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· Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished an in-depth review with sound clips of the Theo Wanne Durga 5 gold tenor saxophone mouthpiece.

The Theo Wanne Durga 5 is ranked second in brightness next to the Shiva 3 tenor sax mouthpiece but being second in this case does not imply that it is in any way inferior to the Shiva 3 because, as Theo describes it, “No other mouthpiece in history has been designed like this; it will blow you away since it can both scream and play a soft ballad. It is so much fun to play! Its huge sound makes everything before it sound thin and/or stuffy by comparison.”

Granted, Theo Wanne is probably a bit biased about his own mouthpieces, but check out my detailed review to see what I think of the Durga 5 and hear how it sounds.......


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Just finished an in-depth review with sound clips of the Theo Wanne Durga 5 gold tenor saxophone mouthpiece.

The Theo Wanne Durga 5 is ranked second in brightness next to the Shiva 3 tenor sax mouthpiece but being second in this case does not imply that it is in any way inferior to the Shiva 3 because, as Theo describes it, “No other mouthpiece in history has been designed like this; it will blow you away since it can both scream and play a soft ballad. It is so much fun to play! Its huge sound makes everything before it sound thin and/or stuffy by comparison.”

Granted, Theo Wanne is probably a bit biased about his own mouthpieces, but check out my detailed review to see what I think of the Durga 5 and hear how it sounds.......


View attachment 121911
Go outside today and hold the piece for a picture! I imagine the weather is as lovely there as it is here.
 

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I've always liked the Durgas for alto, but I'm not a fan of TW coming out with a new version every year or so in recent years. Taking the time to do R&D more thoroughly before coming out with a new version (rather than making incremental changes every single year and then saying it does the same thing the previous year's version does, only a bit better) would be better for customers (obviously not better for TW).
 

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I've always liked the Durgas for alto, but I'm not a fan of TW coming out with a new model every year in recent years. Taking the time to do R&D more thoroughly before coming out with a new model (rather than making incremental changes every single year and then saying it does the same thing the previous year's model does, only a bit better) would be better for customers (obviously not better for TW).
Come on . . . at $775.00 one should be buying the updated model every year. That way it’s always new and improved. 🤪
 

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I don't see why Theo would stop working on how to make his mouthpieces better, whatever that might mean to him. Maybe the target changes slightly over time, maybe they figure out something new to do.

It's not like in computers where the regular introduction of more powerful machines means that software is going to be written to take advantage of more power and your computer will start to run worse and worse over time. Your mouthpiece doesn't get worse when a new one is introduced. It will be exactly the same mouthpiece in 40 or 50 years, most likely. If you like it, you're set!

The only downside I can see is for people who are playing the constant buy/sell game where a new model might decrease the resale value of the old one. But I'm not sure that's really something I'm very sympathetic to, nor should TW be worrying too much about that, IMO. Plus you can always just float the idea that the new one is crap and this is a rare opportunity to get one from back when they were actually good!

I say this all as someone who has only ever bought one Wanne mouthpiece (Slant Sig 2) and didn't much care for it. I have no horse in this race, it just seems like a silly thing to get hung up on.
 

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I don't see why Theo would stop working on how to make his mouthpieces better, whatever that might mean to him. Maybe the target changes slightly over time, maybe they figure out something new to do.

It's not like in computers where the regular introduction of more powerful machines means that software is going to be written to take advantage of more power and your computer will start to run worse and worse over time. Your mouthpiece doesn't get worse when a new one is introduced. It will be exactly the same mouthpiece in 40 or 50 years, most likely. If you like it, you're set!

The only downside I can see is for people who are playing the constant buy/sell game where a new model might decrease the resale value of the old one. But I'm not sure that's really something I'm very sympathetic to, nor should TW be worrying too much about that, IMO. Plus you can always just float the idea that the new one is crap and this is a rare opportunity to get one from back when they were actually good!

I say this all as someone who has only ever bought one Wanne mouthpiece (Slant Sig 2) and didn't much care for it. I have no horse in this race, it just seems like a silly thing to get hung up on.
I'm not advocating that he stop working on improving the mouthpieces. What I am advocating for is the implementation of a more thorough R&D before each release. If anything, releasing a new one every year and claiming improvements each time indicates a haphazard/rushed R&D process to me (others would say marketing BS, but I'm not going that far).

Of course you are not sympathetic and you don't care... you are not affected. Those who are affected do care. Those who use the Durga as their main mouthpiece because they really like it (I really like it but it's not my main mouthpiece) would of course want the latest and greatest version of it. That's just human nature.
 

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I'm not advocating that he stop working on improving the mouthpieces. What I am advocating for is the implementation of a more thorough R&D before each release. If anything, releasing a new one every year and claiming improvements each time indicates a haphazard/rushed R&D process to me (others would say marketing BS, but I'm not going that far).

Of course you are not sympathetic and you don't care... you are not affected. Those who are affected do care.
I mean, Theo certainly has A LOT of marketing BS. But people seem to like his mouthpieces and sound good on them, so it seems like there is actual product to back up some of the woo-woo stuff that gets into the marketing copy.

I'd also say that if you're buying and selling gear enough that resale is a big concern, you're probably buying too much. I know this from experience buying and selling (or trying to) too much. That comes off more confrontational than I might like, but obsessing over resale value just doesn't make sense to me for items whose primary value is in the enjoyment anyways.
 

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Sorry to derail the thread, though! This one really sounds quite good, Steve. Probably more baffle than I would want to live with on an everyday basis, but the edgy/fat thing is pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not advocating that he stop working on improving the mouthpieces. What I am advocating for is the implementation of a more thorough R&D before each release. If anything, releasing a new one every year and claiming improvements each time indicates a haphazard/rushed R&D process to me (others would say marketing BS, but I'm not going that far).

Of course you are not sympathetic and you don't care... you are not affected. Those who are affected do care. Those who use the Durga as their main mouthpiece because they really like it (I really like it but it's not my main mouthpiece) would of course want the latest and greatest version of it. That's just human nature.
I'm not sure you're thinking about these mouthpiece updates the right way. Just because a piece is updated or changed doesn't mean that your version is in any way less or inferior. When Selmer released the Mark VII it didn't mean all the SBA's and Mark VI's were useless or still not great. It just means there is another option on the block. I've tried the Gaia 1,2,3 and now 4. If you were to ask me which is the best, I would say that that depends. They are all different and each person has to decide for themselves. Who knows, in 10-20 years people might be looking for the cherished Durga 3 or 4 that is so rare. To me, it's all about how they play.........
 

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I mean, Theo certainly has A LOT of marketing BS. But people seem to like his mouthpieces and sound good on them, so it seems like there is actual product to back up some of the woo-woo stuff that gets into the marketing copy.

I'd also say that if you're buying and selling gear enough that resale is a big concern, you're probably buying too much. I know this from experience buying and selling (or trying to) too much. That comes off more confrontational than I might like, but obsessing over resale value just doesn't make sense to me for items whose primary value is in the enjoyment anyways.
Again, not disputing that his mouthpieces are great, nor that he should stop improving his products. Just advocating for a more thorough R&D process before each release. Here is a practical effect: I have stopped buying the Durgas because I know there will probably be a newer version just around the corner. Maybe I'll get another one in 2 years' time. As to how many customers think like I do vs. those who will buy each iteration anyway remains to be seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry to derail the thread, though! This one really sounds quite good, Steve. Probably more baffle than I would want to live with on an everyday basis, but the edgy/fat thing is pretty cool.
I think so also. Back in the early 2000's I was looking for something that could kick out the brightness and power and would be still fat sounding and had a heck of a time finding something. I had a Guardala Studio, a Ponzol M2 and a Sugal Super Gonz II. They were each different and had there pluses and minuses. This Durga 5 seems to fit in that group but with more fatness than I remember those pieces having........
 

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I'm not sure you're thinking about these mouthpiece updates the right way. Just because a piece is updated or changed doesn't mean that your version is in any way less or inferior. When Selmer released the Mark VII it didn't mean all the SBA's and Mark VI's were useless or still not great. It just means there is another option on the block. I've tried the Gaia 1,2,3 and now 4. If you were to ask me which is the best, I would say that that depends. They are all different and each person has to decide for themselves. Who knows, in 10-20 years people might be looking for the cherished Durga 3 or 4 that is so rare. To me, it's all about how they play.........
So it's marketing BS, then. Because Theo himself says it's better (you've copied and pasted the text in your post above). I think my point is being missed here. What I am not a fan of is the short periods between releases, with each release claiming an improvement over the previous recent release. That suggests to me either marketing BS is going on, or haphazard/rushed R&D is going on. That is all.
 

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I guess I just feel like if I had a Durga 2 and liked it, I wouldn't really care if there was a Durga 5 or a Durga 5000 or whatever.

It is, though, going to be an absolute nightmare in 30 years trying to figure out which Durga I am looking at while shopping for a vintage mouthpiece on my smart toaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So it's marketing BS, then. Because Theo himself says it's better (you've copied and pasted the text in your post above). I think my point is being missed here. What I am not a fan of is the short periods between releases, with each release claiming an improvement over the previous recent release. That suggests to me either marketing BS is going on, or haphazard/rushed R&D is going on. That is all.
I honestly don't believe it is marketing BS. I think Theo Wanne is always thinking of improving and innovating. Who knows the thousands of design changes they have tried that we haven't heard about. I can understand making one and being excited about it and I think Theo is excited and the guys at the company are excited about it. They probably have a few test players outside the company that are excited about it. I don't know. Then they release it.

What seems like an update or new version every year I can agree with you on the downside of that. Last year I got a TW mouthpiece to review and before I got around to reviewing it, a new model was released..........(to be fair, it did take me a while to get to it......)
 

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I honestly don't believe it is marketing BS. I think Theo Wanne is always thinking of improving and innovating. Who knows the thousands of design changes they have tried that we haven't heard about. I can understand making one and being excited about it and I think Theo is excited and the guys at the company are excited about it. They probably have a few test players outside the company that are excited about it. I don't know. Then they release it.

What seems like an update or new version every year I can agree with you on the downside of that. Last year I got a TW mouthpiece to review and before I got around to reviewing it, a new model was released..........(to be fair, it did take me a while to get to it......)
That's really all I'm getting at, Steve. The abbreviated periods between release dates is a turn-off for me (and I am, or at least used to be, an actual customer). I am all for constant innovation and improvement, but short periods between releases of the next "improved" iteration causes me to doubt the process (which is why I am not buying the latest iteration and will wait for the next one or two to come out before revisiting).
 

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Just finished an in-depth review with sound clips of the Theo Wanne Durga 5 gold tenor saxophone mouthpiece.

Wow, I like the BSS dry recording very much. Nice!
In other news, I'm getting some great compliments on your Devastating Minor Lines that I have incorporated into/alongside some Blues scales. Thanks for that! I feel like I could spend the next decade cutting and splicing and rearranging some of those lines (y) 😎
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, I like the BSS dry recording very much. Nice!
In other news, I'm getting some great compliments on your Devastating Minor Lines that I have incorporated into/alongside some Blues scales. Thanks for that! I feel like I could spend the next decade cutting and splicing and rearranging some of those lines (y) 😎
That's awesome! On a funny note I actually had someone send me a recording of them at a gig and I swear like 90% of everything they played was a lick out of one of my books. They sounded killer but it was almost surreal to hear all these lines coming back to me from someone else. It was like I had a clone or something......
 
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