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Thread: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

  1. #1

    Default Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    I am currently looking in to buying a new ligature, tomorrow in fact. My decision is torn between the Bay, and the Vandoren Optimum. I have tested an Optimum and I really liked how it changed my sound (much darker than a stock lig). But a sax professor I know, put Bay at the top of his list. I know I should probably test the 2 of them tomorrow, but I would like to hear some 2nd opinions on the matter. I'm using a Selmer S80 C* mouthpiece.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member nitrosax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    +1 for BAY

  3. #3
    lhoffman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    Don't get a Bay if you're not careful with your equipment. They're fragile.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    jjj

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    Is it better than an Optimum? My sax professor called them "tinfoil" but on his list he put them above an Optimum. I play a Yamaha Custom EX sax so any and all equipment that go with it I am VERY careful with! I love my saxophone too much to let anything happen to it If it is better than an Optimum then I will buy it and try to be SUPER careful with it. I just want something with a better tone.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    Both are good. I don't think I ever noticed enough of a difference between them sound wise to say one is better than the other. If you are looking for a better tone, your lig may not be the place to look....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    I own both. They are both good. I play the Bay, but mainly because it does not slip around on my mouthpieces. I also find the Bay to have a vaguely more controlled feel for some reason. You may or may not like that if you even experience it. And yes, they are indeed fragile when off the mouthpiece or when seriously over-tightened, but I have only experienced one failing through abuse by constant over-tightening on a mouthpiece that was slightly too small in circumference for a good fit.

    If you looking for a freer, more robust sound/feel, you might also test a Vandoren Masters or M/O, which are similar to one of the Optimum plates, but have far less mass at the reed.

    As stated in the post above, the differences are minimal, which is why I went with the one that slips the least on my mouthpiece. I am likely the only one who can actually hear any effect at all of the various ligatures on my sound.
    The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. - Bertrand Russell

  8. #8

    Default

    Both are great ligatures and pricey so your stuck between a rock and a hard place. So, what I would do is buy both test them and just sell what does'nt work for you. Good luck.

    sent from Mikey's Super Inspire 4G

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    If you liked the optimum and were torn between it and the Bay the new M|O is something you should seriously consider.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Jazz View Post
    If you are looking for a better tone, your lig may not be the place to look....
    Man, ain't that the TRUTH! But you'll never convince the 'true believers' that a lig has nothing to do with their tone.

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    I use a vintified vintage Selmer 2-screw lig.

    I've got a Optimum, Francois Louis, and Bay in the drawer.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    I use a vintified vintage Selmer 2-screw lig.

    I've got a Optimum, Francois Louis, and Bay in the drawer.
    Must make for some lumpy drawers!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    I own both. They both hold the reed on the mouthpiece, which is the job of any ligature. The Bay is a little more secure, but as mentioned above is more fragile as well. Neither ligature changes my tone nor do I notice a tonal difference between the 3 plates of the Optimum ligature. YMMV.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    My experience with the Optimum was the same as Atonal . . . all three plates were the same. Like Dr G, mine is in my drawers (OUCH!). I had a Bay clarinet lig and it broke. The old Selmer metal two-screw is the one I keep coming back to . . . DAVE
    Dave

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    I also concur about the three plates not affecting my sound.

    My preference was for the plate with two raised lines at the front and back of the reed, which is the same pattern as the Master's and M/0 Vandorens. My theory (and that's all it is) is that the crosswise pressure might help keep moisture from getting to the table and warping the reed at the table (which produces response problems and bad seal on the mouthpiece).
    The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. - Bertrand Russell

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member CarlHeanerd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bay v.s.Vandoren Optimum

    Pick the one that fits the mouthpiece the best, or rather, has the bands parallel to the reed and table.

    I personally like Vandorens very much, but the Bays are another popular choice.
    Soprano: Selmer Series II • Vandoren S27 + Traditional 3.5
    Alto: Selmer Series II • Vandoren AL3 + Traditional 3.5

    Tenor: Barone Vintage • Selmer S90 170 + Traditional 3.5

    Baritone: Selmer Series II • Selmer S80 C** + Traditional 3.5
    "Respect the air."

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