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I've been playing a selmer S80 C* mouthpiece on my alto since a couple months after i started saxophone, which is like 5 years ago now. Ever since I got it I've been using the stock lig that came with it, but my tone is and has always has been just kinda blah. It's hard to explain. It's just not as dark and the sound's not as focused as I would like it to be (as in the sound just kinda splats out of the horn). Would a different lig possibly help this, and if so, what ligs do you recommend? Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Try a Rovner.
The blah sound is probably not the ligs fault, but you can mess around with a few to see if they make any difference.
 

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BG Traditional Gold plated, Bay Gold plated, Vandoren Optimum are what I like.
 

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On my tenor, I use a Selmer S80 C* with a Rovner lig and Legere reed. To me, that combo makes a great sound.
 

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I doubt if any ligature will affect your tone at this point. You may want to experiment with reeds, though.

I use a Selmer S-80 C* on alto (from vintage to modern) and it works great for me. It may take some players years to come to grips with a good sound. Once that happens, THEN some ligature experiments may help one refine the tone. DAVE
 

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well are these recomendation holding the reed tighter or looser? is the material from the lig damping the vibration of the reed? i cant tell much difference in sound between a rovner, the standard selmer gold one, and a rico H ligature.
 

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I believe that seasoned players with well-developed embouchures can detect a slight difference among ligatures. It isn't so much about being tighter or more loose, it is about holding the reed flat on the mouthpiece's table. I also believe that Rovners (of all their various designs) do tend to dampen the sound but very slightly.

For instance, this morning I've been experimenting with various ligatures on a Kessler Custom mouthpiece on my Yanagisawa SC902 soprano. The SC902 has a fairly bright sound when I play it. With the Kessler Custom mouthpiece, it tends to play with less buzz. And when I use my Rovners (in this case, a Rovner light and Eddie Daniels II), the buzz tends to be even less than when I use my Vandoren Optimum, stock Selmer two-screw metal lig, or the Rico "H" that came with the mouthpiece. They all have their place and some of the results depends on the particular reed I'm using at the time, too.

If I had to choose only one ligature, it would be the Selmer metal two-screw ligs on all of my horns. But that's just me. These are highly personal issues for most players and a lig change isn't going to work the miracles that some would like to experience. DAVE
 

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Selmer Two-Screw ligatures, the new Vandoren M/O, and the Francois Louis Ultimate XL ligatures are my favorites.

The ligature isn't your problem though. My philosophy is that if a ligature fits properly (parallel to the reed and mouthpiece table), design matters very little to not at all. I'd say it is FAR more likely that your S80's table or facing is off. Either that, or poor air support or bad reeds can be blamed. Try some new reeds first. If that fails, get one in half a strength softer. If that fails, take a good reed and apply a lot of saliva to the table, do the same for the mouthpiece table too. Then apply the reed; this makes a seal that temporarily compensates for table issues. If it plays better with your spit seal, the facing and table are to blame.
 

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I've got a S80 C* that came with my tenor, and a Rovner lig. I also have Yamaha 4C and 6C mouthpieces with metal ligs. When switching the Rovner and the metal ligs around on the various pieces, I can not tell any difference in sound between the ligatures.
I would advise trying some different reeds, and even different mouthpieces. Try a Yamaha or Rico Graftonite mouthpiece. I got a louder, but more deep sound on my alto with a Graftonite A5 compared to my Yamaha 5C. To start your search, go online and read up on what characteristics (tip openings; chamber sizes, etc.) of mouthpieces do to the sound produced. See if you can get a copy of Tipbook Saxophone by Hugo Pindsterboer. That book has a good, basic discussion of mouthpieces, reeds, and ligatures.
 

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As a complete n00b I am in no position to advise you but hey :)
I am playing a basic Jupiter 500 alto, with stock ligature and an upgrade to a Selmer S 80 c * mouthpiece.
I am only playing for 9 months now but was blown away at the difference in sound when I got the mouthpiece. Much easier to play and could hear the difference, it was a different instrument.
I do have my doubts about the difference -if any- a ligature would make, but had some spare cash and decided to go upgrade it. I was advised to get a BG super revelation by the guy in the store and have to say that there is a difference.
The sound is 'fatter', it's got a bit more presence. I can play the low B no problem, it was a little struggle still to get it nice and clean. Not now. The upper end seems more or less the same, I can't say for sure it's better or not. But overall deffo worth the cash! Not the big bang for your buck that I got from the mouthpiece but a good investment.
 

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I've used a bonade non inverted for 35 years.
 

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Well, as the Norwegian Rovner distributor, I probably don't have a lot of cred when I recommend Rovner, but I totally agree with all the other folks here telling you an S-80 with a Rovner Dark or the MkIII is in fact, a great combo!
 

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No lig is going to change the tone by all that much...thats just what you sound like on that particular piece at the moment. Practice will help of course, but there is a reason that there are lots of other pieces for us all to choose from too.
 

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I've been playing a selmer S80 C* mouthpiece on my alto since a couple months after i started saxophone, which is like 5 years ago now. Ever since I got it I've been using the stock lig that came with it, but my tone is and has always has been just kinda blah. It's hard to explain. It's just not as dark and the sound's not as focused as I would like it to be (as in the sound just kinda splats out of the horn). Would a different lig possibly help this, and if so, what ligs do you recommend? Any advice is appreciated.
TSG - I agree with Dave. Ligatures are not going to provide any substantial difference to your sound especially given the price you will pay for some of these compared to a Standard Two Screw Ligature. I tried many of the ones you may have in minde and found NO NET gain on sound. Here is my post:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?168261-Soprano-Ligature-Bench-Tests

These ligatures were tried on a Yamaha 7C. I would ask you how long have you been playing soprano, how often do you practice ? If it is not a performance based issue and indeed it is a an equipment based issue, then I would urge you to try a wider tip opening on the S80 (at least up to an E). I have the S80 C* and i ttried up to an S80 F and for me the S80 E was right in the SWEET spot that you are probably talking about.

Also what reeds are you using ? This is very important as I have found, that the type (filed or unfiled which is basically French or American ) and the strength of reed will make a considerable difference much more so than any ligature could.
 

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Would a different lig possibly help this
If your current lig is damaged or not working properly, then a different one would probably help.

But if it's not broken, don't worry. Just work on your playing.
 

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I hear a lot of people say that the ligature does not do you any good. But I know that for me, it made a major difference! I've been playing a Selmer S80 C* and I played on a stock lig for a long time. It sounded ok, but not great. I recently tried a Vandoren Optimum lig, and my tone got a LOT darker, and sounded completely different. I'm currently trying to test out an Oleg to see how it does. My advice: No matter what any one says, it depends more on the musician. One lig could work fine for one person, but not for another. You have to find what is comfortable for you, which means you just need to test a bunch of different ligs. I would definitely suggest buying a new lig, stock ligatures are not very pleasant to play on and you will certainly get a different sound from a new ligature. :)
 
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