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I have been trying to figure this out, I’ve looked up photos and read up and still have no idea what it actually is. Can someone explain?
 

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The Otto Link is the archetype of the rollover baffle. Also it is the opposite of all the 'straight'-baffle mouthpieces, like Berg Larsen and Dave Guardala. There are two principle camps on sax mouthpieces - Links vs Bergs, actually comprising many variants of each design. Links and Bergs are probably the two most representative of the two types and the most often compared.
Essentially the Link-type is known for a warmer, more 'spread' and more 'complex' sound. I have found that these mouthpieces produce a sound that blends with other horns better with more 'flavor' and 'wood' in the sound.
The Berg-types typically produce a more focused sound that allows the horn to 'stick out' from the background music. Depending on the player, this sound can be very bright but it doesn't have to be - we find that as a rule, a player will go one way or the other, to the point that they literally cannot play the other type of mouthpiece - so when a Link player tries a high-baffle piece, they almost always find it 'too bright'. OTOH, a high-baffle player usually finds the links to be 'stuffy' and 'resistant'. But for sure it is hard to get the more complex tone from a Berg-type/high baffle piece, but it has been done.
 

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I learn new stuff on this site every week. Thanks 1saxman.
 

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I'm certainly no expert, but have always thought that a complex tone was one with lots of overtones, and that a tone could be complex whether it's spread or focused, bright or dark. My Link-style tenor pieces (by Klum, Drake, 10mfan, d'Addario, etc.) are all very complex in tone, but so are my Metalite, Berg offset M, and Mojo Vortex. My Vandoren T6 and modern Link TE, on the other hand, don't seem very complex, at least not for me.
 

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Interestingly enough, there are pieces that are a sort of blend - for example a Dukoff has a long high flat baffle, but right there at the tip there's a little convexity. There are a bunch of "generic" hard rubber baritone pieces that are somewhat similar though the long flat baffle is lower, and as noted they also have a bit of rollover right there behind the tip rail. Meyer baritone pieces are something similar (Meyer alto and tenor are pure "rollover" baffle).

You also have the sub-distinction between mouthpieces with a generally round chamber and concave side walls (the walls below the side rails) - Link, Meyer, for example - and those with flattish side walls and a "horseshoe" shaped or square cross section chamber (Brilhart, Selmer Soloist, for example. There are subtle tonal differences between these two sub-types as well.
 

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I prefer to use “rollover” to describe the small curved baffle near the tip rail as in the Wanne illustration. There can be small medium and long rollovers. But for a very long rollover, I call them an arched baffle. Arches can be small, medium and large too.
 

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The pictures of the baffles are accurate, but ignore the "hose spraying water" analogy. A high baffle does not choke off the air to create higher pressure inside the oral cavity. It also doesn't have any kind of venturi effect. The baffle effect is acoustical, not hydraulic.

Many of us learned a similar analogy with electricity (volts, amps, resistance) and water. The analogy makes some sense in describing basic concepts, but ultimately the analogy fails and can produce "shocking" misconceptions.

Mark
 

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Although it isn't really a fluid flow situation, it seems that if the oscillation has enough magnitude, conditions in the mouthpiece could mimic some flow characteristics. Or maybe not.
 

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Although it isn't really a fluid flow situation, it seems that if the oscillation has enough magnitude, conditions in the mouthpiece could mimic some flow characteristics. Or maybe not.
I don't know enough about the science involved in the effect of a baffle on sound. But the reason water speeds up when a bottle neck is formed (like pinching a hose) is because water is not a compressible fluid. So when a given volume of water moving at a given speed flows into a smaller space it has to speed up because it won't be compressed.

It's tempting to use the water flow analogy to what happens to the sound in a mpc, but I don't know if it's the same thing at all. The height/size/length/shape of a baffle certainly has a noticeable effect on the sound, but just how it does this and what exactly is going on acoustically is a good question.
 

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Air is a compressible fluid, but a flow restriction can still cause velocity changes, if a less direct relationship than water. I'm not saying flow is a good analogy, just speculating that if the wave oscillation has great enough magnitude it could apply to some degree. Or maybe not.
 

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I now think of the baffle/chamber affecting sound in a similar way to sound being affected by the size and shape of a room (or hallway). Or maybe yelling into the room through a door verses through the mail slot. You will likely be able to tell the difference in the sound even if you can't identify exactly what is causing what sound difference. In a mouthpiece, these minute tonal differences created by the mouthpiece are magnified (amplified? clarified?) through the instrument and can become noticeable to the player and listener.

Do I have any scientific evidence to support this? Of course not. Only anecdotal. A neighbor's great granddaughter was born blind and is now just over three years old. She comes into his house and stamps her feet. Why? She can gauge the size of the room, whether she is in the center, and general furnishings (hard chairs and desks or soft couches and curtains). Jeez, maybe she even knows where the bathroom is.

The information she was getting was right there for me to hear, but I would need some fancy electronic equipment. Sort of like the hydrophones and altered playback speeds used to listen to whale songs. But maybe some minute acoustical "fingerprints" can also be examined by sending the sound through a conical tube. The quack of a Link mouthpiece sounds like the quack of a Dukoff until translated by placing it on the saxophone. One mouthpiece is a person yelling in a big room (Link) and the other is a person yelling in your ear (Dukoff). Kidding about the Dukoff, but there is a difference. Adding a little bit of rollover baffle to a mouthpiece doesn't make a noticeable difference in the quack, but when placed on the saxophone, it can make a big difference. It's the way the sound bounces around inside the mouthpiece, i.e., the shape of the baffle/chamber, not the speed of the air passing through it.

That's my new theory. No hydraulic analogy needed.

Mark
 

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It's weird fact that humans can develop some pretty accurate echolocation skills.
 
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