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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's up, all?

I just picked up a 1940 King Zephyr locally for a great deal. SN 247XXX. Triple strap ring, double neck tenon, indistinguishable from the Zephyr Special except for the fancy cosmetics (silver neck, pearl key touches, engraving). Beautiful splotchy dark patina on the lacquer that remains. Mechanically solid (some play in the rods - may need swedging), all pads, springs, and felts/corks are new.

I'm loving the horn itself, but I am struggling with my mouthpieces. I have three: main piece Jody Jazz HR7*, old classical piece I actually got for free Selmer S80 C*, and a Rico Metalite M9 for brass band blasting. The JJ and Rico are both medium chambers where the chamber is the same diameter as the bore. The Selmer has a scooped out large chamber. Of the three, I can only seem to get the Selmer to be both in tune and feel right. The JJ I can either get to feel right pushed in, or be approximately in tune way pulled out, but when pulled out it's hard to hit low notes quietly without warbling and it feels generally less responsive.

The only problem is the Selmer is kinda... tubby. Just dark and I feel like I don't have a lot of control over brightness like with the JJ, where I can go between bright and dark as desired. I assume the baffle is a big difference. The tone is also more pure, whereas I like a fairly breathy tone. Maybe something to do with the beak angle? The Selmer feels way stubbier, not pointed like the JJ.

So that brings me to the question: Where can I get a large chamber mouthpiece that has that breathiness and brightness capability of the JJ? What about custom? I bet SYOS would make me one. Any other custom shops to be aware of?

Also, could I just be crazy about the large chamber piece fitting the horns of this age? Is that just a myth? Confirmation bias?

Thanks!
 

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Following, I also have a 1940 Zephyr, serial 242xxx and it plays like a beast. Just overhauled. But I can't get the high end to play in tune, it's all so flat.
 

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Tenor: 1945 Zephyr, Bari: 1962 12M, Alto: 1925 NW II
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I have a 269xxx Zephyr..... Ya, they take a little practice to pull them in tune (it took me a year or so of trying different MP's and practice). I settled in on Jody Jazz DV Chi. It is brightish and I can play the horn in tune with it. I also found an old King MO mouthpiece. I believe they were the mouthpiece that came with the series 3 or 4 Super 20. Its a little less bright but also plays in tune. They occasionally pop up on e-bay.

Out of curiosity, does your Zephyr have the rounded keys or are they squared?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a 269xxx Zephyr..... Ya, they take a little practice to pull them in tune (it took me a year or so of trying different MP's and practice). I settled in on Jody Jazz DV Chi. It is brightish and I can play the horn in tune with it. I also found an old King MO mouthpiece. I believe they were the mouthpiece that came with the series 3 or 4 Super 20. Its a little less bright but also plays in tune. They occasionally pop up on e-bay.

Out of curiosity, does your Zephyr have the rounded keys or are they squared?
Yeah, that DV CHI looks like the right idea. I would rather not go with metal, and it would be nice if it was cheaper...

Mine has rounded keys like a Zephyr Special! Same keyguards, too.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Boston Sax Shop E Series, GS Slant could be good options. But I immediately thought of the JJ DV or CHI for you as well.
 

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MBII or MB even better. Both have large chambers. Many makers have their own versions of them, I included.
 

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I have a Buescher Big B, 1949, which played sharp, right across the range. I tried many mouthpieces on it, and finally bought a large chambered Morgan Excalibur. Fantastic mouthpiece, it fixed all the intonation issues, and plays well on modern horns, too.
 

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I think if you have just picked up this saxophone, then you need to give it some time before deciding it’s mouthpieces picky.
It takes everyone some time to get accustomed to a new horn and to adjust themselves to how it blows.
 

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I had a 1936 Zephyr alto (with the square key touches) that was a challenge for me to play in tune with my preferred mouthpieces. The horn wasn't for me though, as I bought it for my son. But I could play it in tune with an old Woodwind Co. hard rubber piece. Don't have the horn anymore, but its current owner gets decent scale out it now with a Theo Wanne. A gold mouthpiece with some sun god or something on it. Also gets plenty of bite out of it as well, as he's more of a rock player.
 

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Tenor: 1945 Zephyr, Bari: 1962 12M, Alto: 1925 NW II
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I think if you have just picked up this saxophone, then you need to give it some time before deciding it's mouthpieces picky.
It takes everyone some time to get accustomed to a new horn and to adjust themselves to how it blows.
This is the best advice. Like I said, it took me over a year to get used to the intonation on this horn. They don't play themselves like a modern sax will. You have to know where you are going and have the sound in your head before it comes out of your horn.

But the right MP will make it a bit easier.

The DV Chi is a little expensive. My other piece, an old King MO, is a much cheaper alternative.

King MO (M0) Hard rubber tenor sax mouthpiece | eBay

They play very well on 40's era Zephyrs. But, you're obviously going to get a tone of suggestions on different MP's to buy/try out. I say take your time get what you can afford. Enjoy your new horn.
 

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I have a Zephyr Special and play an RPC on it that works pretty well. Altissimo is a bit of a struggle and it took me a while to get the palm key E playing in decent tuning although that came right eventually. I’m very happy with the RPC but still have an eye out for something else. I fancied the Ted Klum New London but read here that someone had tuning problems. This is billed as a medium chamber so I thought that might be the issue, also having heard that older horns preferred bigger chamber pieces although I have another RPC that is really problematic so it’s maybe not that simple. It’s hard finding a decent selection in the UK anyway, even if you can find the piece you rarely get much choice of tip openings, but keep the recommendations coming.
 

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Well, I play old Conns and a Dukoff D7 will wail and play in tune. Probably would work well on your King too.
 
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