Here we have a very hard to find mouthpiece, Otto Link Florida with a serial number faced at 9*. It is in excellent condition and plays like a wild animal, very powerful, loud, huge and broad sound with enough focus. More than that though is the specific tone it can produce (with your help) that is like the idea of vintage Otto Link color and tone as far as I am concerned. It measures at .115 on my tools. It just happens to be a bit too big for my habits otherwise I would play it as a number one go-to piece.
This particular model and example has that really big FL baffle that people who know these pieces would be looking for. The facing, tup and baffle are original, I have very lightly polished the table a few years ago to remove some bubbled plating. If you can play this size, do-not-miss!
Next up, one of my own Early Babbitt Otto Links. This tenor piece is one I did for myself years back, never even wrote anything on it until yesterday. It was original a 6 but I’ve set it up at .097 so like a big 6* facing. There are few mouthpieces more satisfying to play on tenor than a well setup EB Link and this one shines. This has the appropriate longer and high baffle and it an early enough blank with the longer somewhat slim body and high cut above the beak. The quality of response, tone and feel and the precision are as expected with my work.
This is an old mouthpiece and someone lived for a long time before I even got it to restore, so there are of course scratches and wear to the surface as well as a bit of tooth wear, but I did not feel this was any kind of both in playing so I’ve left it as is.
The tone this piece can produce is very warm and rich. It has enough power, but is not among the shrill, more of a very lyrical and organic sound but in no way weak. I would say it produces a very traditional vibe, but not that generic buzzing one-dimensional sound of modern ‘please-all’ reproduction mouthpieces. This is not a reproduction, it is not a pretend piece. This is a real VINTAGE Otto Link with an older vibe, not simply a ‘point and shoot’ simple sound. It is actually a complex and deep sound that is hard to find in anything new. This is for someone serious about tone.
Selmer Balanced Action tenor saxophone, #27xxx. This is a wonderful horn that I found in a sad state and restored it. It is not a perfect museum piece, it has had some repairs and solders etc, but it actually looks really nice. It was probably relacquered at the Selmer factory many decades ago. It looks that way to me based on the gentle treatment of the engraving. It has had a full overhaul done on it, level tone holes, nice key fitting good quality pads and high quality metal resonators. It plays like a dream!
The key action is very light and the pads are really seated nicely, takes no finger pressure to get the richest of sounds out of it. It has an very nuanced, Continue reading →
This is a once in a lifetime horn, these kinds of horns do not come available very often or easily. I bought this tenor in maybe 1997 or thereabouts. It was the first MK VI I had ever played which could get me to sell the 54xxx SBA I had been playing for years. When I played this for first half a second I knew my love affair with the SBA was done. Continue reading →
1962, a great year for the MK VI! This one is an original finish European market MK VI with a serial number of 101xxx. It has a high F# key and has just had a wonderful overhaul, all new pads with a slightly oversized set of original 1960’s Selmer screw-back plastic resonators all the tone hole leveling and key fitting and all the good stuff. The result is probably THE LOUDEST and edgiest MK VI I have ever played. It is without a doubt LOUDER than my own horn, from 1959, and a fair bit brighter too (which I like).
The SCALE of the sound is also just huge, it is wide and omnipresent vibration, expands throughout the room, which I think you can kind of hear in the videos. I am still doing some final subtle regulation, and I’ve left the old neck cork because it works with my mouthpiece. I expect the new owner will change that to fit their piece specifically.
(With a hard rubber Berg Larsen)
(and with a hard rubber custom Babbitt Artist large chamber done by myself, which is now sold)
This is one of the most aggressive and broad sounding MK VI’s I have ever had. Several working pros have played this and immediately had to take a cold shower!
In terms of condition, it IS original Lacquer, of the light European color, and it has had a few very minor dents address and had a couple of very minor and nicely done resolders as well. It is obviously not a perfect “Sleeping Beauty” but it is one heck of a player in very good structural and functional condition.
This 1960 MK VI is a professional artist’s treasured tool. This has been my own main player for about a decade. This horn is LOUD, edgy with a dark core and extremely precise. The intonation is beautifully controlled. The response is quick and the air column feels very broad. It is a sound that is very easy to center, feels compact yet wider than most MK VI, which is characteristic of this model period.
It has a pad job by Ernie Sola with domed brass resonators. It has original lacquer, a lot of it, with some normal wear. It has only ever had two repairs that I know which are, the thumbook was resoldered (very nicely by Sola) as it had a minor dent underneath, and there was a very tiny ping in the side of the neck that was smoothed out. The neck has never been bent. Original case is not present.
This is the horn everyone wants. I get many emails per month about it, and for good reason. It is absolutely an apex Selmer MK VI.