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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey SOTW peeps!

I recently came into posession of a King Zephyr Tenor 202xxx (1937) and I am trying to decide if it is worth restoring. It still has over 90% lacquer, all original parts, neck, and only average scratches. Only small dings on bell arch. Horn is still pretty! Also nicludes original case.

I know it's leaky and needs some pads and regulation.

But, I am trying to decide whether to sell it for parts or have it repadded, etc. Then maybe sell it.

Any suggestions?
 

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Seems like you would need to find out how much it will cost to get into playing shape. You might not recover the cost of a full overhaul, but the minimum to get it decently playable would probably be worthwhile.
 

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I have recently sold one like this in very good state 90% original lacquer and overhauled , for 1250€........ but prices in the States are considerably lower.
I would put it on ebay and sell " as is" (not for parts)
 

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Fix it. You need a back up.. right? ;)
 

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This is the Art Deco style i presume (with square-ish keys). Should be worth $1200-$1500 USD in good playing condition. Probably will kill your Z for tone but if you've come up playing the modern actions, it may be too difficult of a transition for you to keep as a backup. As is, I'd guess $500 is about the least you would get...upwards depending on the condition of the pads.

If you sell, definitely sell as restorable rather than for parts... :protest:
 

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yes, it must have those keys, mine , made a little later, had them. My Zephyr was bought by a player who has a Mark Vi as a first horn. He found he has a very robust sound with this and is using to play in Funky gigs. On Ebay this could be worth considerably more than 500$!!
 

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Definitely fix it up. These horns are great.
 

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You will not get $1200-1500 for one in fixed-up condition here in the us. I can guarantee you that.

These are nice, that's a '39...I have sold a few of these. They are wonderful horns. The problem is, there has been enough talk that Kings didn't really begin to shine until the body redesign which spawned the middle Zephyr to S20 period, that the value and reputation of the earlier horns has been tarnished (undeservedly).

That talk is a shame....because it presupposes that only the turbo-charged tone a'la S20 or Zeph special is the "signature" King sound. S20 fans tend to hold court in online conversation regarding King saxes....as if they made only one or two good models (just look at the # of threads in this section which aren't about S20's). That's also too bad...or good, depending on how you wanna look at it.

These earlier horns (am talking the VT-II as well) were of a different sonic paradigm, but they are very, very sweet. No, they will not blow the doors off. Much breath-ier and smokier sounding than their later cousins. But they are still big-toned. Every person who has ever tried one here (even if they came over with the intention of buying a different horn) has really, really liked the early Zephs and the VT-II's...they thought them very unique and beautiful-sounding horns. I left the last VT-II video up on my site for a long time after the horn sold because it's sound was just so singular (it's down now).

Now...the horn doesn't sound like a "project" to me. It sounds like it was kept in pretty good shape...in which case, as you said, it probably won't NEED a repad, but just some pads, some tweaks, and a good regulation.

These will sell in playing shape for about $800-1000 these days, this market (one which ain't gonna be changing anytime soon, we might as well come to terms with that). So, figure what you have to pay your tech, the price you got it for, and the market value if you offer it up.

The ergos are something which takes maybe 3 weeks to get under your fingers....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all of you for the good advice and suggestions. My tech is going to check the horn out this week. I may just have him do the pad and regulation work on it for now and hang on to it. If it sounds as good as it seems it will, if will probably stay in my collection for a bit.

On the other hand, if the cost is more than I can bear for a while, I'll take XaX's advice and post it up for sale as Restorable.

If anyone has any further thoughts, feel free to lay them down!
 
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