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Discussion Starter #1
I have the opportunity to try out a Zing Zephyr tenor #331xxx in a few days. I used to own a Zephyr alto from 1941 so I am familiar with that basic design. This is apparently from 1953. Opinions on quality, playability, intonation, ergo etc. from Zephyrs from the early 50s? Any gotcha's or known issues?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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Much the same as any old horn, you need to see if the mechanism is severely worn. If it requires an extensive mechanical overhaul, you should consider whether the horn is worth it to you. I don't mind investing a kilodollar into a horn that is worth several thousand when done. A cheap horn costs just as much to fix (if not more) as a horn that has good market value.

Ergos - you either like 'em, accept 'em, or hate 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice looking horn stomias! How would you describe the sound? (Focused, spread, etc?) and/or how would you compare it to other tenors you've played?
 

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My experience with other horns is non-existent. I got back in to playing sax after a 40 year hiatus. I have been a professional musician for 45 years and a huge jazz sax fan for even longer. The Zephyr has a warm dark sound. I've experimented with some recordings to get a different audio perspective and play it in many environments I have access to (varied room sizes from small recording isolation booths to warehouse and theater rooms) The sound I've been trying to achieve are based on my faves Dex and Ben Webster. I know these are lofty aspirations but I believe they are reachable with this horn. When I first got back in to it about 1.5 years ago I first got a 1957 Cleveland. I was so smitten with that horn that I almost immediately started researching H.N. White horns and found the Zephyr on Craigslist for $1,000.00. The pix were poor but I called the older gent (In Cleveland no less) and was reasonably reassured that it wasn't junk. When I received it I couldn't believe just how much better it looked than the pix led on. With a really nice Pro-Tec case too. The octave mech was a little jazzed up so I brought it to my tech who fixed it affordably and quick. He said "Man, this is a really nice horn. You should let me give it an overhaul as the pads were 64 years old! I played it and it sounded and played great. There was one left hand pinky roller that was frozen. I thought the horn deserved the overhaul so last October I had it done. $450.00, and this cat is REALLY good! I didn't think it could play or look or feel any better but boy was I wrong! Sometimes I just sit and stare at it. It plays effortlessly up and down. Been experimenting with mouthpieces and reeds so I really am just at the start of this journey. I'll be 60 in Sept....Sorry for the long winded response....... :) :)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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It is likely essentially the same as the one you (OP) used to have (the '41). From around 250,XXX-380,XXX they were basically the same design, that of the S20 body spec; just some aesthetic detail and finish changes.
So if the '41 suited you, this one probably will. If you had issues with the '41....then the only significant difference between that horn and this 331,xxx you are gonna try would be playing condition....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My '41 alto was a nice horn overall but a bit stuffy and it probably had a few minor leaks. Ergos were quite good but I wasn't wild about the left pinky table. I am looking for a horn a bit darker than my Martin but not "too" dark....I'll probably know within a minute or two of playing it if the sounds suits me.

stomias your story sounds eerily similar to mine in almost all respects. Regardless of what I do, glad you like your Zephyr. There's no debating the "cool factor" with Kings of this vintage.
 
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