Saxophone Ligature Comparison

Jim runs through a selection of ligatures we stock here at

Jim is using an Andy Sheppard Autograph Series Tenor Saxophone, 10MFAN Merlot mouthpiece and D’addario Select Jazz Reeds.

As always, the sound is totally unedited from our Zoom Hn4. The mic position is exactly the same and Jim is standing in the same position for all the playing clips.


Exploderhead666 says:

You definitely sounded clearer and darker on the rovner dark. On the selmer, your lower notes sounded difficult to control. The first lig sounded terrible I think (personally not a huge fan of a super reedy bright sound on tenor.) love the vids

Mikael Wonohito says:

if my mouthpiece is too bright which ligature the best to balance my tone?

Oluwasegun Alphonso says:

bro all your sound remanis the same.

Tyler Cutts, Clarinetist says:

play the Versa X with the cradle covered.

kyle ramirez says:

what neck strap is that???

patrick Koh says:

AWESOME. spot on with how i felt googling about. i have to make a decision between a FL vs SS. and this helps a bit. Question – if I have a bright metal mpc like a beechler, larsen which is better? if i have a Selmer, Meyer,, which? and a Jody Jazz HR and a Jody DV? ANY opinion to enlighten is big thanks!! because I think MATCHING is important.

Steve Keller says:

This video popped up in my “suggestions” list today, very nice review, thanks for that. I actually agree with your evaluation (I listened on nice speakers 🙂 ), but there is one ligature (well several really, but one that I know well) that you did not evaluate – the Daniel Bonade inverted ligature. I find on my 10MFan Robusto that it’s just about perfect – good support, great sound, free blowing but solid and stable. I’ve tried the Francois Louis (in a store), and found it was a little loose – the sound, not the lig. I understand the desire for a free-er sound, but for me having a stable core is more important, and I can add wildness and expression with my reed choice. Give the Bonade a try!

Tybok C says:

I find the Rovner 3 ligature is good.. It does darken the tone a bit but.. it controls the squeals.. I use a 3 strength Vandoren reed and Yamaha 6C mouthpiece.

ScotOPop says:

Can you try a oleg olegature and tell me how it felt?

AManCalled Da-da says:

Very helpful.

Bill Abbott says:

I play a Vandoren Jumbo Java and my problem is reeds warping after one use and my Rovner Lig will not hold them flat. I get leakage out the sides, my sound goes to shit and I can not produce my usual quality tone? I just spent $100 Cdn on a BGL40 Lig and it does not seem to make any difference?

Steven Hughes says:

No difference for me , I suppose that is why I use elastic bands wrapped tightly around the mouthpiece and reed ha ha ha ha .

Matthew Darwin says:

To me, the most striking difference is actually between the two Francois Louis ligs. I’ve chopped up the video into the different samples and played through hd25s; to me, the brass FL has a definite increase in bite to the tone compared to the silver FL.

The rest of the differences, summarised below, I think are a lot more subtle.

The Selmer lig comes a close third to me. The leather ligs have a little more darkness in tone, I think the Rovner dark sounds the best, simply because I think that it emphasises the darkness but without sounding dead like the BG. The additional brightness that comes from the plates to me seems contradictory.

DogeGaming341 says:

Is the metal or leather lig better?

Jon Baldwin says:

+saxcouk On my tenor I’m using a Dukoff D chamber with a 7* opening. Currently using a Rovner light / dark lig. Any recommendations on what ligatures to try out next?

StumbleUK says:

Jim, next time can you try an elastic band?

Joe C says:

The Silverstein sounded best of that bunch to me, however, I’m a huge fan of the Theo Wanne enlightened lig with the sterling silver plate. In my opinion, it’s the best!

rania chrysostomou says:

yes, for some reason the first 2 felt that you were more confident, like “this is mine”….

Nick Phillips says:

I love all my Francois Louis ligatures for the same reasons! I’m curious how you’d like a Winslow though.

kai mercado says:

Don’t know whether to get the francois louis silver or brass. Use a vandoren t27 currently.

snuffdigital says:

What a difference!

junior silva says:

alguém do Brasil ai?

Mariano Gringaus Urrutia says:

Thank you Jim. Your reviews are really serious and nice. You play excellent and also your are being really objective. Thanks for that!

Beast 64 says:

Would a v16 alto mouth piece work with a silverstien ligature

Maximiliano Luera says:

That last ligature looked like it was designed by Kanye West

Emerson Chao says:

I’m considering investing in a Francois Louis ultimate lig for my tenor but I’m not sure whether to get that or a pure brass lig. Any ideas on the differences ?

Ishaan Ghose says:

I thought the first had the most open, unrestricted sound while the others were a little more dark/muted. I guess it depends on your purpose

Lachlan McGargill says:

I bought a Bob Mintzer Bebop size 8 mouthpiece from here. And I can’t find any metal ligatures that fit it, and my old Vandoren Optimum doesn’t fit it. Can you recommend any?

Aquacelot says:

nice legs

JakeRoyalTV says:

Once in band class, my ligature snapped, so I used scotch tape xD

Gaming Gage says:

U used a green screen

Daniel Scott says:

Wow, you have an amazing tone! Can I ask what mouthpiece and reed are you using?

Cameron Hall says:

I don’t like the Francois Louis ligatures because they scratch up mouthpieces. Ligatures have almost no effect on the tone. Its only job is to hold the reed in place. I can put a rubber band on my mouthpiece and nobody would know.

Olivier Herment says:

BG super revelation is cool

Marty Gilman says:

It makes so little difference. Really.

Karl Herman says:

That was wonderful. The Rovner Versa was my favorite. It might be helpful to do a ligature comparison with a mouthpiece that is neither bright nor dark, but somewhere in the middle.

patrick Koh says:

can the same SS be used on a standard HR and also a metal mpc like ottolink? or dif sizes??

Ciro Freire says:

1:55 François Ultimate
2:33 Vandoren Optimun
3:12 Ligature pure not ressonator

Wai Marie says:

I love the sax so much, I didn’t even care it was repetition. I found it just beautiful.

ChaChaWillis says:

One time when I was doing a jazz solo for my 7th grade band concert my ligature decided not to do it’s job. The ligature made the reed move up or down and it was not a very fun time after that.

jacques deghorain says:

discuter ligatures, c’est comme discuter à propos du sexe des anges : ça ne conduit nulle part. J’ai essayé des tas de trucs et vous savez quelle est la ligature qui fonctionne le mieux ??? Attention, c’est un scoop !!! Et bien, c’est un simple élastique avec lequel on fixe la reed sur la mouthpiece…..E ça coûte 0$ Essayez, vous verrez bien !!! Mais finalement , je suis persuadé que la ligature que vous avez choisie sert surtout à vous rassurer , à vous certifier psychologiquement que vous jouez avec le meilleur choix possible au niveau bec-ligature-anche et a donc un effet TRANQUILLISANT sur vous , vous permet de vous relaxer davantage en jouant , et c’est peut-être ça le plus important !!!

Bender Bending Rodriguez says:

how about Légère ?

Anna-Maria Georgiadou says:

i have otto link metal 5* NY tenor, which one ligature you suggested me ?

TheMichguff says:

Try a Zoom H8 next time. Update it to the most recent version.You will be amazed.

The_boi _90 says:

Not really relevant but I always get confused with f and e … help

Steven Higbee says:

Vandoren Optimum vs Vandoren Klassik? Which one should I get?

Tim Tuthill says:

Try the Winslow folks. Jim, have you played this?

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