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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My original Guardala King Curtis I've had for 20 years has a serial number a little over 20000. I've never seen or heard of another one - just wondering if anyone else has. Its a fairly late one although its marked 'KC'. At some point after this, DG was forced to stop using the 'King Curtis' name and went to just 'King' instead. The original 'Kings' are fairly scarce but they continued that name in the 'Laser-Trimmed' series and beyond. Whatever, this one is a great mouthpiece and has been measured at .116.

'2000' in small numbers and a big '7' with a slash through euro-style. On second thought, that 'slash' might be just a scratch.




'DG'

 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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8,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I asked Jennifer Price of Vigilante Mouthpieces, who learned the trade at the DG shop in NY, if the serial number made sense and she verified it. She probably worked on it herself. I never doubted its authenticity (you would have to play it to understand) but was just trying to learn more about it.
 

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Serial numbers with DG mouthpieces have always been a riddle to me. Maybe there was a certain connection between model and mouthpiece. My Super King Curtis shows a five digit numer as well, whereas not a '2' as first digit. It's 14115. When did DG stop using the name "Curtis" due to legal problems? I thought that was quite early, and I have seen a lot of 4-digit mouthpieces (though not KC or SKC) that might have been manufactured after dropping the name "Curtis". Very strange.

IMG_4167.JPG
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not really 'legal problems', but whoever owns the rights to the name 'King Curtis' must have objected to his use of it on a model - this is always accompanied by an estimate of what the royalties would be if you insisted on using it. So I guess he simply stopped using it and from then on called that model the 'King'. Like everyone else I do not have a chronology on the serial numbers and 'King Curtis'/'King'.
Anyway, thanks for the info on the 5-digit - that helps, and at least I now know there are other 5-digits out there.

It might help to understand that there was a mouthpiece shop in NYC where the owner could sell you a mouthpiece made like a famous player's who had been to the shop and had mouthpieces made or customized. It was said that he had many models and you could play dozens of demo pieces until you found what you liked, and he kept the specs for every mouthpiece he made for someone. I've always thought that DG either came into this business or bought it which is when he began to go mail-order with the various models in the 1980s. What I'm saying is the model names had more meaning than it may seem because of this contact with the actual namesakes. I first heard of this shop in 1963 and had no reason to doubt the player who told me about it but I never saw it or went there. Then when I became aware of DG mouthpieces 25 years later I put 2+2 together. So its another DG story but I think its factual.
 
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