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 The AK clarinet ligature
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2017-09-12 01:48

While browsing through Kessler & Sons website, I came upon the AK clarinet ligature. (Scroll down to mid-page)

I did a BB search and came up zero responses.

It appears to be a new, unique design. I've read how it works but the design functionality is a bit difficult for me to understand. (See "About The AK Ligature") (Scroll down to mid-page)

IMO, it's rather pricey starting at $150 and going up to $199 for gold plated.

Has anyone tried one of these? If so, I'd like to know your impressions.

Even if you haven't tried one, I would still like to read your opinion of them.

My thanks in advance.

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 Re: The AK clarinet ligature
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-12 02:28

The ligature is really interesting. But these ligature companies all use the same phrases (allows vibration, does not cover up the sound, centered tone, etc.) and this company is no exception. That being said, I am not saying this ligature will be bad: I'm saying you can't really tell how good it is until you actually try playing it for yourself. Even someone who has played the ligature before will have trouble conveying exactly how it is better, and of course, one man's trash may be one man's treasure.

The only unique bit I see in this ligature is that it says you can change reeds quickly with this ligature. You only need to take a lever to swap the reeds, and you don't need to take off the ligature at all. Sounds convenient, but if that's the only difference, I'm not quite sure it's worth it. Looks somewhat similar to the Vandoren M/O Ligature, except the heel of the reed is covered...

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: The AK clarinet ligature
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-09-12 02:54

I've never been able to use ligatures with a relatively large, protruding tension knob directly over the reed because I like to hold the clarinet relatively close to my chest while playing, and the knob annoyingly brushes against my chin. Players who like to hold the clarinet further away from the chest would not find the knob placement a problem. For me to use the AK, it would have to come in an inverse model that puts the knob on the opposite side of the mouthpiece away from the reed.

I don't see any mention of an inverse AK model on the Kessler website. Many today prefer the simplicity and lightness of the Vandoren M/O and M/O hybrid ligatures, and the AK by contrast looks complicated and heavy. But, of course, appearances can be deceiving.

Post Edited (2017-09-12 06:13)

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 Re: The AK clarinet ligature
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2017-09-12 17:51

Pretty interesting. Sort of a steampunk aesthetic. Can hear the footsteps of the not-a-cent-over-$50 folks coming. "Raw brass" has a visceral feel to it, like it would work especially well for Copland or Walter Piston. Implies that everyone else's brass is, well, cooked. Wonder if the reference to Kalashnikov is intentional. Never had a lot of luck with the ones with rails or raised points pressing on the reed, but it would be worth a try. There's a Riedel wine glass in the Museum of Modern Art, so why not a ligature?

Post Edited (2017-09-12 19:03)

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 Re: The AK clarinet ligature
Author: Ed 
Date:   2017-09-12 18:52

Looks like an interesting concept and certainly well designed and thought out. I would be interested in learning more.

One issue that has been a deal breaker with me on some ligatures is that it needs to remain secure on the instrument when taking off the mouthpiece for clarinet switches or to swab. I would be interested to see how well this manages.

Post Edited (2017-09-13 03:15)

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