973 had nickel plating under the gold. A nickel substrate along with the bore size of 0.662” are the true ‘marks’ of a Florida Otto Link.
• In 1973 all Otto Links where plated at Anderson Silver Plating (right next door to JJ Babbitt in Elkhart Indiana) who has never, and still does not, use nickel. Hence, all post 1973 Otto Links have silver plating as a substrate underneath the gold plating.

The transitional Otto Links mentioned above have the 0.662” bore diameter, but the denim table and silver substrate under gold. These are the only exception to the plating rule above that I have seen.
 

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There are a lot of experienced mouthpiece guys over here, so you can maybe tell me if and how the coating (silver, nickel, rhodium) affects the sound of vintage Link mouthpieces.
Heiner, Sliver and Nickel are used as a metal layer (so it's not the same as a coating!) under the gold layer to get better adhesion characteristics.

I played a 1973 EB STM 8* for about 20 years and bought it new in the 80's with a fresh and new gold layer. Now the gold layer disappeared, but I didn't notice any change in sound, so I guess it doesn't have an effect (or a very limited).
 

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If the facing is not worn lets just call it no difference.
Going from one reed to the next (in the same box) will have far more effect.

It pretty much lacks any relevance and there are much bigger fish to fry.

...like how many players worrying about plating have leaks in their horn or are playing bad facings anyway?


Oh, and Henblower, the under coat does make the gold last longer. There are a couple of makers who have gold plated directly over brass. The gold literally flakes off (pretty quickly), especially starting around edges (bite plate, tip rail, etc...)
Gold does not play well with brass. It does not bond on a molecular level...it literally just sits on top like paint. That is why one uses an under plating. However, you are right. Gold is a pretty coating but its actually a pretty pathetic material for something that gets as much handling and abuse as a mouthpiece. Its good for allergy issues and its nice while it lasts.
 

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I'm digging a bit deeper into the history of my favourite mouthpieces: I own a Tonemaster from the 40s as well as Double Rings from the early (NY) and late (Florida) 50s. My pieces have lost the gold plating, but I find there is brass underneath. I have learned about the geometry of the different models, but there's one thing I can't judge. I understand that at some point in the 60s Link used silver, and then later nickel or rhodium as a coating to make the gold plating last longer (with little success...).
There are a lot of experienced mouthpiece guys over here, so you can maybe tell me if and how the coating (silver, nickel, rhodium) affects the sound of vintage Link mouthpieces.
Plating on a mouthpiece doesn't affect it whatsoever. I do my own plating and have tested mouthpieces before and after plating and there's no difference. Links used to be underplated with nickel but now they use silver. Phil Barone
 

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Of course dont discount what Mojo said. If you have played through the plating on the facing eons ago there may be some measure of metal wear.
Plating wont put it back in proportion of how it has worn. It would need the facing refreshed. However, that does not mean it needs refacing simply due to the absence of plating. I dont want to imply that.
That happens to brass pieces? I've heard of that on a few occasions happening to rubber and rubber-like pieces, and I get that eventually anything will wear down, yeah, but I didn't think any brass mouthpieces are old enough yet that they can be played to death.
 
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