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I have a bunch of ligatures that can move if I grab the mouthpiece around the ligature. Yes, the enlightened ligature can move but I just use cork grease and move the mouthpiece by grabbing it by the shank of the mouthpiece so I am not touching the ligature at all. I don't really find it that big a deal. The enlightened ligature is the ligature I use most on soprano and alto sax just because I like the way it responds and how "lively" the response is for me on those horns. I would in no way call this ligature defective or faulty, it's just the nature of the ligature. I have some that are solid as a rock when tightened down and some that aren't.
+ 1.

There's a lot more to a ligature than "can I accidentally move it when the mouthpiece is tight on the neck cork?"

Two types of ligatures that are rock solid (in terms of not moving) for me are Rovners and the BG Duos. However, I hate them both (the Rovner for the poor response/reed seal, and the BG Duo for how difficult it makes slight reed adjustments). Like Steve, one of my favorite ligatures is the FL Ultimate (I have at least six of these). It can sometimes move, but I find that it seals the reed well and makes it really easy to make minor positioning adjustments.

[...] The fact is that I don't like my ligature clamped down to death so it kills the freedom of the reed
This is the one place where I disagree. Unlike Steve, I do like to clamp my ligatures down (nearly) to death. For me "reed freedom" = bad seal = poor response. The heel of your reed should not be able to move while you play.

In any event, I've found that one solution that works pretty well to keep the the FL Ultimates from moving is to to cement a piece of 0.5mm tech cork onto the underside of the pressure plate. For me, this solves two problems:
  1. It provides additional friction (against the reed bark) and thus keeps the ligature from moving
  2. It keeps the reed bark from getting gouged or distorted when I clamp down the ligature "to death".
This solution might also work for @whamptoncourt's issue with the Enlightened lig, since it shares a broadly similar design with the FL Ultimate.
 

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+ 1.

There's a lot more to a ligature than "can I accidentally move it when the mouthpiece is tight on the neck cork?"

Two types of ligatures that are rock solid (in terms of not moving) for me are Rovners and the BG Duos. However, I hate them both (the Rovner for the poor response/reed seal, and the BG Duo for how difficult it makes slight reed adjustments). Like Steve, one of my favorite ligatures is the FL Ultimate (I have at least six of these). It can sometimes move, but I find that it seals the reed well and makes it really easy to make minor positioning adjustments.

This is the one place where I disagree. Unlike Steve, I do like to clamp my ligatures down (nearly) to death. For me "reed freedom" = bad seal = poor response. The heel of your reed should not be able to move while you play.

In any event, I've found that one solution that works pretty well to keep the the FL Ultimates from moving is to to cement a piece of 0.5mm tech cork onto the underside of the pressure plate. For me, this solves two problems:
  1. It provides additional friction (against the reed bark) and thus keeps the ligature from moving
  2. It keeps the reed bark from getting gouged or distorted when I clamp down the ligature "to death".
This solution might also work for @whamptoncourt's issue with the Enlightened lig, since it shares a broadly similar design with the FL Ultimate.
You shouldn't have to clamp it down to death. Have you ever tried experimenting with clamping it down, playing it and then loosening it a little at a time and playing it again. I find there is a sweet spot where the reed is held on and it gets suction but the reed feels more free and responsive. If I tighten it down I feel like it kills some of the richness of the tone or something. It also feels more constrained and less expressive to me........
 

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I've tried every ligature I own, a box full, on my Theo Wanne GAIA 3 soprano mouthpiece. I was curious and I do that with any new mouthpiece regardless if it comes with or without a ligature. The TW Enlightened ligature is a bit "fiddly" but it works the best for resonance, etc. It's what I use.
 

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You shouldn't have to clamp it down to death. Have you ever tried experimenting with clamping it down, playing it and then loosening it a little at a time and playing it again. I find there is a sweet spot where the reed is held on and it gets suction but the reed feels more free and responsive. If I tighten it down I feel like it kills some of the richness of the tone or something. It also feels more constrained and less expressive to me........
Of course. I was exaggerating a bit.

I try not to tighten it down so much that the reed bark gets damaged or that the ligature becomes distorted. I have also found that resurfacing the reed tables regularly (which I now do) seems to make overtightening somewhat less important.

However, regarding tone/response, I've only found that things get worse when I loosen the ligature. In fact, I've often been in playing situations where I've experienced something close to the opposite of what you're reporting: i.e., the reed gets a bit chirpy or unresponsive, but things improve after I retighten the ligature. I'm also not sure, from a physics/acoustics perspective, how vibration of the heel of the reed could possibly do anything for the tone other than (1) dissipate some of the reed's energy, causing response to suffer; or (2) cause the reed to squeak; or both.
 

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Be careful clamping hard rubber pieces to death. In the long run it can warp the piece.
That's interesting. However, I don't tighten my ligatures so much that they mar the mouthpiece. And I'd imagine that if the top and sides of the mouthpiece, where the ligature makes direct contact with the mouthpiece, are not visibly distorted, then the table (where the "cushion" of the reed reduces the pressure by spreading the force out over a much larger area) will probably be unaffected. In any event, I haven't encountered any problems or noticed any deviations from flatness on any of my mouthpiece tables.

As an aside, I just noticed that I don't really use any hard rubber mouthpieces on saxophone anymore.
  • On tenor, I only use metal pieces (I started on an STM and never got used to the larger profile and increased vibration transmission of HR pieces).
  • On alto, my main piece is a Klum Acoustimax, which is made of a synthetic polymer.
  • On soprano, I switch between three great pieces (Gerber Solo LC, Drake New Era, & Morgan Vintage), all of which are made of synthetic polymers.
Except on tenor, this wasn't a deliberate or conscious move on my part. I didn't even realize it until I made a note to check my mouthpiece tables in response to your comment, and I still use HR mouthpieces on clarinet. It's probably more of a reflection of recent manufacturing trends in the mouthpiece industry.
 

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I've tried every ligature I own, a box full, on my Theo Wanne GAIA 3 soprano mouthpiece. I was curious and I do that with any new mouthpiece regardless if it comes with or without a ligature. The TW Enlightened ligature is a bit "fiddly" but it works the best for resonance, etc. It's what I use.
Have you tried Vandoren M|O lig? I find it the equal of TW lig for Gaia 2 on Soprano.
 

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I just bought a Durga 4 metal 8* and had saved up for a year to get it so was super excited for it to arrive not having “clicked with any of my other mouthpieces yet.
It was bit of an adjustment to an 8 from the David Zagar Cool School I’d been playing on but I definitely prefer a smaller mouthpiece after finding the Jody Jazz HR always seeming “flat” and just too big in my mouth. (I have residual effects of Bell’s Palsy that affected the use of some of my facial muscles) so I thought I’d see if it worked better moving the ligature forward one notch. Took out the trusty included hex screwdriver and loosened the screws and that’s when it all went badly!
the ligature just would not fit back on the mouthpiece at all!! I unscrewed the screws all the way, and tried several times to re-attach the ligature to another position without success. I ended up going back to the middle position it had come in, screwed the screws in but it appears to have somehow stretched the width of the ligature so now it just falls right off!
I am beyond belief disappointed, especially as it cost me way more than I could really justify but I’d heard they were the bees knees. Now, after just one day, I have a ligature that doesn’t work and a long dreamed of mouthpiece I can’t even play because none of my other ligatures fit on it.
I am beyond disappointed. I’ve written to them to let them know what happened. I’m going to make a YouTube video to show what happened as I’m sure mine can’t be an isolated case. At the price these mouthpieces are, I expect that the included ligature works the way it’s supposed to. If they are not meant to be adjusted, then maybe don’t include a screwdriver and instructions inside the box telling you the ligature can be moved up or down to change the tone from “more spread” to “more focussed”?
I seriously just cried when it all fell apart in my hands.
Note to self: Don’t believe the hype!
 

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Now, after just one day, I have a ligature that doesn't work and a long dreamed of mouthpiece I can't even play because none of my other ligatures fit on it.
Note to self: Don't believe the hype!
Lisa, this is a real shame and likely they will be able to furnish you with another lig or a way to fix it. However, don't get too bent out of shape; it's only a ligature and evidently not a very useful one (in your case). There are dozens of relatively inexpensive, excellent ligs that will fit that mpc and give you no trouble at all. Many of the best, top-quality mpcs come without ligatures, allowing the player to choose whatever lig they prefer. You have a top quality mpc and that's not dependent on the lig.

The hype you don't want to swallow is that you need some special super-duper fancy ligature. The fact is, a ligature has one purpose: to hold the reed firmly to the mpc. That's it. So you might as well get one that fits well (most important) and be done with it. In the meantime, if you want to try out the mpc, just use a rubber band or piece of painter's tape or anything that will hold the reed on and go ahead and play the mpc.
 

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Lisa, this is a real shame and likely they will be able to furnish you with another lig or a way to fix it. However, don't get too bent out of shape; it's only a ligature and evidently not a very useful one (in your case). There are dozens of relatively inexpensive, excellent ligs that will fit that mpc and give you no trouble at all. Many of the best, top-quality mpcs come without ligatures, allowing the player to choose whatever lig they prefer. You have a top quality mpc and that's not dependent on the lig.

The hype you don't want to swallow is that you need some special super-duper fancy ligature. The fact is, a ligature has one purpose: to hold the reed firmly to the mpc. That's it. So you might as well get one that fits well (most important) and be done with it. In the meantime, if you want to try out the mpc, just use a rubber band or piece of painter's tape or anything that will hold the reed on and go ahead and play the mpc.
Sorry JL the point again has been skimmed over. The mouthpiece isn't available without the expensive lig that she paid for ,and like many of us, finds is useless. I'm really surprised that this simple fact hasn't sunk in. We don't want to pay for a lig that disappoints. Theo seems determined to not stand behind his product, and unfortunately you and others seem to be happy to make excuses for him. We don't stand for this nonsense with other gear suppliers like Steve Goodson, who can also make good gear, but doesn't stand behind it. Hopefully Lisa and others like me will not forgive and forget money wasted and vote with their wallet when next in the market for a mouthpiece. There are plenty of other excellent mouthpieces to choose from. There is no excuse for bad gear that the maker won't stand behind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
Seems to me that the 'obvious' solution is for Theo Wanne to sell mouthpieces and ligatures separately

I can understand any manufacturer wanting to also make the accessory to go with it because you could have a view "I make the best mouthpiece in the whole world" but dont want a substandard ligature made by someone else to detract from it but obviously you are nevr going to make everyone happy.

Now whether Theo Wanne make the ligature themselves or sub contract it out I havent a clue but something is amiss as I and others have experienced problems.

However I cant see any problem whatsoever if he sold mouthpieces and ligatures independently from each other and that would then be a compromise acceptable to all and especially if you could do it on a sale and return basis

It may be he loses 10% or 90% of the ligature sales as a consequence but it has to be better than losing even 5% of all customers as a whole and having your reputation as a mouthpiece maker tarnished.

Never realized this would provoke such strong emotion and sentiment when opening up the thread.
 

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Correct Keith. Hard rubber would not tolerate a built on lig very well. It certainly would warp easier with the least bit of over tightening. Ive seen metal pieces with the mounting holes screwed up fro crsnking down on the liberty lig. Some guys seem to think a lig is a vise.
The Strathon and or Zinner adjustatone Mouthpieces have a slide on ligature somewhat like a Lawton.
It works well and has stood the test of time.
Has far more adjustment forward to back than the TW built in ligature.
So a built in ligature on a HR piece is certainly doable and can also be practical.
 

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Sorry JL the point again has been skimmed over. The mouthpiece isn't available without the expensive lig that she paid for ,and like many of us, finds is useless. I'm really surprised that this simple fact hasn't sunk in. We don't want to pay for a lig that disappoints. Theo seems determined to not stand behind his product, and unfortunately you and others seem to be happy to make excuses for him. We don't stand for this nonsense with other gear suppliers like Steve Goodson, who can also make good gear, but doesn't stand behind it. Hopefully Lisa and others like me will not forgive and forget money wasted and vote with their wallet when next in the market for a mouthpiece. There are plenty of other excellent mouthpieces to choose from. There is no excuse for bad gear that the maker won't stand behind.
As @JL said, many great mouthpieces are sold at comparable or even higher cost without any ligature whatsoever. If you don't like the included ligature(s), you can just think of it as coming free with the mouthpiece and buy a different one that better suits you. Personally, I like the built in ligature that comes with Theo's metal mouthpieces, but I've often tossed the free ligature that came with a mouthpiece (e.g., the Rovner that comes with a Morgan, the ring lig that comes with a Drake) when I didn't like it, and I did it without making a fuss because those mouthpieces were received as advertised.

Theo sells the ligatures separately and makes clear what ligatures come with his mouthpieces. Different players like different ligatures. There's no false advertising or failure to inform here.
 

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The ligature just would not fit back on the mouthpiece at all!! I unscrewed the screws all the way, and tried several times to re-attach the ligature to another position without success. I ended up going back to the middle position it had come in, screwed the screws in but it appears to have somehow stretched the width of the ligature so now it just falls right off!
I am beyond belief disappointed, especially as it cost me way more than I could really justify but I'd heard they were the bees knees. Now, after just one day, I have a ligature that doesn't work and a long dreamed of mouthpiece I can't even play because none of my other ligatures fit on it.
I am beyond disappointed. I've written to them to let them know what happened. I'm going to make a YouTube video to show what happened as I'm sure mine can't be an isolated case. At the price these mouthpieces are, I expect that the included ligature works the way it's supposed to.
Lisa,

I agree with what @JL said above. However, someone might be able to help you if you post pictures of the ligature and the mouthpiece to let us try to determine the problem. I used one of Theo's Gaia mouthpieces for many years and after about 5 years of untightening and retightening the ligature screws, the ligature stretched (a little bit, not so much that it would fall off), but I just used smooth-jawed pliers to bend it back into shape. I imagine that you could find someone to do this for you, should you decide to keep using the included ligature.
 

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Sorry JL the point again has been skimmed over. The mouthpiece isn't available without the expensive lig that she paid for ,and like many of us, finds is useless. I'm really surprised that this simple fact hasn't sunk in.
No, actually I didn't miss that point. I even agreed that Lisa's experience was a shame. My point was simply that you can toss that lig and pick up a simple, inexpensive 2-screw lig (or any other lig of your choice that fits) and solve the problem. I don't know how much the included lig adds to the price, but I doubt it's a huge amount. I also think it would be a good idea to offer the mpc without a lig maybe with a slight discount.

I briefly had a TW "Magna" (I think that was what it was called; an earlier model) that I sold because I found it a bit too bright for my taste. But it played very well and was a quality mpc. I had no problem with the ligature, but if I had kept the mpc I might have replaced the lig with one I could slip on and off (maybe).

I guess I'm saying there's no reason to make a big deal out of a ligature, even while acknowledging the likely added cost. If you really don't want that lig, or to pay for it, or to replace it with another lig, and if they won't offer the mpc without it, then just don't buy it.
 

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No, actually I didn't miss that point. I even agreed that Lisa's experience was a shame. My point was simply that you can toss that lig and pick up a simple, inexpensive 2-screw lig (or any other lig of your choice that fits) and solve the problem. I don't know how much the included lig adds to the price, but I doubt it's a huge amount. I also think it would be a good idea to offer the mpc without a lig maybe with a slight discount.

I briefly had a TW "Magna" (I think that was what it was called; an earlier model) that I sold because I found it a bit too bright for my taste. But it played very well and was a quality mpc. I had no problem with the ligature, but if I had kept the mpc I might have replaced the lig with one I could slip on and off (maybe).

I guess I'm saying there's no reason to make a big deal out of a ligature, even while acknowledging the likely added cost. If you really don't want that lig, or to pay for it, or to replace it with another lig, and if they won't offer the mpc without it, then just don't buy it.
Exactly.. Not buying again since he's failed to either sell without the ligature or compensate for what many of us consider faulty. Just as a basis for comparison Theo's "Enlightened Ligature" sells separately for $139.00 USD. Not exactly cheap.
 

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Update:
The guys at Theo Wanne got back to me straight away with assurances that they’d sort it out and replace it if need be (kudos to them for great customer service)
Was telling a friend about how frustrated I was by it and he says “Show me” so I did and he fiddled around with it and somehow managed to re-attach it making me feel like a total idiot! I have no idea what he did that I hadn’t done as the lig had ended up stretched a lot wider from my attempts to re-insert the tiny hex screws than it had when I first took it off, and are now screwed almost all the way into the holes to hold it in place, but at least I can finally play this thing now!
And I have to say, after playing on it all day, and frustrations with fiddly ligature screws aside, I think I have found my soul mate mouthpiece at last! It totally ROCKS!!!
Note to self: Sometimes hype is legit 😂
 

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I had a Durga tenor mouthpiece that was a bit tricky with loose lig. I contacted them and they sent me areplacement part and now it works so much better. they couldn't have been more professional or helpful.
Designers refine parts of their product all the time it doesn't make the previous versions faulty.
 
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Update:
The guys at Theo Wanne got back to me straight away with assurances that they'd sort it out and replace it if need be (kudos to them for great customer service)
Was telling a friend about how frustrated I was by it and he says "Show me" so I did and he fiddled around with it and somehow managed to re-attach it making me feel like a total idiot! I have no idea what he did that I hadn't done as the lig had ended up stretched a lot wider from my attempts to re-insert the tiny hex screws than it had when I first took it off, and are now screwed almost all the way into the holes to hold it in place, but at least I can finally play this thing now!
And I have to say, after playing on it all day, and frustrations with fiddly ligature screws aside, I think I have found my soul mate mouthpiece at last! It totally ROCKS!!!
Note to self: Sometimes hype is legit ?
Congratulations and hope it continues to serve you well!
 
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