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Author: dc55 
Date:   2012-09-15 22:20

i need to buy a new ligature but i really do not know much about them. i have been using the one that the salesperson at my local music store sold to me with my vandoren b45 mouthpiece years ago and recently it broke. so i'm using another one that i got with my old clarinet and i'm not to happy with it. what kind do you use/suggest getting. thanks

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 Re: ligature
Author: DaveKessler 
Date:   2012-09-15 22:36

Go try them out. I like the Rico H-Ligatre, but there are so many good ones out there that you should just go into your local store and try them out and see which you prefer.

Dave Kessler
Kessler & Sons Music

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 Re: ligature
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2012-09-16 01:36

Dave, your comment is interesting because I haven't seen these ligatures discussed recently. I'm using an old Harrison gold that's excellent, and these Ricos are supposed to be copies of the non-discontinued Harrison. The reviews of Rico's version have been mixed, but I'm going to keep your comments if mind if I ever need to replace mine. In your opinion, is the H-Ligature a good copy of the Harrison?

I was offered a couple Harrisons to try about 30 years ago, and liked the gold one so much that I bought it. If the gold Rico is anything like the Harrison, I highly recommend it. The price is also quite reasonable.

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 Re: ligature
Author: Lorenzo_M 
Date:   2012-09-16 05:27

I have a silver Harrison, and a Gold Rico H-ligature. I would probably need to try a Silver H-ligature to make a comparison, but they are not the same. Similar, but the original definitely feels more resonant, open, and centered. The Rico tends to be darker...I suspect because the H pressure plate is so much bigger and thicker than the originals (which I also suspect is why the originals tended to break in that thin area).

Is it a good copy? Yes and No. It's more robust, and it's cheap...but it does not feel the same. Whether this is good or bad depends on your expectations. Judging it on its own merit, they are good ligatures.

I have a ton of ligatures (which I suspect many here do too) but my overall favorite is still the Bonade Ligature. I like to adjust them so that only the rails touch the reed...but once adjusted, they feel great. You don't need to tighten them too much, they let the reed vibrate, but have enough dampening to center and balance the sound. It's also cheap.

For something that can be adjusted very quickly, I just use the Vandoren Optimum or the Spriggs Floating rail. The one screw adjustment is convenient. They help on weird reed days as you can adjust them up and down faster than the Bonade.

Anyway, these things are all preference. I know many here swear by Rovners (which I hate). I know many hear swear by the standard ligature that came with your clarinet (which believe it or not, isn't too bad). Lots of fun toys out there...try them all!

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 Re: ligature
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2012-09-16 12:17

Lorenzo, thanks for your comments. When I was first offered the Harrisons to try, I was given both the silver and gold. I'm not sure why it was true, but I noticed quite a difference between the two, the gold playing much better for me.

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 Re: ligature
Author: Lorenzo_M 
Date:   2012-09-16 15:10

My band director in middle school used to use a Gold Harrison, and it was quite covetous, ha.

The Ricos are serviceable attempts at copying the Harrison, and in some ways better built, but I feel they feel and sound pretty different. This is neither good nor bad. I prefer the Harrison, but fear for its longevity, so don't really use it anymore.

I see a clone by some company called FAXX that seems more accurate, but have never tried it...but cosmetically at least, it seems more like the Harrison. Check out ebay and type in Harrison ligature.

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 Re: ligature
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2012-09-19 09:08

The Harrison is heavy. I perfer lighter ligatures, the lighter the better. At the moment I'm enjoying a gutted Bonade. Inverted. I took out a lot of the supports to make it lighter and vibrate with the reeds and the MP.

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 Re: ligature
Author: BartHx 
Date:   2012-09-20 20:21

I tried a Rico silver, but put it away after all the chrome plating flaked off, literally, the first time I used it.

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 Re: ligature
Author: dream62 
Date:   2012-09-21 14:32

Herouard et Benard harmonie or tradition

Lebayle Prélude ou H&B prélude

Ligaphone clas

Brancher Rigide

Bg tradition

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 Re: ligature
Author: William 
Date:   2012-09-21 15:34

My all-time fav ligs are the Bonades. However, I grew tired of the constant re-adjustment needed and the slipping tendency of the newer models so I now use the Vandy Optimum lig with the parallel rail insert which--for me--plays exactly the same as the old B's. And no need for carrying needle nose pliers for reajustment.

As for the gold vs silver Harrison controversy, for reasons I do not know, the silver lig played better for my R13/Chi Kaspar set up than the gold. However, I use the gold one on my gold plated "jazz dedicated" R13 because it looks good and works adequately.

And, fwiw, I use vintage Winslow ligs on all of my sax mpcies--the old ligs with the removable bands. They sound better than the newer ones.

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 Re: ligature
Author: DaveKessler 
Date:   2012-09-21 16:00

I agree with most of the above comments about the H-Ligature (sorry your thread got off course OP)...

1. They are a good ligature that pulls its design from the Harrison design.

2. They use a much heavier reed plate. I find this gives a thicker & richer tone, but compared to the original Harrison's, they are not as resonant. However, I find them MUCH more resonant and responsive than most ligatures anywhere near their price.

3. They are definitely heavier built and less prone to cracking at the spots that Harrison's do crack. I have still seen the H-Ligature break, but in the cases that I have seen this, the player admitted to over tightening.

Plating - I really do not think the plating is going to make a difference... but playing music is 95% in your own head - so if one hears a difference, so be it, who am I to argue? :)

Overall, I think the are a great alternative in the budget price range and I personally love the darker and richer tone that they give over other similar styled ligatures.

Dave Kessler
Kessler & Sons Music

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 Re: ligature
Author: Lorenzo_M 
Date:   2012-09-22 07:38

I'll also add...the cap that comes with the Rico Reserve Ligatures is pretty awesome. A bit large-ish at first glance, but it fits the ligature tightly, protects the reed and moutpiece significantly, and looks kinda cool when installed. A bonus is it fits on Harrisons really well too...

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