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Yanagisawa alto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Anyone using the SAXXAS ligature?

I've had one for a few months and am getting along with it except for the times when it slips off the reed. I usually tighten it pretty tight but the ligature can still slip off the reed when I'm repositioning the mouthpiece

I'm wondering if I should try experimenting with the stud positions or maybe file small bevels in the reed where the studs contact the reed.

Any suggestions?
 

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It鈥檚 a ligature, not a clamp. The idea is NOT to choke the reed.
 

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Yeah; my sax-shop in Berlin sells these used and I tried one - liked the response on older (uneven table) mpcs, but it often slipped off from the mouthpiece as well - regardless of the adjustments and type of mpc etc. In my opinion not worth it. Trouble-free ligs for me for older and not "perfect" mpcs are the original ligs, the Rovner Dark and the Vandoren master, that麓s all I use.
 

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I've found rubber bands to work quite well.
 

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It鈥檚 a ligature, not a clamp. The idea is NOT to choke the reed.
OK, so the flat part of the reed is held against the flat part of the mouthpiece. What's this "vibration" that's going to be "choked" by clamping one flat part against another flat part in the "wrong" way? The part that vibrates is up at the other end.
 

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OK, so the flat part of the reed is held against the flat part of the mouthpiece. What's this "vibration" that's going to be "choked" by clamping one flat part against another flat part in the "wrong" way? The part that vibrates is up at the other end.
Hopefully he means don't move the ligature too far forward so it does start to clamp down on the vibrating part. I've also clamped down so hard that it deforms the reed or applies force unevenly, causing a worse fit. You don't want to do that obviously. Just nice and secure.

While Rovner type ligs dampen the response a little, this SAXXAS must dampen it a lot with those rubbery things. Reeds work best when held tight and flat against the table, with no vibration at the butt end. Plain old, cheap two screw metal ligs do this job beautifully. If you actually prefer the dampened response from a bad ligature, then I think it's best to learn how to adjust your embouchure to achieve the same effect through your technique using a good ligature.
 

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Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
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This is one thing about sax players I'll never understand. All a ligature needs to do is hold the reed down. Like @turf3 said above, the flat side of the reed needs to be held flat against the table. There shouldn't be any vibration between the flat part of the reed and the table. The vibration happens at the free tip. Why waste money on an over-engineered piece when you can get a perfectly acceptable two screw brass lig for under $20 at any music shop.
 

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There鈥檚 some confusion in the last few posts. Rovner and other defective ligatures DO dampen the response of the saxophone - but they don鈥檛 do it by dampening the vibrations of the reed. They do it by not keeping the reed firmly against the mouthpiece table, which darkens the sound because some of the energy that should be vibrating the blade goes to lifting the entire reed off the mouthpiece.

Telltale signs - dampness on the table when you take the reed off. In other words, these defective ligatures achieve their sound by creating a leak.

Note - if a Rovner fits well, it will function well, but it has to be a perfect fit for the mouthpiece. The combination of flexible material and the single screw design leaves lots of room for a bad reed-to-table fit.
 

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I do believe you can choke a reed by clamping it like a vise against the MPC because over-tightening can compress the reed to the point where the butt end can't absorb enough moisture and it causes some uneven moisture distribution, which then causes some effects on the vibration. Whether that is only perceived by the player or is audible by the audience is another question.

Likewise, there were several "ligature comparison" tests including blind sound clips posted here on SOTW and surprisingly the Rovners always sounded brighter in the recording. So there may be some dampening of the vibrations that are perceived by the player who compensates by playing brighter which is heard in the recordings or by the audience.

As for the SAXXAS ligature, I hope it is not as bad as the Francois Louis, which looks very cool but you only have to look it it and it shifts. Luckily for the older generation, the latter is not a problem because you can't focus on it anyway past the age of maybe 40 - while you are playing
 

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Yanagisawa alto
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Guto,
I hadn't realized that Winslow was still around. I'd got the impression from SaxOnTheWeb that Winslow was not around anymore.

Anyway, I called Winslow today (I'm not sure if that's his first or his last name) and I got through to him later in the day and he chatted for 20 minutes. I am going to buy a Winslow. I still like the SAXXAS but i've a feeling that the Winslow is better, and it comes with phone support!
 

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i found this ligature shortened the reeds life span if you tighten it so the reed held fast. the winslow was very popular with the serious clarinet players for a while
 

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Curious, why is everyone adjusting their mouthpiece so much while playing, anyway? I mean, once you've tuned, and assuming your neck cork's in good shape, do you really have to fidget with it much?
You do and you don't. In the beginning of each set, the horn tends to play flat because the metal is cold and if you tune to that, you end up playing sharp for the rest of the set. So, yes, once you have it at the right position for "operating temperature", you are usually in good shape but I know from my own experience that I have to adjust at least once in most sets.
 

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Well I鈥檝e gotten along alright with my SAXXAS ligatures.
They are less adaptable in that they only properly fit a few pieces, but for those that they do fit, they work well.
They can slide around a little when adjusting the piece for tuning etc, but most ligatures do to some extent.
Sound wise they鈥檙e just like every other ligature I鈥檝e tried in that if they hold the reed well, they work.
I don鈥檛 have those highly refined ears that can tell a huge difference between ligatures.
 
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