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"King In The Castle" & Distinguished SOTW Member
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I am not posting this because my S20 is an Eastlake one, but through some posts on King in this forum and email exchange with a few members, I have got the view that horns made in Eastlake are lesser horns, and thus less valuable, than the ones made in Cleveland.

My question is: Is this a proven fact or just a bias?

I would not like to think of Eastlake-made horns as the Mexiconns, but I'd like to hear from y'all out there.
 

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I have played both Eastlake and H.N. White Super 20's, and used to own an early Eastlake.

Eastlake horns are great. After the Mark VI, they may be the best rock horn of all time. If you don't believe me, just look at the cover of Springsteen's classic Born to Run LP, and you'll see Clarence Clemmons pictured with one.

They are free-blowing horns with a BIG sound. So are the earlier Cleveland models, but the latter horns with the double-socket neck are a little more subtle and smooth, and are thus preferable for playing jazz.

They are also higher quality in terms of workmanship and materials. The Super 20 did slump in quality as soon as production moved to Eastlake, but they were so fabulous before that the Eastlake horns are still great. My 1970 Eastlake tenor (since sold) had noisier, possibly cheapier, keywork than the H.N. White models I have played. But the action was still very fast.

If you want a good description of each, visit worldwidesax.com, click on "Sarge's collection," and then scroll down to the descriptions for each of these horns (I think he owns one of each). Sarge (Steve Stransky) is a well-known sax technician, and his descriptions are pretty consistent with my experience.

BTW Eastlake Super 20's (at least those made up until 1975) are definitely better horns than Mexi-Conn's.
 

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I am very new to the King Super 20's scene, just yesterday I acquired a 460XXX (1970 or thereabouts) Eastlake King super 20 tenor brass neck (swapping it for a Selmer Alto super action 80), it is in pretty good nick with some wear on the left hand side but all the ret is almost intact.
I am thrilled by this horn! I own a Selmer Mark VII which is a very good horn but this is way nicer in sound and feel! Mechanichs are smooth as a centerfold :D bottom and it has a good intonation troughout and it is way lighter (no ribs) than the Mark VII, so.....I am selling the Mark VII, I think (streamlinng...). It works very well with my blue java (no jumbo) T75 and I am even thinking of acquiring a silver neck (original or karsten gloger ?) if it would prove to improve things. I am very pleasantly surprised by this horn!
 

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There are plenty of great Eastlake horns out there, but from my experience, they tend to be less consistent than the Cleveland horns (which weren't that consistent to begin with.) So my advice is to try before you buy.
 

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Gee, I must have been lucky, for once!;) No really, maybe I struck lucky this time and I already love this horn....it is new, yet, it feels very.....mine, already, while, I must say the Selmer always had some things which felt a little foreign to me. The Mark VII has a great voice but this King has a better bottom and very gentle and clear high end. The mechanics are very smooth indeed and I think I have improved in speed (that might be due to being better adjusted than the M7...) with this horn
 

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FYI...Eastlake, Ohio is about 25 minutes of freeway driving from downtown Cleveland. There was only 1 King instrument plant. I'm guessing the same plant made both models.
 

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RCNELSON said:
FYI...Eastlake, Ohio is about 25 minutes of freeway driving from downtown Cleveland. There was only 1 King instrument plant. I'm guessing the same plant made both models.
All known sources talk of a " move" to Eastlake, no one ever speaks of conteporarily existing of both " lines" Cleveland and/or Eastlake (even though the Cleveland was a student model...). So, no matter if the locations were near....... there must have been a move from one place to another.....

quote from saxgourmet's site "...After World War II, King introduced the legendary Super 20. The early examples were essentially Zephyr Specials with more elaborate engraving, but with a different neck. This neck, designed by Fred Meyer (U.S. Patent 2533389 granted December 12, 1950) was intended to provide more positive sealing and a lighter action, and became the trademark of the Super 20. The initial run of Super 20’s had the three ring strap hook of the Zephyr Special, and mother of pearl key touches. The left hand pinky cluster was changed around serial number 300,000 and the sterling silver neck became an option around serial number 340,000. The mother of pearl touches were discontinued, but a Super 20 baritone was made available. A silver neck was standard on the baritone, and I’ve seen one with a sterling silver bell. The socket neck was deleted around 390,000 and at 426,000 the production was moved from Cleveland to a new facility at Eastlake, Ohio. The underslung octave mechanism was discontinued, and these horns are generally considered to be of lesser quality and not as desirable. King was losing money on every Super 20 produced, and the line was discontinued in 1975. However, there are reliable reports of Super 20 horns with high serial numbers indicating later production dates. I can only assume that these instruments were produced from left over parts inventories........."

by the way my super 20 has an underslug neck!
 

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Thank you, Saintsday. I was going to post that link earlier but was too lazy. :)

Awesome site BTW; gives me a case of GAS every time I visit....
 

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"King In The Castle" & Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter #11
Oh, don't get me wrong: I am digging my S20! And I am looking for a reassurance of my decision to buy it.

It's an all-brass Eastlake one, but it does not matter because I LIKE it! I think it will take me a little while to get used to this horn, its keyworks, but I can hear that unmistakable King sound, and the horn is resonant (it came with metal reflectors).

As for the move to Eastlake from Cleveland, it was because King was bought by the Seeburg Corporation; on the logo on the case of my horn, it says "KING: Division of the Seeburg Corp."
 

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I visited the King factory in Eastlake in the early 1970s when it was still fairly new. Most of the guys making saxophones had been working at the old factory in Cleveland.

I love King Super 20 tenors. I own three, two from Cleveland, one from Eastlake. They are all Siver-Sonics with silver bells and necks. I'm also very familiar with two more Silver-Sonic tenors (one each, Eastlake and Cleveland) owned by another member of the CC Riders when I worked with them.

There are subtle differences, but as much from horn to horn as from factory to factory. The early double socket necks are sometimes problematic. The earlier octave mechanism sometimes gets sloppy and noisy. The most important thing is how well the saxophone was overhauled and how well it was maintained. The best ones I've played were probably Eastlakes, but I wouldn't make a choice based on the factory.

My MYSPACE MUSIC page has some photos of my Super 20 in action:

http://www.myspace.com/saxpsychosis
 

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I see that Yellowhornblower is looking for a silver neck for his S20, since I'm new to the whole S20 experience would you Randy-Saxtek advise trying to get hold " per se" of a silver neck or just enjoy the ride with the normal brass neck? In other words, how do the silver necks determine the sound and in what way on this horn? I am really impressed by the ease of the keys position, way better, for me, than anything else I had before (I admit to not having had an incredible amount o experience as Randy, obviously, does...but nevertheless this is my fourth tenor and the first one which I picked up and without no effort at all felt " mine")
 

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"King In The Castle" & Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter #14
CORRECTION: And I am NOT looking for a reassurance for my decision to buy it.

Milandro -

I am curious about how your all-brass S20 looks vis-a-vis mine. Send me some pics of your horn to [email protected] and will send you some pics of mine.
 

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milandro said:
I see that Yellowhornblower is looking for a silver neck for his S20, since I'm new to the whole S20 experience would you Randy-Saxtek advise trying to get hold " per se" of a silver neck or just enjoy the ride with the normal brass neck? In other words, how do the silver necks determine the sound and in what way on this horn? I am really impressed by the ease of the keys position, way better, for me, than anything else I had before (I admit to not having had an incredible amount o experience as Randy, obviously, does...but nevertheless this is my fourth tenor and the first one which I picked up and without no effort at all felt " mine")
It might be a long search to find a silver neck for a Super-20, although I have seen them on ebay, for pretty high prices. If one became available for a reasonable price, of course it would be worth a try. Meanwhile, the all brass horns play just fine. The Super-20 necks with the conventional (non-underslung) octave key are pretty rare, and they are much stronger than the underslung necks, although they lack the charm.

My MYSPACE MUSIC page:

http://www.myspace.com/saxpsychosis
 

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If you really want a silver neck you would probably be best off by having one made by Karsten Gloger http://www.gloger-handkraft.com/ This won't be cheap or quick but is likely to be the only solution. Although a silver neck will be expensive I doubt that you will find a genuine King neck for any less.
 

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JimD said:
If you really want a silver neck you would probably be best off by having one made by Karsten Gloger http://www.gloger-handkraft.com/ This won't be cheap or quick but is likely to be the only solution. Although a silver neck will be expensive I doubt that you will find a genuine King neck for any less.
Thanks, I must say, I thought as much myself....it probably makes more sense to buy a great Gloger neck than trying to find a 60 years old silver neck hanging around for a price that won't make much difference at all. I was recently at "! the Garage" in NYC and I've heard there Justin Wood playing on alto, tenor and flute. His alto seemed to be a Mark VI with a Paraschos neck, my word that was a sweet sound! That could be an option too, although I favour the silver Gloger just based on looks....well, a little more money to put on the side.....I have an alto too which I might want to accessorize......;)
 

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I don't need a replacement neck but every time I look at those Gloger ones, or the Stephan Boesken, I get strange and powerful feelings of longing. Only 650 euros plus vat.
 

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well, I'll try the Gloger neck beforehand in a shop nearby (Deventer Holland) and I'll convince myself I badly need it......Too much GAS.....
 

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Ahhh... so much for me knowing the history of the plant. Eastlake at least in my opinion is a Cleveland suburb, so...Eastlake? Cleveland? Almost the same location. Thanks for the history lesson.
 
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