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 Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: PipeTobacco 
Date:   2021-04-19 21:37

Hello Everyone:

I am a first time poster but reader for quite a while. I have a few questions I am hoping to receive advice upon. The need for advice stems from my need to order the materials I am hoping to order ONLINE as there are no B & M establishments near me to acquire them:

I have recently acquired a Contra Alto Clarinet that I am eager to refurbish and play (I primarily play Bass Clarinet). It is an old beast and does need some TLC from me before it will be playable. However, I am hoping to buy two items that are missing, and I need advise for possibilities:

1. I need to buy a simple, probably a "traditional" two screw, nickle plated ligature. The mouthpiece I have is a standard Bundy 3 facing. My question.... I was wondering if anyone would know.... would a standard barisax ligature be the appropriate size for this mouthpiece/horn? I can find many more options (and less expensive options to boot) in the barisax searches for ligatures I have done compared to contra alto clarinet.

From what I can gather, it *appears* from photos that the barisax mouthpiece is pretty darn similar in size to a contra alto clarinet mouthpiece..... so.... if so, do you know if the barisax ligature would work?

2. In a similar vein, I am wondering/hoping that perhaps barisax reeds and contra alto clarinet reeds of the same size (at least in width)? Does anyone know if this is true or false? Again, I ask because I have many more options with regard to getting barisax reeds compared to contra alto clarinet reeds.

Thank you for your time and consideration of these questions!

Reply To Message
 Re: Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2021-04-20 00:38

It's not quite the same size, you need an actual contra alto clarinet ligature. Rovner makes a great one for about $25. My Bundy mouthpiece worked well with a Vandoren 3 Bari sax reed, but YMMV.


Reply To Message
 Re: Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: LCL 
Date:   2021-04-20 21:08

Steven Fox makes an adapter to facilitate using a bass clarinet mouthpiece on a contra alto. I purchased and use one on my Selmer Rosewood. It works great! You loose just a tiny bit of rumble but the tone seems more focused to me. I think the adapter is less than USD 100.

Regards and best wishes,


Reply To Message
 Re: Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: Ebclarinet1 
Date:   2021-04-20 21:47

I use VanDoren #3 contra reeds on a Grabner contra-alto mouthpiece and got a custom made Silverstein ligature as the bari ligature was still too small. That setup sounds amazing on my grenadilla Selmer.

I did try the Fox adapter but it sort of cut out the gusto of the contra sound. I want plenty of "growl".


Reply To Message
 Re: Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: PipeTobacco 
Date:   2021-05-01 20:46

Thank you!!! I am looking at a Rovner now.

Reply To Message
 Re: Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: PipeTobacco 
Date:   2021-05-01 20:47

Thank you.... I will look more at the adaptor.

Reply To Message
 Re: Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: PipeTobacco 
Date:   2021-05-01 20:52

The “contra-alto” ligature I received (it IS marked for contra-alto) is too small still for the Bundy mouthpiece. I am thinking I will try the Rovner (never used one before, and HAD wanted a traditional metal one. If the Rovner doesn’t work well for me, perhaps I will have to try something more custom.... or perhaps a contrabass ligature will work if I can find one (I looked up my Bundy mouthpiece and it says it is BOTH for contra alto and contra bass, so perhaps it is a bit more stout than OEM contra alto “only” mouthpieces?).

Reply To Message
 Re: Contra Alto Clarinet... Ligature & Reeds
Author: PipeTobacco 
Date:   2021-05-08 23:24

Strangely, I found a contrabass clarinet ligature on of all places..... Walmart.... and it is supposedly by Selmer and traditional silver. If it is what it says, it should arrive Monday. Not a lot of faith though that Walmart has such an item.

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