Here we have a very nice find, early Berg Larsen 105/1/M. This piece has the original denim table milling marks and a wonderful delicately finished tip rail and baffle quite likely faced by Berg Larsen himself. This is the style all the early ones are done in, by, I think, himself. Unusually this piece actually measures right at .105 on my tools. The slant signature Bergs and pieces near that time period usually measure exactly as stamped but slightly later ones (like this should be) trend .005 smaller. This one is accurate to the stamp, no idea why.
The font on the shank seems to have SOME of earlier serif font. I believe someone has replaced the biteplate with a modern marbled rubber. I see no evidence of any other work done. This piece plays rather huge and fat. It is pretty accurate for a #1 baffle being brilliant while also not excessively bright or at all shrill.
There are many of destroyed, later model, etc Berg Larsens to be found but the Serif Font denim table originals are few and far between now.
Here we have a very rare and wonderful tenor piece; Otto Link NY double ring with the outlandishly long biteplate. Who’s idea was the long biteplate?! That long biteplate is the reason these pieces are the least common to be opened up to large sizes (or any sizes) by ambitious refacers. Of course that can be a good thing, meaning there are still some originals left out there, or at least some pieces that are not huge sizes. it is pretty common for people to mess them up or just tear them all open to huge sizes because currently only a few people know how to play 5-6 facings like the old days when these were made.
I very careful restored and optimized this to .100 (7) from the original dinged up 5 and it’s really quite a player. Slightly darker and wider than a FL double ring, it has a beautiful complex tone and an ease of play that is extremely satisfying. Good luck finding early (New York) double rings that are not totally destroyed or play in any kind of near decent way. This is definitely among the best!
Wonderful early Selmer Bari, “SuperSax” in fine condition. I cannot say if the lacquer finish is original or not but it’s a nice color and looks correct. This horn has seen some life, easily at this age, but it is also in quite good condition for its age. It has some normal dings, not very significant. Someone, sometime in the past fabricated really nice extra supports for areas on the upper bows. These supports appear to me to be silver, or nickel silver and they have quite nice rounded contours. It appears to me that these were preventative rather than the result of any damage, just due to the size of them and the high quality of workmanship.
The original neck is present as is the case. The pads are OLD and will absolutely need work. I would not call this ‘playing’ at the moment at all, but everything is present, and in quite good condition. I think most folks know these early Selmer Bari’s have a specially great warm tone.
Here we have a truly rare find, a King SIlversonic with original gold plated body, neck and keys and gold inlay on the engraving. These were custom ordered from King back in the day and we know of one other in existence. Finding this was just a happy accident. These pics are as found-
105xxx Selmer MK VI, this is a sweet spot vintage of MK VI right after 100k. Most everyone who is experienced agrees that these are especially good; punchy, focused, on the brighter side yet still complex sounding. This is one that I restored years back and put a lot of meticulous care into. It has large domed brass resonators and (gold) painted pads with a really beautiful tight concise feel. In the years since I set this up I feel it has not changed much, still plays like a new horn. I recently received it back on a trade and was happy to get a chance to play it again. I’ve gone through and updated one pad and done a little adjustment.
This horn has that wonderful dark lacquer, some normal blemishes for a played horn but is in very good physical condition. It plays very powerfully with a fundamentally dark core and very cutting edge. It is a very fast and precise horn.
Very clean untouched 6* Florida slant signature Link. Clear milling lines on original table, unaltered tip and baffle. Finding nice original examples such as this is now quite rare. This has obviously been played and has some minor cosmetic blemishes but the functional areas are all quite clean.
Had a really wonderful hang with Josh Redman, fellow tone & subtlety aficionado; inspiringly great player and exceptionally good, smart and fun person to be around. Being able to share that level of appreciation for detail in sound is why we do this, but some people are just plain cool.
This is a wonderful player, “Bluetrane” period Otto Link Tonemaster restored to a tip size of .097. I would classify this as a chocolate butter rich complex tone. It has more clarity and projection than an original Tonemaster by a large measure, but is also not a super bright modern vibe at all. It is very much accurate to the aesthetic of the original Tonemasters but extremely clear and brilliant with a true facing making it very reed friendly and not stuffy in any way.
For modern mouthpieces this would be considered dark I guess, but for a vintage Link this is probably in the middle tonally, and for a Tonemaster it might be just a bit bright and shimmery- still not a bright piece. It is very organic and flexible. It’s a joy to play this one, no effort was spared in making it the best it could possibly be without hyping or altering the inherent character.
Obviously not a whole lot of plating left on this one. Biteplate shows some use (because it really was always just an inherently great piece) but the biteplate is functional and I will leave it. Will work fine with or without a patch.