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M/Pieces - Ligs Marc Jean Ligatures

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Marc Jean saxophone ligature
Today I took delivery of my new Jean Marc soprano sax ligature, and have just been giving it a play with my usual set up of BW Bronze Curvie, Berg Larsen 70/1 ebonite and Marca 2.5 reeds. Having focussed a lot on soprano over the last few weeks, and preferring the sound of my Selmer 1 screw metal lig over my Vandoren Masters metal lig, I was quite amazed at the sound resulting from the JM metal ligature.

The sound was immediately more 3 dimensional, unbelievably tuneful and had a beautifully resonant tone too. It was so much easier to produce a sound than previously - quite effortless - and I continue to be amazed at how good the BW is.

I read Steve Neffs online review and some of the comments on SOTW, and have to concur with the results found. The ligature looks not unlike the Vandoren Optimum, is a one screw unlacquered metal ligature and has two thin, aparallel wooden structures built in to the part that holds the reed. Apparently Jean, whose main occupation is as an instrument repairer in Montreal, Canada, has done a lot of research into the physics of sound production and developed his ligature accordingly. His ligatures are custom made and he will ask what particular mouthpiece you use before selecting the right ligature design.

The ligatures cost 65 Canadian Dollars + 10 shipping (approx £45 in total). Mine arrived by post, with no VAT, import duty or anything to pay.

Jean does also make a Custom ligature for the PPT (someone in Canada commissioned it), and also for Link STM's.
So, an excellent product in my opinion that eclipses both the other metal ligatures I normally use.
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I've got one for my tenor PPT. Works well. Not sure if it helps the sound or not, but it fits...
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
694
Marc makes a great product. I really enjoy them on my hard rubber pieces. I like them so much that there is a batch on the way which I will be offering as an option to my pieces.

On top of making a great product he is a truly kind individual. He is also extremely passionate about his work. He tends to fly under the radar a bit but i get the feeling we will be hearing more about his products and projects over time.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,946
These are the best 2 screw style liagautres I've found, and Marc developed one specifically for the PPT Onyxite which as has an unusual taper so not easy to find a metal lig for.

I also use one on a PPT Slimline.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Tom is tempting me.
1- Does it tend to scratch the back of the mouthpiece?
2- Can it be used with the screws on the reed side, and would it make sense doing so?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,946
Tom is tempting me.
1- Does it tend to scratch the back of the mouthpiece?
2- Can it be used with the screws on the reed side, and would it make sense doing so?
I think scratching may be a possibility, but probably only if you have the wrong size/shape for the mouthpiece or if the mouthpiece is very prone to scratching (poorly plated)

To me it makes no sense to use it screws on the reed side, it's designed with the wooden rails to hole the reed.

If you want it screw side, you may as well save your money and get a £5 APC lig.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
These are the best 2 screw style liagautres I've found, and Marc developed one specifically for the PPT Onyxite which as has an unusual taper so not easy to find a metal lig for.

I also use one on a PPT Slimline.
The MJ soprano ligature is a one screw piece, unlike the larger ones.
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
694
I think they are pretty mpc friendly. On the opposite side of the wood rails there is a little bit of padding to protect the back of the piece. In the end nearly no lig is foolproof when it comes to scratching...maybe a shoestring?

Anyway, they seem pretty safe to me. If the chewed up pieces I sure wouldn't sell them with the pieces I make.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I've used the tenor PPT one for ages. Perfect fit no scratching, the cork inside that Phil refers to prevents this.

Really happy with it.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Anyway, they seem pretty safe to me. If the chewed up pieces I sure wouldn't sell them with the pieces I make.
Which size/model matches you pieces?
Has anyone tried them on a metal Link? I just found out he makes them.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Which size/model matches you pieces?
Has anyone tried them on a metal Link? I just found out he makes them.
You simply tell Marc what mouthpiece you are using and he will produce a Custom ligature - as he
has done for all mine. Nice chap!
 

DHM

Wrinkled retainer
Messages
243
These are the best 2 screw style liagautres I've found, and Marc developed one specifically for the PPT Onyxite which as has an unusual taper so not easy to find a metal lig for.

I also use one on a PPT Slimline.
Does he make one for the PPT Onyxite baritone?
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
694
For my hard rubber tenor pieces just tell him you need one that will fit a hard rubber link...he also knows what fits mine.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,354
here's where to get them from - http://www.musiquedemarc.com/en/ - click on 'products' on the menu to the left..

I'm a bit of a ligature agnostic - as long as it fits well, holds the reed securely in place and is easy to use, I'm happy... and since the mouthpieces I use all fit a regular 2 screw metal lig, I've never found much reason to change.
But when I read glowing reports about these Marc Jean ligatures from sensible, non-GAS-afflicted sax players, I start to become interested... there're so many different ligatures available these days I'd have to spend a small fortune trying them all out, so reviews like this are always useful...
and there are some interesting customer comments on Marc Jean's website.
like this one from Evan Parker -
"Now as to the ligature itself: why it works is a mystery to me, and in fact is in conflict with all the assumptions I have made about ligature design in the past. Since I ordered one as soon as I had played a few notes, the fact that it works is without question; it produces a centred tone with no loss of fundamental in the note while at the same time allowing a full representation of the harmonics, more volume for a given effort and perhaps a higher proportion of usable reeds from a box. That is about as good as it gets..."
 
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Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,338
Any reason why a couple of cocktail sticks glued into a cheap two screw ligature wouldn't acheive the same effect?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The cocktail sticks would just collapse. This needs a really hard wood. A couple of other points

These ligs fit perfectly, even on the Ppt
The lig has channels for the wooden bars, so they're recessed and won't get knocked off
The inside is cork lined and won't scratch your mouthpiece
It's a quality product
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Any reason why a couple of cocktail sticks glued into a cheap two screw ligature wouldn't acheive the same effect?
This was my first thought when I briefly tried a prototype a couple of years ago.
And I tried various options to adjust large ligatures.
It seems that a fit less than optimal is really detrimental of the sound. In some cases, cork, tech cork, rubber, metal, can do the job of having a ligature perfectly fitting.
The most attractive aspect of the MJ is the perfect fit on any mouthpiece, once correct measurements are taken.
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,338
The cocktail sticks would just collapse. This needs a really hard wood. A couple of other points

These ligs fit perfectly, even on the Ppt
The lig has channels for the wooden bars, so they're recessed and won't get knocked off
The inside is cork lined and won't scratch your mouthpiece
It's a quality product
This was my first thought when I briefly tried a prototype a couple of years ago.
And I tried various options to adjust large ligatures.
It seems that a fit less than optimal is really detrimental of the sound. In some cases, cork, tech cork, rubber, metal, can do the job of having a ligature perfectly fitting.
The most attractive aspect of the MJ is the perfect fit on any mouthpiece, once correct measurements are taken.

Thanks for the reply

I hadn't clicked that a bespoke fit for a particular mouthpiece was integral to the success of this lig

The fact that you both say the same thing adds weight to this view

However I think I'll try to source some rainforest-unfriendly cocktails sticks and see how they fair, perhaps fashioned in jacaranda or ipe... it'll mean a trip up the Amazon with a very large chainsaw and maybe a parrot on my shoulder but sometimes it's the effort you put in that pays dividends
 
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