Monday, February 7, 2011

Otto Link's "Vintage" Metal Mouthpiece

The phrase "to each their own" comes to mind when I think about my experience playing Otto Link's new "vintage" metal mouthpiece.  Every mouthpiece has its own sonic qualities and those of the metal "vintage" model make it fairly unique among mouthpieces manufactured today.

The metal "vintage" model goes for a truly vintage sound.  It produces a very dark sound with decent definition.  From the audience's perspective the sound does have some focus, but from the player's perspective the tone has little definition or focus.  While the model will appeal to players looking to find a dark tone in a metal mouthpiece designed with the jazz saxophonist in mind, the struggle to hear the subtleties in sound while you play is a definite disadvantage.  This is what Otto Link promised, a return to the mouthpieces of yesteryear, and some of their earlier metal mouthpieces (New York era) have very similar qualities.

The playability of the mouthpiece is fairly average when compared to other well made mouthpieces. The mouthpiece responds nicely to dynamics and articulation, and it feels similar in those respects to a modern production mouthpiece.  Otto Link didn't want to take too many steps backwards!  The mouthpiece does take a more air than their current metal models, but otherwise the average saxophonist should feel comfortable on the mouthpiece.

Here is a quick clip from a practice session on the mouthpiece -

Ben practicing on Otto Link's metal "vintage" model mouthpiece

Conclusion: Otto Link's new metal "vintage" model is a very dark sounding mouthpiece that will feel comfortable to most jazz saxophonists.  Its serious disadvantage is its inability to allow the player to hear (from behind the horn/mouthpiece) the definition and focus of the tone.


  1. I really enjoy the sound this mouthpiece has, do you remember what reed you were using on it?

    1. Mike, I'm fairly certain it would have been a Rico Jazz Select, most likely an unfiled.