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Hi all,

I'm totally new to this forum, but was wondering if someone could give me some advice on what ligature to use, to replace my current yamaha student one.
Recently I decided to update my student Yamaha's YAS 275's mouthpiece and ligature, and I demoed some mouthpieces at my local store. After tryomg a few I came out thinking that the selmer s80*c suited me best, for offering a little less resistance for the vandoren v16 i tried and (what I found) to be a less stuffy sound. It also did a great job at handling both ends of the dynamic range, compared to my yamaha.

Because this store stocks very few ligatures, I can't test them along with the mpc, so wondered what people would recommend? Atm I'm veering towards a francis louis ultimate gold plated. I want the versatility to play funk jazz (brecker style) as well as slightly mellower ballad style sound as well. I play in a church, where I have to compete with drums and guitar so a bit of projection and a focused sound without the buzz would be great.

I've heard gd stuff about the vandoren optimum, but it seems pretty pricey + I read threads of the plates not being that usefu, but it's got more aesthetic appeal than the FL! any opinions/ suggestions much appreciated! thanks
 

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FL !!! --- I played one on tenor and sold my winslow ligature the same day ( really )
I am also currently looking to buy one for alto---- the FL is the best out there .
 

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I've not tried the Optimum but I know that those who use them swear by them. I have (and do) used the FL Ultimate and it's the only lig that I've ever found to make an appreciable difference to a standard lig (say a Selmer for example). All the leather/rubber/woven type ligs just seem to dull the sound for me :? On the down side they're a pain in the backside to adjust and I've also read more than one post from people saying that the thread has worn out although this hasn't yet happened to me. The FL really makes a difference to me on metal tenor pieces - I've not tried it on anything else.
 

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I don't use either, but I was just in the ligature market a month or so ago, and both models hold a very great amount of respect. Another very good one to look at is a Charles Bay Ligature. They're less freakish looking than the FL ligs and have similar performance (albeit a bit "darker," which I prefer). when I did test playing with the FL I found it to be comparable to the bay as far as giving me a good amount of versatility and nice sound.

Perhaps you could buy from a store which offers a trial policy and you could test both?
 

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The Optimum is a very good lig. I've used it on V16 mpcs and Lawtons and found it to be solid and vibrant. The plates do make some difference but, as you will find in other posts, not enough to get too excited about. The FL I've only tried briefly in a shop and it didn't seem to add anything to what I was getting from the Optimum, but I haven't had the chance to give it a proper shot and, as you can see, a lot of people love it. I suspect those tone enhancing tubes are as effective as the plates on an Optimum, i.e. a bit but not as much as the manufacturers would have you believe. As far as cost goes you could try to get one with a plastic cap and save much dough. The gold plated cap is nice but not that nice. Make sure you get the proper size of Optimum, it's less forgiving in than some others in that respect.
 

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If you are using the C*, the Selmer lig works great for it. Go figure...

Also, the ligature will not give you a funkier or less funky sound. That is more of a mouthpiece/reed issue.
 

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The nice thing about the Vandorens is that you can change (and alter) the plates if you don't like them. The FL Ultimates are very good, but I question their durability. Really, these are both good choices. I'd order both from WWBW and keep the one that you like.
 

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My FL has held up quite well; it’s easy to use; and the FLs are cheaper than the Optimum.
 

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I thought I would try reviving this thread instead of starting a new one.

My question is: Has anyone tried these two ligs (Optimum and Ultimate) side-by-side?

The reason I ask is this: I have been using nothing but Rovner ligs for quite some time. On something of a whim, I ordered an FL Ultimate for my HR pieces from WWBW. I played it side-by-side with the Rovner Dark I had been using, and, for me, the difference was like night and day. The tone with the Ultimate was so much more free and pure on every one of my HR pieces. I will never go back!

Now, I think I want to do the same with my metal mouthpieces. I probably couldn't go wrong with either the Ultimate or the Optimum. I know that people like them both. But has anyone played them side-by-side on metal mouthpieces to compare the difference (if any) in sound quality? If so, what was the difference? Which, in your opinion, was better in direct comparison?
 

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I thought I would try reviving this thread instead of starting a new one.

My question is: Has anyone tried these two ligs (Optimum and Ultimate) side-by-side?

The reason I ask is this: I have been using nothing but Rovner ligs for quite some time. On something of a whim, I ordered an FL Ultimate for my HR pieces from WWBW. I played it side-by-side with the Rovner Dark I had been using, and, for me, the difference was like night and day. The tone with the Ultimate was so much more free and pure on every one of my HR pieces. I will never go back!

Now, I think I want to do the same with my metal mouthpieces. I probably couldn't go wrong with either the Ultimate or the Optimum. I know that people like them both. But has anyone played them side-by-side on metal mouthpieces to compare the difference (if any) in sound quality? If so, what was the difference? Which, in your opinion, was better in direct comparison?
For me, head to head, the Fl was clearly better, both in playability and tone.
 

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FL's are nice for opening up tone but with certain mouthpiece response can be a bit squirrely in the lowest register. Optimum's can deaden the sound unless they are the perfect fit for your mouthpiece. I've found they tend to choke out the highs a bit.

Check out the new FL ligatures if you can. They have one screw on the top and slip on like a glove, no lining up perfectly and screw stripping the plate over time like with the old one. Response is also better than on the "Ultimate". I think you can get them from saxquest.

This is from my experience with HR alto, tenor and soprano mouthpieces. On alto the Optimum has much better response I think. On tenor it tends to really choke the reed. Could be that it's a little small for my HR Link??
 

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Uh oh . . . a NEW FL lig? I thought this was going to be easy! Thanks for the tip, Razzy.
 

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I've had the experience as Milomo with Francois' ligs. The Optimum just didn't do it for me. The new FL's are pretty fantastic as well. It's FL or Ishimori's for me.
 

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I want the versatility to play funk jazz (brecker style) as well as slightly mellower ballad style sound as well. I play in a church, where I have to compete with drums and guitar so a bit of projection and a focused sound without the buzz would be great.
The truth is, a ligature won't affect this. In fact, tone changes from a ligature are very small. It's more response. You won't be able to compete with drums and guitar unfortunately, on a selmer C* (no way :D), unless you are mic'd. I think for this job, you may need to go with a much louder mouthpiece.

BTW, I like the Francouis louis lig a lot. Response is great, and there is a tiny bit of a brighter, bigger, and bolder sound than my other ligs (only a little bit of difference). Also, remember that the plating on the ligature will not make a difference. I went with bare brass because it was the cheapest.
 

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I think Sax Man posted that a year ago. It looks like his one and only post. I guess he found what he was looking for.
 
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