Here is an incredible Florida Link saxophone mouthpiece that was refaced by Erik Greiffenhagen from a 6 to a 7* (.105). I bought this mouthpiece from Les Arbuckle about 6 weeks ago and have been playing it ever since. Les came on SOTW (Sax on the Web) and said he had a link for sale that was one of the best he had ever played. Now I hear that quite often from people selling mouthpieces but I had never heard that from Les before so it caught my attention. I knew he had been around probably hundreds of links and if he thought this one was great then it must be.
The first thing that struck me about this tenor mouthpiece is that it has a huge fat low end. I’m talking lush here. Every time I play the piece I go to that low end and want to play a nice lush tenor saxophone ballad. The tone throughout the range of the saxophone is even and round sounding. It’s actually a bit darker than what I sound like on almost every clip on this site but I’m really digging that out of this mouthpiece. The last thing that strikes me about it is the playablity of it. I know that sounds like a vague concept but certain mouthpieces connect to a player in a way that really allows them to express themselves more than on other pieces. Even though I’ve only played this mouthpiece for a short time I’ve already had some moments with it where I was playing things that I wouldn’t normally play. It’s as if the mouthpiece is a fine tool that is letting me play better than other pieces I have played. I’ve had a few of these pieces throughout the years that I’ve really connected with (most I still have sitting on my shelf) Anyways, I want to thank Les again for selling me a great mouthpiece. Let me know what you think……..seriously. I listened to the clip a number of times and part of me thinks it might be too dark for my tastes but I’m curious what you all think. Now I have to take it into battle against my other reigning florida link! Here’s a link to contact Erik. Steve
wow, sounds lovely. a velvety smooth tone with enough punctuation and fast response to not sound muddy. I have a couple pieces with erik right now, looking forward to playing them soon!
My good lord….I’ve listened to just about every recording of you playing pieces on this site and the closest to what i wanted was the Theo wanne no usa.
i have to tell you…THIS is the ONE.
i could only say it was “close” or “almost there” but this is it….
hey steve, I’ve always wondered, who are/is your big tenor influence(s)?
All my influences through high school and college were alto players. Charlie Parker, Art Pepper, Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderly, all I played was alto. Then my 3rd year of college I went to a party and someone played Michael Brecker. I was amazed. I then proceeded to go out and buy every album I could find with Brecker on it and started saving for a tenor. A older student in my college was selling a Couf tenor so I begged my parents to get it. Pleaded…………they did. Transferred to Berklee and played alto for 2 more years. I started to get calls for gigs but 75% of them were for tenor. Before I knew it I was playing tenor 100% of the time. I haven’t got a call for an alto gig in 20 years now. All tenor. Since that time I have listened to everybody. My favorites are Hank Mobley and Gene Ammons. The modern guys I like the best are Rick Margitza and Rich Perry. Although, I listen to everybody i can. I have a new guy every month I’m getting into. I think because I got so into Brecker when I was younger I have that huge influence but now it is being balance with the Mobley and Ammons sound that I love.
Wow Steve,man that Florida Link sounds fantastic to my ears man!I like that dark side of it.
I have also a EB STM Florida Link that is much brighter then the one you are demonstrating!
It was also refaced by Erik Greff.to a 100.
I am about to trade cause mind is just not enough dark for me,and will go back on HR probably!
Man they are two different world from the one you have in sound! Thanks for sharing again!
Mario from Canada
I’m partial to the really dark ones and that one sounds amazing!! If only any of these pieces could give me your sound…
Wow! You sound amazing on this piece. Of course, you sound great on all your mouthpieces. But this stands out to my ears, it’s such a full bodied tenor sound. It’s dark, but not overly so, and it has that rare balance of crispness that allows it to shine through. Are you using an SBA on this clip? Whatever it is, it’s a perfect match. But yes, sounds fantastic.
I just got finished listening to the Jody clips, so finally I was able to hear a difference.
This one has NO edge, just beautiful tenor. I definitely wouldn’t take it to a fusion gig or for “Honky Tonk”, but maybe after I work on your lessons, I would steal it from you for my jazz debut.
Hold on to this one so you can sell it to me when I get better.
What a great sounding piece. Thanks for sharing it. The first thing that came to mind was, “man, I’d love to hear Steve play Lush Life on this piece”. The low end reminds me of Johnny Hartman’s rich voice.
Your right, I think that would be a great tune to play on this mouthpiece………Thanks for the compliments.
Neil Wright says
Gorgeous sound! Did you notice a slight dead spot in the tone around high A and Bb? How is altissimo on this piece? I have never had good luck with Links and altissimo notes, although I admittedly haven’t tried very many with my Mark VI…
Again, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. You play great, and that really allows us to hear what the mouthpiece can do, as opposed the the recordings I frequently hear on forums with players who have no air control looking for a setup that will make up for it. You give a great deal to all of us by sharing your time and talent. Thanks!
No, no dead spot at all. This piece just sings up there. I used to have problems with altissimo on links when I was younger and just switched from alto. After I worked on it a bit it was no problem though. Thanks for the compliments. I’m glad you like the site. Steve
Doug Lange says
Do you still use this piece regularly? I have the same mouthpiece that I had opened up to .105, too. Opening up these mouthpieces raises the rollover baffle slightly which gives it an edge when you push it. Living in Alaska with huge variance in humidity, I’m constantly looking for a good reed. I’ve tried all the various Vandoran’s as well as Rico Jazz Selects. I keep going back to Java’s though. Maybe I should just move to Hawaii;-)
I’ve enjoyed watching you develop your site over the past couple of years! Thanks,
Thanks Doug. No I sold this one. I actually miss this piece. It was darker than I usually play and I have another link that I played more so I sold it. I miss having it though when I feel like playing darker………Oh well. Erik does great work! It might be my imagination but I bought a Rico reed case with that humidity pouch in it and I swear my reeds seem more consistent after sitting in that case.
definately darkest ive heard …. i like the way you open up on other clips…but this one keeps the same character throughout the example….you don’t feel that limits your expressiveness somehow??..it doesnt sound very loud either….
i’m making these comments,as you have commented on for example the ambika that you didnt think it would work with a heavy band….
is this working for you in all settings???
I ended up selling this one. It was a beautiful sounding mouthpiece. The guy who has it now says if he sells it he’ll let me know so I might get it back. I don’t think it would limit my expressiveness but it wasn’t an all round mouthpiece either. It would be a great straight ahead mouthpiece. I don’t think I would choose it on a funk or rock gig. I need more brightness in the sound for those gigs. Steve
I’m the guy that Steve refers to in the post above who now owns this mouthpiece.
I received the mouthpiece this morning, and have to say that I’m knocked out by it. It’s absolutely superb. It’s exactly as Steve describes in his review, in fact although I’d seen this piece for sale and thought it might be good, it was really on the strength of Steve’s review and sound clip that I bought this piece. I recently also bought a Morgan Excalibur large chamber mouthpiece for Tenor that Erik G produced and finished for Morgan Mouthpieces, and it too is fantastic, so seeing that this piece was refaced by Erik, plus this review, I knew I had to be onto a good one.
Thanks again Steve for this excellent site.
Ron Leonard says
Can anyone make some recomendations redarding playable mouthpieces for someone like myself who is an intermediate player ? I’m currently using a selmer S80 . I’m not sure of the tip opening as the markings have worn off. I’m using vandoren java 2.5 reeds ( green box) . I’d like to try a metal mpc but wow – mind boggling with all that’s out there. Many thanks, Ron Leonard
What’s your price range?
Ron Leonard says
Thanks Steve for such a quick response. I’d like to stay under $300 as I’m on a budget. I like a dark classic sound, not bright or edgy . Mainly looking for playability, something user friendly since I have limited experiance. Thankyou for this site ! A valuable service to so many of us out here trying to make sense of it all ! Ron
My first thought is a Morgan L or Gerber Slant. Both those pieces are nice and dark with a bit of brightness when pushed. They both can play nice and powerful. I prefer the Gerber for a HR piece. If you go through my blog though there are a ton of other options that just aren’t coming to mind right now.
Doug Lange says
Since you are comfortable with a hard rubber mouthpiece (S80), look into other hard rubber pieces. Metal isn’t necessarily better, it is just different. You will be able to find a good one for under $300, too, because it is more costly to manufacture a metal mouthpiece. Check out some of the hard rubber mouthpiece reviews on this site. (Disclaimer: I have this same refaced Florida Link refaced to .105 that I’ve played since 1978. Every time I try another piece, I go back to this one.)
Ron Leonard says
Thanks Doug for the feedback! Sounds like good advise. I actually like the Selmer mpc but enjoy experimenting with different sounds as seems true for most sax players. Nice of you to help out this rookie sax player.
David Mendoza says
Hi Steve, great sound. This one looks like a EB. The only difference (externally) between florida usa and the EB is the font size of the number of the tip, this one looks like the big one, like EB. Small fonts suggest Florida usa. EB has more baffle than floridas but maybe erik worked on that area too. You sound amazing on that one!
Ralph Jarmon says
Not too dark by any stretch of my imagination. I know what you mean about playability and can hear the detail of every note in fast complex passages that might otherwise sound slurred. That is unique to this MP. The only thing I didn’t like as a matter of personal taste was the edginess in the mid and upper registers, but that aspect seems to have more to do with the metal talking.
Ralph, That brightness is most likely because of the soft 2 1/2 Vandoren Java reed. I bet with a little bit harder reed or a BSS 2 1/2 reed it wouldn’t be as bright and edgy up top. Steve