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 I need your opinion...
Author: Jimis4klar 
Date:   2024-06-14 23:08

About 4 years ago I ordered a gold Bonade non inverted ligature from RDG Woodwinds. It was an expensive total with shipping and customs but It was a very good ligature, I really liked It until now that the gold plating of the screws peeled off and recently one of them stopped functioning, so I can't use it any more. I asked RDG to send me a new screw but It's not possible. I tried to replace it with another one but It doesn't play as homogeneously. Response was great but little heavy at times depending on the setup. Now I'm thinking whether I should get a new one of the same or inverted gold or I should try the platinum, inverted or non inverted. What are your thoughts? My current setup M15 13 series with V12 3.5 reeds.

Post Edited (2024-06-14 23:15)

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 Re: I need your opinion...
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2024-06-14 23:41

People tend to make suggestions consistent with their own choices, its called, I believe, confirmational bias https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias.

So before I take so much as a step forward I think it is only right for me to disclose my biases. BTW, I play reeds and mouthpiece like you FWIW, which is probably and probably should be little, as we are all different.

IMHO, while ligatures matter a small amount, that they are the least important aspect to a setup, and paradoxically enough, for their limited contribution, widely disproportionately discussed here. We need to remember that.

Beyond a ligature doing its basic task of reliably holding a reed in place, only for the most decerning of players, seeking to take their play from 97% to 97.2%, do ligature differences *perhaps* matter that much, IMHO.

That said I do find difference, say, between a leather and metal ligature, prefering the latter. In fact, for all my talk I do use a name brand ligature, a Vandoren M/O, but not because of what it brings to my play, but its design of a double threaded screw which for the same twisting of its screw, provides double the clamping power. I don't want to completely condemn ligature choice or say that others, better players than me don't discern difference. For example, I think a Luyben ligature (which is essentially plastic) superb for sythetic reeds.

I get that others disagree. I even get the idea that *if* you think you are playing better that instills confidence that makes you play better. I even get that if I was a better player that maybe I'd disagree.

All else equal, and this is undebatable mechanics, more ligature constriction for less thumb screw turns only comes via coarser screw threads: which come at the expense of holding power, or via things like Vandoren's double screw mechanism.

The Vandoren lineup allows me to change reeds faster: that's its appeal for me.

That said, plating choice, inversion....Stanley Drucker, may he rest in peace lived in a time when, even though a decade ago, countless ligatures were available for him to choose from not simply for free, but perhaps for profit should he endorse one choice, he chose the simple two screw metal one that pratically came with his clarinet.

Now--Stanley wasn't an equipment agnostic. The man had a collection of mouthpieces near unsurpassed, always looking for one better than his Chedeville/Lelandais given to him by Russianoff--recognizing that not simply practice, but equipment played a role in his play.

What do we think we know about ligatures that Stanley didn't?

This may be your next ligature.


BTW, I don't think that there is any professional out there endorsing a ligature that isn't also good. But I do think that top artists sometimes endorse otherwise excellent product that also comes with perks.

Again, others will disagree. My pupose is not to disparage ligature manufacturers, just to properly assign their wares the imporatance they deserve: which is IMHO minimal.

I have no idea where in your studies you are. I nonetheless submit that money saved on a ligature and put into a used (read: practiced with, not "new or used") etude book, statiscally, yields far greater results for the average player.

Off soap box. Let the flames begin!

Jim: get the lig that makes you happy, ignoring everything I said if you feel that your choice makes you a better player!

Post Edited (2024-06-14 23:44)

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 Re: I need your opinion...
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2024-06-14 23:46

I am coming to the conclusion that standard, non-inverted ligatures offer the best chance of applying even pressure along the reed. It is an even tightening along the reed that seems to be the most important factor in getting quality performance out of the reed.

You can find inverted ligatures that work as well but they require more attention from the manufacturing process.

…………..Paul Aviles

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 Re: I need your opinion...
Author: Jimis4klar 
Date:   2024-06-15 00:21

Thank you both! I read the whole answers. I currently got my diploma since 2020 and now I get clarinet studies in university at a higher level. As a student I was playing a BG super revelation. As I grew up I got many ligatures like BG duo, Tradition, Vandorens(optimum, masters, M/O), Luyben, Fortissimo and many others. Along the way of playing I found they all make some some difference but the moment I was playing my Bonade again It felt this one gets me something special in sound the others don't. Like a boost without additional effort. So my conclusion is that I should be trying more Bonade ligatures because they really make that extra to the sound which others don't. Although I got a nickel plated little older version Bonade recently which wasn't as impressive. Big resonance but not substantial weight in the response. Probably one with heavier plating, like silver plated would better or again a gold plated from RDG but inverted this time, as the non inverted was a little too heavy at times as I mentioned.

Post Edited (2024-06-15 00:24)

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 Re: I need your opinion...
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2024-06-15 00:34

If you really feel the Bonade ligature you have makes enough of a difference, you could consider buying another of the same thing (Bonade gold-plated non-inverted - $80 at RDG, which seems to be lower than most other online places except EBay) and put the screws from the new one into the old one.

By the way, what's wrong with the old screws? Are the threads stripped, or did something else happen to them?


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 Re: I need your opinion...
Author: Jimis4klar 
Date:   2024-06-15 00:46

Threads are fine as other screws work. Stock screws seem to be the problem, they don't tighten anymore. The thing with RDG Bonade for me is the shipping which cost plus 60$, plus possible import charges. Total gets expensive. Although I don't regret the first one I got from RDG, It was special, this time probably will look in local store for a silver plated one or in other online store for cheaper. The fact that I paid that much and lasted 4 years keeps me skeptical, despite that good It was. And this time I wasn't using it exclusively.

Post Edited (2024-06-15 00:48)

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 Re: I need your opinion...
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2024-06-15 02:22

Maybe there was a tendency in the use of the old ligature to over tighten. It can be a little difficult to know a good stopping point but if you go slow once you feel the screws grip, you can check by seeing if you can pivot the reed from side to side. The moment the reed remains firmly in place...STOP!

...........Paul Aviles

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 Re: I need your opinion...
Author: Jimis4klar 
Date:   2024-06-15 03:02

I agree to that. Many times I was overtightening but I should change reed instead, not spoiling a good ligature.

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