Testimonials

Have you got a great mouthpiece, horn or restoration job from me? Want to contribute something here? Your contribution is important!

Nick Bisesi (Chicago/NYC)- Grammy nominated Recording Artist and Member of Ramsey Lewis’ Urban Knights,

“Marin does fantastic work!  He’s a straight shooter and is always very fair and honest.  Not only that, but he takes the time to understand your mouthpiece needs based on everything from your personal preferences to the idiosyncrasies of your individual horn.

He’s restored and perfected several of my vintage Otto Links and Dukoffs.  I’m always thrilled with the job he does!

Plus, he is INCREDIBLY knowledgeable about vintage horns and mouthpieces.  I highly recommend him to anyone interested in mouthpiece work or vintage horns.”

**********************************************************************************************************

From Josh Gayhart, Georgia, USA:

I must admit that I don’t have quite as much experience with vintage horns / mouthpieces as most of the musicians in these testimonials as I am relatively new to the Saxophone and have spent most of my life as a guitar player.

I had never been truly satisfied with the various Japanese / Taiwanese horns that I was playing.  They were good horns, but I felt that there was a clear division between the instrument and myself.  I began the search for what I hoped would be a truly special horn and mouthpiece, but I really didn’t know where to start.  I felt that the prices from most of the reputable dealers were inflated and I wasn’t ready to make such a significant purchase on eBay or from some random posting on a forum.  It’s very difficult to find someone that you can really trust to speak openly and honestly.

I had read a few of Marin’s posts on the Sax on the Web forums in the past and he had always struck me as being knowledgeable, intelligent, and reasonable.  I contacted him and we began a series of telephone conversations where he happily answered a ton of my questions and we spoke (at great length) about our personal musical philosophies and what exactly were the most desirable qualities of an instrument / mouthpiece.  Never did I feel pressured to purchase anything that he was associated with in any way.  He patiently discussed with me all of the options available and asked for a little time to see what he could find.

After some searching he found a 95k Mark VI and a Florida Link that he felt were a good match for what we had discussed previously.  I don’t know what Marin did to the mouthpiece exactly, but it’s unbelievable!  It’s difficult to put it into words, but I no longer feel any kind of barrier between the instrument and myself.  It’s an incredible feeling and I am looking forward to a life time of really exploring the sound of this tenor.  I really couldn’t be any happier with my purchase and I would like to extend my thanks to Marin; he exceeded my expectations in every way and I sincerely appreciate him allowing me to benefit from his experience and honesty.
(10 / 17 / 2011)

**********************************************************************************************************

From Lawrence Cohen, professional saxophonist, Nyack NY,

“I’ve known Marin for over 10 years, and during that time he has refaced and restored several tenor mouthpieces for me and advised me on the purchase of  a few  vintage horns. Nobody knows and understands vintage Otto Links and similar pieces as well as Marin.  I appreciate his honesty and integrity, lack of hype and the fact that Marin is interested in maintaining the original sound and spirit of vintage mouthpieces.  On a couple of occasions I gave him mouthpieces to look over and possibly reface, and he actually refused, saying that they were fine the way they were, and just did a minor cleanup flattening the table a bit and removing a bit of wear from the tip rail.  Aside from the fact that his work is always impeccable, he does difficult and technical things that most other refacers don’t or cant  do, such as opening up a mouthpiece by re-angling the table from the back.” (10/13/2011)

**********************************************************************************************************

From Joe Whitney, who’s had multiple vintage Otto Links restored in similar ways, as well as trades some nice ones.
Marin Spivack Mouthpiece Restoration

I just wanted to chime in on Marin Spivack and his fantastic mouthpiece work. He was a pleasure to communicate with through email and phone and his restoration work on my old STM link is “top notch”. I was always impressed with his insightful posts on SOTW and now I know just how good his mouthpiece restoration work is.

I sent him a piece that was damaged and pretty worn. The mouthpiece looked like it had been dropped on the tip and was not aligned. The table was worn and corroded and not flat. Although the facing looked original the rails had plating peeling and the piece was not responding like it could. Despite these negative factors the mouthpiece had an inherent tone that was really something special. I would describe the tone as warm and full with a vocal quality. The piece, a 5* STM NY-Florida transitional was an already good mouthpiece with some significant problems that were keeping it from playing to its potential.

Through communication with Marin, he agreed to look at the piece and I sent it out right away. Note: he did not ask for any fee or compensation, though I would of certainly understood if he had. As soon as he received the package he notified me and not long after wrote me a thorough analysis. We spoke about the mouthpiece and possible ways to go about addressing the problems with the intent to preserve the original character of the mouthpiece. I won’t go into detail as I’m not an expert in this area. I will say that he was very creative in his approach to address the problems while being aware to restore and not change the piece into an entirely different kind of piece.

Exactly three weeks from the day I sent it out the mouthpiece arrived back home. I was excited all week knowing the mouthpiece could arrive any day. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a mouthpiece. I opened the box and was immediately impressed with the beautiful work on the mouthpiece. The tip looked immaculate with no trace of it being dropped. The table was flat and smooth, I can still see the 5* mark on the end of the table.

How does it play? I remember from a few weeks ago that it had an inherently pleasing tone paired with my Mark VI, very classic “Maiden Voyage” vibe. I slapped on a 3 1/2 rico royal, the first new handy reed I saw, and I didn’t look back. The tone was thick, with a crisp attack and colorful warm sound that I rarely can achieve together. It really had a “ring” that you could hear as well as feel in the hands. This is “hands down” the best tenor mouthpiece I have ever played! I’ve owned many links, old dukoffs and boutique link style pieces and this one has already won me over. I haven’t tried any other reeds on it yet, the first one I put on already seemed to go. I only had about 30 minutes to blow on it on Saturday before I decided to take it to a gig that night. It was nice to have had the opportunity to take it on a gig right away. It blended nicely with the other horn (trumpet), I didn’t feel like I was nursing any particular note to blend or tune. Also, during the sound check, I was told that the sax was coming out through clearly and naturally, more so than through the mic/PA. It seems the sound was projecting and coming out of the horn and filling the room. My solos seemed to pour out easily and I seem to remember not having to work as hard to achieve this. I received many compliments after that gig.

Thanks to Marin! Another great mouthpiece technician for the (saxophone) community. One very satisfied saxophone player.

Joe Whitney, Front Royal, VA. (11/17/2009)

 

**********************************************************************************************************

From: Jim Warshauer, Quincy MA, who has had many mouthpieces restored and customized for himself and for sale.

Marin has both refaced and restored several vintage Links and Hollywood era Dukoff’s for me. He was able to do minor work where needed and retain the original characteristics and look of the piece. He was also able to take pieces that were not playing well or at all and make them play beautifully. One thing about Marin is his great knowledge, skill and passion  for his craft. You put all of those together and what you get are great results tailored to your desires. All of the work he has done for me has met or exceeded my expectations and I can recommend him highly.
(10/13/2011)

**********************************************************************************************************

From Victor Pinto of New Orleans LA, who had a true basket-case destroyed Otto Link double ring revived from the dead, tip rail was about 1/8th inch thick, no facing curve, no baffle, a true doorstop or paperweight type of item…

“WOW, just wow!!!

I can say with almost certainty this is going to be my main piece even after playing it for just under an hour. I’ll probably be using a #3 reed on it, possibly a little harder. The same #3 reeds which were fine on my other piece felt a little soft on the STM but they were old. I’ll have to experiment of course.

It’s so much easier to play than my tenor madness EB I can hardly believe it. Overtones, altissimo, big interval leaps, subtones. Playing soft full tone low notes is actually really easy as well despite the facing length. I can play just about anything on it.
I was very surprised about the tone of it : very focused, fat and pure sounding. Darker than I thought it would be actually. Very even from top to bottom too. I love this kind of base for a mpc, it leaves room for a lot of personal input. I also love the fact it’s not buzzy like a lot of metal Links. Man this is a great piece. I’m sure if I want to and work at it I could make it sound buzzy and spread with the right reed. It is exhilarating to say the least and at the same time a little scary to think where I could take this mpc.
There’s just so much more I can do with it. When I put A LOT of VERY focused air in it and play long fast lines with a lot of chromatics it just sounds like one big sound wave. This is really really inspirational. Oh, and another thing : I understand what you meant when you said “clear” : it’s very precise sounding. Articulation wise and even without articulation actually. I think it’s probably due to the fact it sounds so pure and “organic”.

I don’t know if you remember but a few years back I sent you a PM on sotw asking you if you felt all the hype around these pieces was justified. You said it was. You were right.
I think I can say this is hands down the best piece I have ever played and I have played quite a few. Especially metal Links : a few Floridas, EBs, modern “Floridized” pieces and reproductions. They just don’t compare… at all. This is completely in another league.

I don’t know how much of these qualities are due to your work or the inherent geometry of the piece, but obviously considering the fact you had to basically restore most of it except maybe the deeper part of the chamber and floor, it’s probably safe to assume the work you performed is a main part of it. It was well worth the wait man. I can’t believe how good it turned out compared to what kind of condition it was in when you received it.

Thank you so much for your work and respect for these pieces!!
Vic.” (6/30/2011)

**********************************************************************************************************