Sunday, August 15, 2010

Theo Wanne Enlightened Ligature Review

First Impressions: The packaging of the Theo Wanne Enlightened ligature was very nice. Each piece and a spot and fit nicely. When you order the Enlightened ligature, you receive the reed replacer (a unique twist on the traditional mouthpiece cap), two pressure plates (alive gold and heavy copper), an extra screw, a screwdriver for changing pressure plates, and of course the Enlightened ligature.

Design: Theo Wanne came up with the idea of bringing back the vintage ligature feel of pressure plates; this is how he came up with the idea of the Enlightened ligature, a ligature that could be used with other mouthpieces that aren't his brand and make them feel like a different mouthpiece based on what pressure plate you use. I found that the alive gold plate gave my tone more of brighter tone which could be suitable for jazz. The heavy copper plate is thicker and also heavier. After changing the plates (it took a while because of the darn screws being so tiny and the screwdriver not being magnetic), I found that the heavy copper gave me a mellow and darker tone. I personally preferred the heavy copper pressure plate because of this. Although I noticed such a difference, I am not sure if the audience can notice the difference. If you aren't satisfied with the two contrasting pressure plates, Theo Wanne offers an extra pack of four pressure plates (stainless steel, titanium, solid silver, and vintified) for $44.95. This ligature also includes a reed replacer, which you slide under the ligature instead of a reed for your mouthpiece cap. This mouthpiece cap is very secure since it is held on by the ligature and also seems very sturdy.

Cost: $84.95 (four additional pressure plates are available for $44.95)

  • Different sizes for a wide variety of mouthpieces
  • If you have a FL Ultimate ligature, you can get a kit to turn it into one of these ligatures
  • Different pressure plates customize your sound
  • The reed replacer is a very secure mouthpiece cap
  • Easy reed changes

  • Pressure plates can be a bit troublesome to change
  • Mouthpiece cap can only be used when reed is taken off the mouthpiece
  • Audience may not be able to tell difference of pressure plates
  • Tiny screws = easy to lose

Rating: 4/5 stars
This is an amazing ligature that I really like a lot. It gives you the ability to customize it and is definitely worth the money. If you have $85 to spend, consider purchasing this ligature. The only thing the prevented this from getting five stars was the tiny screws and the non-magnetic screwdriver didn't help.

 The box nicely displays what is inside

Inside (everything fit very nicely in it's own slot)

The ligature and reed replacer- the world's most secure mouthpiece cap since it is held on with the ligature

top view of reed replacer/mouthpiece cap

the reed replacer/mouthpiece cap by itself

The extra pressure plate (heavy copper) and screw are enclosed in a nice container so you don't loose them

The ligature by itself

Even the screwdriver says Theo Wanne on it!

Side view of ligature on mouthpiece

Make sure the arrow is pointing towards the tip of the mouthpiece or else the ligature won't fit properly

Back view of mouthpiece and ligature

Illustration of the three points of contact of the ligature and mouthpiece

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