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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read this. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a decent ligature under $30 (it’s a lot to ask, I know). The mouthpieces I currently use are a Vandoren Optimum AL5, and a Vandoren V16 6S+. I don’t know if this is relevant or not, but the reeds I use are Vandoren V12 on 3, and Fibracell 3 1/2.
 

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I would keep your eyes out for a Vandoren M/O. They often come up lightly used, basically new for under 30 and are great ligs. Very light, minimal contact with the reed offering maximum vibration, and it comes in a variety of finishes. Also easy to tighten and won’t come off the mouthpiece if you try to twist it. They’re really fantastic, that’s what I’d recommend. Good luck on the search!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would keep your eyes out for a Vandoren M/O. They often come up lightly used, basically new for under 30 and are great ligs. Very light, minimal contact with the reed offering maximum vibration, and it comes in a variety of finishes. Also easy to tighten and won’t come off the mouthpiece if you try to twist it. They’re really fantastic, that’s what I’d recommend. Good luck on the search!
Thank you very much for the suggestion! The ligature I have isn’t terrible, it’s only that the lig itself is too small, the artificial leather feels wonky and it’s a little hard to adjust. But the sound is pretty good.
 

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you won't get any real sound changes so that's pretty irrelevant to the discussion. Any of the Rovners are fine. You said the one you have is faux leather which is a plastic nonwoven. Put it in boiling water then put on your mouthpiece with a reed and tighten, it will loosen up a smidgen
 

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Try a Rovner Star Series - hands down the best ligature I've found. Very free and lively. I thought the Rovner I was using before was good, and it really is, but its discontinued and the SS beats it hands down anyway. Rovner has a really good selection depending on what you want to do to your set-up. On tenor I'm always looking for ease of playing, reed-friendliness and a free, sizzling sound. On alto, I use the Dark lig because my mouthpiece is a little bright. A different one yet on baritone. Three different situations with different needs. It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your set-up.
You can definitely affect your playing and your sound with ligature selection. I used to doubt this myself but no more. The ligature is just another one of your tools for accomplishing an end. You find one that gets your attention and makes you smile, its like finding a really good reed but it always works. :)
 

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This is easy to answer, and no it's not a lot to ask for a decent lig at $30 or less. A basic metal 2-screw lig will work just fine. It (almost) goes without saying to get one that fits your mpc.

The Rovner Star Series also looks like a good bet, again assuming that it fits.

Beyond that, you mention a couple of ligs you are now using. Is there anything wrong with them? Do they not fit well, or is there some problem in using them?
 

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Go to the local music store and rummage through their drawer. And keep in mind it is not the looks that matter but the fit on the MPC and that it holds the reed secure in place. The dual screw ligs are the basic stuff and you can't go wrong with them but if you are lucky, you'll find a single screw version where you don't have to worry about uneven pressure (not that it's a real issue other than in your head). That's pretty much all there is to that. My favorite ligature right now runs $ 2.87 wholesale.
 

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The best lig I’ve ever used costs about .10...perfect for jazz, may be a little bright for classical....
 

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I like the Rico H ligatures a lot, and they're about $30 IIRC. They come in different sizes, I'm sure they've got one that fits your mps.
 

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I like the Rico H ligatures a lot, and they're about $30 IIRC. They come in different sizes, I'm sure they've got one that fits your mps.
X2. They seem like a nice copy of the old Harrison ligatures. Solid bang for the buck.
 

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Rico H-ligature if you like traditional 2-screw; Rovner cloth or BG cloth if you like single-screw ones. A cable tie or a strong rubber band if you're really financially challenged or a miser. They all work fine.
 

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+1 (or is it +4?) to the Rico H lig. I've been using one and it works very well. I couldn't remember how much it cost, but it wasn't all that expensive. Get the cap also; it's one of the best caps out there, fits well and doesn't slip off.
 

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Dare I say it’s better than the original Harrison(?) and the cap is excellent as you said.

+1 (or is it +4?) to the Rico H lig. I've been using one and it works very well. I couldn't remember how much it cost, but it wasn't all that expensive. Get the cap also; it's one of the best caps out there, fits well and doesn't slip off.
 

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Another positive for the H-ligs. One of those came with my new Selmer Concept soprano mouthpiece and I like it. It fits HR Selmer soprano mouthpieces better than their old two-band/two-screw ligs of the past (of which I have several). DAVE
 

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I would keep your eyes out for a Vandoren M/O. They often come up lightly used, basically new for under 30 and are great ligs. Very light, minimal contact with the reed offering maximum vibration, and it comes in a variety of finishes. Also easy to tighten and won’t come off the mouthpiece if you try to twist it. They’re really fantastic, that’s what I’d recommend. Good luck on the search!
I would 2nd the Vandoren M/O. It's a perfect fit for my Vandoren SL3 mouthpiece.
 

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I don't care for the "H" ligature. One of these came with my Jody Jazz bass sax mouthpiece, and if I tighten it enough to be sure it won't slip when I adjust the tuning, I can distinctly feel the legs of the H being spread apart by the tightening force. It's a weak mechanical design. Eventually those legs are going to get spread apart enough that something will quit working properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After going to a shop and experimenting with a few ligatures, I decided on the M/O ligature. It feels sturdy, and I feel it lets the reed vibrate freely unlike my old ligature.

Also, to those wondering what was wrong with my old ligature, it felt very flimsy, and I found myself having to over-tighten the ligature just to have something that’s somewhat comfortable and somewhat easy to play on. It was also super small to fit my AL5 and my V16 A6S+, and it felt like it was pinching the reed.
 
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