Otto Links: New Lessons in Concavity

J.J. Babbitt makes exceptional mouthpieces; this statement maybe a shock to many of you, but it's true. The Meyer and Otto Link brands are two of my absolute favorites, with J.J. Babbitt truly maintaining the enduring tradition and legacy of the Meyer Bros. and the great Otto Link. Still, these mouthpieces are designed to be instantly accessible to players regardless of the player's experience.

As players advance, they learn to sand their reeds, position their ligatures, and adjust their embouchure (among other variables) to achieve their ideal sound. But given that the majority of players are not quite as proficient/functional as a Jon Irabgaon, Tony Dagradi, or Donny McCaslin, J.J. Babbitt's stock mouthpieces also do not need to be quite as readily accessible. And J.J. Babbitt knows this.

J.J. Babbitt's mouthpieces are machine faced with a significant concavity in the table. This allows the reed, nearly regardless of position, to seal rather tightly and perform its job--this is great for students but perhaps less great for picky professionals. Could Babbitt hand finish the mouthpieces in the manner that the late Dr. Paul "Doc" Tenney did with his "Blue Printed Tenney" (BP10E) mouthpieces? Perhaps they could get close, but the cost/benefit would not likely yield the financial results Babbitt needs to remain successful.

In the interim, if you're looking for perfection in a Meyer or Otto Link mouthpiece, we strongly encourage you to look for one of Doc Tenney's BP10E Otto Links, Meyers, (or Berg Larsens) for sale second hand. Doc's mouthpieces have truly flat tables and are as good as they get. In the mean time, stick with pieces from Babbitt--they don't get much better.

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