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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I agree with this, though I’ve not played an Ambika one but calling the Ambika 3 “dark” is kind of funny. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great piece, just not what I’d consider “dark”.
Hmmmm. I went back to listen to my clip in the Ambika 3 review. The tone sounds darker to me in that it is missing the bright overtones in the sound when I listen to the clip. Some people have told me that they play R&B and Pop gigs with the Ambika and I was really surprised by that. I don't think it has enough brightness for my tastes on that kind of music.

I consider that word "dark" to encompass a range of tone so it certainly is not like Reso chamber dark in my mind but I do feel like it is to the left of the middle line between dark and bright in the saxophone tone range in my opinion........
 

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Loved the Durga 5 last night on my wedding gig, three horns, loud commercial type stuff. It was just easier to play in this setting than my GAIA 3. The GAIA works, I just have to work a bit harder in this situation. The Durga 5 also I feel is very versatile. Some issues I have with most high baffle pieces are: low notes suck, playing jazz eighth note lines are challenging for the right feel and articulation, not much color except bright and in your face, tuning on some... probably more things. The Durga has none of those issues for me, I'm waiting on an 8 to compare to the 7*.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Loved the Durga 5 last night on my wedding gig, three horns, loud commercial type stuff. It was just easier to play in this setting than my GAIA 3. The GAIA works, I just have to work a bit harder in this situation. The Durga 5 also I feel is very versatile. Some issues I have with most high baffle pieces are: low notes suck, playing jazz eighth note lines are challenging for the right feel and articulation, not much color except bright and in your face, tuning on some... probably more things. The Durga has none of those issues for me, I'm waiting on an 8 to compare to the 7*.
Yeah, this is a great mouthpiece. One thing that really struck me is that I am friends with Abel Garcia Mendoza on Facebook and he has been sending me video clips of himself trying different mouthpieces for years now. He always asks me what I think and which sounds better, etc.....He was playing the Bill Evans metal piece on tenor for a long time and sounded great on it. The Durga 5 was the first clip out of probably 50 that I was like "Holy Cow! That sounds way better than the Bill Evans piece for him!:" I still have the one I reviewed a few months ago..........
 

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Yeah, this is a great mouthpiece. One thing that really struck me is that I am friends with Abel Garcia Mendoza on Facebook and he has been sending me video clips of himself trying different mouthpieces for years now. He always asks me what I think and which sounds better, etc.....He was playing the Bill Evans metal piece on tenor for a long time and sounded great on it. The Durga 5 was the first clip out of probably 50 that I was like "Holy Cow! That sounds way better than the Bill Evans piece for him!:" I still have the one I reviewed a few months ago..........
That is great to know!
 

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Yeah, this is a great mouthpiece. One thing that really struck me is that I am friends with Abel Garcia Mendoza on Facebook and he has been sending me video clips of himself trying different mouthpieces for years now. He always asks me what I think and which sounds better, etc.....He was playing the Bill Evans metal piece on tenor for a long time and sounded great on it. The Durga 5 was the first clip out of probably 50 that I was like "Holy Cow! That sounds way better than the Bill Evans piece for him!:" I still have the one I reviewed a few months ago..........
What tip opening is he playing? I have a 7* and waiting for an 8 to trial. Also, curious on your thoughts of the DURGA vs. Drake FG?
 

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I have the low end model of Theo Wanne on Alto and Tenor (NY Bros 2 for Alto and Slant Sig 2 for Tenor) and found that they are very nice for the money ($200+ with the discount they offer). I never try their high end model like Durga but I can imagine how good they play based on my experience on their inexpensive HR pieces.
 

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I have the 7* and 8 now to trial. I'm definitely keeping one. It's really a tough decision between the two. Rigotti 3M on the 7* and Rigotti 3L on the 8. D'Addario 3S can work on the 8 as well (not as consistent). I'll figure it out this week and report. TW is super helpful letting me try this for a bit longer since they came a week apart due to backup of plating the 8's. It's interesting going back to a bigger tip baffle which I've been away from for some time. Most of my gigs are commercial type things now so I decided to go ahead in this direction.
 

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I just got one today (literally this morning). I previously have been using a Lakshmi but some health problems convinced me to at least try something easier to play. Not that the Lakshmi is "difficult" to play. But I was looking for a brighter more "modern" sounding piece anyway. The higher baffle is a tradeoff - but I feel like this piece is not like most high baffle / "bright" pieces.

What surprised me is this piece is NOT as bright as the marketing and all the clips I hear suggest it could be. Don't get me wrong, it's a bright(er) piece, but I feel like all of Theo's mouthpieces, aside from maybe extreme designs like the Shiva, are working from a general core concept with a little high or low EQ taken up or down. In other words, they all kind of feel/sound similar, but with different aspects adjusted.

Conversion from the Lakshmi was non-existent. It felt like I've been playing this mouthpiece for months also, but obviously there was a huge difference in volume and cut. But I can make the two mouthpieces sound almost exactly the same. The Durga can get brighter, and it takes much less effort to get the same volume of sound. The Lakshmi is smoother everywhere and has less bite, and can definitely get much darker/fluffier if you like. But what I love about the piece is how it responds when you push it --- I'm admittedly a straight-ahead jazz guy through and through, but finally I can dig into some Brecker territory.

Low notes are instantly responsive and don't splat, like they would on other higher baffle pieces. They're just clear and very pointed. But they can be fairly smooth if you back off. Subtones like a dream. I would find it a bit hard to get a convincing Getz or Ben Webster sound on this, but you can play fairly dark - surprisingly so on this piece. It's unlike any high baffle piece I've ever played!

Anyway, Steve's review was very informative and helped my decision. Originally I was going to get a Shiva, but I think it would have been too bright and too focused, and admittedly not as versatile for my needs. I love my Lakshmi .... but I think I'm gonna stick with the Durga for now. This makes me want to buy the newest Gaia and see if it really does split the difference but maybe in a few months when I have a little more money again lol. PayPal pay in 4 is a diabolical fiend...

FYI I use size 8 on both mouthpieces with RJS (DJS?) 3M.
 

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I am really struggling at the moment with choosing bet Durga 5 or the Gaia 4 for my Tenor.
I really like both models in their own ways. I have both models at home at the moment and could only play on my own in my house which makes it difficult to decide.

im mainly active in reggae bands with a horns section and with reggae djs in nightlife. With this in mind the Durga could be the better option. Playing at home I really like the warmth of the Gaia especially in the low register of the horn.
The Durga has a fuller sound and more edge. Sometimes to bright in my house.

im wondering what you guys think would be a better fit when you think of reggae. Really like the sound of Dean Fraser for example.

thanks in advance.
Cheers
Ruud
 

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I am really struggling at the moment with choosing bet Durga 5 or the Gaia 4 for my Tenor.
I really like both models in their own ways. I have both models at home at the moment and could only play on my own in my house which makes it difficult to decide.

im mainly active in reggae bands with a horns section and with reggae djs in nightlife. With this in mind the Durga could be the better option. Playing at home I really like the warmth of the Gaia especially in the low register of the horn.
The Durga has a fuller sound and more edge. Sometimes to bright in my house.

im wondering what you guys think would be a better fit when you think of reggae. Really like the sound of Dean Fraser for example.

thanks in advance.
Cheers
Ruud
I was in a similar situation choosing between a Durga 4 and a Gaia 3/4 for 7 opening last year and I eventually went for the Gaia 4. First I tried a Durga 7* but I found it a little resistant to play. I guess it is due to my little experience with high baffle piece. The Gaia 3 and 4, on the other hand, feel similar to all my HR large chamber tenor piece (TW Slant Sig 2, 10mfan Robusto, etc) and I found it a great joy to play.
 

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I was in a similar situation choosing between a Durga 4 and a Gaia 3/4 for 7 opening last year and I eventually went for the Gaia 4. First I tried a Durga 7* but I found it a little resistant to play. I guess it is due to my little experience with high baffle piece. The Gaia 3 and 4, on the other hand, feel similar to all my HR large chamber tenor piece (TW Slant Sig 2, 10mfan Robusto, etc) and I found it a great joy to play.
Thanks for your reply.
Funny in my opinion the Durga is more free blowing with less resistance, plays more easily in the higher register. But thats all personal I guess.

I have been playing on a Gaia 3 last years.When I tried the Durga5 for the first time I was really positively impressed of the open free blowing sound. But Im also taking in account that a first change to another mouthpiece always sounds more interesting just because it is different then you are used to.
 
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· Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Thanks for your reply.
Funny in my opinion the Durga is more free blowing with less resistance, plays more easily in the higher register. But thats all personal I guess.

I have been playing on a Gaia 3 last years.When I tried the Durga5 for the first time I was really positively impressed of the open free blowing sound. But Im also taking in account that a first change to another mouthpiece always sounds more interesting just because it is different then you are used to.
Have you tried both of them on the reggae gig? I'm curious how they did.
 

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not yet with these newer models. Owned a Durga 2 before I went to the Gaia 3. Back then I decided to switch because I had some tuning problems with the Durga and also felt in love with the warmth of the Gais. With this new durga 5 I did not yet discover such tuning issues but could also just that i have more years of experience now.
 
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