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This is a bit of a cross-post to the SOTW Facebook page, but I'm sort of floored.

So, last year, I picked up a Viking M21 alto sax on a bit of a whim, which was not in the best playing shape. It was leaky, didn't respond well in the palms or in the left-hand stack, and while it hinted at having a sweetness to it, it's condition was too wonky to really get a bead on what the upside of the horn might be. I knew enough about the platform and Rich Maraday's designs that I felt strongly there was a good horn in there. After some consultations with folks far and wide, including being told at one point the axe was "a lemon that I hope you didn't pay much for," I ended up reaching out to Ken Beason. Ken had set up my Viking M58s tenor, a horn I adore, so I wanted to see what he knew about the model and what could be done about it.

After trading some Facebook messages and a couple calls and photos, Ken felt pretty strongly he could make it sound great, so I shipped it off, and crossed my fingers. After what Ken calls a "major service" and a repadding with new resonators, what he sent back to me is not only good horn, but I dare say a great one. Sweeter than I expected with a lovely bell-like tone to it, it plays with great intonation, is fully responsive top to bottom. I don't like to compare horn models, but it has a 1940's quality to it that doesn't sound dated, just bright and clear (as opposed to buttery), yet capable of a nice growl or buzz when pushed.

I can't say this horn sounds like what I expected when I took the flyer and bought it, and I don't know if it's precisely what Rich had in mind, but whatever this horn has blossomed into, it is truly special. I can' thank or recommend Ken's craftsmanship, service and (for lack of a better word) partnership in making it possible.
 

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VI Soprano, Searchlight Alto, TH&C Tenor
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I found his website for “Horn Doctor” and called both the phone numbers, but neither were set up to accept messages. Do you have any other contact information? (I’m in Asheville for another month or so, with a couple of horns, and seems well worth checking out.)
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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I found his website for "Horn Doctor" and called both the phone numbers, but neither were set up to accept messages. Do you have any other contact information? (I'm in Asheville for another month or so, with a couple of horns, and seems well worth checking out.)
He actually prefers if people text him or contact via facebook!
 

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I found his website for "Horn Doctor" and called both the phone numbers, but neither were set up to accept messages. Do you have any other contact information? (I'm in Asheville for another month or so, with a couple of horns, and seems well worth checking out.)
PM me and I'll send you his cell.
 
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