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Rovner C1RL MK III Alto Saxophone,Gold
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- Brand: Rovner
- Product Code: C1RL
- Hard Rubber Alto Sax
- Premium ligature that gives greater weight & substance to the tone
- No pressure points or rigid constraints on the reed
- Reed seats evenly to the facing of the mouthpiece reducing stuffiness and improving tonal clarity
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The Rovner MKIII is a premium ligature that gives greater weight & substance to the tone as compared to the "Dark" & "Light" models. Rovner ligatures hold the reed to the mouthpiece with no pressure points. Because there are no pressure points or rigid constraints on the reed, the reed seats evenly to the facing of the mouthpiece reducing stuffiness and improving tonal clarity.
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Previously, the Rovner Classic Dark 1RL was my favorite ligature. It gives the lower notes a deep, bass resonance, although it requires some practice to get nice sounding high notes. In its intended inverted position, it gives a warm, dark sound. Its rubber bands hold the reed firmly, over a wide area, damping unwanted overtones. Re-inverting it to “standard” lig position, gives it a brighter sound, but I personally prefer the darker sound. In this alternate (non-inverted) position, the end rods hold the reed by its edges, leaving the center free to vibrate more.
BUT I IMMEDIATELY FELL IN LOVE with my new Rovner MK III C1RL ligature. It differs from its predecessor in a couple of ways. The inside of its rubber bands have more of a rough, gripping texture, and they continue all the way around, instead of its predecessor’s large, smooth area where it grips the reed. It has a split in the middle, allowing the two halves of the band to be independent of each other, with a narrow, open channel between them, which seem to let the reed vibrate more naturally. The result is more of an alto sax timbre, with uniform voicing across both the bass and treble notes. It plays effortlessly, without my needing to concentrate hard on getting a good tone from the higher notes. Playing is easier, sounds better, and I can effortlessly play vibratos on all notes. The higher notes are clean, and transitions across those notes cleaner.
The MK III is not as dark as the Classic Dark, but the sound is fuller because of more overtones.
Your mileage may vary, because I am playing a mini-sax, which is more of a saxophlute than a horn. I did my comparison on a Key of G All Terrain Tenor Saxophone https://smile.amazon.com/All-Terrain-Tenor-Saxophone-Key-Professional/dp/B018N0YC7U/
My setup is a permanent Rico B5 alto mouthpiece, a Légère Studio Cut tenor 1.5 synthetic reed, and of course my new Rovner MK III ligature. The B5 is a narrow MP, so I have a couple of rubber bands around the Rovner MP cap in order to make it fit more snugly. I position the lig at the curve of the reed file, rather than at the ligature marking on the MP. Note that many musicians use a slightly longer than standard reed — a tenor instead of an alto reed, or a baritone rather than a tenor reed. This fills out the lower notes better, and adds flexibility to the reed.
This is an early review, because the Rovner 1RL and the Rovner C1RL ligatures each take a couple of weeks to stretch in and conform to the shape of the mouthpiece. However, I do not expect a significate change because I went through the same break-in period with my old Rovner 1RL. Just remember to tighten the screw before playing.
By Paco on January 1, 2019