Saxophone Forum


by bigkev53
(6 posts)
7 months ago

Otto Link pitch issues

Hi, I'm new here and I'm hoping someone may be able to help me.
I have a Yamaha YTS 62 111 tenor sax and it ALWAYS plays sharp throughout the full range when using a (new) Otto Link Tone Edge 7*.  Even when I pull the mouth piece to the very end of the neck it still plays sharp.
I also have a Yamaha 4C and Selmer S80 D mpcs which give no issues with pitch but I went for the 7* as I prefer the bigger fuller sound. (Personal preference I guess).
Does anyone know of any non-expensive way to fix this problem?  I am a relatively new player of 6 months.
Cheers
Kevin

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  1. by mijderf
    (166 posts)

    6 months ago

    Re: Otto Link pitch issues

    You do not mention your reed strength.  Since the tip opening on the Link is much larger than the other pieces you mention, it could be that you are using too much embouchure pressure to get the reed to flex along the rails on the Link.  It could be that you need to use a softer reed or a looser embouchure with this larger tip opening.
    One thing you can try is to play just the mouthpieces and neck.  The tone that results from just the neck and mouthpiece on a tenor should be a concert E-flat.  If you are sharper than that, try lowering your embouchure pressure to get an E-flat.  You can try a softer reed with the Link in this manner, and see if it lowers the tone.

    You can also get another player, or a teacher to try the Link and see if they have the same issues.

    Good Luck! 

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    1. by bigkev53
      (6 posts)

      6 months ago

      Re: Otto Link pitch issues

      You have made some great suggestions and I will definately try those out.

      I have been using Rico Royals 2.5 so I'll have to experiment some more with reed strengths too.  I never thought about embouchure pressure being too high so thats another avenue to follow up on along with playing the mouthpiece and neck only to see what pitch I get.

      Getting another player to try the mouthpiece to get a second opinion is someting I never thought of either.

      Much appreciated.

      Regards
      Kevin

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      1. by bjroosevelt
        (47 posts)

        6 months ago

        Re: Otto Link pitch issues

        Rico Royal 2.5 is a pretty soft reed to start with.

        The Otto Link tip opening is a massive tip-opening jump from where you were with the other mouthpieces.  The 2.5 on the Otto Link is going to feel like you just put a 3.5 or 4 strength reed into one of your other mouthpieces.

        I’d guess you need to play the Otto Link a lot, and the pitch will eventually center.  Most likely you just need to develop your embouchure.

        Good news is that the solution is low cost.....bad news is that it might take a couple of months....but you will get there. 

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        1. by bigkev53
          (6 posts)

          6 months ago

          Re: Otto Link pitch issues

          Cheers.
          That gives me hope !

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        2. by bigkev53
          (6 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Otto Link pitch issues

          Just an update.  I have gone back to using the Selmer mpc as the Otto Link Tone Edge was almost impossible to play the sax in tune (every note was sharp).

          What I have noticed though is the the Tone Edge has a very short 'length' that fits into the neck (1/2 that of the Selmer) and I believe this gives much less adjustability when trying 'tune' the sax.  I simply can't pull it out far enough to flatten the pitch (it comes off).  There is no problem with the Selmer in this regard.

          I'm sure someone with more experience could overcome the issue by altering their ombouchure or use some other method but for me I think the mouthpice is simply too short to adequately adjust the basic tuning of my Yamaha.

          I'm quite surprised given Otto Link's huge reputation but that's what I have found anyway.

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        3. by mijderf
          (166 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Otto Link pitch issues

          No, that's really not it.  Mouthpieces vary in length.  When I first played tenor (after playing clarinet and alto).  I was way sharp for a long time with 7* tips.  I finally (finally is the key word, because it took about a year) took more mouthpiece in my mouth, dropped embouchure pressure way down, and now I play in tune with all of my mouthpieces near the center of the cork.  Note, the shank length on my mouthpieces are all different.

          Someone else stated it earlier.  You went from a 2.5 reed on a 4 mouthpiece to a 7* mouthpiece.  To play the 7* you need to close that reed further to sound a note, because of the larger tip opening, and you are doing that by pinching which takes you sharp.  You should try a 2.0 reed, and take a look at where the reed first touches the rails as you follow the reed from the tip to the table.  Where the reed touches the rails is where your embouchure should be.  The tendency, when moving to larger tip mouthpieces, is to leave your embouchure where it was on the 4, which would be too close to the tip.  Since the 7* has a longer length of reed not touching the rails, your embouchure needs to be out there to avoid having your embouchure effectively shorten the vibrating length of the reed.  
          The first time you try a 2.0 reed and moving your embouchure back to the new reed to rail separation point, it will feel and sound a little strange.  But like anything else, give it a little time and you may find that it helps a lot.  Note this approach helps a lot with getting good, clear low B and Bb tones as well. 

          Good Luck, and be patient.  It takes most of us many, many years to learn how to play the way you would like to play. 

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        4. by bigkev53
          (6 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Otto Link pitch issues

          Thank you very much for a very clear and concise explanation.  I will do as you suggest.  I actually prefer the bigger 7* in many ways so it I will certainly stick with it.

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