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Discussion Starter #1
so while looking around the forums i noticed a whole bunch of "review" threads for mouthpieces and seeming as im in the position of needing to buy another ligature myself i thought it could be handy if we had one of these for ligatures aswell

the format i thought of is as follows

1. the ligature make, size, model and cost (duhhh!)

2. what mouthpiece it was bought to fit (comment on the fit. secure, bit loose blah blah blah)

3. tonal effect of ligature (if you buy into that)

4. effect on response (freeblowing, resistant, balanced etc)

5. things you dislike/could be improved (could be anything at all service, finish. these comments in brackets are all just examples)

6. other. for other stuff i haven't included in my criteria (if said ligature improves reed longevity or something)

i'm not opposed to people commenting without a review so long as it's relevant...
 

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I bought a Rovner Mklll alto ligature, to try on several cheaper mouthpieces I have, like an Ebolin and Graftonite. This ligature is awful! It is really stuffy and makes the mpc hard to blow through. I like metal ligs like thr Rico H and reguler old two screw metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i did have the format reviews were supposed to take laid for a reason but thats okay. obviously you don't have much to say as you're general experience was a negative one
 

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Hi Tom. I bought the Selmer 404 two screw for a metal mouthpiece. $29.95 plus CA. tax.

I bought it for a Jody Jazz DV. Fits like a glove. I can't remember if it fit a STM that I had but I think it did.

The ligature brought out more partials in the tone and more volume.

The effect on the response was more free blowing and way easier intonation.

I wonder why they don't make a solid silver one instead of silver plate.
 

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i did have the format reviews were supposed to take laid for a reason but thats okay. obviously you don't have much to say as you're general experience was a negative one
I thought I covered your "format" good enough. I'm not that long winded.
 

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I'm really digging the VanDoren Optimum ligature on tenor and bari. Yes, they're expensive, but mechanically they are flawless. They are the best ligature I've ever tried; highly recommended. They're easy to put on and off and have only one screw to deal with. But unlike Rovner, they tighten both sides at the same time with equal pressure. I also like the fact that the screw sits on the bottom. A cheaper alternative is the Rovner "Light" ligature. I use one of those on the alto with an Aizen NY mpc.

You ask about tone and effect on response. On the clarinet, I did a lot of testing of ligatures and did find some differences in response. Like Gary59 hints at, the response was best with the old fashion metal 2 screw ligs. (Have not tried the Optimum on clarinet.) However, it is not really worth the hassle of dealing with old metal ligs on the sax. They tend to destroy the top of the reed and rarely fit the mouthpiece properly.

One caveat about the Optimum ligature. Try before you buy (or be able to return it) because they don't fit every mouthpiece. Also, I don't think they will fit on metal mouthpieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
basically what im trying to do with this thread is create a wealth of information regarding numerous ligatures that is all in the one thread. I think people would find that quite handy (i know i do)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well ill review my own BG jazz lig which i no longer use.

BG jazz gold plate, sized for otto link, cost nothing as it came with my piece and i somehow ended up with 2

came with my metal lebayle piece and it fit fine, it just kept moving around. Whenever i wanted to adjust the positioning of the piece i had to not touch the ligature or it'd move.

Had an open tone i'd say (if i had to say something). It almost made the piece feel more open to me by a couple thousandths

response was fine resistance wise, nicely balanced. Articulations felt good, maybe slightly delayed but that was a reed matching problem.

Finish was perfect and it was a nice ligature. Ultimately i stopped using it because it wouldn't stop moving around.
 

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I had the same experience as Tom on my Alto (I'm more of a tenor player). I bought a Lebayle mouthpiece for my alto, that came with a BG lig. But, tightening the lig almost guarantees it will move around. On tenor, I used a Winslow on a metal link for many years. I recently got a Guardala MBII, which came with a Rovner-type lig. I replaced it with a Saxxas (Winslow copy) lig, and really felt the sound opened up. Also, it doesn't move around when tightening and is just easier to deal with in general. I really think the Winslow/Saxxas lig has worked for me the best, they are just a bit pricey. I'll likely end up buying one for that Lebayle piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i even tried that BG on a link STM which it's designed for and it still moved around. not a fan. if i can't adjust my piece without the ligature moving i automatically do not like that ligature
 

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Exactly Tom, my experience too. I forgot to mention the price. I had contacted Saxxas about the Winslow-type of lig. They are selling them for 98 Euros. I just bought one from Mauriatboy for my MBII used. I really like the design of these.

Also, I recently got a Theo Wanne Kali 8 for my alto. The lig is of course built-in to the mouthpiece. Overall, this seems effective too. I do worry that if there is no reed on it, both the facing and the pressure plate can become damaged. There is a reed replacer cap that came with it, but, I'm guessing in the future I may be too lazy to always put on the reed replacer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
saxxas/winslow are great ligatures. A guy in australia col loughnan uses one and he is an absolute monster player.

I don't own a theo wanne piece but am familar with the design and personally thing the reed replacer cap is a good idea and if i were you i'd use it. It protect the tip AND the table and also ensure that the ligature is protected from bends and the like aswell as ensures the cap doesn't come off
 

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1. Selmer standard, 1 screw up, both Sop and Alto, a couple of $$ or €€, optionnally with a nice shiny lacquered brass cap

2. Sop: Link, Rousseau, Yana, all HR
Alto: Selmer, Vando, Rousseau, Meyer, all HR

3. Clean and easy, all over the range, with a solid bright tone. Most 1 screw types à la Rovner (I also tried BG & Brancher) tend to darken the tone.

4. Easy response all over the range, you just forget about it

5. Only 1 screw ? Couldn't the whole thing fall apart ? Just make sure you have a spare lig with you. Actually, I never had any trouble of any kind.

6. Very easy to mount, 1 screw to tighten, then it holds the reed snuggly, with 2 metal strips. It doesn't harm the reed, which I appreciate as the Fiberreeds last very long. Tightening the screw doesn't tend to mess-up the reed position, like all those with low radial screws (Link STM type) do. Furthermore, the screw is 3 times more precise (3.1459.....).

Conclusion: the Selmer is just what a ligature is supposed to be, and also costs what it is supposed to. Looking forward to find the same for all my horns.
 

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1. Rovner, Eddie Daniels II, HR alto size,
purchased for HR alto pieces

2. Most recently, I purchased an EDII alto for my JJHR, Selmer Soloist & Phil-tone Meyer. It fits the Soloist very well and also does the job nicely on the other two although it seems just a bit small for the other two. However, the reed fits securely on all and that's #1 for me.

3. I don't buy into the "tonal" effect much. I think the rovners can "deaden" the sound a bit. However, I can always counter that effect by using a brighter reed.

4. Well actually, I really like these ligatures and have one for my HR JJ tenor and also one for my Beechler Bellite (tenor) and one for alto. I purchased them all used and paid around $25.00 for each.

5. This ligature works well for me as I have confidence in it's ability to hold the reed securely. I do find these liguatures seem to make my mouthpieces more "reed friendly". Some reeds that don't seem to be responsive do play with the ED ligs, for me. I do a little preparation on the underside of each reed just lightly sanding the reed to flat. After that, I put it on with the EDII and it usually plays well. That works for me.

6. So, in conclusion, my ligature needs are a lig that consistently holds the reed in place, easy on and off and most of the reeds in the box will play. In a box of ten, I usually get three that I can use in performance and the rest work fine as practice reeds. My JJHR tenor was particularly reed "picky". The EDII seemed to address this issue. I suspected a fault with the mouthpiece and sent it back to Jody. He sent it back and told me it was fine. EDII ligs are my choice because it works. I never mess with the different "plate settings". I just throw it on and play...
 

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i'm not opposed to people commenting without a review so long as it's relevant...
Since you've allowed this option, I'll relate my experience:

I've tried a lot of ligs over the years. I found the important thing is to get one that fits well, and holds the reed on securely. After trying a lot of them, I now use the 2-screw metal lig that came with my RPC. It also fits perfectly on my Tenney Jazzmaster. Now I can totally forget about the lig.
 

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Since you've allowed this option, I relate my experience:

I've tried a lot of ligs over the years. I found the important thing is to get one that fits well, and holds the reed on securely. After trying a lot of them, I now use the 2-screw metal lig that came with my RPC. It also fits perfectly on my Tenney Jazzmaster. Now I can totally forget about the lig.
I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I'll elaborate with a review on the Rovner Light, which I do not like, and the Bonade inverted, which I do.


Both ligs were bought to fit a "skinny" HR unmarked tenor mouthpiece that I bought from Babbitt in 1985 or so. I don't know if they still make them; the piece is constructed internally somewhat like a Link STM.

Review

1. Rovner Light, not sure of the size, made for Alto. Bonade inverted alto sax.

2. My tenor mouthpiece. Both ligs fit well.

3. Rovner - deadens the sound, makes it much darker. Bonade - no effect.

4. Rovner - adds a little resistance, and can be unstable. Bonade - no effect

5. Rovner - doesn't actually hold the reed on well, the reed can move when you adjust the piece on the nect. Bonade - no complaints.

6. The job of a ligature is to hold the reed firmly against the table of the mouthpiece so that it doesn't leak or move. The Rovner sounds bad and is uncomfortable to play because it doesn't do this job. The Bonade does, and so I can forget all about the lig and just play.

Conclusions:
I have never noticed that ligatures affect the sound, and I've tried a lot of them. One caveat to this statement - if the lig does not do the job as outlined in item 6 above, it will adversely affect the sound, as it interferes with the proper functioning of the reed and mouthpiece. Once the ligature does its job properly, there is no discernable difference between lig A and lig B, in my experience.
 

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Review

1. Vandoren M/O, alto and tenor in gold lacquer.

2. My classical setups, which happen to be Vandoren Optimum mouthpieces. This lig fits perfectly, as it was designed to.

3. Coming from a Rovner Dark, the sound is noticeably less muffled in the lower register. The M/O sounds free, clear, and even.

4. The Rovner had slightly less easy articulation in the lower register. Response had a sense of "backing up". The M/O makes the sound blow more "through the horn" and response is even top to bottom. Both seemingly held the reed securely with a seal. The Rovner had to be tightened more than the M/O. This leads me to believe that most of the Rovner's faults are due to poor fit, not just design or material.

5. The cap fits a little too tight. Other than that, the design and results are perfect for me. The metal on this ligature seems thicker than the previous Masters. Also, unlike the previous Masters, the bands DON'T indent the reeds at all. 


Conclusions:
The M/O is a winner, I give credit to Angel for advising it to me. If you own an Optimum or other Vandoren, you must give this ligature a try.  Cheaper than popular Bay and BG alternatives!
 

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1. BG Tradition Gold plated for alto. Think it's about $80ish, but bought it for under $20.

2. Meyer HR. Fits like a glove

3, 4 To chime in on tonal effect, I think a lig might impact it, albeit very slightly. Rovners seem to snuff the high frequency sounds, Olegature maybe brightened up slightly. Regardless, one thing I like about this BG tradition lig is that it seems tone neutral. All the while improving response and ease of play. I prefer different facets of the sax to shape my tone (embouchure, mpc, sax, in that order). And I find that I have more control, especially softer.

5. things you dislike/could be improved - great finish, like that it's a one-screw, classy design, simple to use... I really don't have anything bad to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
i may as well review my rovner dark aswell...

1. rover dark (cut out to make it a rovner light :p), i think the store gave it to me when i bought my series 3, sized for an otto link

2. bought yet again to fit my lebayle. well it goes on and holds the reed but doesn't have all that much room to be tightened so i guess it doesn't fit that great

3. i loved it to start with! lush and darkened my lebayle a bit but not in a bad way, first month was awesome. then it became really stuffy/overly dark

4. started awesome same as with tone but after about a month it became REALLY resistant. i actually had to stop using it because i was getting headaches

5. i dislike that it only worked well for 1 month :(

6. i did actually notice that reeds seem to last longer and more would work for the first month. after that finding a good reed became SUCH a hassle
 
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