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Beginner Mouthpiece problem

BigDoug

Member
Messages
57
I have four different tenor mouthpieces, one of which is a fairly old HR Otto Link Tone Edge 6*. I get good playing responses from my other three MPs but the Otto Link is “stuffy, muffled and fluffy”. I've tried the famous ”pop” test and the suction doesn’t hold at all. In fact, when trying to create the suction, I’m aware of air leakage. I’ve tried changing reeds, without luck. My other MPs hold suction for three to five seconds, using the same reed.
So, I imagine that I probably need to get the Otto re-faced, but am at a loss to know how to go about this. I also have no idea whether it’s worth the expense involved. I live in Newcastle upon Tyne .......... is anyone aware of someone in the north east that I may approach to get this problem investigated and hopefully resolved and also how much it could cost ?
Doug
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,865
Well, especially as you've posted this in the "beginner" section, my solution would be to bin the link, put two of the three good ones in a drawer, and play the **** out of the other one for a year or two. Constantly switching between mouthpieces is just adiong unnecessary variations in the conditions you're playing under.. When you really know how to play on one mouthpiece, you'll be in a better position to judge which you like best.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,149
There are not many options in the UK, Ed Pillinger is the only one I can think of.
There was Morgan Fry but I think he has moved back to the States.
Another option is Phil-Tone in France, Phil is a member here and like Ed is a excellent maker and refacer.
 
OP
BigDoug

BigDoug

Member
Messages
57
Well, especially as you've posted this in the "beginner" section, my solution would be to bin the link, put two of the three good ones in a drawer, and play the **** out of the other one for a year or two. Constantly switching between mouthpieces is just adiong unnecessary variations in the conditions you're playing under.. When you really know how to play on one mouthpiece, you'll be in a better position to judge which you like best.
Thanks for the advice, but you haven’t answered my questions ........ just given valid, but un-needed advice.
 
OP
BigDoug

BigDoug

Member
Messages
57
There are not many options in the UK, Ed Pillinger is the only one I can think of.
There was Morgan Fry but I think he has moved back to the States.
Another option is Phil-Tone in France, Phil is a member here and like Ed is a excellent maker and refacer.
Thank you.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,915
Just to add, Stuffy eh?
I felt this way about every link I tried for years.
Links as it turns out, were just more vastly different to play than I could ever tell by looking at them so I decided they were all just horrible things. I now play Links that feel vibrant and nice. The change is me. I gradually moved from High baffled metal piece to high baffled rubber and eventually to links.....this also made metal links play better for me.
I can't honestly say I get it even to this day but people do talk of 'Link Chops' and I think that's a valid description of what you need to get more out of one. Thats a matter of sticking with it.

Regards the refacing....there are obviously links with higher resale value than others. Early Babbitt & Florida may be worth your investment but beyond that you could perhaps try to replace it for a similar cost?
PS... None of my links have a great POP test duration.
 

majordennis

Senior Member
Messages
478
I've had a couple of Tone Edges tenor and alto, didn't get on with either of them, oddly my STM alto is almost as good as my Lawton, so I guess TE's are just not for some of us.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,410
As others have said, two obvious people to reface your Link are Ed Pillinger in the UK or Phil Engleman (Phil-Tone), who lives in France. Both of them are good to deal with.

I have had a tenor Link mouthpiece refaced by Phil Engleman. It was much improved, but he warned me that it probably wouldn't be as good as one of his own link-style mouthpieces, and it isn't - I now have a Phil-Tone Sapphire that is a lot better.

So I would question whether it is worth your while getting the Link re-faced unless it's a vintage one.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,678
It's not me, it's the gear. I need better gear. Famous names, big tip openings and high number reeds. The more expensive the better.

Four hours practice a day, for a decade or two, should sort the problem. ;)
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,615
There is an easy test I learned at a Theo Wanne mouthpiece clinic you can perform to help diagnose the problem. You need a perfectly flat surface such as a mirror or granite counter top and a sheet of 1000 grit wet or dry sandpaper. Holding the mouthpiece perfectly flat, carefully draw the mouthpiece back to you in a north to south direction making sure it does not tilt from side to side or front to back. Doe this a couple of times and then inspect the table of the mouthpiece. The wear pattern will show how flat the table is.

If it is very close, this process can be continued a few more times to make it perfectly flat, If it requires a lot more sanding you can alter the length of the "lay" and change the characteristics of the mouthpiece. If this is the case, it is best left up to a professional to make the corrections.
 

converse

New Member
Messages
12
I played dull stuffy mouthpieces of several different types (including Link), until I finally got advice from someone who knew what they were talking about, and I switched to much softer reeds and a different approach to embouchure. I'm still a terrible player but I'm now much happier with core tone/sound. All with no change to mouthpiece at all.
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
669
The table is not likely why your piece is stuffy and the pop test tells you a very limited amount of information that is useful.

Typically, the things causing problems on a mpc are those that need to be measured rather than looked at.

I dont suggest you work on your own mpc unless its expendable. It just makes more work for a refacer if and when you sent it.
 

Wonko

Member
Messages
305
The table is not likely why your piece is stuffy and the pop test tells you a very limited amount of information that is useful.
I've been wondering about the pop-test recently.
Personaly I have rarely been able to get the pop-test to do "POP" but I can't complain about my mouthpieces or the sound they give me.
I will need a lot of work on my breathing technique and embouchure though.

So I was wondering if I might be putting my reeds a bit to far back on my mouthpiece (there is a tiny sliver of the mouthpiece visible beyond the reed) so that it can't seal perhaps???

I am using a Otto Link HR 7 on my tenor at the moment.
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
669
Ignore the pop test. Its good for wearing reeds.

Also, its not supposed to hild indefinitely anyway and sometimes the poptest and seal is due to the reed and/or lig, not the mpc.

Additionally, amstuffy piece is not usually the symptom of a table issue. Its more likely the facing and baffle.
 
Saxholder Pro
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