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 Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: chorusgirl 
Date:   2010-10-07 22:17

My son currently uses a Luyben ligature. He needs a new one - should he stick with the same thing, or try a Rovner? Both are inexpensive enough that I don't mind purchasing both and having him try them out to see which he likes better - but I would be interested in your opinions.

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: chorusgirl 
Date:   2010-10-07 22:25

OK, just found tons of discussion about this in the archives. Don't know why I didn't find it before posting this, but I think I'll just order him the Luyben - maybe one in each color?!

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2010-10-07 22:32

If you're buying multiple ligatures, buy multiple kinds, not multiple of the same in different colors.


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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: Ed 
Date:   2010-10-07 23:20

The only way to know is to try. Personally, I prefer the Luyben, but every person and set up is different.

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: chorusgirl 
Date:   2010-10-07 23:58

I was actually being silly about getting the Lubyen in different colors. I know that in the archived posts, some folks think there is a difference between the black and the clear - I don't know that my son is sophisticated enough of a player to notice that subtle difference.

I do think I'll get him a Rovner to try as well, though - he can try both and see which he prefers. I would like for him to have a darker sound - it's fairly bright right now, but again, I don't know if just changing the ligature would make enough of a difference right now.

FWIW, he has a Lyrique, with a Vanduren M15 mp, and Mitchell Lurie reeds size 2 1/2.

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2010-10-08 01:50

A Mitchell Lurrie 2.5 is a VERY soft reed to be using with that particular mouthpiece.

You might want to check with his teacher to see if switching reeds will help with his tone. How long has he been playing?


“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2010-10-08 01:53

People in these parts seem pretty hell-bent on achieving a dark sound through equipment. Do note that that's only part of the equation.


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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2010-10-08 02:22

I second JJAlbrecht's advice about the Mitchell Luries. It's fairly easy to play a
Lurie 3 1/2 or 4 on this mouthpiece, and if your son tries them, I think his tone will improve. A number of other reeds work well with the M15, and I've had good luck with Rico Reserve and Vandoren Rue Lepic 3s (others use slightly harder ones with good results). Here's a link to Rico's reed strength comparison chart:

The ligature will affect the tone slightly, but I don't think it's worth spending lots of money on one. Yes, have him try both the Luyben and the Rovner (there are several types), but have him do it with a harder reed.

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2010-10-08 10:24

If he's currently happy with the Luyben, just get him that. If you get him both, you risk infecting him with GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) at a too-young age. This is a condition suffered by most, if not all, of the members of this Board. The ones who recommended you try/get both ligatures have particularly severe cases. Trust me, I'm a doctor. :)

Also, if he has a teacher or has been playing for less than a year, ignore the advice about harder reeds.

Best regards,

Post Edited (2010-10-08 10:27)

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: chorusgirl 
Date:   2010-10-10 20:02

As always, thank you for your excellent advice and suggestions.

He just switched to a size 3 reed - what a difference in his tone, already! It had been sort of fuzzy sounding, and seems more clear and focused. It's funny, my older son only uses Vandurens, my middle son is stuck on the Mitchell Luries. His teacher is the one who started him with those, in a size 2 1/2. Sadly, we are no longer wiht that teacher - we have an ongoing issue in trying to find a good clarinet teacher within a reasonable driving distance. (45 minutes?) We live in a rather rural area.

Back to the size three reed - his tone is much better, but now, the upper register notes seem to have trouble speaking - he seems to have to push to get them out. Does that make sense? I'm hoping that within a few more days of practicing, it improves - any suggestions? This is his fourth year of playing.

As for GAS - no need to worry there - With my oldest heading off to college next year, I won't be able to afford to feed the GAS, should my other son acquire the syndrome - college tuition will wipe us out!  :)

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2010-10-12 02:45

It's nice to hear that the no. 3 reeds are helping your son.

You asked about the higher register notes speaking. It's hard to say without listening to him play, but I have a few thoughts. Is it just one reed that doesn't work with the high notes, or is it all of them? Does your son select several reeds and break them in slowly? That's the best method. Does he have a reed rotation of several reeds (highly recommended), or does he play on the same reed day after day until it wears out (not recommended)?

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 Re: Luyben vs. Rovner ligatures
Author: chorusgirl 
Date:   2010-10-12 22:18

I actually don't know where this No. 3 reed came from - he had it, he tried it, it was better than the 2 1/2. I've ordered a box of no. 3s from WWBW - as soon as they arrive, he'll start working on breaking in a few.

He does use several reeds and rotates them - he has an audition coming up at the end of Nov. so he's trying to get all set up for it. It'll be curious to see how he makes out with a new box of reeds.

Thank you for your input - much appreciated!

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