Florida Double Ring Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Today, I’m reviewing an old 1950’s Florida Double Ring Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece.  It was originally a 5 tip opening but was opened up to a 7 or .100 tip opening at some point.  These Florida double ring mouthpieces were made in the 1950’s by the Otto Link company.  This mouthpiece I have is just bare brass.  Either this mouthpiece has been played so much that the  gold and rhodium (silver?) plating underneath has all worn off or someone at some point had the mouthpiece stripped down to the bare brass.  When I first received this vintage  double ring it had a very worn down bite plate.  I didn’t mind that though as that is a sign that a mouthpiece has been played a lot and I was hoping that that meant it would be good.  After I received it and decided I liked it I sent it off to Keith Bradbury (Mojo) who did a great job putting a new bit plate on it.  The original bite plate wasn’t horrible but it was worn down enough that it really bugged me when I played it.

Florida Double Ring Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

As usual, Brian Powell did a great job on this Otto Link.  The table, rails and tip look perfect.  There is a short rollover baffle that extends down into a large chamber.  The roof of the chamber looks very thin to me.  Not sure if it came that way or if that is Brian’s work but it is raised a good amount from the roof of the bore of the mouthpiece. This makes the chamber slightly larger than the bore circumference.  The mouthpiece has a serial number of “U24” on it.  I was curious about it’s length so I lined it up next to my other Florida Links and modern Links and it was the same length as the others.

Florida Double Ring Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The reed I’m using on this is a Rico Select Jazz 3S.  I hope to get a 3M this weekend to try because the 3S was a tad soft for my tastes.  I also tried my Rigotti Gold reeds but this mouthpiece did not do well with Rigotti Gold reeds.  It played well with softer Rigotti’s but when I moved up to a harder size it got way too edgy!   Luckily, I tried the RSJ reeds on it and the edge was lessened.  I have noticed this “edge” affect with Rigotti’s on my Lamberson and JVW Link and always attributed it to their shorter facing curves not liking the Rigotti’s……….

Florida Double Ring Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The sound of this mouthpiece is right in the middle of the spectrum for me.  Not super dark, not super bright……..right in the middle.  It’s nice and lush down low when sub-toning and the color of the tone is nice and rich.  It’s nice and even throughout the range of the horn although the middle and high register seems to brighten up a bit for me.  When you listen to the recording you can here a bit of edge and a brightness up top.  The more air I blew the brighter it got.  I was actually surprised how powerful and bright I could get with this mouthpiece.  I assumed it would be darker because it is a vintage double ring.  I also thought it wouldn’t be as powerful because it was a 7 tip opening.  I was wrong on both counts.  This mouthpiece can scream and get some nice volume when pushed.

Florida Double Ring Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

This Florida Double Ring Otto Link has been a joy to play. If you like the sound of the clip below and the mouthpiece catches your interest then…………good luck finding one.  If you do, they are going for 1000-1500 bucks on ebay last I looked.   Is it worth that kind of money?  Only the player can make that decision………. Start saving your pennies………

Let me know what you think in the comments below………….Thanks, Steve

Florida Double Ring Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

 

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 25 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. This sounds very similar to my Double Ring and your description of how it can be lush or scream depending on how you blow even on a smaller tip also compares. One of the most versatile jazz mouthpieces I’ve ever played and a gorgeous midrange. You sound great on it as always!

  2. Patrick Mueller says:

    Hi Steve,
    a great review and a great sound example.
    I agree with you absolutely.
    I own an original DR 10.
    It sounds very similar but it plays in my opinion like an 8. Very easy subtones
    and power when you push.
    I also find RJS are best for this piece
    and it works well with my MKVI.
    It doesn’t fit as good on my S20 or my Chu.
    The DR10 has a more complex tone than
    my .108 Florida no USA refaced by Brian.

    PS: When are you going to publish your review on Mark’s new pieces.?
    All the best Steve
    Patrick (pattysax on STOW)

  3. Larry Weintraub says:

    Steve: I listened to FL Link, The Ted Klum and the Barone. I definitely like the sound of the Link the best. It’s fuller, darker, real nice subtone and it sounds very even throughout the whole range. My 2nd pick would be the Klum with the RJS reed. See my comments on that mpc in that section. Okay to me the Barone would be good if I was playing in a Rock Band. It sounded brighter than the other 2 mpcs. TO bright for my taste but everyone is different.

  4. Larry Weintraub says:

    Steve:
    Okay I just listened to the Phil-Tone/Wanne mpc and now it’s back to the FL Link. II would put the PT 2nd in my choice of the mpcs I listened to. I really like the FL like the best, it just seems to have more core, better sub tone, the high notes have body to them plus core.

    Okay I may be biased because I play a 60’s vintage metal Link 8*. But I just like the Link sound of the FL Links. I haven’t tried the newer Links because I don’t have the need to. The other mpc that I like the sound of is the old Hollywood Dukoff’s from the 40’s like the 1 Dexter played. However I also like Dexter’s sound when he switched to a Link in the early 60’s after his Conn 10M and Dukoff mpc were stolen in Paris. Well I hope all this makes sense.

  5. Hey Steve,

    The clip sounds great! Is this your main piece?

  6. Hi Joel, I have about 16 pieces sitting on my desk right now that I love. My plan is too take some time and work through them and narrow down what I love most. It’s very hard as I love aspects of each piece. I’m starting to realize I’m a bit of a collector. I guess it started when I was a kid. I had a stamp collection, rock collection, coin collection, comic book collection and now a mouthpiece collection. My wife says I’m a nerd………..The double ring is one of my favorites though!

  7. perfect!

  8. Hi Steve,

    I listened all the clips. Each piece has their own character. It’s hard to narrow down your collection! The sound of the DR link is my taste.

  9. Hi Steve!

    Great sound. I have DR 0.88” that MojoBari worked on. I did not want to open it more as I wanted to preserve its original tone. Anyhow, I would also recommend Hemke’s reeds on it. I just love Hemke’s with all my vintage Links (tone masters too). These mouthpieces are special as in my opinion they carry very good qualities from both worlds – earlier tone masters and later Florida models. Like a nice cross-over that is really unique.

  10. This is my favorite piece I’ve heard here. There’s something “hollow” sounding to the Double Ring that I keep coming back to that isn’t as evident on any other piece. I think it’s that quality that I appreciate when it’s being pushed–it may get brighter as you say, but it doesn’t sound similar to the brightness of later Florida pieces on the site. I’d guess the slightly larger chamber has something to do with it?

    Steve, I’d be very curious to know whether you think the Phil-Tone Tribute vs Mosaic is more similar to this Double Ring. They each sound like they possess some similar qualities.

  11. Brian,
    I would say the Tribute and Mosaic are in the same category as the double ring but it is it’s own mouthpiece. All 3 of those pieces play very different for me. The double ring is a 7 so it is a bit more closed than the other two which makes it play and respond a bit differently also. i need to prune down my mouthpiece drawer so I I have to revisit that double ring to see if I keep it or sell it……………..Your right it does have a great sound!!

  12. Great Neff. Literally, when you are selling this piece I’ll buy it off you. I’m on SOTW or you have my email.

  13. massively excellent Mr Neff!!! what a lussssshhhhhhhh sound you create. grab your favorite rhythm section and do some takes with this piece. love it! i would love to purchase this piece also if you ever commit that unthinkable sin and do end up parting with it :->…..ps you seriously have a better mp than this??? do tell what!

  14. Thanks Craig! Coincidentally enough, I was thinking this morning of sending it to a refacer to get opened to 7* (.105). That’s always a gamble though. If it comes back less than it was it is hard to get it back………….Maybe I’ll wait on that idea…………

  15. Hi Steve,
    I just wanted to start by saying you sound absolutely stellar on this piece. What a sound.

    I was wondering if you know of any hard rubber pieces that might sound similar? Unfortunately, I have a tooth sensitivity issue that prevents me from playing metal mouthpieces and I would love to have that sound option available to me.

    Thank you for your time
    Matt

  16. Steve, don’t reface that piece again, if you haven’t yet. Man, I keep coming back to this clip because I love your sound on this piece so much. May I be totally rude and ask if you would ever sell it?

  17. Joel,
    Yes, I have learned my lesson with refacing. If a piece in any way great I don’t mess with it. If it is below average or even average I might send it out but I have sent out to many pieces that were great thinking I would like them in a slightly smaller or larger tip and then when they come back I have lost what made them great. No more. I’d rather sell it to someone who will play it and love it’s greatness at this point……….Thanks for the input. Steve

Trackbacks

  1. […] “hollowness”.   I’m not sure how to describe that word or quality but I did a review of a double ring Otto Link in the past that I thought also had that quality in it’s tone.  Someone in the comments […]

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