Ligature for Conn Precision Mouthpiece

Discussion in 'Bb Contrabass Clarinet' started by SaxCatz, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz

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    I've been using a Conn Precision mouthpiece on my Vito BBb Contra for some time now. I believe that a few folks kicking around here have experience with this 'piece; a few years back, quite a few were sold on that-auction-site as new old stock. The only other BBb Contra mouthpiece I own is a stock Vito 'piece which is unplayable rubbish.

    Ordinarily, the Legere would be my reed of choice on Contra. However, neither of the aforementioned mouthpieces are Legere friendly. The tip profile are very different- both mouthpieces have a much flatter tip than the much more pronounced curve of the Legere. Resultingly, the Legere cannot be aligned with the mouthpiece and results in a very fuzzy tone and fussy transition between registers. After quite a bit of time and experimentation, I've given up on the Legeres until I can pick up a Grabner or Fobes.

    It is my recollection that the Vandoren reed has the same profile as the Legere and, as such, I have not paid the exhorbitant price to try a box of Vandorens (if I could pick up just one locally, I'd be willing to give it a try, but that doesn't seem to be an option) and have instead just been using orange box Ricos for several months. Overall, the multi-use Ricos respond well enough. The tone is somewhat disappointing but still better overall than the experience with the Legeres on this 'piece. However, their significantly shorter vamp (and overall length for that matter) leads to another problem...

    I use a Rovner Dark ligature on most everything, including Contra. With the Legeres, it is somewhat loose but the length of the scrape means that, with the ligature ideally positioned, it is still tight enough (just enough, the reed can still be moved around quite a bit with a touch of your thumb) to be secure while playing. However, with the shorter Ricos, the ligature must be positioned all the way at the back of the heel to be even that secure. Positioning the ligature ideally is impossible, the ligature is just THAT loose.

    Today, as an experiment, I took the BG Revelation lig from my Bass Clarinet I tried it on the Conn 'piece. To my surprise, not only did it fit, but i didn't have to loosen it terribly far to get it into ideal position with the Rico. The result was a little bit more focus to the tone and MUCH improved attack- especially staccato in the lower chalumeau.

    As a result of this experiment, I am obviously considering a new ligature but don't know what to buy. I was hoping someone here might also have a Precision 'piece and Rovner lig and could verify if their's is also hopelessly loose and I need to consider other options or if my Rovner is too large and defective. Thank you, any advice is much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
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  2. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz

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    I though that I should add:

    I have read that the Precision has slight smaller outer-dimensions of the chamber than most piece which could result in the looseness of the ligature. However, the outer-dimensions of the Precision are not noticeably different from the Vito. In fact, both BBb contra piece are actually, despite their tenon diameter being much large, ever-so-slightly smaller in diameter and shorter in length than my Selmer C* Contra Alto mouthpiece. Coincidentally, the Rovner contrabass ligature fits the Contra Alto 'piece perfectly.

    I believe someone here had both the Precision and a Fobes or Grabner (both Zinner blanks.) I am considering picking either the Fobes or Grabner up in a few months; as such, I'd like to determine whether my current Rovner will fit those or if I potentially need to replace a defective Rovner. If you can comment on whether the Precision really is smaller-bodies than the Zinner derived mouthpieces, I'd be appreciative!!!
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Sorry. I played the stock mouthpiece on the Leblanc Bb contra I played. It also had the stock metal ligature.

    FWIW, when I played bass sax, I used my Sigurd Rascher bari mouthpiece instead of the broken stock, vintage 1920s, Conn one -- and the Rascher was a bigger mouthpiece. The ligature I used was a Rovner variant and it was just a tad tight on the Rascher.
     
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Rovner cloth (which I don't like) or Vandoran Optimum (which I use on all my reeds from soprillo to bass sax, sop to bass clarinet). But the latter is pricey. You might be able to try them at your local music store. YMMV.
     
  5. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz

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    Since I had luck with the bass clarinet BG on the Contra, I picked up a bass clarinet Rovner dark to try until such time as I can pick up a Fobes San Fran. I'll report back on it.
     

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