Theo Wanne Gaia 6 Hard Rubber Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is another great mouthpiece by Theo Wanne.  This is a Gaia 6 alto saxophone mouthpiece that came with a Macsax alto that I’m trying out (more on that later).  This sax mouthpiece has  a nice baffle in it as you can see from the pictures. The baffle slopes down into the chamber and is higher and longer than you would find on a Meyer type mouthpiece.   The chamber of the mouthpiece is what is unique to so many of Theo Wanne’s mouthpieces.  It’s pretty large.  The baffle and side rail just expand outward  for the large chamber size.  Theo’s website advertises that his mouthpiece are unique in that they have “true” large chambers.  That, plus the amazing craftsmanship is what makes these mouthpieces play so well.

This mouthpiece is no exception.  It plays great. The higher baffle gives it a brighter sound but the bigger chamber gives the sound a robustness and depth to it that you don’t find on many high baffle mouthpieces.  I really enjoyed this mouthpiece a ton.  I’m thinking that this might be a keeper for me if it passes the 7 day test.  (I have to still be really into it after 7 days).  Here’s a link if you want to go to Theo’s website to check out more details on the Gaia alto saxophone mouthpiece.  Let me know what you think……………

Gaia 6 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

  • Appearance:

This mouthpiece looks perfect in every way. The side rails and tip rails are thin and perfect.  The baffle is even and smooth and the chamber is smooth and large.  The gold ring around the shank is a great addition and looks beautiful with the engraving on it.  It came in a beautiful leather pouch with a  gold enlightened ligature.

  • Tone:

I had a feeling this would be brighter because of the higher longer baffle.  The large chamber balances out the brightness though. I really liked the tone of this mouthpiece.  I could see doing a fusion type gig on it as well as some standards also.  It plays like one of those mouthpieces that can do it all.

  • Intonation:

Intonation was very good on this piece and I had no problems playing it.

  • Control:

Easy mouthpiece to control from the bottom to the top of the horn.  It was a breeze to play.  Interestingly enough, my Selmer Reference alto gurgles on low C when I use a high baffled mouthpiece.  That didn’t happen here.  I think the larger chamber countered the baffle and low C was perfect.  This was an easy mouthpiece to control.  I found it very easy to manipulate the notes.   With a size 3 Java reed it also had some nice resistance to it that allowed be to play with more expression and bend the notes easier.

  • Volume:

No problem with volume on this mouthpiece.  It’s only a 6 which is a little small for me but it was plenty loud. I think a 7 or 8 would be even louder if that was what you wanted but I would be happy with this.  I like the control and focus that the 6 gives me.

Great Job Theo!

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 25 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Sounds very nice, Steve! The Gaia is currently my main piece on alto. I see that you played it with the Marc Jean ligature. Did you feel any advantage of this ligature over the TW three-point contact, Enlightened Ligature that comes with the Gaia?

  2. Ilove your sound on this piece….brightish yet full and a dryness to the sound that will make it a real winner to record with a bit of reverb!!

  3. I didn’t really try the Enlightened ligature. I just put the Marc Jean ligature on because that has been my favorite lately.

  4. On your review you said “I really enjoyed this mouthpiece a ton. I’m thinking that this might be a keeper for me if it passes the 7 day test. (I have to still be really into it after 7 days).” Well, did it pass your 7-day test? I own a 6 and I’m still playing mine after 3 months.

  5. Yes it did, I actually have a Gaia 6 and an 8 because I liked the 8 a ton also. I’ll decide later which one to keep and which one to sell.

  6. You probably mean you have a 7, which has a 0.081 tip opening, according to Theo Wanne’s website, or is it really an 8, which would have a 0.086 opening, I think.

  7. No, I have an 8. For some reason I thought an 8 was a .081. Well, I like it either way. I’m surprised I like it if it is .086.

  8. An 8 is a .086 according the Theo’s site. He goes by Meyer sizes. I’d be wondering what you’d be sounding like on an 8 considering you’ve seemed to enjoy digging into smaller tips.

  9. The 8 was huge sounding and louder. On the 6 I use a 3 Java reed. On the 8 I used a 2 1/2. Now I’m curious how I would like a 7……….

  10. Kevin Ledbetter says:

    Steve you sound is quite different between the 6 and the 8. The 6 is a little brighter and the 8 a little fuller. I do wonder if a 7 would split the difference. I did like both, but think I lean to the 6 just for the color of the sound… Kind of goes to Cannonball. He used I think a Meyer 5 and a pretty soft reed. Let us know when you make up your mind.
    I plan to get a 6 or 7.

  11. Kevin,
    I ended up keeping the 6 and selling the 8. You are right though as I have always been curious to try the 7. Steve

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