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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, 100% nerd sax stuff today!
Do you think that the ligature can affect the sound? Or only the response? Can it affect the articulation? Does the ligature design have an influence on its performances? And the material of its plate? These are cosmic doubts for us saxplayers, so I decided to put a video about it.
I have tested 2 models: Francois Louis pure brass and Vandoren LC814 leather.
You will not see which one I have used in that moment, I just only named them ligature 1 and ligature 2.

Guess: which is number 1 and which number 2?
Do you hear a difference in sound?
In response?
Do you feel they are identical?
Which one do you prefer?

If you like this video you can follow my vlog, a new episode every monday.
I will tell you the identity in 15 days!

 

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I think 1 is the FL and in any case sounds brighter than the number 2 which sounds a little mellower.
Great sound altogether.

La fascetta di pelle è per me l’unica eccezione alla regola che tutte le fascette non fanno altro che tener l’ancia al suo posto.
Bel suono!
 

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@milandro do string ligatures also fall under your exception?
 

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As far as ligs go for me, it’s always about the players perspective.
I am not sure if anyone else could hear any differences if I played 10 of them back to back, but I certainly can tell a difference from behind the horn. For me as a player, that’s all that really matters.
 

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@milandro do string ligatures also fall under your exception?
compliments with understanding my Italian :).

I don’t know. I have never bothered to make a string ligature and I am too cheap to buy for the sake of experiment a so called string ligature like the ones from Silverstein.

Ligatures are made to hold in place the reed. In my experience this is not quite so well done (by the nature of the beast) when it comes to leather, vinyl or tape (because some are not made of leather).

Inductively one may speculate that a string is also an rather elastic frame to build a ligature around and should perform in an equal manner but I don’t have a direct experience and therefore can’t really say.

Another comment is that some baritone ligatures, especially on thin mouthpieces, are really at a disadvantage when it comest to holding the ligature well in place .

I have had (I am not a proper baritone player) reeds skewing because the ligature wasn’t apt to keep them still.
 

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As far as ligs go for me, it’s always about the players perspective.
I am not sure if anyone else could hear any differences if I played 10 of them back to back, but I certainly can tell a difference from behind the horn. For me as a player, that’s all that really matters.
So Mark, do you have a clear preference for yourself and/or the customers that buy mouthpieces form you.

Thanks,
Tom
 

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Hi Tom,
I have boxes full of ligs here and enjoy tons of them. I always tell my clients to try out different ligs so they can pick something they enjoy for themselves. If they ask what I like, I do like the Rico H, Bonade, old Berg ligs, and so many others on my hr tenor mpcs.
Its all personal preference to me.
 

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I've been using a ring lig for years...slip it on - slip it off. Nothing to break, bend, or fret about. I too have a box full of other ligs - cloth, metal, one screw, two screw, and specialty. What a waste. (IMO)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for your impressions.
For now I have to remain neutral, I will tell you the ligature identities next week!
@Milandro are you italian? You know the grammar rules, definetly!Grazie amico! You are right, some ligatures have a shape that don't match up with certain mouthpieces and this can cause a bad tightening action on the reed and therefore on sound and articulation, especially on baritone.
@10mfan Yes, I agree. I remember that while I was recording the difference between the 2 ligs was way more noticeable from a player perspective behind the horn.
@Fader which ring ligature are you using?
 

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BB, yes, I am Italian, born and bred, hold two nationalities and live in the NL for 29 years is a couple of months.

Nice to hear baritone played in such an agile and elegant way, it reminds me of Serge Chaloff

È sempre molto bello sentire il baritono suonato in questo modo, agile ed elegante. Mi ricorda in qualche modo Serge Chaloff

 

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I agree with Milandro, No 1 is the FL and No 2 is the leather Vandoren. I say that because the darker sound is a sure sign the ligature is not doing its job, it's allowing the reed to slightly come up off the table, producing a darker sound. (I'm assuming it's the same reed...) That's why I don't like Rovners, they do the same thing.

To be honest, I don't like the FL ligs either, not because they don't work, but because they hold the reed on so lightly that turning the mouthpiece makes the ligature move, and then the reed goes out of alignment. I hate that! A nice simple 2-screw (Bonade FTW) which holds the reed firmly but doesn't crush it is best ... of course, for me, in my opinion only, don't want to offend, la di da di da...

Every time I've spent more than $25 or $30 on a lig, I've been disappointed. I've got better things to spend my money on than a fancy ligature, like maybe a new mouthpiece or a neck or maybe even a box or two of reeds!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@milandro Oh man you're very kind! Serge Chaloff is pure class! I remember the record "the four brothers together again" with Al Cohn Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward. I love that record! Grazie molte del tuo commento! @skeller Yes I agree, the old FL ultimate was a nightmare in that aspect. This new model is not slippery and it holds the Reed very firmly
 

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The only ring ligature I ever tried was the one coming with the Drake Son of Slant Soprano Mouthpiece... Well, enough to said that I was not impressed with it.
 

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Great sound either way! I think Lig 1 was the FL and Lig 2 the Vando Leather.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you Bob M, I will unravel the mystery next week. Do you consider the difference small or noticeable?
@venadiel the idea of a ring as a ligature is interesting, I remember a friend of mine used to play a borgani flexitone (a sort of replica of the old selmer magnitone) with good results.
Of course they don't make it for baritone. I have never tried a drake, but I'm a bit snobbish towards resin materials.
There are many mouthpieces and accessories made by resin that are good, I can't deny, but I like the ebonite more, I also think that the material has a role in the sound, the ebonite sounds more "organic" to me, but there is no universal truth, if you play good on plastic nobody cares about that, because you can play! Maybe I am an old fashioned analog man!
The vandoren plate is not plastic, but rubber, just for the curious.
 

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The only ring ligature I ever tried was the one coming with the Drake Son of Slant Soprano Mouthpiece... Well, enough to said that I was not impressed with it.
Yeah, well those that come with the Drake mouthpieces are a real POS. They remind me of something you would get in one of the those plastic capsules that you got from the machine near the check-out at the supermarket for a quarter when I was a kid like this stuff; https://www.gumballs.com/toy-capsule-vending-machine-toys.html which is too bad since the mouthpieces are really beautifully made. The real trouble for me with ring ligs is the lig sits in a different place depending upon how thick the reed blank is and if the heel is too thick or thin it doesn't work at all.
 

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Jody Jazz Power Ring on a JJDV. Works for me but I'm turning into a minimalist with most things music these days...Less gear, less effects, less GAS. More music.
I use the JJ power ring on JJDV as well. Only thing about it I don’t like is when adjusting tuning the ring often slips. Otherwise, it’s great.
 
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