Modern STM Otto Link Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Refaced by Brian Powell

This is a modern Super Tone Master Otto Link tenor saxophone mouthpiece.   Everyone knows that buying a modern metal Otto Link is pretty much a roll of the dice.  I remember going to a music store and trying 10 of them and not liking any of them.  Many times over the years I have stopped at different  stores just to see what they had for Otto Link mouthpiece and I was almost always disappointed.  Some of them were just horrible to play.  I have had students come in with metal links that had crooked facings, uneven tips, and horribly uneven tables.  Many of these mouthpieces were causing the students to really struggle for months if not years.

The best think you can do for a link like this is send it to get refaced.  There are many great refacers out there.  They measure your mouthpiece to see how it measures up and then fix it so that it plays as well as it can.  This mouthpiece was refaced by Brian Powell who opened it up to a .115 from it’s original .095.  A friend of mine sent it to me to see what I thought of it.

I have to say upfront that I think this is one of the loudest metal links I have ever played.  This mouthpiece has some serious volume to it.  It’s not that bright kind of loudness that a link with a baffle might have but more of a medium husky kind of volume.  I think because of the .115 tip I could put a lot more air through it than my other .105 and .110 tips.  It felt that way anyways.

I played this mouthpiece for a few hours and it felt really comfortable to play although I did notice that my embouchure was getting mighty tired by the end.  I think I was subconsciously putting more pressure on the reed to push it closer to the tip of the mouthpiece so that it felt more like a .105-.110 tip to me.  That can sometimes happen when you move to a bigger tip.

The mouthpiece has what I consider a brighter than average link sound to it but not overly bright.  Like most mouthpieces with a bigger tip,  it tends to have a bigger more spread sound to it that has a little more of a hollow quality to it. (As opposed to a smaller tip that to me has a more focused, compact and centered sound to it.)  This was a great mouthpiece and I’m glad I had a chance to try it.  I think I will still stick with my .105 tip openings though………..Let me know what you think.

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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 30 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. Avatar Gerardo Avila says

    Hi Steve
    I’m about to buy one of this mouthpieces and willing also to send it to Brian because I know they come in a very bad quality. Do you know what’s the diference from this mp and the one called OTTO LINK STM-NY? is the NY model more dark or bright? does it have more baffle?

    Thanks!

  2. The NY is darker. The chamber is larger so it sounds fatter and darker. I prefer going with the regular STM as there is more to work with with a refacer. They could always open up the chamber if you wanted. If the chamber is big it’s a lot harder to add material to make it smaller.

  3. Hi Steve,

    How would an Otto Link NY 7 compare to a Phil Barone Super NY?
    I’ve just borrowed a few mouthpieces from my local music shop and the Otto Link NY 7 is absolutely amazing.. for only 200€!! Would Phil’s Super New York be even better?

    Mike

  4. Hi Mike, Sorry for the delay. I was on vacation with the family. I can’t really answer your question as there are huge variations between Otto Link mouthpieces. I’ve never played one that is better than my Barone SNY but that doesn’t mean it might not be better for you. If you think the NY Link is amazing then I say go for it. What you think and how you sound is the most important thing. It’s better to have a “bird in the hand rather than two in the bush” as they say. See where the NY link takes you. You can always migrate to a Barone or another mouthpiece later.

    PS. In general terms I would guess that the Barone SNY is brighter than your NY link and has more power. I’m just taking a shot in the dark here as I haven’t played your NY link. Good Luck, hope this helps.

  5. Just had the Otto Link 7 refaced to have a longer facing. It makes it have a more vintage sound and easier to control.
    I would highly recommend anyone out there to have an otto link refaced making the facing longer to 24mm.
    “At 24.5mm to 25mm, the facing length is longer than most Links (which are at 23-24mm). A 26mm would be a very long facing. 27mm is too long for some reed cuts and will start leaking air out the side.” Mojo.
    And he’s right. Since my mouthpiece has been modified its just such a pleasure to play. Its the same mouthpiece as Nicolas Trefeil said having modified it, but its just refaced longer like in Lester Young’s time..

  6. Thanks for sharing Mike. I tend to like 24mm facings the best I think…………..Something about how they play with softer reeds I really like. Steve

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