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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 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.
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.
This ligature is a standard for clarinetists, and deserves that status. However, it has some fairly major (to me) issues. I was looking to upgrade and decided to try one out, along with the BG super revelation, Rovner Versa, and Olegature o1. While the optimum outperformed my old lig, I felt that all three of the others gave me a richer, darker tone. The Optimum gave me the next-best projection and clarity (after the olegature), but its tone was thin and far too bright to blend well with other players. for a jazz situation or a solo part this ligature would definitely be excellent, but I felt that its tonal deficiencies took it out of the running for me. It also tends to scratch your mouthpiece and dent your reed with the pressure plates. I didn't use it for very long but I predict that if a reed is dented too much by a particular plate it would lose all responsiveness. In any case, it is a fine ligature, but easily outdone.
My clarinet professor recommends everyone invest in an Optimum ligature, and I'm really happy with the sound I can get with it. It responds very well, and the three plates mean you can personalize the ligature. It seemed like a lot of money to spend on a ligature, but I think it is really worth the money if you're serious about your sound!
so i recently got this for my birthday. i was using the M/O ligature that Vandoren recently released with the masters mouthpiece (which i use too). I found that this ligature was much better than the M/O. Projection was way better and tone quality were much better. I love the different pressure plates that they give but they are hard to find out how to put on and take off. look on google for it. I would definitely get this if i were you. It's not that bright as other people were saying (though it is probably just my set up) i really love the tone it adds.
I found this ligature to have a tone that was more on the bright side. Definitely good for projecting and reaching high notes. It doesn't dampen your sound at all, and the three plates provide a good variety of tones. They also help to make all of your reeds useable. I bought this ligature with the Rovner Eddie Daniels ligature and liked them both, though I preferred the Rovner. I would suggest this ligature for more solo work, as opposed to ensemble work.
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.
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.
This is by far the best ligature that I have ever played on!
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.
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