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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me what is so special with Florida Links? Ive got Lawton B and BBs, Bergs, ordinary Otto Link STMs including a great sounding NY version and my main gig piece which is a RPC115B.
I have managed to get hold of a 8* Florida Link which is in great condition and has perfect rails and tip. I have tried a variation of reeds (makes, types and grades). I have tried and tried to get used to the mouthpiece but have found it very reed picky. When I bought it I thought it would be comparable with my Lawton 8*BB. Contrary to popular belief the Lawton is flexible and is very reed friendly (perhaps I'm lucky). I find the Florida difficult to play expressively. Any suggestions?
 

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Any suggestions?
Play the Lawton :angel4:.

Seriously though, there seems to be a myth on this board that all Florida Otto Links are fantastic playing pieces when in reality not all of them are. In fact, some of them are downright duds...maybe you have a dud that could benefit from a quality reface. In any case, Florida Links are investments and if it doesn't work out for you you could always sell it and make a pretty penny.
 

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I guess what goes for all Link mpc's goes for the florida's also, they vary a lot.
I recently got a florida no usa with a wolf tayne facing which sounds great and responds very well with lots of reeds. But that doesn't mean that is the case with all florida links. It's best to try before you buy but that's often unrealistic since they are so few of them on the market...
It might be that another player finds it a great piece as well as my "great piece" might not do anything for the next player. It's also very personal.
Maybe it's best to sell it or trade it untill you find a florida you do like.
They CAN be great, you have to find the right one for you.
 

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Yeah, sell the link on eBay or this forum. If it dont play, no use keeping it. Someone will pay good money for it.

Also, everyone's personal makeup is different (internal oral cavity, jaw structure, etc.) so maybe its just not your thang.
 

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At least for me, the Florida STM has a core to the sound that the modern STM lacks. Also, the Florida can be made to play bright when wanted if you know how to control it. The modern STM stays more in its darker character all the time.

But again, this is just my experience with my particular Florida STM. Your mileage may vary. ;)
 

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Can anyone tell me what is so special with Florida Links?... I have managed to get hold of a 8* Florida Link which is in great condition and has perfect rails and tip.
I believe it is quite possible that the way these things were designed and cut, they just play more efficiently with a tip opening from 5-7*. I used to have a 5 that just sang, but just preferred more open pieces. When I later got a vintage 9, it just wasn't there. Now I know that's limited experience, but I'm not the only one with such experiences.
 

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I believe it is quite possible that the way these things were designed and cut, they just play more efficiently with a tip opening from 5-7*. I used to have a 5 that just sang, but just preferred more open pieces. When I later got a vintage 9, it just wasn't there. Now I know that's limited experience, but I'm not the only one with such experiences.
+1. The Links in general work better with a more close tip than I want to use.
 

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Years ago I used a Link HR on a Mark VI bari and it was great. Recently I got a Martin Bari and in the quest for a mouthpiece I borrowed a STM 6*. It was horrible, no middle register and the intonation was like a cheap horn from China! An old tubby played great on it so it just may be a mouthpiece to horn thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Guess I'll favour my Lawton. On the other hand I might get a refacing job done. Guys, thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Why destroy the value of the piece just for the possibility it will play better for you? Leave it to posterity in its original form.
Grumps. I would rather it have some magic breathed on it by an expert than it be stuck in a draw gathering dust and increasing in value. I think mouthpieces should be used.
 

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I think mouthpieces should be used.
I do too, and I'm sure there's someone out there that can use it in its original form. So many of these vintage pieces get hacked and altered on the whims of players who will be shopping around for something else the next month. Otherwise you wouldn't see all these refaced pieces offered for resale. I just don't know why some folks equate refacing with magic. It's more hit and miss than most will care to admit. Sure, it's just a hunk of metal, but you'll still be losing value; and if posterity means nothing to you, then at least think of the financial sting.
 

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How 'bout the middle ground of having an experienced mouthpiece technician EVALUATE the mouthpiece first? If the facing is good, then maybe a Link is not for you. If the facing needs work, get it fixed.

I agree that a good mouthpiece might be better in the hand's of someone else if it is not working for you. But if it is not a good original facing, there is little value in preserving the mistakes of the past.
 

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How 'bout the middle ground of having an experienced mouthpiece technician EVALUATE the mouthpiece first?
Not a bad compromise, but I generally still see it as forcing a square peg in a round hole. Yeah, the refacer may be able to round it enough to fit, but on a valuable vintage piece I wouldn't take the chance. Flip it, move on and find something else that works right off the bat. Now I know the original poster might not be swayed, but this is also for others considering same.
 

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To answer the original question, I think a lot of players like the Floridas for the combination of a big fat sound with presence and brilliance without a harsh edge that you can get from them. I also agree with the above, that the chamber/throat/baffle design of a Link works better in small and medium tip openings. If you are trying to get the same type of response from the Link that you get from the Lawton, you may need to try a smaller tip than the Lawton. I'm not real familiar with Lawtons. (I played my teachers P model many years ago). These two designs might be far enough apart that getting a Link to play like one is impossible. But I think you can improve the results with the Link by using a smaller tip. This is not an affront to your ability - it is an adjustment because these two designs have different response characteristics. You might decide you like the smaller Link better than the Lawton.

Maybe you could trade the Link for another Florida in a smaller tip. Nothing lost, but knowledge gained?

Sorry if this comes of as preachy - it's not meant to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey guys I really do find all your constructive remarks enlightening and I thank you all for taking the time. I have previously corresponded with Ed Pillinger near London and he advises keep blowing and see if I get used to it but if I am convinced it needs reworking he will check it and reface where necessary.
I am coming to the conclusion that being used to an open tip mouthpiece like the Lawton and RPC I use, an 8* Florida may be too open.
Perhaps I need to get hold of a 6 to 7 as some of you have advised.
 

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I am coming to the conclusion that being used to an open tip mouthpiece like the Lawton and RPC I use, an 8* Florida may be too open.
Perhaps I need to get hold of a 6 to 7 as some of you have advised.
It is not that you are used to an open tip, you have most likely learned how to best blow a moderately baffled 'piece. The Links are different and require a different approach. Assuming that the Link you have is a good one, you would need to learn to blow the Link differently than you will your Lawton BB. That takes a commitment. Only you can determine whether it is a commitment that you care to take on.
 
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