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I found a King Zephyr Alto Sax. It has the Serialnumber 202920. So it seems to date from 1936. Does anyone have played a Horn like this. Is this a good Instrument? What do you think?

Greetings Francis
 

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Yes, it was a pro model in its time and it has some of the updates that make it more desirable for some players (double socket neck and triple neck strap rings). Might have some tuning quirks (playing sharp up top) and the left hand table keys aren't my favorite, but they can have such a piercing quality to their sound... in a good way. Very lively horns.
 

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I use a '37 as my main alto. My experience is the keywork is quick, no more tuning issues than my other altos and as previously stated, it cuts through well in a good way. It has a cool artwork on it and interesting shape of keys and keyguards- that 'modern" 30's look.I believe it was named after the new streamlined Zephyr train which came out in the mid-thirties. Which reminds me, I need to get mine out of the repair store-it needed a spring replaced in the upper stack.
Check out the "Why are Zephyrs So Lame "thread for lots of positive feedback on the Zephyr.
 

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Thanks for the Input. I felt a little bit the same. I like the Sound it has, but it is tending to be sharp from g`` and e```(played on the Palmkeys) is quite out of Tune. I was also a little disappointed by the low Notes (low C# down to low Bb), because they are not so easy to play and have some kind of Resistance. Since about 11Years I play a Super Twenty Tenor (299xxx)and on this Instrument the low Notes are absolutely easy to play and they sound wonderfully mellow. So somehow I did expect something similar on this Alto. Now after playing it for a While it seams to me it develops in a good Sense. Maybe this Instrument was not played for a long Time and maybe it is starting to recover some of his Qualitys....

Somewehre in the Comments to "Why are Zephyrs so lame?" someone claimed that the best Zephyrs are between Serialnr 270K and 295K - do you think this is true? Whats the difference of these Instruments to mine?

Greetings F
 

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mann2immond said:
Thanks for the Input. I felt a little bit the same. I like the Sound it has, but it is tending to be sharp from g`` and e```(played on the Palmkeys) is quite out of Tune. I was also a little disappointed by the low Notes (low C# down to low Bb), because they are not so easy to play and have some kind of Resistance. Since about 11Years I play a Super Twenty Tenor (299xxx)and on this Instrument the low Notes are absolutely easy to play and they sound wonderfully mellow. So somehow I did expect something similar on this Alto. Now after playing it for a While it seams to me it develops in a good Sense. Maybe this Instrument was not played for a long Time and maybe it is starting to recover some of his Qualitys....

Somewehre in the Comments to "Why are Zephyrs so lame?" someone claimed that the best Zephyrs are between Serialnr 270K and 295K - do you think this is true? Whats the difference of these Instruments to mine?

Greetings F
Pay more attention to the comments in the thread concerning proper set-up. Sharp keys can be set right with proper key height. Mine are no more sharp than any other alto I have, which includes The Martin, Selmer Balanced Action, Martin Indiana, Conn Chu Berry and an old Vito.
 

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mann2immond said:
Somewehre in the Comments to "Why are Zephyrs so lame?" someone claimed that the best Zephyrs are between Serialnr 270K and 295K - do you think this is true? Whats the difference of these Instruments to mine?
The Zephyr (and Zephyr Special) was the King pro model that preceeded the Super 20's, which came out within that serial number range alongside the Zephyrs. Some folks maintain at that point the two models were essentially the same; the 20's becoming the new Specials.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You can not fix all the Intonationproblems with Key height. If you hav to go to low, the Sound is bad. But anyway the Intonation is not to bad, it is in the Range I can handle it.
What is your Experiance about Mouthpieces? What do you play on your Zephyr, "Honeyboy"?

Greetings F
 

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An older style, large chambered mouthpiece might help to clean up the intonation issues up top. An old Woodwind Co. piece goes great with the one I have within that range, but they're rather hard to find in more open sizes (should that be what you prefer). As for the low notes, should there be no leaking pads, you might want to check the neck connection (or have your tech look at it). Should either the tenon or the receiver not be perfectly in round, you're going to get burbling low notes; especially at low B.
 
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