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Ligatures Does a ligature make any difference?

Harmonica Blu

New Member
I have a Meyer mouthpiece with a #5 facing on my Bundy II alto. I'm getting a pretty decent sound, considering the horn. The mouthpiece is fine. I'm wondering if a Rovner ligature is worth the cost. I have an older soft brass ligature that works fine and I suspect that it might contribute to the sound I'm looking for. (think Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson)
Will the ligature make it a bit easier - more comfortable - to play. How does the Rovner affect one's sound, if at all?
How did you know?

The ligature is the most IMPORTANT part of the saxophone assembly. It effects the operation of all other parts. Mk Vl sound terrible without the correct ligature. Mouthpieces, reeds, pad lift, finish and bore size are virtually immaterial in comparison with the ligature.

The only part of the instrument package that has a greater affect on the sound is the strap as proved by Schlurr and Handcock in their famous klystron analysis experiments at South London Technical College prior to its promotion to the University of the South Bank. That is when the original records of the experiment were lost.
This subject has been pretty much done to death here and most of the 'authoritative' views would suggest that there is little if any difference between them all. Some people use laccy bands and they work! Bit like the raw brass vs lac vs silver plated argument. Buy one that fits properly, and fit it properly. get one you like the look of but don't be disappointed if it's no better, or worse that the others you've tried.

Of course others may have a different opinion. FWIW I used a Rovner Dark and switched to a FL Ultimate at 4 times the price, convinced it sounded better but having tried the Rovner again since I can't spot any difference between them though the FL looks way cooler and does hold the reed a little tighter if I want it to - which I don't :w00t:
I would tend to agree that they dont make any difference. I recently changed the gold laquered one that came with my new mouthpiece for a rovner, only because the screws felt a bit weak and I like the fact that the rovner doesn't scratch the mouthpiece. It also seems easier to assemble. different.
Will the ligature make it a bit easier - more comfortable - to play. How does the Rovner affect one's sound, if at all?
The issue here isn't really about changing sound, it's about changing response. I personally don't reckon any lig is really going to make what comes out of your sax vary to any significant degree but they can assist (or hinder) quite a bit how you actually produce the noise in the first place....
BTW_ Harmonica blue... another gob iron player in our midst! I salute you!
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I use a Rovner. It is easier to adjust and change reeds, having just one screw, rather than the usual metal two screw ones. Plus it doesn't scratch mouthpiece. I doubt it makes much difference to the sound, but it does look cool.

As to my highly 'steamed friend OG, I hope no-one is questioning his integrity. He is holdng together quite well. Anyway,I went to South London Technical College and witnessed the aforsaid experiment. I don't think the records were lost so much as burnt one cold night in the adjacent Mulberry Bush pub, when the College was closing down. As did the pub when the students had gone....
If you believe Nick Wyver, you'll believe anything!

Decent fitting ligatures help produce a better sound than ill fitting ones.

One screw ligatures, like the Rovner, are generally easier to fit than two screw ligatures.

Some ligatures are more likely to mark your mouthpiece - metal more so, material less so.

Metal ligatures can usually sound brighter, material ligatures sound mellower/more muted.

I am one of those people that can detect differences in sound between ligatures, but it is A. Subjective & B. May not matter in the wider scheme of things.

Best advice I could give is to have at least 2 ligatures (you've always got a spare!) and see whether you prefer one or other overall for fit, use, sound etc. As Pete once said, he has never crushed a material ligature!. Most can be bought at £20 or less.

Love to all
You could pack them out with garden hose split lengthwise. Saves the ligs marking the mouthpiece!

Thinks (Oh! The pain) If you could shape the split hosepipe to look like a reed, it might work.

All your problems solved.

Now how much and what percentage to publicly claim to go to Pete's charities? We'd be gone by the time the payment was due.

Any Nigerian Bank like to finance this?
Oh Dear this is all getting a little edgy.
the question of what lig goes best with what mouthpiece is probably one of the hottest debates around, so here goes , I'll add my ten cents worth.
my personal view is that the biggest single factor in a sax players tone, phrasing,overal presentation, is each individual player.
I cant think off hand,of any other instrument that is so effected by the physical attributes of the player, I.E. the size and shape of the oral cavity, which dictates an awful lot of how we sound.
so does the ligature effect how the sax responds? probably to a degree but not as much as we often believe it does, otherwise why would we all have draws full of the blessed things,bought in the vain hope that they would propel us light years forward as players?

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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