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M/Pieces - Ligs Woodstone/Ishimori alto ligature (meyer) - To Buy or Not To Buy

Alexandra

New Member
Messages
26
Location
London, Greater London
Hi all

*Controversial ligature-related post*

So, I know the overall consensus seems to be that ligatures make no audible difference to the sound, a rubber band will do just fine and why spend ridiculous amounts of money on one. I agree to a large degree and yes, I've watched the brilliant YouTube video involving hairbands and tape.

I'm of the opinion that the ligature impacts the experience for the player (as opposed to listener) and in turn this may help or hinder their overall sound. I know it feels very different playing a Rovner dark compared to a metal ligature.

I've been using a BG L12 alto ligature with a Theo Wanne NY Bros MP (6). I'm finding lining up the L12 rubber-to-reed fiddly and inconsistent, but prefer the feel/tone of the L12 to the Rovner darks etc. I've mostly used non-metal ligs and want to try metal. I've read reports the BG Duo rails dig into the reed, and the Vandoren Optimum favours Vandoren MPs; plus I want to avoid plates.

Has anyone used a Woodstone/Ishimori lig and am I crazy to consider getting one (Woodstone alto Meyer gold plated ligature) given the crazy price tag.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,439
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
The word expensive puts me right off, right away. I'm having a lot of success with this on alto and clarinet.

 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
4,755
Location
Bristol, UK
I once spent a happy hour in Howarth’s trying out fancy ligatures, including one of the satisfyingly expensive cryogenically treated ones.

My opinion is that ligatures are not all the same (at least from my perspective as player), and that I like some better than others, but the most expensive one I tried was not my favourite. I don’t know, or particularly care, whether the listener can hear any difference. I suspect not.

I have also found that some ligatures sound good, but are a nuiscance to use in the long term.

And some ligatures work better with some mouthpieces than others.

So I think the only way for you to know whether a ligature is right for you is to try it, preferably before committing to buying it.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,363
Location
leicester
I tend to think that the positioning and tension of a lig can affect the response of the reed, so being able to get things just right can be important to some people. I find that a traditional old fashioned 2 screw metal lig allows me to adjust things to my liking. I don't know if the Ishimori is any better, the only problem I've ever had with cheap metal ligs is that sometimes they can be a bit rough on yhe inside and can scratch the mouthpiece, but a bit of filing and sanding will take care of that
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
404
Location
UK
Hi all

*Controversial ligature-related post*

So, I know the overall consensus seems to be that ligatures make no audible difference to the sound, a rubber band will do just fine and why spend ridiculous amounts of money on one. I agree to a large degree and yes, I've watched the brilliant YouTube video involving hairbands and tape.

I'm of the opinion that the ligature impacts the experience for the player (as opposed to listener) and in turn this may help or hinder their overall sound. I know it feels very different playing a Rovner dark compared to a metal ligature.

I've been using a BG L12 alto ligature with a Theo Wanne NY Bros MP (6). I'm finding lining up the L12 rubber-to-reed fiddly and inconsistent, but prefer the feel/tone of the L12 to the Rovner darks etc. I've mostly used non-metal ligs and want to try metal. I've read reports the BG Duo rails dig into the reed, and the Vandoren Optimum favours Vandoren MPs; plus I want to avoid plates.

Has anyone used a Woodstone/Ishimori lig and am I crazy to consider getting one (Woodstone alto Meyer gold plated ligature) given the crazy price tag.
Yes I agree. They make a difference to response and sound. So does the placement of the ligature on the mouthpiece (higher or lower). The difference might only be tiny, but when you get to a point in your playing where that tiny percentage really fiddles with your brain, it makes a difference.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,382
Location
Victoria BC Canada
I dont agree that ligatures do not make a difference. IMO if a lig presses on the outside edges of a reed rather than the middle 3/4 it can change the way a reed plays. The freer the reed is to vibrate the more responsive it is. Steve Lacy made a special lig that was 4 set screws in a metal band with only the set screws touching the reed. He played a 12 mpce with 1 1/2 reeds if I recall correctly.

My Silverstein tenor lig has adjustable tone bars that do make a difference in reed responsiveness. On alto I have a BG that has two ridges running down the middle of the lig where it touches the reed. Keeps th band off the edge. Works well also.

Having said that I doubt 99.9% of people wont hear a difference at 2 feet.
 
Last edited:
OP
Alexandra

Alexandra

New Member
Messages
26
Location
London, Greater London
Just to reignite the thread...

I haven't bought the Ishimori, but I've tried a Vandoren Optimum a friend lent me (so far, not overly impressed).

What I like about the Ishimori are the flat 'rails' the reed sits on. The Optimum plates all dig into the reed and dent it! I like a secure fit, but that means dented reeds. Also I like a 'darker' sound, and flat rails would compliment this I think. Even if just to my ears!

I understand the need for a perceived increase in reed vibration (hence minimal lig-reed contact) but why do the ligs like the Optimum and the BG Duo have thin rails that dig into the reed? Surely the flat rails make more sense? What are your thoughts? (And thanks for helping a newbie!)

Ishimori: (Flat plates)
zr49suy3gp3lesosx4hm.jpg



BG Duo: (Thin rails)
PR5630BI8105_LDO_BG_ALTO_SAX_AND_Bb_CLARINET_LIGATURE_DUO_METAL_GOLD_LACQUER_IMD.jpg
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
Subscriber
Messages
1,041
Location
Oneonta, NY
I have a Vandoren Optimum and I love it. They come with 3 different plates. See if your friend can let you try it with the other plates. There's one with 4 points on the corners to hold the reed in. I don't think it would dent it.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,382
Location
Victoria BC Canada
One has to make sure that the lig fit with the Ishimori (and others) is really good otherwise it will bear down on the edges. I still like the Silverstein best as the moveable tone bars can be put right up close to the reed and its cord not metal that bears on the reed but they are ridiculously expensive here in North America let alone in Britain.

I still dont understand why so many things sell for the same number here in Canada as they do in England when 1 GBP I= $1.4x CDN

CAne is pretty hard so if the lig is denting it, its probably too tight.
 
OP
Alexandra

Alexandra

New Member
Messages
26
Location
London, Greater London
Thanks for the reply. I do have all the plates and actually find the 4 point one dented the reeds the most! I'm playing with the lig now (plate 1) but still not convinced! I prefer how I sound with my BG L12, the fabric one with the rubber against the reed.

The Optimum does seem to help with the low notes so far...Right, I'm off to play some blues!
 
OP
Alexandra

Alexandra

New Member
Messages
26
Location
London, Greater London
One has to make sure that the lig fit with the Ishimori (and others) is really good otherwise it will bear down on the edges. I still like the Silverstein best as the moveable tone bars can be put right up close to the reed and its cord not metal that bears on the reed but they are ridiculously expensive here in North America let alone in Britain.

I still dont understand why so many things sell for the same number here in Canada as they do in England when 1 GBP I= $1.4x CDN

CAne is pretty hard so if the lig is denting it, its probably too tight.
I've always been intrigued by the Silverstein ligatures, but the prices are ridiculous as you say! The concept makes sense to me, although I have heard they can lose their shape over time. I might try one at my sax shop in London, but what if I love it!?
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,292
Location
France
It's denting straight away! I try not to screw too tightly, but it needs to be firm. I've never had a lig dent reeds before. The four point caused dents on my Vandoren ZZ the minute I tightened it.
The whole idea of points is to minimize the surface in contact with the reed. The consequence is obviously that it digs into the reed. Less surface=more pressure.

Now, in my opinion, what really matters is what you feel.

If you feel good. That's what matters. If you don't. Find something else.

Feeling is everything!
 
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