Otto Link Straight Sig. FL Marinated Masterpiece

This is a piece I optimized in 2010 for myself and then gigged on for a number of years. It is a Straight signature Link Florida originally stamped 7 and restored to .101.  There was a small nick in the tip that I repaired.  It is a VERY LOUD piece with a tonal color right in the middle between dark and bright (relative to what these piece might usually be) and is exceptionally smooth and comfortable to blow.

Horned Toad’s Select Collection Vintage Reproductions

I am working on a new project of small batch high quality reproduction of the best and personal favorite tenor mouthpieces out of my decades long acquired collection, most of which are very rare and hard to find, some of which are impossible to find.   In many years of mouthpiece hunting, collecting, selling and restoring vintage pieces I have gathered a unique and special array of some of the best pieces in the world from the perspective of someone who really likes vintage Links and Bergs.  I never had a super modern sound and still tend to gravitate to my vintage Links and Bergs.  I have collected, played and sold a huge number of them but I kept the pieces that worked best for me and at this point some of them need to be shared, and at least preserved as in some cases I only have one and will never see another.

I am going to try to keep these as affordable as I can considering manufacturing costs. There is some investment required and all hand finish will be done by myself.  I have at the moment 6 models I am considering.  In the first run all pieces will be produced in the exact facings they are current set at, as this is really were they play best, although customization will be possible.  At the moment I will be likely be producing in brass, stainless, resin/plastic or hard rubber.  

#1 “Missing Link” quad-ring transitional Otto Link Super Tonemaster.  

This is a one-of-a-kind mouthpiece that I searched for for like 30 years, finally got one.  I will never see another and it is safe to say most everyone will not have a chance to ever play one not to mention buy one.  I got lucky to obtain this one.  It had a minor amount of work done to it, I improved it greatly and although I never intended to return to an early Link this one demanded my attention because it plays in a very special and great way; compact with a lot of sizzle/bright for an early Link, still very fat but crisp deliver.  it is not SUPER loud, but it has nuance for years and it is also satisfyingly bright.  It is punchier than a Tonemaster, more compact that a NY double ring, and more lyrical/nuanced than a FL.  This is truly a unique and great playing early Link that I want to make available.  I think a LOT of folks will love this, but if you are really looking for a Guardala with the appearance of a Link this is not that.   This is a singular opportunity to own a really impossible to find piece.  It will be cast in brass or silver depending on interest.  The initial run will be the exact piece that I have as currently set up with a facing of around .097 which is really the outer range of where these types of pieces are designed to play their best. Finding this piece is what compelled me to start this project.  

#2 Serial numbered FL Link Super Tonemaster 7*.  This is the best metal FL Link I have ever played, without exception and it is the facing that everyone wants.  Many people have asked me to sell this but I only have one, and this will solve that problem.  It is a 100% original mouthpiece and it screams, very loud and very complex.  I will only produce this piece in 7* and it will be high detail replica.

#3 Straight Signature FL Link Tone Edge.  This was originally marked as a 6 but was already .097.  It is a daily player of mine with a tip size of about .098 and a rather large original flat baffle.  I have optimized this piece because (all) straight sig FL HR Links have table concavity that makes them inhospitable to reeds etc. I have optimized this for my own use with very detailed and gentle work. It is amazing; aggressive, bright, subtle fat and very very fast.  I have never listed this piece for sale and certainly never would but I will make the reproduction available in resin/plastic or hard rubber depending on process.  

 

#4 Marin Spivack “Orphan Slant” (Otto Link Slant Sig).  This is an Otto Link late FL slant sig blank, unmarked yet with original Otto Link table milling faced to around 5 that I received in a box of junk. I faced and set up this piece from the ground up to .100.  It is the best late Slant Sig possible to find in my experience, very detailed shimmering fat and efficient sound delivering very fast and clear note cutting. Just a touch fatter and colored compared to the speed and aggression of the straight sig (#3.) Never offered for sale. Hard rubber or resin.

#5 Berg Larsen 1960’s Type Font .099 denim offset bullet chamber duckbill hard rubber.  This is one of the absolute best most efficient playing Berg models they made.  This is my personal player that you can see in many of my videos.  I am mainly reproducing this for myself as it is is simply my BEST HR Berg and personal go to mouthpiece all the time and I am not happy with only having this one example that could break etc.  I am also happy to be able to offer it to my own customers and friends.  It is amazing.  Hard rubber or resin.

#6 Berg Larsen Slant Signature 110/3 SMS Stainless denim table 1940’s.  This is the super long “very vintage” Berg Larsen. I have had a number of slant bergs over the years and got this one in trade from a customer just this year and it shocked me.  It is the best metal Berg I have ever played, better than the Charlie Ventura and others as well.  Although it is a 3 baffle it is very loud and bright actually.  It is all original and plays amazing, loudest mouthpiece I own, very easy to play and very full and consistent through the range.  Although it is very powerful it is also extremely nuanced and complex.  It gets a TYPE of brightness that I can only associate with ‘Trane’s sound on Blue Trane for some reason.  This piece has not been for sale and won’t ever be.  I will make stainless models for this.  I may raise the bite a bit as it is so low, depending on the response of those interested.

These are my 6 daily mouthpieces and my best.  I have a number of others models also worth of consideration but for at least this first run I want to make the pieces I personally play available.  I am not looking at mass production but small batch production depending on demand.  I am pretty well known for honesty and integrity with my customers and that will apply here.  Facings will be checked and finished my myself only.  I strive to produce the same quality I demand.

I am just starting this project so I need input from interested folks.  The Metal Links can be made in Brass or silver (silver is quite pricey).  The Stainless Berg can be done in stainless or brass.  The hard rubber pieces will be done in resin/plastic or if in hard rubber they will be machined to a high standard (because I do not have an ebonite curing facility here).

Prices I hope to contain between $350-$650 depending on models, interest, materials and process required, but I will know more when I have an idea of demand and numbers.  For now I would ask that folks interested in having any of these pieces to send an email through the contact form and put “Select Collection” in the subject line so I can make a list.  Talk to me about what pieces you might want and in what material etc so we can decide which production runs to prioritize and at what numbers. You can be part of the process of what actually gets made.  No commitment or money is involved at this time.  These are the best vintage Links and Bergs in the world as far as I am concerned and I am very picky.  This is really not a big business venture but to the possibly small group of folks that want these it will be very satisfying.  Thanks for reading.

Marin

Selmer MK VI 1966 ‘Sanborn’ Medium Bow Model

Here, yet another in a line of reliably great 140-something thousand altos.  These 140k medium bow altos are probably the best, most versatile players they ever made for altos.  The earlier 5 digit medium bow altos are also great but not quite as loud and cutting as these.  I have had a number of these from 139-149k and I have yet to play one that was not great.

 

This 148xxx is a player’s horn, not a museum piece.  It has lived, had some dents, dings and scratches and lacquer wear.  The pads are old and will need attention but it is a serious player with a thick, projecting sound.  It is very aggressive and bright enough, not not shrill.  Wide enough but not overly spread.  it is going to be amazing with some pad tweaking or a complete setup as you choose.  All original lacquer and US engraving.

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Time Capsule 1956 MK VI 62xxx tenor, WONDERFUL PLAYER

Little words needed here, absolutely beautiful 1956 62xxx original US engraved tenor,  original pads and resos, played very little ever.  Still has factory setup and plays very well.  Has that amazing fat, bright super free blowing response.

 

The greatest horns can still amaze on 60+ year old pads. Original neck, never bent, with matching numbers, original case with candy etc.  Treasure!

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Otto Link FL no USA Slant Sig “Marinated” .100 Amazing!

Otto Link Florida middle period (no USA, long baffle) slant sig.  This piece has been masterfully restored and optimized at .100 tip (7) with an early EB style long flat baffle.  There was a pickup hole filled in the top but it is flush and mostly invisible.  This is one of the best slants ever, very fat and aggressive sound, not overly bright and not at all shy or muted, very forceful and edgy while still remaining darkly edged.  This is a rare and truly great playing slant, very hard to match.

 

 

 

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Selmer MK VI Tenor #124xxx Original Dark Beauty

This is an original US lacquered and engraved Selmer Mark VI tenor Saxophone #124xxx, later Coltrane model period.  The horn has mostly original pads and resonators, the pads are obviously old yet It plays in a very promising, satisfying way.

The body has a few minor dings, the neck had some past pulldown, repaired nicely now.  Very pretty dark lacquer and wonderful colorful tone.

 

 

 

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38xxx SBA (Super ‘Balanced’ Action) Tenor, Coltrane Year & Model 1949

This horn was a big project.  Now fully restored with (mostly) original resonators and excellent harder pads, bow to body soldered, all toneholes dressed, keys fitted etc etc.. huge job.  Such a wonderful horn, organic and lyrical yet edgy and dry sounding, also quite compact center.

For those who are still wondering, yes original US lacquer/engraving and matching original neck.


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Amazing Selmer 88xxx MK VI Soprano

Just in, mind blowingly great 88xxx Selmer MK VI soprano, still playing it, just hard to put down. Original lacquer has normal aging spots. No solders or damage other than some smoothing on one side of the bell rim. Super rare with high F# which is a major bonus on soprano.

This is an incredible find, not sure it will be for sale.  Five digit Selmer sopranos are extremely hard to find now, this is a special order High F# original lacquer in excellent condition.  It is so strange, but it really seems to have the same quality as late 80k tenors do; spread, even scale, colorful, powerful and very flexible.  It is actually quite different from many other five digit Selmer sopranos I have had and played.  This may be the best Selmer soprano I have ever played.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Selmer MK VI Tenor 125xxx Original Player!

Here we have a wonderful player’s gigging horn, serial 125xxx, in the same range as Coltrane’s MK VI tenor.  This horn has very new fresh pads on it that I have gone through and seated a bit as well.  The resos are plastic which very much suit this horn.  It feels and plays great!  The sound is very full and precise and satisfying.  It is not shy, plenty loud and defined sound.  The setup is pretty good, will not need much attention for a long time I think.  The lacquer is original but fared rather poorly over the years with some water damage that can be seen in the photos.  The horn and mechanism have not been affected apparently, just the lacquer is a bit challenged.  The neck is in great condition, no pull down, and I did not find any solders or serious dents on the body either.  This horn will be a good deal for a real vintage yet precise player that is not the big bucks like museum pieces; extremely fun to play and would be great on the gig.

Here is a video with a bright Florida Link:

And another video with a slightly darker Florida Link

 

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