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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000268.txt from 2005/08

From: "kevin fay" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Ah, ligatures....Gold vs. Silver
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 12:51:43 -0400

Adam Michlin posted (although I could have posted from one of many):

<<<Common sense tells us that the difference between a standard Rovner
ligature and a Bonade inverted ligature is more likely to cause a
measurable, observable, repeatable difference. Sure, no one (to my
knowledge) has done the research, so I remain a bit skeptical, but not
nearly as skeptical as I am about the difference between gold plating and
silver plating on a ligature. Skepticism is not an absolute black or white.
. . Luckily, science trumps both experience and opinions. Would you
really prefer to go back to a world of medicine where each doctor was only
able to do whatever seemed to work in his or her experience, or what was
learned by listening to other doctors' anecdotal experiences? "How can you
dismiss that leeches won't cure your patient's cancer if you haven't even
tried it!?".>>>

Wow. Thoughts:

(1) Never thought of plating ligatures when I wrote the Definitive Ligature
Advice. See
Now it's not so definitive, I see.

(2) The skeptic in me thinks there's *no way* that plating a ligature or
keys or whatever could make a discernable difference.

. . OTOH, I've been told by several prominent players and technicians that
it does. Hearsay anecdote is not evidence - but is disturbing when one of
them is Yamaha's chief engineer in the U.S. At the ClarinetFest in 2001, I
played a pile of new Yamahas, some with silver-plated keys and others that
were created in response to market demand with the nickel-silver plating
standard on R-13s.

Disturbingly, the two groups of horns were very consistent with each other,
and felt different from those in the other group. (I say "felt" because I
could discern a difference in the sound, but an observer ten feet away - in
the form of my ever-patient oboist wife - could not). After playing through
the pile, I was able to tell which plating the clarinet had by blowing the
instrument blindfolded and not touching the keys. Things that make you go

Was one plating "better"? Golly, no. (I bought a silver-plated VCS because
the tech tweaked up the pads very nicely.) In any event, not a marketable

(3) Leeches don't cure cancer. Just to prove that everything bad becomes
good, however, leeches are apparently cutting-edge therapy for many things.
Heck, even the *insurance companies* say it's so - I quote:

"Aetna considers medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) therapy medically
necessary for any of the following conditions:

1. Poor venous drainage (venous congestion/venous outflow obstruction); or
2. Salvage of vascularly compromised flaps (muscle, skin, and fat tissue
surgically removed from one part of body to another); or
3. Salvage of vascularly compromised replants (limbs or other body parts
re-attached after traumatic amputation)."


Apparently science *likes* leeches again. Go figure.


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