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 Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: Rabbit 
Date:   2017-09-10 10:26

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the Vandoren Optimum ligature fitting correctly with mouthpiece brands other than Vandoren. My primary instrument is saxophone on which I play the Vandoren Optimum AL3 mouthpiece and Optimum ligature, so I know it fits like a glove on one of Vandoren's own mouthpieces; however, I play on a Buffet stock 125 G mouthpiece on clarinet and I'd like to know whether or not the Vandoren Optimum would fit it properly. Does anyone use the Optimum ligature with a mouthpiece other than the Vandoren Optimum mouthpiece? If so, do you think it will be compatible with the Buffet 125 G I use?

Thank you for your time and help,

Kyle

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-09-10 19:02

I've used an Optimum with a couple of different mouthpieces, neither of them Vandorens. I don't have a Buffet 125G to test mine on, but I don't know offhand why it wouldn't work.

Karl

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-10 21:52

The best way to check is to screw it slowly onto the mouthpiece (with reed on, of course) and see if it fits. Check particularly to see if the screw bars are parallel or not. For example, I took my Vandoren M/O ligature off the Vandoren CL5 mouthpiece and screwed it on the M30 clarinet mouthpiece. Worked fine for a long time, but just recently, it broke. I did see that the screw bars weren't really parallel, but I ignored it, thinking that since both the mouthpiece and ligature were made by Vandoren it should be fine. But the newer Vandoren Masters series mouthpieces have a different shape/taper than the traditional Vandoren mouthpieces, like the M30, so I learned the lesson the hard way.

Hope this helps! Wishing you best of luck with the Optimum fitting on your mouthpiece!

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: Rabbit 
Date:   2017-09-12 08:22

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your quick and helpful responses! I absolutely love the freedom of response it gives for my saxophone. I had switched from the Rovner Versa III to the Optimum and boy I really didn't think the ligature would alter the tone quality and reed's response nearly as much as it did.. so I'm hoping the same will hold true for clarinet. I'll post the results when I purchase it in case anybody else is wondering the same thing. Thank you again!

Kyle

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2017-09-12 11:31

Have you thought about upgrading the mouthpiece first rather than the ligature? Those Buffet mouthpieces do not typically yield the best results, although I have run into one or two over the years that were actually ok.

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-09-14 23:01

Most likely it will fit just fine.

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2017-09-15 06:23

Regarding the M/O ligatures...they do just break. They are pretty flimsy (which might be why they work so well...think string ligatures, which also break).

The Optimum ligs on clarinet are on the large size...i.e. on some mpcs they won't fully tighten. I have found that they generally don't work on Legere reeds which are thinner.

Along the same lines, I have found Vandoren reeds to be thicker in the butt (pun intended) than other reed lines (VD ligs work well on their reeds). Rico (d'Addario now) are always on the thin side with everything else in between. I have not found parallelism to be essential on any ligature...most are pretty forgiving.

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: Rabbit 
Date:   2017-09-20 08:38

Hi all,

I received my Vandoren Optimum ligature today and great news, it fits! There is a little room to the left and right of the reed, I suppose as a means for accommodation for various mouthpieces. However, the face plates secure the reed tightly and the metal back fits nicely around the other side of the mouthpiece.

shmuelyosef, yes I completely agree about the M/O ligatures, I use the M/O series for my soprano saxophone and regret not buying the regular Optimum (I also play on the Vandoren SL3 for soprano sax), but I wanted to try the M/O for a change. The M/O is so frail that I've bent it on several occasions and one of the four plastic plates that cover the tops and bottoms of the tightening columns fell off.. and I'm a very careful person!

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-01-02 19:07

Interesting....

I just received an Optimum as a Christmas gift. It works as well as expected, based on Eb experience, but the diameter is too large for the Greg Smith mpc/Legere combination I use. The only way to make it fit is to attach low down on the reed. Major bummer. I expected better. So the question:

Can I expect any variability between different Optimums? Essentially, would a store exchange do me any good?

Has anyone experimented with tape/etc as a way to expand the ligature, making it fit smaller mpc's? If so, what have you used?

Thanks,
Matt

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-01-02 20:28

Légère reeds are thinner than most cane reeds people use these days, so tat's the mostly likely reason for your Optimum's loose fit. I only own one, but I doubt that there's much variation in the sizes of individual ones.

The easiest accommodation would be to stick a rubber mouthpiece patch on the back of the mouthpiece. A few thicknesses of electrical or cloth tape would work, too, but I find that the adhesive seeps around the edges and can cause a mess.

Karl

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: Matt Locker 
Date:   2018-01-02 20:39

Karl:

Thank you for the patch suggestion. I'll give that a run.

Matt

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 Re: Vandoren Optimum Ligature Compatibility
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-01-03 00:33

You can also stick the mouthpiece patch on the inside of the metal ligature bands (obviously cutting strips to size). I've found this to work well- one time the mouthpiece patch strips came off fairly soon, another time they lasted a year... sorry I didn't make note of what brand mouthpiece patch I was using.
Bay originally marketed his mouthpiece patches with instructions that you could also put them on the top/sides of the mouthpiece to prevent ligature scratches (and "darken" the sound, and that's a topic I don't wish to discuss) and over the years I've encounted one or two people who do this to solve the problem you have.

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