Ok so have you guys stayed with the standard one on your setup ??
I for one do not spend a fortune on ligatures, and have zero problems to report.
That may be the case for you. But i understand that the op is interested in players that spend a bit more than a few bucks for a ligature. and would like an idea if it is worth the outlay. Its a personal choice and i think it is worth the time and effort.
I'm with you on this.The OP is indeed asking if it is worth the extra cost, and I am of the opinion that in general it is not necessary. His post suggests that he is curious about the experience of others who have experimented with this (and with 30+ years playing, I certainly have), and I gave my 2 cents.
I think that many very experienced players lose certain auditory skills and cannot hear differences as well as others. Having tried the Vandoren Optimum and also the Francouis Louis Pure Brass I can say that the FL is much better, as described above. The Marc Jean is better still, but you have to have tried them to know.
The OP is indeed asking if it is worth the extra cost, and I am of the opinion that in general it is not necessary. ............
But cool is important too ;}, this days for little money, you can buy some reasonably cool ligs.