I have been playing on an old Slant link for quite some time and have tried various manufacturers versions of an old slant link or early Babbitt mouthpiece to find one that played the same or better than mine. With Theo Wanne’s various mouthpiece models to meet every player’s needs, I was excited to see that he decided to introduce his version of two of the most sought after mouthpieces on the market today; the Meyer Bro’s New York and the Otto Link Slant Signature. I will be reviewing Theo Wanne’s Slant Sig mouthpiece and comparing it to my original Slant Link mouthpiece. I will be providing a product overview and reviewing Theo’s Slant Sig mouthpiece based on its sound, intonation, quality and my overall thoughts.
While developing Theo’s Slant Sig mouthpiece, Theo utilized and incorporated the “best design principles form the first slant signatures models in the early 1950’s through the early Babbitt models in the 1970’s.” Theo’s Slant Sig mouthpiece features a large chamber and roll-over baffle with perfect side and tip rails, and utilizes Harry Hartmann’s Fiberrod material which sounds and looks like vintage hard rubber but does not discolor or smell like hard rubber when exposed to heat and the sun. The Theo Wanne Slant Sig currently comes in a 7* and 8 tip opening.
Compared to my original slant link, the Theo Wanne Slant Sig mouthpiece I found to lean towards the darker side and play incredibly clean. From low Bb to high F# this mouthpiece projected well and was quite free blowing through-out the entire range and even into the altissimo. Compared to my Slant Link which I found contained more edge and timbre to the sound, the Theo Wanne Slant Sig had a well-balanced sound through-out and where it lacked a bit in edge in my opinion, it made up for in the clarity of each note which I did not find as easy to achieve on my vintage slant link.
The Theo Wanne Slant Sig took very little time to adjust to and the intonation was great while working thru various overtone series.
I found the Fiberrod material to respond and feel just like hard rubber. The table, side and tip rails were clean and even. I did not see any marks or imperfections on this mouthpiece.
I was overall impressed with the characteristics the Theo Wanne Slant Sig had to offer. Compared to my vintage slant link, I found the Theo Wanne Slant Sig played a bit darker, contained more clarity in the sound, was quite free blowing, and had a bit less edge when pushed. Although the 7* tip opening felt fine, I would like to try a 7 tip opening if it is offered in the future. The Theo Wanne Slant Sig is currently priced at $325 which is a far more cost effective option to a vintage slant link. I overall still prefer my Otto Link Slant Signature mouthpiece but do see this mouthpiece as a viable back up mouthpiece for me. I want to thank Bryan Vance at Theo Wanne for sending me the Theo Wanne Slant Sig to test play and would recommend adding the Theo Wanne Slant Sig mouthpiece to your list of hard rubber mouthpieces to try out.