SYOS

M/Pieces - Ligs ligatures

bill_reed

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10
do ligatures really make a difference... I have tried to find out but seemed it split around 50/50! some say they do other say they don't... to try and simplified it a little, I tried a two screw metal ligature with my cannon mouthpiece and a bari synth/reed. then I tried a leather one screw type and to be truthful I could not tell a difference... came down to me liking using a one screw ligature over a two screw ligature.... gets even more confusing when you get ligatures around £300 and are the really so much better than a £50 ligature...
 

randulo

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I was once looking at violin bows. In the catalogue, there was a bow case that cost $450. A case to carry a bow, that I would want to pay, maybe $25 for at most. I would give this answer to the question that comes up often:

Does the ligature matter, do they make a difference in sound? Only if you think they do, then, they do. But there is a difference in how much you like to put it on and take it off, as you say. I feel that way, too.

I was just about to post this question:

Does the cork grease you use make a difference to your sound?

Except I decided to wait until April 1st to post it.
 

ESJohn

Member
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214
I had just this week watched this video from bettersax.com. It is very enlightening and follows in agreement with what Randulo states here. I keep hearing the words from another video I watched once that said "It's not about the gear!" This may help you.

 

Jeanette

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For those that are new to the forum with time on their hands.


Jx
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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For those that are new to the forum with time on their hands.


Jx
The blue mask will come in handy again now.
 

Pete Thomas

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do ligatures really make a difference...

Yes.

Without a ligature, the reed tends to fall off.

But a ligature is anything that holds the reed efficiently against the mouthpiece table. As long as it does that, then the type, brand, material or whatever is irrelevant.

If the table is not flat then different ones might respond differently. If the ligature is not working properly then it won't be as good asa one that is.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWGLMyCg04s&feature=emb_logo
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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I had just this week watched this video from bettersax.com. It is very enlightening and follows in agreement with what Randulo states here. I keep hearing the words from another video I watched once that said "It's not about the gear!" This may help you.


It's good to see that some people are just honest about this!

I like the way the BG Duo looks, but it's rather pricey. It's not very different in concept than that Selmer ligature that cost a fraction of it. I never used that BG model.




But it may be capable of adapting to more mouthpieces as it looks like having a longer screw thread. That's based on my sole experience of the Selmer version...

 

ESJohn

Member
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214
That is one beautiful lig! Makes me want to go out and buy one. Maybe that is part of it--if a player feels better playing because of some part of his horn, he will invest more time in it.
But I was wondering, are there standards or ratings for ligs like there are for mpc's (4c, 5c*, etc.), reeds (2 1/2, 4, etc)
or even in a loose sense, saxophones (beginner, intermediate, professional)? I've not seen any, but that may be because I've barely scratched the surface of musical knowledge.
 

Wade Cornell

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Kind of in a similar vein are other useless bits. Here's India's best known sax player Kadri Gopalnath:
famous saxophone player in india - Google Search
Note the jewel dangle bits and other accoutrements on his sax. Does it make the sax play better? Yea, lots of magic feathers out there for those who need them and there's always somebody happy to sell them to you.
 

JRG

New Member
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20
Yes, they most definitely make a difference but here's the catch........in different ways for different players.

1. Simply put, some ligs are made very well, some are a heaping pile of that brown stuff. I think we'd all agree on that.
2. Some ligs designs hold/grasp the reed very well and permit the player to move the mouthpiece without dislodging the reed. Personally, that's not a huge deal to me as I honestly don't constantly move my mouthpiece around AND the mouthpieces on my various horns (saxes and clarinets) are fit well to the cork(s) so I don't need a wrench to adjust the damn mouthpiece!
3. Here's where it gets "controversial". - I feel the timbre of my sound does change slightly with different brands/makes/designs of ligs. At least on MY end of the horn it certainly does. Now does that mean there's a huge audible difference to a listener? Probably not, but I definitely notice it from "behind the horn".
4. Again, this is probably more of the players prospective than the listeners..... (Again, for me) some ligs are more restrictive and some definitely more free-blowing than others. Definitely makes a difference to me.

So to recap, the differences in ligs to me (the player) are noticeable. Are those differences always noticeable to the listener? Of course not, but I've experimented with this quite a few times and have done "ligature playing tests" with fellow saxophonists. Sometimes we have both heard differences, sometimes not but to me it doesn't have to be an audible difference. If I truly feel the reed responds in a more positive nature and is more free blowing (something I prefer) then heck yeah, the lig most definitely makes a difference.
I love the Vandoren M/O ligatures and use them on clarinet, alto and sop. I like the single screw, they hold the reed well and also have the qualities I mentioned above. On tenor, I play a Selmer 404 (2 screw) lig on my Dukoff Stubby. I've experimented/tried dozens of ligs on tenor over the years and there's just something about the 404 that always makes it come out on top.
Of course, your mileage may vary.... ;-)
 

Wade Cornell

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Yes, they most definitely make a difference but here's the catch........in different ways for different players.

1. Simply put, some ligs are made very well, some are a heaping pile of that brown stuff. I think we'd all agree on that.
2. Some ligs designs hold/grasp the reed very well and permit the player to move the mouthpiece without dislodging the reed. Personally, that's not a huge deal to me as I honestly don't constantly move my mouthpiece around AND the mouthpieces on my various horns (saxes and clarinets) are fit well to the cork(s) so I don't need a wrench to adjust the damn mouthpiece!
3. Here's where it gets "controversial". - I feel the timbre of my sound does change slightly with different brands/makes/designs of ligs. At least on MY end of the horn it certainly does. Now does that mean there's a huge audible difference to a listener? Probably not, but I definitely notice it from "behind the horn".
4. Again, this is probably more of the players prospective than the listeners..... (Again, for me) some ligs are more restrictive and some definitely more free-blowing than others. Definitely makes a difference to me.

So to recap, the differences in ligs to me (the player) are noticeable. Are those differences always noticeable to the listener? Of course not, but I've experimented with this quite a few times and have done "ligature playing tests" with fellow saxophonists. Sometimes we have both heard differences, sometimes not but to me it doesn't have to be an audible difference. If I truly feel the reed responds in a more positive nature and is more free blowing (something I prefer) then heck yeah, the lig most definitely makes a difference.
I love the Vandoren M/O ligatures and use them on clarinet, alto and sop. I like the single screw, they hold the reed well and also have the qualities I mentioned above. On tenor, I play a Selmer 404 (2 screw) lig on my Dukoff Stubby. I've experimented/tried dozens of ligs on tenor over the years and there's just something about the 404 that always makes it come out on top.
Of course, your mileage may vary.... ;-)
I'm curious: you never move or loosen your mouthpiece? So you're OK playing flat until you warm up your horn? You don't care that you've kept the cork compressed so that if you change mouthpiece (sounds like you have several) that the one that you put on may not fit well if it needs to be further out on the cork? And we're not even talking about cleaning/swabbing either the neck or the mouthpiece?

Suggestion to OP (who is also a new member) : You'll get all kinds of information here, some accurate, and, well...others.
 

JRG

New Member
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20
I'm curious: you never move or loosen your mouthpiece? So you're OK playing flat until you warm up your horn? You don't care that you've kept the cork compressed so that if you change mouthpiece (sounds like you have several) that the one that you put on may not fit well if it needs to be further out on the cork? And we're not even talking about cleaning/swabbing either the neck or the mouthpiece?

Suggestion to OP (who is also a new member) : You'll get all kinds of information here, some accurate, and, well...others.
Did I say I never move or "loosen" (whatever that is) my mouthpiece? No. What I did say is that my neck corks on my saxophones and my neck cork on my clarinets are all sized so that I can move/adjust my mouthpieces with relative ease. No, they're not loose or wobbly but just right.
I don't play flat until my horn "warms up". I'm a professional player and after about 40 years of "searching for the perfect mouthpieces", I now play on one mouthpiece on each horn and while I do have multiple mouthpieces for each horn, they're the same make/brand and fit literally exactly alike. Even so, if a neck cork is done properly by a tech, pretty much all mouthpieces SHOULD fit with not too much difference and be able to be adjusted without too much difficulty.
I'm not sure what cleaning/swabbing the mouthpiece or neck has to do with any of this.
As for your last snipe of information here being "accurate and well........others", I'll gladly put my knowledge and experience up against yours ANY day of the week. You might want to reconsider throwing rocks while living in a glass house.
 

Wade Cornell

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Did I say I never move or "loosen" (whatever that is) my mouthpiece? No. What I did say is that my neck corks on my saxophones and my neck cork on my clarinets are all sized so that I can move/adjust my mouthpieces with relative ease. No, they're not loose or wobbly but just right.
I don't play flat until my horn "warms up". I'm a professional player and after about 40 years of "searching for the perfect mouthpieces", I now play on one mouthpiece on each horn and while I do have multiple mouthpieces for each horn, they're the same make/brand and fit literally exactly alike. Even so, if a neck cork is done properly by a tech, pretty much all mouthpieces SHOULD fit with not too much difference and be able to be adjusted without too much difficulty.
I'm not sure what cleaning/swabbing the mouthpiece or neck has to do with any of this.
As for your last snipe of information here being "accurate and well........others", I'll gladly put my knowledge and experience up against yours ANY day of the week. You might want to reconsider throwing rocks while living in a glass house.
My apologies. I reread your post and had decided to edit it out. Somehow it did not work and wound up being posted. I had read it initially as that you never took your mouthpiece off, which doesn't seem to be the case. If it were I wouldn't trust any other information that was coming our way. Once again my apologies as I tend to re-read but posted first then reread and wanted it removed.

As aside I've been playing since 1958...also quite a while.
 

Colin the Bear

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13,161
Mouthpieces are imperfect. Reeds are variable. Different ligatures accomodate these imperfections and variables with differing levels of success.
The whole point of a ligature is to hold still and together that which needs to be still and together so that that which needs to move can do so in a controlled way.
The player provides the magic. Genes provide the physiognomy. All the rest is just plumbing.
 

randulo

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The topic comes back periodically, so here's a previous discussion:
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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6,184
I can feel a difference between different ligatures, but it’s less that the difference between different instruments, different mouthpieces and different reeds.

Also, some ligatures are much prettier than others, and I really like that, but on the whole I find that the pretty ones (e.g Olegature, Jean Marc) are the least practical to use.
 

Wonko

Member
Messages
379
My 2 cents:
A few months ago I tested to see how my Rovner star ligature would compare to the standard metal ligature (1 screw or 2 screw, I don't know which). I play on a Otto link Tone edge 7 with Rigotti gold reeds.
The Rovner sounded darker and warmer, the metal ligature sounded more bright or harsh. My wife was my audience, and she also heard a definite difference in sound.
 

Jimmymack

Member
Messages
187
The best thing about this debate is that everybody’s right and I can happily agree with both sides. I incline to the one where it makes a difference to the player, which I think is valuable in itself, but makes precious little difference to the sound coming out the horn other than the effect it has on the player. I mainly get annoyed by the overhyped, overpriced jewellery that’s foisted on the market these days.

I’ve has wonderful results using a couple of O rings.
 

Vetinari

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Some clarinet players use a length of string as a lig..
A couple of years back, just for a laugh, I tried inslation tape, hose/jubilee clip, 2 screw and a Rovner, I sounded as bad as usual on all of them. No better but no worse.
 

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