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If you haven't experienced it yourself, I guess I can see that attitude, but its real. I am totally stumped why some players don't get it, but that's no excuse for mounting a propaganda war against those who depend on certain ligs for the betterment of their playing. Just lighten up and let others think what they will - its no skin off your a-s.
 

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Well, my experience is that some ligatures make a difference, some do not. The video seems to focus on mostly metal ligatures. On clarinet, I used to play a Rovner Dark ligature (fabric) many years ago because everyone was doing it. After an undisclosed time I decided to try a couple metal ligatures. The difference was audible. The Rovner Dark effectively attenuated the high frequencies. Some would call that "stuffy". Perhaps it should be called the Rovner Blah.

Disclaimer: Your results may vary. Experiment not tried on saxophone.
 

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Beginning of the vid was pretty funny! Personally, I DO think a ligature can *sometimes* make a difference. To clarify, not necessarily in as much the sound that comes from the horn, but more in the response. I also believe some ligs create a more free-blowing feel, while others somehow seem to add more resistance or back pressure. Again, that's something a player will FEEL more than a noticeably different audible sound. I also prefer a single screw inverted lig, which is why I use Vandoren M/O's on everything except tenor, which I'll now totally contradict myself...... I use a Selmer 404 (two screws at the bottom) on my Sakshama Stubby/Shorty. If I could find a M/O that would fit my Sakshama 'piece, I'd probably use it on that too, but I digress....
 

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I’ve found placement matters a lot, so if a lig sits in a different spot on the reed, then it will make a difference.
I think what Jay is saying is that if a lig holds the reed securely, squarely and tightly, there is really not much difference.
I think sometimes folks confuse the above two things with the materials and other characteristics of the lig.
Can anyone share if they had different outcomes in sound with the same lig made of different materials (rose gold, silver, brass, etc)?
 

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I have decided on a few ligatures that work for me; D'Addario H-ligature, Rico inverted ligature, Bonade inverted ligature, the new Echo Master Brilhart copies. Selmer 404 is good too, but I prefer an inverted ligature. Oh yeah, and almost every el-cheapo two-screw that comes with a mouthpiece works fine! All are pretty cheap except the Echo Masters, they are expensive but I still like them :)

Here are the tests a ligature must pass to be acceptable, for me.

1) Is it relatively easy to get the reed to sit straight on the mouthpiece? Ligatures that fail this test for me are Wanne Enlightened Ligature, FL Ultimate, and newer (poor) models of the Link STM lig.

2) Does it hold the reed well on the mouthpiece? Tell-tale negative signs are sudden changes in resistance due to the tip slipping slightly right or left, and water on the table after playing a while (showing that the reed is lifting off the table slightly). Ligatures that fail this test for me are any Rovner I've every tried (wetness), Enlightened Ligature and FL Ultimate (slippage).

3) Can I adjust my mouthpiece on the cork without having to readjust the reed and ligature? Almost every ligature I've tried except the few listed above fails this test.

Of course, this is all just my opinion... opinions are like bum-holes, everyone has got one. But it's my opinion, and I cherish it :)
 

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Totally agree on the Wanne Enlightened. It’s basically unusable.
For me it’s same as you, has to be easy to get reed on and secure properly and hold it there.
Sloppy sliders just don’t cut it.
BG Duos are tops with me, the Wanne log that comes attached to the Gaia/Durga metals, and the 1923 2-screw that came with my Conn C Mel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On slipping around while tuning: this can be helped by sanding your cork some so the fit is not so tight. Then you can grab the shank of the mouthpiece to tune instead of the whole body to get it to move. I used to play on a few Winslow ligs that slipped around on me.

If you find ligature placement and design makes a big difference in your response, I have a theory about this.

If your mouthpiece table and reed are flat, ligatures hardly matter at all. If not, then the ligature contact points play off the irregularities in the reed/mouthpiece fit. This is why some players experience a big difference and others none.
 

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I notice a difference between rovner type ligs and metal ligs... I don’t know if anyone else can tell, but I notice... and I have had a few “bad” ligs that caused different issues... other than that not much difference. I can’t ever see myself shelling out for a Silverstein Cryo ******** lig.
 

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I would agree with Metcalf on most of this with the exception of the Rovner. The Rovner definitely dampens the sound a bit. But as far as metal ligs go they're pretty much all the same to me sound wise, they just need to hold the reed secure and not be cumbersome to adjust. I also agree about the Wanne Enlightened Ligature, it's a pain to adjust and it tends to slip off. My favorite is the Vandoren M/O.
 

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I'm with Metcalf 99% of the way. The only characteristic I'd quibble with is his requirement for one screw. Sure, it's nice to only have to adjust with one screw, but I really don't mind the infinitesimal extra effort required to tighten 2 screws. And in most cases a 2-screw lig that fits won't slip when adjusting the position of the mpc on the neck.

I think he does a good service for the beginning or less-experienced players who might be fooled into thinking that a silver plated lig will give a 'brighter sound' than a gold plated one, etc.

Bottom line, get a sturdy lig that fits the mpc well and holds the reed firmly to the mpc table.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Some ligature designs need two screws. Like the Selmer 404 or 402. I agree that two screws are not a big deal and give you control over adjustability.
 

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I think there is a small difference in sound between ligatures that put metal on the reed and ones that put fabric on the reed. Fabric (or other soft materials) on the reed does seem to take some of the high-end out of the sound. I guess I should pull out the Rovner dark and do a spectrogram test of that.

I do find that a regular, non-inverted two-screw design is just about as secure as it gets where metal ligatures are concerned, but I've found appropriately-sized fabric ligatures to be the most secure. I generally play a Selmer two-screw ligature on clarinet most of the time, but if I'm playing clarinet with an orchestra and need to move my mouthpiece back and forth between Bb and A clarinets, I only trust my old Rovner Eddie Daniels II. It feels almost as good as a metal ligature to play, but is the most secure of any ligature I've ever used. I perceive a very slight dampening of the upper partials, but that's usually desirable when I'm playing legit.

Some of the fancy, loosy-goosy designs sound good, but just aren't reliable enough for me to trust them. My clarinet tech made me a carbon fiber band ligature by wrapping carbon fibers around the mouthpiece and a reed (they were taped off, don't worry) and then painting on epoxy. It was ugly as hell, but it sounded great! I eventually decided that I couldn't use it, though, since it just didn't hold securely enough for me to feel comfortable with it.
 

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If you find ligature placement and design makes a big difference in your response, I have a theory about this.

If your mouthpiece table and reed are flat, ligatures hardly matter at all. If not, then the ligature contact points play off the irregularities in the reed/mouthpiece fit. This is why some players experience a big difference and others none.
+1
I also think that the taper of the mouthpiece and the taper of the ligature can matter. When the two tapers are significantly different, the reed clamping can suffer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think there is a small difference in sound between ligatures that put metal on the reed and ones that put fabric on the reed. Fabric (or other soft materials) on the reed does seem to take some of the high-end out of the sound. I guess I should pull out the Rovner dark and do a spectrogram test of that....
That would be interesting. I think it would not show a difference. The player feels it but it is not measurable.
 

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I only trust my old Rovner Eddie Daniels II. It feels almost as good as a metal ligature to play, but is the most secure of any ligature I've ever used.
And of course the Eddie Daniels Rovner (now the Versa, I believe) has a metal plate in contact with the reed. So it shouldn't 'dampen' the reed any more than a metal lig, assuming you buy the idea that anything holding the heel (the non-vibrating part) of the reed firmly to the mpc table can somehow dampen the vibrating part of the reed. I don't see how that can happen; maybe it can, but I'm not convinced.
 

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It’s the feel of different ligs that I notice. Just depends on the fit and the mpc and what reeds I’m using. I will say I don’t find the Wanne enlightened lig to be any more fussy than the Francois Louis and on some mpcs I’ve liked it. I like the Rovner legacy but I find the angled metal plate tends to flex a bit unless you really tighten it down, so I haven’t been using those lately. Rovner versa I like, also Vandoren m/o. Bay ligatures too. And Rovner light.
 

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To clarify, not necessarily in as much the sound that comes from the horn, but more in the response.
I make this point often when these threads come up. For me, "response" is the sensation I get from how long the note seems to stick to the reed. The lesser so, the better ligature for me for any given mouthpiece.


I have the same opinion!
What, that he sounded like Brecker?
 
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