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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using a Rovner EVO-5 ligature on my hard rubber alto mpcs for a while. (Several of them over time.) I always thought it gave me a fatter, richer, warmer sound than anything else I've tried.

I've been playing a vintage refaced Lakey 4*4 for about a year or so, and have always used the EVO-5 on it. But lately, I'd been a bit dissatisfied with my sound. I wasn't getting the sort of ringing and "singing" sound I thought I used to get on alto. Even sounded a bit dull on some recordings I made -- even with a variety of reeds.

Then today, on a lark, I tried an old Selmer brass 2-screw ligature (standard issue with a Mark VI I bought back in 1972) I had laying around. I remembered that some years ago, the late great mouthpiece master Jon Van Wie told me that for his tastes, you can keep all the fancy ligatures - He liked nothing more than a standard Selmer 2-screw ligature. Slapped that old ligature on and what a surprise! The sound was much more vibrant and had all kinds of overtones I had not heard previously from my souped up Lakey! A/B'ed the EVO-5 against the Selmer ligature several times over about an hour of playing, and did not change my mind from my original observation.

It's funny how our tastes shift. I originally switched TO the EVO-5 because of the warmer sound I got from it, compared with a metal ligature. Then some time later, by comparison, the old metal ligature seemed vibrant and alive, while the EVO seemed dull. So as you can see, everything is relative!

Go figure, huh?
 

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Next thing you know, you'll be giving up the Lakey!:bluewink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welllllllll, only if and when my tastes shift again or something beats it. :) Hey, for me, Lakeys were always the butt-of-all-jokes mouthpieces. They were LOUD, yes, but harsh, shrill and out of tune. This one's been worked on by someone who knew what they were doing! I'll never know who, because it was bought from an estate. But I'm sure it was worked on because it's open to .086 instead of .076-ish... and it plays very well and in tune. Has the larger 4 chamber, so it's meatier and less bright than a more common Lakey 3 chamber. It'll take on an enormous amount of air without overloading. Has the "pretty" and colorful sound of a Meyer, but twice the volume! (There's its Lakey heritage coming through - ha!)

Sorry to babble on about my Wonderlakey in a ligature forum, but it's one of the most interesting mpcs I've ever laid hands on!

Steve
 

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Naw, I know a good player here on the island that plays silver plated MkVI's (alto and tenor), and plays a Lakey on both. He sounds really good. After thirty years or so on his lakey, the tip just wore out a couple of years ago. He replaced them with some guy that had NOS from a defunct music store. He sounds the same on the new one to me!

Yeah, the ligature has never been an important point for me, except that I like Bonnade non-inverted on my HR mouthpieces. They aren't that much more expensive than a two screw without their 'rails'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think if you get an OLD Lakey, it might be good. I have heard the newer ones are hit or miss - usually miss. Not a Lakey, but a FLAKEY. Word is the material and workmanship were much better when Claude was still around. I bought this one after trying and liking one belonging to a local buddy. He was looking to sell it, but after he heard me play it, he decided he really needed to keep it! (Note to self: Don't play-test gear within earshot of the owner.)

I'm not really a ligature hound myself, either. Some people obsess over them - "Do I get the GOLD PLATED or the SILVER PLATED Francois Louis???" Many people say you might hear a difference between ligatures in your own ear, but 5 feet away they sound the same. Maybe somewhat true, but there was a definite difference between that EVO-5 and the Selmer today! I'll have to record 'em and see if the difference shows up in the mic. I think it will!

Having said all that -- Phil Rovner (the ligature and mouthpiece guy) is a friend and colleague and lives near me. He sometimes has me come to his shop to test his new stuff. If nothing else, the ligature can affect your comfort with your mpc/reed combination. Again, the effect on your sound to a listener is a bit iffy. but you can definitely at least FEEL a difference and hear a difference in your own head whan you swap ligatures around.

I have an inverted Bonade. I keep it around, and I play it now and then around the house, but it's not my favorite. Sound feels more brittle with the Bonade. Definitely felt better with the EVO-5.
 

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I knew Claude Lakey - used to visit his shop in Arleta (San Fernando Valley) all the time. I have two of his soprano pieces and three of his clarinet pieces that Claude made for me while I watched. I use the clarinet pieces exclusively. My daughter uses a Lakey alto piece and has for many years. His soprano pieces were just too spread (tone-wise) for me, plus the interior of the barrels were too big for my neck corks (yes, I know about wrapping the cork, etc.).

On soprano, I use the Bonade regular lig (the one with the screws on the bottom and the two parallel bars against the reed), but I also have the Bonade inverted and a silver-plated Selmer two-screw lig that work for me. I like to match the ligs' metal color to the horn, so when I play my silver TT soprano, on goes the Bonades or the silver Selmer. On my Yanagisawas, I use the brass Selmer two-screw lig.

I also have all the Rovners and a Vandoren Optimum (gave away all of my Winslows) and will occasionally take a run through them when testing reeds at home. I think the location of the sun in the sky determines which ones work the best at any one time! But, the old Selmer two-screw DOES give me a lot of resonance while the Rovners (all of them) tend to warm it up and smooth it out . . . plus they provide better control if somehow the reed is not as good as it should be. DAVE
 

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Do I need to repeat what I have said many times?

I hate Rovners.

Im sure they are great people and mean well so its not personal. I, however, have little good to say about their ligs....other than when nothing else fits they work in a pinch.
 
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