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Discussion Starter #1
My newly-acquired bari plays well enough with the student mouthpiece it came with but I played a borrowed Berg Larsen 100/2 ebonite mouthpiece which was a massive improvement over the 'stock' supplied. Great bottom end sound and an easy blow over the range, I loved it and wanted one.

I couldn't find a UK supplier of Berg Larsen mouthpieces and after finding no 100/2s on any auction sites I gave up and went to the Berg Larsen web site. At 280 Euros including postage they're pretty expensive, but hey, life's short and you can't take it with you, so I ordered a 100/2 M in grained ebonite. It arrived a couple of days ago and I have to say the mouthpiece is a work of art and plays just like the borrowed one, but the ligature is the worst piece of tat I have ever seen and a huge disappointment. It's flimsy, doesn't fit the contour of the mouthpiece and with both screws pulled up as far as they will go, so that both sides of the lig are touching, it doesn't clamp the reed which can still be moved - it was simply not fit for purpose.

Luckily, I had a Francois Louis tenor lig lying spare, and was delighted to find that with just one of the little spacers FL supply supply with their ligs it fitted the Berg perfectly. The FL lig and the Berg seem to be absolutley perfect together. I love the sound I'm getting with the set up using my usual Gonzalez 2½s.

So Berg Larsen - great mouthpiece, thanks, but hey you really need to do something about your truly awful ligatures.
 

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I've got a few Berg Baritone mouthpieces in metal, ebonite and grained ebonite and their ligatures work fine for me.

As you bought it direct from Berg Larsen they should sort it out for you - have you tried contacting them ?

Rhys
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I am going to complain to them. I'm getting some pitcures together to illustrate my points, but I'm not sure what they're going to be able to about it. Not much point in sending me another lig if they're a mass-produced thing with quality control which let this one through.
 

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Hopefully they can send you one that fits better. Or they could refund some of the purchase price. You might mention the Sale of Goods Act !

If you have any of the thicker style of mouthpiece patches you could stick one on top of the body of the mouthpiece where the ligature sits and it could pad out the diameter enough to make it tighten and hold the reed better.

Do their ligatures still have "Berg Larsen London" engraved on them ? I think the (new) company is in Belgium now, but don't know if they moved all the production of mouthpieces, ligatures and caps over there too.

Rhys
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes the lig does have Berg Larsen London engraved/stamped on it as does the mouthpiece. I think the whole production is now in Belgium and I'm advised by several UK retailers that Berg are very picky about who they let sell their products. Their sole European outlet, apparently, is Thomann in Germany with a massive on-line presence. I just wonder if Berg are resting on thier name a bit and it will be intersting to see what thier reaction is to my complaint.
 

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New Berg ligatures are at best serviceable. Either they should upgrade them to the quality when Berg was alive or stop selling them as a kit. ( The metal mouthpieces are still going to need a ligature.) Your grained ebonite mouthpieces looks beautiful and really well made. It seems the QC is much higher on directly ordered mouthpieces. I have a new 130/1/M mouthpiece that's fantastic.
 

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I own berg larsen 2-screw ligatures, and they work great. They are pretty old.

[The metal is very thick and sturdy]

I notice that some reeds are thicker than others, requiring differing ligatures to get the fit correct on the same mouthpiece.

However, in your case, you ordered the mpc directly from the maker's site. That site says, "All our mouthpieces come complete with original cap and ligature."

So one would certainly expect the ligature to work well on any of the range of normal sizes for reeds.

Moreover, the reed you are using, Gonzalez 2.5 is widely available and should be well within the expected range for that lig to fit.

This is very discouraging to hear.
 

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I own a Berg Larsen HR tenor mouthpiece, and I've actually never played it, because none of the 10-15 ligs I own come close to fitting it. In fact, I can't remember now how I got this mouthpiece. Probably it was included with an old tenor I bought at some point, and I probably just tossed it in a drawer after realizing I didn't have a lig to fit it. I forgot I even had it, but I came across it the other day, and it looked interesting: in fact, it looks like vintage HR "duck bill" mouthpiece that's pictured on Theo Wanne's site, with the bullet chamber. Curious what it sounds like, but its very thin, very conical shape means that none of my ligs fit. I've thought buying a Berg lig just to try it out, but now it sounds like those don't work either! Ah well ...
 

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The ligatures have been ill fitting since they moved to Belgium. I bought a new Berg ligature for a replacement of a lost vintage ligature. The new lig was a bit too large so I fit a reed onto the mpc and pressed on it where gaps were present. It made it fit but the quality isn't as good as the old stainless ones. I don't use it anymore.
 

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I own a Berg Larsen HR tenor mouthpiece, and I've actually never played it, because none of the 10-15 ligs I own come close to fitting it. In fact, I can't remember now how I got this mouthpiece. Probably it was included with an old tenor I bought at some point, and I probably just tossed it in a drawer after realizing I didn't have a lig to fit it. I forgot I even had it, but I came across it the other day, and it looked interesting: in fact, it looks like vintage HR "duck bill" mouthpiece that's pictured on Theo Wanne's site, with the bullet chamber. Curious what it sounds like, but its very thin, very conical shape means that none of my ligs fit. I've thought buying a Berg lig just to try it out, but now it sounds like those don't work either! Ah well ...
w
I don't know if you aware of this but HR Berg tenors have the outer dimensions of a standard HR alto sax mouthpiece. My apologies if you knew that.
 

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I have a fairly old Berg SS baritone piece, and the ligature is a POS, so lousy ligatures is not a totally new thing for Berg Larsen. It fits OK, but the material is basically tin foil. Any thinner and I'm sure it would fail in tension with normal tightening. I also got worried about it cutting me! I got a Selmer 404 (tenor) ligature and it works great.
 

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Absolutely not the same quality ligatures and Mouthpieces since Belgium. :(
 

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I bought a new Larsen tenor s/s piece from Thomann but had to return it - the shank had been bored well off-centre so one part of the circumference was wafer thin. Poor QC on pieces as well as ligs!

As one poster above says Berg Alto ligs can be used on their metal tenor pieces. In the absence of anything to hand that will fit then elastic hair bands, cable ties and Rovners all work!
 

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Sounds like they gave you a tenor ligature instead of a baritone.
 

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" ... the ligature is the worst piece of tat I have ever seen and a huge disappointment. It's flimsy, doesn't fit the contour of the mouthpiece and with both screws pulled up as far as they will go, so that both sides of the lig are touching, it doesn't clamp the reed which can still be moved - it was simply not fit for purpose." OP
 
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