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M/Pieces - Ligs Ligature????

814jazzer

Member
Messages
55
Location
Pennsylvania
It's my understanding that the ligature can have a ltitle bit of effect on which overtones are prevalent in the tone.
In my own circumstances, I've found that the "squishy black" ligs*— like Rovner, for example — tend to have darker (and deader) sounds. So, they're not my first choice.
I seem to have done well with the "cheapo 2-screw" kind.

But, a ligature expert I ain't.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Its always an interesting question!

I would say that a good fit is paramount and generally "squishy black" ligs are a very good fit and easy to fit also.

Soundwise, two things:

1. A material ligature can reduce excessive brightness, or allow the sound to have more "body" on a bright sounding sax which can sound thin.

2. As someone who prefers "Dark" to "Bright", whether sax, trumpet, or trombone, I have a soft spot for material ligatures.

I mainly use Francois Louis Basic Ligs - metal and easy to fix/tighten, and find the sound just right.

I do think that the argument gets stuck, however, with more active players/musicians (in bands etc.) saying there is not a sound difference (in a band setting there is unlikely to be any major difference - the main issue seems to be whether you can be heard, particularly above the bass player), and those, like myself that mainly play in a home or similar environment, without competing sounds. Similarly a trombone will not be heard if it plays mellow in a band/horn section, but could easily sound raucous in an orchestra if the same amount of "welly" is provided. Hence shallower mouthpieces are used (pea shooters) in a band setting with a more forward sound that can "cut through".

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

stefank

Member
Messages
368
Location
Hobart, Tasmania
I find there's a bit of a difference between the Rovner dark style lig (which tends too calm things down/deaden them a bit), and a plain two screw. If I'm using my Morgan Excalibur EL7 or Dukoff D7 I generally use a Rovner to help keep the "edge" under control, but not if I'm using the Morgan Vintage 7 or 3c, both of which require no damping. That's on tenor - on alto my ancient Berg seems to prefer a two screw. It's horses for courses.
 
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stefank

Member
Messages
368
Location
Hobart, Tasmania
I do think that the argument gets stuck, however, with more active players/musicians (in bands etc.) saying there is not a sound difference (in a band setting there is unlikely to be any major difference - the main issue seems to be whether you can be heard, particularly above the bass player), and those, like myself that mainly play in a home or similar environment, without competing sounds. Similarly a trombone will not be heard if it plays mellow in a band/horn section, but could easily sound raucous in an orchestra if the same amount of "welly" is provided. Hence shallower mouthpieces are used (pea shooters) in a band setting with a more forward sound that can "cut through".

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
That's very pertinent - if you're playing in a loud environment with a big "bottom end" all that dark lushness will probably at best get lost, and at worst contribute to general muddiness if the sound guy doesn't "roll off" the low end. Time to reach for the bright mouthpiece/reed/lig combination.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,407
Location
Daventry
I do think that the argument gets stuck, however, with more active players/musicians (in bands etc.) saying there is not a sound difference (in a band setting there is unlikely to be any major difference - the main issue seems to be whether you can be heard, particularly above the bass player), and those, like myself that mainly play in a home or similar environment, without competing sounds. Similarly a trombone will not be heard if it plays mellow in a band/horn section, but could easily sound raucous in an orchestra if the same amount of "welly" is provided. Hence shallower mouthpieces are used (pea shooters) in a band setting with a more forward sound that can "cut through".

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
Absolutely pertinent point Tom. I play a nice mellow, middle-of-the-road STM 6 (with a standard Selmer lig) for practice or any sort of ensemble stuff, but any time I am around the drums, bass, keys, guitar, 4 vocalists and 3 other horn players in the band, the only defence is my Brancher B31 which has the edge and power to carve through the competition. The Link is lost in that setting - similarly the Brancher at home has the paint blistering off the doors and the dog phoning the RSPCA.......... What the Brancher lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in volume; it comes with its own distinctive lig and I've never even thought of trying anything else - why would I? Only to make it even louder :)))
 

frankeric

New Member
Messages
4
Location
fort collins colorado
Ok here's my 2 cents...I've been using a 2 screw standard with an otto link on my yam tenor for over a year. Yesterday I got a Rovner Dark and in 5 minutes I realized that the sound had changed. Need more time to see if I like it but it's louder than my standard and easier to toung my swing notes. I know what you all said above so this is just IMO.
frank
yamaha 875ex tenor Van 2.0 java otto link tone edge
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,702
Location
Minster On Sea
Its always an interesting question!
I do think that the argument gets stuck, however, with more active players/musicians (in bands etc.) saying there is not a sound difference (in a band setting there is unlikely to be any major difference - the main issue seems to be whether you can be heard, particularly above the bass player), and those, like myself that mainly play in a home or similar environment, without competing sounds. Similarly a trombone will not be heard if it plays mellow in a band/horn section, but could easily sound raucous in an orchestra if the same amount of "welly" is provided. Hence shallower mouthpieces are used (pea shooters) in a band setting with a more forward sound that can "cut through".
Tom:cool:
I probably count as a "more active" player. I play in loud bands, but I also practise at home in a quiet, unforgiving (soundwise) environment. I'm not quite sure what you're getting at with your comment about "pea shooters", but anyway I can't hear or feel any difference in ligs whether I'm playing loud rock on my Guardala pea shooter or Mozart on my Selmer soloist. If it holds the reed in place then it's good.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
A quick reread should indicate that a "peashooter" is a common description of a shallow trombone (and trumpet) mouthpiece which produces a brighter, sharper sound :w00t:, particularly used to enhance the playing of high notes. My apology if it was slightly unclear.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,702
Location
Minster On Sea
Ok, sorry. I was assuming shallow was referring to high baffle sax mouthpieces. But I'm still not sure what that's got to do with ligatures.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Nick!

It has nothing to do with ligatures, but has everything to do with sound that "cuts through", and that material ligatures can have a dampening sound on a mouthpiece/reed/sax set up which may not be that desirable at a gig, where 2-screw metal pieces may result in/exaggerate a brighter sound. Similarly trumpet and trombone players use shallower mouthpieces at gigs, which produce a brighter/edgier sound compared to deeper mouthpieces...Obviously sax players can use brighter/edgier sounding mouthpieces, but are more likely to use 2-screw metal ligs, rather than material ligs. On the other hand I would say that, in my experience, about 45% of jazz sax players seem to use material ligs in acoustic settings.

Night, night
Tom:cool:
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Good Morning OG!

All the evidence is that musicians that play in Bands suffer in their fine hearing, and become so impatient that they cannot spend up to 60 seconds soaking a reed.........:w00t::shocked:;}

Hope you have a lovely day!
Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
Location
Milton Keynes (ish)
Adding my tuppence to this year-old thread:

The problem I have with the whole ligature thing is that I don't think any manufacturer (or anyone else for that matter) offers an explanation as to how ligatures make a difference. This means that they open themselves up to accusations of being snake oil purveyors or, at the very least, manufacturers of different sounding ligatures that they created "by chance". Publishing an investigation into how ligatures work would increase their credibility by a ton. I suspect though that, if ligatures do make a difference to the sound, at the moment it really is a case of lucky guesswork which these companies can't afford to admit. It's not a good position to be in, though snake oil does sell...

All I'm interested in is a ligature which holds the reed securely in place. The ligatures on my metal alto and tenor Yanis do this perfectly. The Rovner EVO5 E-2R doesn't do this well on my PPT, even though it has been recommended as a good fit: I get lots of squeaks up high and the reed tip can still move laterally when the ligature is tight.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,829
Location
Breakfast room since '06 UK
I absolutely refuse to accept that a ligature can make any difference to a sax sound. How can it? It doesn't move it doesn't vibrate it just sits there
I believe there is a difference, and hate to even admit that.
All be it a very very negligible difference that is so far down the list in terms of affecting your sound that its not worth too much investigation but none the less a difference.

As for it just sitting there and not vibrating, what if you wedge a cleaning sponge in the bell of a sax does it muffle the sound?
Any material against the reed will surely do a similar thing (become more resonant or dull) and amplify its effect all the way to the final sound.
But just to reiterate....IMO its really not worth the words I've just written.
Don't know why I bothered :w00t:
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Adding my tuppence to this year-old thread:

The problem I have with the whole ligature thing is that I don't think any manufacturer (or anyone else for that matter) offers an explanation as to how ligatures make a difference. This means that they open themselves up to accusations of being snake oil purveyors or, at the very least, manufacturers of different sounding ligatures that they created "by chance". Publishing an investigation into how ligatures work would increase their credibility by a ton. I suspect though that, if ligatures do make a difference to the sound, at the moment it really is a case of lucky guesswork which these companies can't afford to admit. It's not a good position to be in, though snake oil does sell...

All I'm interested in is a ligature which holds the reed securely in place. The ligatures on my metal alto and tenor Yanis do this perfectly. The Rovner EVO5 E-2R doesn't do this well on my PPT, even though it has been recommended as a good fit: I get lots of squeaks up high and the reed tip can still move laterally when the ligature is tight.
This sounds about right.
 

Rikki

Member
Messages
184
Location
Sydney, Australia
Hi Chaps,

a while ago I accidently stood on my ligature! I needed another one urgently the next night but could not find one in the local shop that fitted, so I ended up using a cheap hose clip. The only problem was the reed would move around a bit which caused a squeak but otherwise the sound was no different. After making a slight adjustment with a bit of packing material, squeeking gone and all good. The reason some ligatures sound better than others is simply down to compatibility with the mouthpiece and reed, so all you need to is find a ligature which holds the reed to the mouthpiece securely without needing to be too tight. If you can do that for five dollars like I did then why spends a fortune on something that will make no difference?

I now have a PPT8 and the only reason I use the EVO5-2R is it is the only one that fits correctly and it looks a bit better than my trusty hose clip which I still keep for my original mouthpiece! I did not even think about the sound it just works!
 

saxyman

Member
Messages
271
Location
Medway Kent
And I cant make up my mind if I am indecisive or uncertain :)))

But seriously, I convinced myself that they made a difference a while ago but now I'm converted, I've changed my mind to the "a jubilee clip would do" camp. I have a coupe of cheap ligs and one "decent" one and there is no difference at all.
Thats almost as bad as me thinking that I would give my Right arm to be ambidextrous!!!
 
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