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Vandoren Optimum Clarinet LigaturesWith Vandorens Optimum Ligature, youll find that more reeds perform to your expectations. - Unsurpassed performance and reliability. - Easily adjusts for any situation. - Expression with freedom. Three pressure plates provide the performer with more choices in tonal color and response.
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The great response is worth the price. Screw is very smooth and simple, misaligning is impossible, tightning is fast and easy. Be careful, this ligature is very heavy and has thin walls, if you drop it it WILL bend. They also tarnish but this isn't a major issue.
The single screw design makes it really has to change reads. I would liken it to a single nut when changing an Indy car tire. The adjustment screw turns easily and it doesn't take much to tighten/loosen the ligature. I only use the plate with the vertical rails. The other two really leaves marks in my reeds. It's a bit pricy, but it's worth the extra money. Very well made.
I major in clarinet performance, so I need the best of everything for my Clarinet. I chose this because it was recommended to me by my clarinet professor. I hesitated in this perchance, but I will never go back. The sound that I produce is unbelievable. The reed rests are all amazing. I use all three of them because all produce different sounds that I love depending on what kind of song I play. I will never choose anything different.
Since I've been in college as a clarinetist, I've noticed that a lot of my fellow clarinet students play on the Optimum ligature. Despite some of the mixed opinions I had heard, I went and bought it at a local music shop.
Some Pros: The response is extraordinary. Even when playing pianissimo, the response didn't contain an undertone at all; all you hear is clarinet. It also projects very well. As an orchestra clarinetist, I know that projecting is a common problem, and my orchestra instructor was pleased with my ability to project once I switched to the Optimum ligature.
Now, onto the Cons: The metal material is good in the sense that it enhances response and projection. But, it does so at the cost of the timbre of the sound. I found the optimum ligature to be extremely bright. You have to have just the right reed to achieve a tone that isn't squawky, or even oboe-like. For instance, if your chosen reed is the least bit soft (I ran into this problem at a bad time), the tone is again squawky and very thin.
So, if you have a clarinet that doesn't project well or has a somewhat stuffy sound, the Optimum ligature would be great. If not, I do NOT recommend this ligature.
I recommend this to high school and college level musicians. It's pretty durable unlike the M/O ligature or Bays. Also, it comes with interchangeable plates that affect the tone so you can customize or adjust if you like. The only thing I don't like is the care for the ligature. They recommend keeping it in its corrosive-free bag, but I don't have room to do that in my case unless I try to stick the whole mouthpiece in there (which the bag is too small for--and it started to smell in there). Without the baggy the metal will start tarnishing within 6 months. However, most of the clarinetists I know use this ligature, including my teacher. Even though she's had hers for over a decade and it shows, it still works great. She's only found one comparable ligature to it, but it wasn't nearly as sturdy as this one.
I was playing on a Rovner Dark before I asked my section leader and very close friend if I could play on it for a bit. I noticed a difference right away. My sound was darker (yes, darker, from a rubber lig to a metal, I'll get to that later), less forced, and fuller. As soon as I could, I placed my order for this. There are only 2 drawbacks to this lig: 1) no matter what plate you use, your reeds will be indented. 2) It's extremely easy to just bend this beyond repair. As long as you're careful, this ligature will be a dream come true. Tip: try every reed you have and find out which pressure plate works best for that individual reed. All reeds, even two from the same box, might require a different plate to have the optimal sound (puns). It's pricey, but it's totally worth it.
This ligature is built very well. I only use the insert with the parallel line rails holding the reed. It is a warm but free blowing ligature, that lets you have infinite control over your dynamics. I have a little more control over color with my Vandoren Leather Ligature, but the general sound is better with this.
The Vandoren Optimum Ligature is a must have for any Clarinetist. With the three different plates for smooth, short, and easy blowing style of playing this Ligature can be used for any type of performance. I use the smooth playing plate for most classical music I play, I'll use the short playing style if the piece calls for more Staccato playing then Legato. I use the easy blowing plate when it comes to Jazz. All in all, the Vandoren Optimum Ligature is the perfect Clarinet ligature. As I said earlier, the Vandoren Optimum is a must have for any Clarinetist.
I used a rovner legacy before this lig...and i'm so glad I switched! My tone actually darkened quite a bit and this ligature is EXTREMELY free blowing. It's a great pleasure to play on. Assuming you're careful with your equipment, you won't have to worry too much about it bending (it DOES however, bend very easily.)I absolutely love this ligature and although it's pricey I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about their sound!
I have been playing on this ligature for two years now, and it has served me very well. The tone is pure and flexible, and the response is crisp and accurate.
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