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Discussion Starter #1
Lately I've been digging Gary Smulyan on youtube. He's got me thinking I should try STM on bari. I'm not much of a Link guy on tenor, so I never gave it much thought before to try the bari piece.

If you're using one or have used one, I'd be curious if you play it stock or if you've had it worked on. I'm interested by what some guys like Eric Falcon do to make the current Links like the vintage ones, though you don't see any mention of baritone mouthpieces.
 

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I used to play a stock Link on bari back in my college big band when I used either of my school's two VI's. I quit using it after I left college as it hung too far off the neck to play in tune with my vintage Conn New Wonder bari. As I recall, we were hardly ever amplified, and I'd have to really blow hard to be heard when soloing over the band. I think folks might get them worked on to put in a baffle for better projection. But if you're going to do that, you may as well just get a different mouthpiece that has one already built in.
 

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I play a stock Florida STM and a newer Tone Edge with a baffle added by Erik G. Both work very well on my Barone bari.
 

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The Link that Gary Smulyan plays is not stock - it was refaced by Ralph Morgan and a wedge (baffle) has been added to it. I didn't see this personally, just going by what Gary told me when I spoke with him in February 2010.

Reportedly, it is a STM 10*, but given the fact that a)a lot of Links don't measure what they're marked and b)it was refaced, it might not be as open as one would think. (Conversely, it might be even more open than one would think...)
 

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I use a couple of different Bari Link STM pieces. They vary wildly! I have a couple of no-usa florida pieces that are very different from each other, a usa florida STM, a double ring STM and a current STM. Gary is right that they are not the loudest pieces around, but each has a distinct and wonderful voice.
 

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My personal experience is that a STM with a decent facing, vintage or not, works very well on tenor. The alto and bari versions have not worked for me and it was Smulyan's inspiration that led me down that path on bari. My bari tonal concept is that I want some focus and point to my sound which I could not achieve with a STM.
 

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Stretch -- What horn are you using?
 

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I use a stock STM on my mid 60s Zephyr. My section leader/tutor likes the sound.
 

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Stretch -- What horn are you using?
Yanagisawa B990. After going through a gamut of bari mouthpieces, Berg, Vandoren B75, RPC, Selmer, vintage STM and Morgan, I have been using the stock mouthpiece, Yanagisawa 5, that came with the horn for the last few years. I can make myself heard but sometimes I wish I had something with a bigger tip but then I would have to practice the bari more.
 

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I'M experimenting now with one. My bari it's a big bore SDA buffet Crampon. I have try many medium chamber with it, but I know he prefer large chamber, when I give it everything go in place. I hand pick this one form the whole batch they got in store. From the shelf the facing was not bad, it respond well and even, so I pick it, it's a 6* (.105) and the store give me a very low price on it. Practicing with it, I found that it lack something, it have huge and ballsy low note, and the palm are full but a little lay back, but in between it lack something. I try to elongated slightly the baffle as see in the florida model. Wow! now it really sing. The putty I put are very small and I take care to dont put it too much in the front and it's flush with the existing baffle.
 

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Practicing with it, I found that it lack something, it have huge and ballsy low note, and the palm are full but a little lay back, but in between it lack something. I try to elongated slightly the baffle as see in the florida model. Wow! now it really sing. The putty I put are very small and I take care to dont put it too much in the front and it's flush with the existing baffle.
I don't understand the lengths people will go through just to say they're playing a Link. If this were any other brand of mouthpiece, folks wouldn't go through so much trouble in altering them. They would simply move on and find something else that works better.
 

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I actually get a lot of requests to alter mouthpieces that have similar and lower cost as Links do. I think there are more posts talking about Links though. Maybe more are putting baffles in them themselves.
 

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I actually get a lot of requests to alter mouthpieces that have similar and lower cost as Links do.
Yeah, but when you add in the cost of refacing, then they can cost as much as better crafted pieces. I still see Links as being some sort of status piece, and everyone knows the pressure to play one, especially on tenor; whether they've given into it or not. I just don't see the appeal of turning them into things they weren't meant to be when there are numerous other options available.
 

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What there are the problem? If you try many mouthpiece and no one work properly for you, If you find something that work but lack just a little zing, why not not altered it for your liking? The older model have that zing, but are prohibitive and not garantee to be in shape even at those price. If you find some trick to help the other, why not share them instead of shaking your head thinking everybody are less smart than you. Strange that all the big and less big name that paly link on the bari alter them, Yes they they are all wrong. (my time to shake my head)
 

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Direct from the shelf, they are not all bad, If you take time to try it and not only in the size you usualy play, you find some that play nicely and dont have to go to the refacer way. By experience I know that refacing dont already make it you gonna love it more. sometimes you like it because of that defect that give a certain sound or resistance that fit you. sometime a reface kill it for you.
 

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So there is a missing Link. There are lot of excellnt Link copy of the tenor and now of the soprano, but mouthpiece maker are more in the high baffle thing now regarding the bari. Not all the bari like small or even medium chamber.
 

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I still see Links as being some sort of status piece, and everyone knows the pressure to play one, especially on tenor; whether they've given into it or not.
Every tenor player should have a good Link in there "quiver" whether they play it all the time or not.
Every other mouthpiece manufacturer, except for the high baffle stuff, is trying to produce a good (I guess in their minds, bright) Link.
But you're right, altering Links by putting baffles in them, really doesn't make any sense.
I haven't played bari in a long time, but I always preferred hard rubber mouthpieces to tone down the "Harley muffler" sound.
 

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If you're using one or have used one, I'd be curious if you play it stock or if you've had it worked on. I'm interested by what some guys like Eric Falcon do to make the current Links like the vintage ones, though you don't see any mention of baritone mouthpieces.
I have one I bought second hand from Tim at Sax Alley a while back. Has about a 1 inch wedge baffle that someone added starting around 3/4 inch from the tip- I think the facing may have been touched up as well. Plays okay but I like my JJDV NY a lot better. The JJ has a much bigger sound, responds and articulates better and has a slightly lower profile so it's more comfortable for me.

It depends what you want to do with it but I'd have to believe a stock Link STM bari piece would be difficult to project with much at all. I think there are better bari pieces out there to be had but if you really want to go this way I'd buy a used one and send it to Mojo and have him put a baffle in it so it projects a little better.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have one I bought second hand from Tim at Sax Alley a while back. Has about a 1 inch wedge baffle that someone added starting around 3/4 inch from the tip- I think the facing may have been touched up as well. Plays okay but I like my JJDV NY a lot better. The JJ has a much bigger sound, responds and articulates better and has a slightly lower profile so it's more comfortable for me.

It depends what you want to do with it but I'd have to believe a stock Link STM bari piece would be difficult to project with much at all. I think there are better bari pieces out there to be had but if you really want to go this way I'd buy a used one and send it to Mojo and have him put a baffle in it so it projects a little better.
That's kind of the idea I've been playing with. I would welcome the larger profile in a metal piece, honestly. But it's really the large chamber I'm after, my horn just prefers them. The thing that strikes me though when I hear a bari Link in person is that lack of projection. I thought some of the "vitifying" that some do to the tenor pieces could help in this regard, but the remedy seems to be an added baffle. Then you get into the whole philosophical debate, that if you're going to modify a piece that much, you're better off with a different mouthpiece. I suppose I'm in that camp, though you just don't find other metal mouthpieces with a chamber the size of the STM. Am I wrong?

I'm not in desperate need for a fix, at least. I have a hard rubber piece I'm quite happy with right now. If I'm going to stick with this particular horn, I probably can't do better than what I've got.
 
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