Ken, also what horn are you playing? I'm playing a Keilwerth SX90 which is quite different from a Selmer, Yani, Yamaha, etc. Playing the GAIA 3 more today, I'm finding it plays very well on my Keilwerth. It's the most even mouthpiece I've played so far on this horn, which I've been playing since 1997. Intonation is more even from bottom to top, it's easier to control volume soft to loud etc. bottom to top of horn. My horn is in excellent working order, just had a go over from my tech before the world went to hell.