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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what do you guys think of the HR Otto Links for soprano? Have been playing a YSS-62 with the supplied yamaha piece and am ready to get rid of that pinched tone. Can't afford a Tenny Link. Using a FL STM 5* Link on the Tenor but the Yamaha sop. is so bright already I'm thinking HR. Am thinking an 8 but have been using the supplied 4 and am worried about adjusting to it... any other suggestions in the under $100 price range that work well w/ YSS-62. Tonewise w/ current setup is sorta' Paul Winter while I'm diggin on Wayne Shorter's tone, (but who isn't)
 

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I use a HR Link 7 on a Yani S990. Like the sound and the way it plays. My Link is a Tenney. My experience has been that when I try to save money on mouthpieces I just end up buying a lot of mouthpieces and not using most of them. It's worth saving longer and getting better pieces.
 

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My mainstay for years has been a rubber Link 6. If I could have only one soprano piece, this would probably be it. Tunes nicely, tone warm, easy, and right down the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Paul, your suggestion of the 6 Link is spot on, I have a line on a used HR Link 8 for $50 so thats one reason for the interest there...I like the idea of an edgier sound, but is my head gonna pop off when i try to use it? Living in the mountains of Virginia doesn't really afford me the opportunity to try a bunch of pieces and I really don't wanna order a bunch and send them back... Steve, can't seem to find a HR Tayne online. Someone here made a post on a very cheap Bari they liked alot...not really opposed to metal either if I can find a warm one... thanks for your time guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
O.k. guys, here's my reserch, the Yamaha 4c is at .047. Others listings here have mentioned a supprisingly good cheap student Bari Espirt sop. piece which is at .057. (anyone out there tried this one?) The Link 8 is .070
I do like the idea of saving for a Tenny but need more exp. w/ different pieces anyway to see what really works for me... can't stand the 4c any longer, at this price, I can get the Link 8 AND the cheap Bari, experiment, perhaps work my way up to the 8. Does this sound smart?(am i not dunb now?)
 

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For what it's worth, I recently tried a HR Link for soprano. It didn't come close to my Super Session J. But, to each his own. I'm sure there are players who have had exactly the opposite reaction. DAVE
 

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Modern HR Links (made by Babbitt) do not compare to vintage sop HR Links at all. The new ones are longer, the chamber is smaller and the sidewalls are straight instead of concave. They can be altered to be similar to vintage ones (like Doc does) since there is a lot of material there that can be ground away. The facing work on a modern Link is hit or miss.

If you are not planning to get them reworked, there are better choices.
 

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yillb said:
O.k. guys, here's my reserch, the Yamaha 4c is at .047. Others listings here have mentioned a supprisingly good cheap student Bari Espirt sop. piece which is at .057. (anyone out there tried this one?)
I have one of the Bari Esprits, and use it regularly. I got it on a whim, because I wanted to try something in approximately that tip opening. It plays very well - better (for me) than a couple of Vandorens I've tried. I can't bring myself to buy another hard rubber soprano mpc, because this thing plays so well and was so cheap. Give it a try.
 

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yillb, You probably will go through a lot of pieces you don't like. Do you know, you can get a new HR Link for $57 and return it if it doesn't work for you. I have way too many pieces in my drawer now.

I don't have much too offer, just don't throw away your 4C. I only got my first soprano sax, Antigua 682, two weeks ago. It came with a no-name 4C mouthpiece. I bet it's made by Yamaha, because it looks like an old Selmer Soloist copy. The piece actually sounds very good, easy to blow, palm key notes are a bid shrill, but all notes are perfectly in tune. Without any hard work, all notes are plus or minus no more than a few cents. (Thank you, Paul R. Coats, Thank you, Paul R. Coats, Thank you, Paul R. Coats) Even my son, who has only been playing alto for 3 years, can just pick the soprano up and play with good intonation. He thinks he is ready to use the soprano sax in church. I don't have time to practice soprano, so this 4C piece is the best lazy man's mouthpiece.

BUT, due to G.A.S., I had tried the following pieces and they are on their way back to the vendors:
Selmer Super Session I ($89): Chamber, baffle, table and facing are handworked. Dark, full and very quick response. Because the tip opening is too big for me, it sounds too loud and too focus. Can't control the intonation on the high notes. If the soprano is my main piece or I have time to practice, I will keep this one. I might get an E or F facing to try it.
Bari 64 ($64) : it sounds a bid mellower, but the notes don't response as quick as Super Session I. I can't control it either.
Link 7 ($57) : The vendor was out of Link 7, lucky me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I first want to state for the record that for someone that none of you know, the thoughtfulness and time you guys put into helping folks like me blows me away. YEAH! for the communitity!! thank-you x100. Now, after reading thru most of these posts, and archives, it seems that the Super Session in general, w/ J at the top, wins the popularity poll for sop. pieces under $100 out of the box. (perhaps a good new thread?) MojoBari's explation of new vers. old Links was most informative. Why they would change a good design is beyond me. Unfortunatly for me, my e-box didn't notify me of the new posts and in my haste to save (lose?) money have ordered a (non returnable) Link 8 for $50. This may have not been a good move but maybe I'll get lucky. (Oh, the lessons to be learned...) Also ordered the Bari Espirit. I'll post the results after I've had a little time with them. Thank-you one and all.

By the way, if any of you guys double on flute (or want to) I make, and hand tune, high quality simple system bamboo flutes, in all keys. My site is down and I won't list my (very reasonable) prices here because that would consitute an ad. Billy Novak owns several. my e-mail is [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bootman, I will probably check out a metal link for my sop. when get out of this po-dunk town, (we're talkin' "Outback USA" here) and can get to the "big city" where I hope to try several. By the way, I plan to check out your reed drilling technique. Seems all the rage. You have a nice site, thanks.
 

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I have a transitional 8* Florida HR that plays beautifully. The closest in response (speaking HR that is), is the Ponzol HR traditional and the Bari HR (with the metal band on the shank). The Ponzol being the closest tonally of the two.
The metal Links, as Bootman attests, are quite good as well, though they are somewhat small and for me, not as comfortable, though they have a nice, centered response (I have a 7* Link metal).
 

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For what it's worth

Just recently tried a few pieces at a local music store. Personally, I can't handle the online mail order scene.

Currently using a Meyer 7M. and have a Berg Larsen .80 short facing. Consequently, these are the pieces the following were compared to.

B. Selmer Super Session, E facing. After viewing several discussion boards and reading about how fantastic this piece was, well one just has to try it. It isn't a bad piece, but I don't share the enthusiasm of Dave Dolson and those who think it is "the best." It did look for a J facing and they didn't have one. Maybe Dave, built up my expectations a little too high, after reading post after post. But I fail to see "how much better this piece is supposed to be. Maybe, I thought that this piece was supposed to sound a little better after reading each post Dave submitted. That's my problem not Dave's. Dave as long as you are happy, that's the main thing. A large tip opening would have helped this piece, but then that could apply to some of the others listed here.

C. Otto Link HR, 5. I had previously rented an Antigua sax with this piece on it and it was great. However, this was a new piece out of the box and it didn't play the same as the one on the rental. I was expecting more based on my past experience. Must have been playing one of those older piece on the rental that Mojo Bari is talking about.

D. Bari HR, .68. A good piece that I could probably learn to love. It's still in the back of my mind. I found this piece to be far more expressive than the Super Session. But then, Dave Dolson and I don't have the same embouchure. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and figure that he is miles ahead of me.

E. Dukoff 5, D Chamber. (Metal-Silver) Gotta tell you. If there is any players out there that want to sound like Kenny G, this is it. Kenny plays a D7 which has a wider tip opening than the D5. Plenty of brightness in the upper register and real full in the bell notes. So, for a moment, I was Kenny G. The problem with the D5 is that this piece is not as open past C# three, where the Meyer can go all the way to F#3 and beyond without any problem as with the Otto Link on the rental. Since these pieces belonged to the store, it didn't want to force the notes (bite) and have to wind up buying them anyway. Besides, if there was a tendency to bite at the store, what was going to happen in the shed at home. But, I would imagine that the D7, or even D8 would do the trick. The Dukoff has an S shaped baffle, so when one gets higher, the tolerances get real tight. The tolerances on soprano are tight anyway, but this was something else. This was a metal piece and it was a cold rainy afternoon. Man, was that metal cold. Let me just add that what gives the Dukoff it's brightness is not the metal, it's the S shaped baffle. After reading about the inconsistencies of Dukoff pieces expressed here, I was leary of how this piece would play. But the piece appeared to be fine. No squeaks, or any other anomolies. Was definitely checking for a flat table and how the reed lined up with the tip. Then the rails and the tip itself.

E. In the final analysis, I stuck with my old Meyer. I just couldn't see spending the additional $$$. Maybe, it's a mental thing, but every metal mouthpiece I have ever tried has always sounded a tad brighter than a HR. I agree that the design probably has more to do with it, than the material. But, the material is still part of the equation. To what degree? One of these days we'll have the answer.

Eventually, I will move on from the Meyer. But not just yet. Good only knows, that I have studied mouthpiece charts inside and out. Further, I have read everything you good folks have written here on this board. And yes, it has been a great help. It has given me direction and wealth of knowledge that otherwise I would have never possessed. And a round of sincere thanks is in order, whether or not I like the Super Session. This board is more than a valuable resource.

Consequently, let me finish by saying this. Sure, go ahead and read all of the mouthpiece charts you can. Read everything on this board there is to read about the mouthpieces you might want to purchase. Check out the manufacturers web sites. But, in the final analysis, try before you buy. If that means taking a trip to a major metropolitan center, so be it. In mouthpieces, there are just too many variables, including your embouchure, throat position, and air support which has nothing to do with the piece itself. To strictly purchase a piece strictly on scientific data and manufacturers claims and what somebody else likes, is a measure twice cut once proposition, unless you have their embouchure and so on.

Caveat: Once again. Try before you buy. That is the acid test.

Thanks for letting me share.

Chris.
 

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Chris: I'll post more detail in a day or two, but I spent some time at Kessler's in Las Vegas yesterday (along with "vegaschris" and Dave Kessler). I tried two metal Yanagisawa sop pieces and a Morgan Protone plastic piece (along with several sops, and alto pieces).

None of the sop pieces held a candle to my Super Session J, FOR ME! I think vegaschris and Dave Kessler will concur. The Morgan Protone was a pretty good piece but compared to the SS-J (when I played them), no contest.

We are all different . . . and trying to achieve different results. DAVE
 

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i really would advise against buying ANY new unmodified link untested.

I play a Tenney HR soprano link - exquisite :lol: I had a strong feeling I would like it as on tenor I have a superb Theo Wanne modified early babbit.

I've first tried my luck on a few stock STM's and toneedge's (both tenor and soprano) that were aweful to mediocre and eventually figured that I may as well spend the money and get a tenney. Well worth it i think :)
 
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