The Otto Link company was bought out in 1974 by J.J. Babbitt, and moved from its previous home in Pompano Beach, Florida to Elkhart, Indiana, where it still resides. During the first five years of production in Elkhart, Babbitt used the same molds that Link had been using on its hard rubber Tone Edge mouthpieces. The result is known as the Early Babbitt Tone Edge mouthpieces.
Charecteristics of Early Babbitt Tone Edge:
Beak/biteplate comes down at almost a 90 degree angle from the barrel
Otto Link signature is straight across
U.S.A stamp on shank
Early Babbitt Tone Edge mouthpieces are very highly sought after. They tend to have a similar sound to the Florida vintage Slant Signature mouthpieces, and are generally found at close to half of the price. Because they were made from the same molds of the Florida vintage Tone Edge it makes sense that they would play just as well. The only reason they are considered inferior to the Florida vintage models is the because of the finishing work that went into them. Since fifty years have gone by since they were originally manufactured, it is kind of hard to find these vintage mouthpieces in their original condition. We have played several Florida and New York Slant Signature Tone Edges, and many Early Babbitts, and the result is always a very close race. Sometimes Early Babbitts can even play better than Slants. It really completely depends on the player. You really can't go wrong with a vintage Early Babbitt Tone Edge, but the mouthpiece search is always a fickle, hard road, and it seems like something better could be out there somewhere. If you can find a good deal on a Florida vintage Slant or an Early Babbitt you should definitely snatch it up because it will hold its value and they are definitely becoming harder to find.
The Otto Link company was bought out in 1974 by J.J. Babbitt, and moved from its previous home in Pompano Beach, Florida to Elkhart, Indiana, where it still resides. During the first five years of production in Elkhart, Babbitt used the same molds that Link had been using on its hard rubber... [more]