Today, I have the Theo Wanne Gaia soprano saxophone mouthpiece up for review. It is made of hard rubber and I believe it is a .065 tip opening ( that is what I had asked for……..the markings on the table say 7 x 113 but I have no idea what that means). I have tried a bunch of Theo Wanne mouthpieces and all of them were excellent! It is obvious that he has a high standard of quality when he produces them. This soprano mouthpiece is no exception. It came with the usual Theo Wanne packaging of a blue box with a picture of the mouthpiece on the outside. On the inside, is a leather zippered pouch that has the mouthpiece, liberty ligature, reed replacement cap, an extra ligature plate and a screwdriver to replace the ligature plate with.
When I first opened the package my first thought was that this mouthpiece had a larger chamber. I was a bit nervous when I saw this because I haven’t really dug large chambered soprano mouthpieces up to this date. Some of them were good but just not my thing. I prefer the focused tone and projection of a small chambered soprano mouthpiece. It was larger than my Selmer Soloist and Riffault mouthpieces but not as large as some of the other large chambered soprano mouthpieces I have tried. I was curious to try it.
Theo Wanne Gaia Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
When I played it, I was surprised to find that my Vandoren Java 3 reed felt too soft on it. I have been using these on my Riffault soprano mouthpiece that is a .065 and they offer a nice resistance. On the Gaia they felt softer. I opened up a new one and put that on and it was a little better. If I buy one of these I think I might have to go with 3 1/2 Java reed. From the moment I played it I loved it. It has a focused sound that is midway between bright and dark but the bigger chamber gives it a nice fatness and thickness to the sound that I loved. The baffle is a high rollover which means that’s it’s high up near the tip and then rolls down into the chamber. The rollover baffle gives the mouthpiece some nice punch and power. The intonation is as perfect as I have seen on my Yamaha YSS-62 Soprano. I was actually surprised how in tune it was. Every note was right on.
I played it for 5 minutes before I recorded this clip and it was a joy to play. Very easy for me to play. The low notes sound fat and kind of grainy to me which I love and the high notes are controlled, fat and thick sounding. It’s a great mix of the full fat sound that projects and fills the room. In this clip, I’m messing around with the changes to “There Will Never Be Another You”. I felt right at home with this mouthpiece. I’m hoping I can buy this one I am trying. If not, I will be buying one soon enough. Great work Theo! Check out www.theowanne.com to get one yourself and watch the video of Theo talking about this mouthpiece!