Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 106 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
Joined
·
7,372 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Late Super 20 and model 2416, new information. Summary from previous thread.

This is a summary of some of the information that came up in donjazzsax “horns for sale” thread. Someone suggested it should be archived here. Otherwise this information will eventually disappear from SOTW. The topic is the late King Super 20 (and model 2416). There is some new information and some myth-busting. In short, model 2416 is a virtual S20 without engraving, and S20 body tubes were never made by Yamaha or Yanagisawa, but only by King in the USA. I tried to only include pertinent information. Please feel free to add to this or make corrections if necessary.

donjazzsax 05/18/2011:
KG-2416 was the designated model number for this… late model King Super 20 saxophone. The Orion Blue Book places the date of manufacturing between 1978-1984 and shows it as being a King Super 20. KG-2416 and 2414 was the model number for the Super 20 tenor and alto saxophones during the end of the run. Some super 20s were still being sold with the standard S20 engraving while a few where sold with the product number engraved on it like this one. I've seen a couple over the years and even one this forum site. I have four late model Super 20's, two altos one being a silver sonic and two tenors one like this and one a silver sonic. The saxes are identical besides sterling neck and bell and they play the same except this one is more resonant with less projection than its silver sonic version. This is not a kit horn from Taiwan or anything like that this was made at the East Lake Plant. … Has Hi F# key, Gold lacquered keys and neck. Comes with end plug, original King mouthpiece, cap and ligature along with the near mint condition original King case. Serial #859***. This tenor has that BIG and edgy King sound found in the late model super 20s.

drwhippet:
Do you have any evidence that it was made in Eastlake, Ohio? Everything I've read says late UMI King horns (made in what?--the late 1980s) were produced in Nogales.

Okay, upon consulting one of the charts with extended serials I guess it looks like it's birthday was more like 1981 or so. So that makes an Eastlake origin more likely. I'm just curious how you know the place of its origin for sure.

donjazzsax:
Hi, no saxes were manufactured at the Nogales site besides a Conn prototype. They just imported sax kits, assembled, stamped and sold them. All the King tooling was at the East Lake plant. Thanks!

Oric Muso:
Not sure if you can call it a super 20 if it doesn't say it on the bell. This model is a little different to my s20.

donjazzsax:
A lot depends on the serial number of the S20. The S20 went through a lot of changes over its lifespan. Some better ie. octave key mechanism, ergonomics, articulated g# mech. etc., and some cost effective, ie. brazed tone holes (different sound) vs. stamped (greater consistency in intonation, less labor time). Depending on your model number and date of manufacture, the saxes can have a some differences. The pic of its Orion blue book shows the super 20 designation. Thanks!

milandro:
Interesting, never seen one of these , I was even hoping it would be one of the elusive Super 21's but it isn't. It is definitely a King and definitely a Super 20, at least in appearance although, I am sure that the body tube is of the same strain (it was established by evidence given by a ex-King worker in another thread that these body tubes were made in Japan by Yamaha or Yanagisawa that came with the Super 20 USA (so not Cleveland or Eastlake made) models. This horn that you have is probably one of the very last of what they had left to sell before meeting their demise.

Oric Muso:
2416 looks like a cheaper horn based on the S20. The S20 model number was 1016 (tenor).

William Bua:
Oric, the only reasons that horn looks cheaper is because it isn't engraved and it doesn't say super 20.

donjazzsax:
Hi Oric. That number was designated when Ms. Edna White still ran the King company. It changed hands four times since then ie. Edna White, Nate Dolan 1964-1969, Seeburg 1969-1984, UMI (did not manf. S20's) and Conn/Selmer (did not manf. S20's). This sax was manf. at the end of the Seeburg era of the company which constituted the last saxes manufactured by King. It’s not uncommon for companies to change part and model numbers over time. The sax in the pics share all the same mechanisms as mine except for the double socket neck with underslung octave mechanism.

That advertisement in 1963 represented some of the last changes on the sax such as relocated upper palm keys and the one-spring octave key mechanism. I have that ad plus a similar one (down beat 1964) describing more details of the changes made to the S20. Of note, that sax in 1963 had brazed tone holes; mine doesn't. Mine has all stamped tone holes, including the bell. That process was the last major change and it occurred during the mid 1970's. Thanks!

milandro:
The sax on the pictures, aside from the engravings, looks pretty much identical (down to the most typical King feature the conical shape of the keycups) to any single socket Super 20 that I have ever seen, so, regardless of what it says on the bell, in my view, this is a Super 20.

As to the body tube provenance, Donjazzsax seems to be able to shed some more anecdotical evidence on this which seems to contradict the previous witness account of the Japanese production of the King Super 20 USA strain.

donjazzsax 05/20/2011:

Hi guys, I contacted John Wier. I used to run R & D and handle advertisement for a mouthpiece company and met him at a saxophone trade show of sorts a few years back. John worked for UMI/Conn Selmer and now runs his own instrument repair and clarinet company. He is also working on the Silver Eagle saxophone project for Powell. We've communicated about King history over the years. He's friends with the former chief engineer at the King plant who worked there during the Seeburg/UMI days.

He told me that all sax production at the King plant ceased when UMI took over the company. He also said that the King saxophones never used parts or body tubes from Yanagisawa or Yamaha, only US built stuff from the King factory. Also, he didn't work on the King Super 21 it was assembled out of old Conn parts by the VP of the company at that time. John made a Conn prototype at that time and I had a chance to play on it. It was slammin!! I'm sure his new project with Powell will knock our socks off.

drwhippet:
Wow, finally a guy who can clear up all the misinformation about "late model" Super 20s perpetuated on here in one fell swoop! So there goes the age-old theory about imported Japanese body tubes--shot down in flames like a WWII Zero in pithy post. But can you ask your friend one more thing? In what year--or better yet, what approximate serial number--did King switch from using silver-soldered tone holes to drawn ones? If you produce the answer to that question, it would clear up years of speculation on this topic on this board, and I think they should then make this is a sticky and you a Distinguished Member on the spot!

donjazzsax 05/22/2011:
OK. The word is in, but first I have to give kudos to John Weir for answering these questions. Thanks John! He's real busy but has been very kind in contributing this information.

Xax, John believes that my horn might have been stamped 2416 as an alternate to some dealers as not to conflict with Super 20 dealers. When I worked at Runyon we had similar issues with dealers and product stamping and who got what etc. Apart from his confirmation from the chief engineer at King on not using Japanese body tubes he said that it just wouldn't make sense because they were using the same body tubes for their student line (615 model) as well. They shared the same dimensions but were annealed differently. You have a very streamed line and cost effective way of production in that method. Also, a Japanese company would need to retool their equipment (expensive) to make King body tubes as their body tube dimensions and tone hole locations were very different from anything Yamaha or Yanagisawa would make.

Now, on to the tone holes. John is not sure of the exact dates but did say that the reason King continued to braze the tone holes on the bell was because they were mounted with an "angled face" which made it difficult to extrude. I have a nice King saxophone catalog from Seeburg circa 1968 that shows the specs of S20's and in particular they show that the tone holes on the body being extruded on the tube but brazed on the bell. They inferred that it was a new feature on their saxes and that body tubes with stamped tone holes had more accurate intonation. (I can provide an image of that part of the catalog) I have a 534***silver sonic alto circa 1975 with extruded tone holes on the bell. This follows with a date that John gave me a while back (approx. 1974/75) for when King ended their brazing of tone holes completely. We can use the 1968 catalog as an approximate starting place for when they stopped brazing the tone holes on the body tubes.

xax:
Yeah, I agree that it doesn't make a whole lotta' sense as Clevelands had pulled tone holes...from "day 1". When i asked Jack about that, he said that when Seeburg tried pulling the toneholes for the Super 20s they had an awful time and that a high percentage were junked and thrown back into the furnace, as it were. If he didn't say it outright, it was at least implied that after that they went to Japanese tubes. I never did get an explanation as to exactly what he understood the problems were or why they were successful drawing Cleveland tone holes but not the S20s'...

frobig:
… on eBay, this was the second 2416 I'd ever seen. Mine was the first. I bought it on eBay, and when I looked at the auction, there had to be a dozen or more photos, and as I saw more details, I said to myself over and over: "This is a Super 20." For those who are still skeptical, there's really no doubt. The Super 20's keywork was vastly different from that on the Zephyr and Cleveland. On the Super 20, the whole left-hand stack runs on one rod, including the G and Bb bis. On the Zephyr and Cleveland--at least from the 1960's on--the G and Bb bis run separately on pivot screws, like a Selmer. This is actually a better system, from a tech point of view, but oh well. The Super 20 was also the only King to get "balanced action" bell key mechanism, i.e. rods running down the middle of the horn instead of the back, and one-piece key with spatula instead of key and lever. The Super 20 also had articulated C#, and lesser Kings did not. The octave lever mechanism is also unique to the Super 20. And late-model Super 20 tenors, from probably the mid 70s on, had high F# keys. The 2416 has all these features, as well as the double-armed low C key that King used only on Super 20 tenors and baris. I guarantee that, if I were given a Super 20 body (not seriously damaged) from the overslung-octave and high-F# period, I could take the keys off my 2416 and put them directly on the Super 20, and half an hour later it would be honking.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
Joined
·
7,372 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I will just add that I have a late Super 20 alto “USA” and it has brazed tone holes… all of them.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,512 Posts
Great bit of info. Thanks.

I will say this, also...the body tubes of the late Cleve and earlier Eastlake S20's are not exactly the same, the latter being slightly narrower. Also the necks are slightly different, the latter model being slightly longer & therefore of a different taper.

I find it a bit funny that the whole Japanese rumor ever came into existence...right off the bat it sounds funny, and really it would not have taken much to disprove it quite a long time ago....
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
7,216 Posts
I know that this thread is basically about Super20s, but I disagree with xax's last comment,
"Yeah, I agree that it doesn't make a whole lotta sense as Clevelands had pulled tone holes... from " Day 1".

I have a mid '50's HN White Cleveland (615) tenor, and it clearly has brazed tone holes,
(marching hat and crossed drumsticks engraving).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,512 Posts
I am also gonna question whether 615/613 body tubes are the same as late S20's. Never compared one to the other directly, but my kneejerk reaction is to question that. If that's so, then the only likely differences would have occurred in the neck specs and the bellpiece specs.

Sounds fishy to me....just sayin' :whistle:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
Joined
·
7,372 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
…the body tubes of the late Cleve and earlier Eastlake S20s are not exactly the same, the latter being slightly narrower. Also the necks are slightly different, the latter model being slightly longer & therefore of a different taper.
That's good to know. So, the question would be; are the body tubes and necks of the late Cleve and late S20s the same? Zax seems to say this but it's not 100% clear to me.

If it is true, than it's a bit like Yanagisawa who use the same body tube and neck design for their whole line, although even their most inexpensive sax is totally pro.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,434 Posts
I was all over the place with the Japanese body story, at first I didn’t believe it , then there seemed to first hand account which confirmed it, and I begun to accept this possibility (weirder things have been known to have happened in sax world) that it had happened, then we heard that it was based on nothing more than a wrong interpretation of having seen boxes with “ made in Japan” in the factory or thereabouts.

Anyway, I too, when I had a USA model couldn’t see the difference with my Eastlake made horn BUT there was some serious difference between my USA alto and a Cleveland or Eastlake alto!

The tuning of my (and another one this one Silversonic ) USA alto was nowhere as good as other S20 altos that I had tried!

This could have been because of the neck which, in both cases (the normal and the supersonic) was a overslung neck which looked like a Cleveland model neck. The tuning was really not good to the point that the shop that was selling the silversonic first shortened the neck, then made it longer and the horn still didn’t play in tune (not only with me).

I changed the neck of my USA S20 alto with other alto necks and it didn’t improve if not marginally. I don’t know if the USA tenors show the same intonation quirks. Fact is that both USA alto’s and tenors are often found for sale in pristine state (mine was incredible) and the reason might be that not too many people could play it in tune.

I have no tuning issues with my eastlake S20. I had no tuning issues with the original brass neck, the Gloger neck that then I sold to Brasscane and the Silver underslung neck that now I have for it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,512 Posts
Just to clarify, Milandro (apologies because I am new to this particular topic)...when you say "USA Alto" or "USA Tenor"...you are referring to Kings of a certain period, yes ? What period ? '80-'84-ish ?

Soybean....yes, this was my observation and I measured both horns side-by-side with calipers in 20 different locations. I learned my lesson from member Henry, who one day in the Conn thread gently insisted that a 10M and 16M body were actually the same, just like some people had been claiming for years; although the general consensus among vintage buffs was that they were different. I had both, measured both, and confirmed this. Then went on to confirm that a NW I and NW II body are the same....and so is a split-bell PanAm body the same as the NW's...and so is the same-side bell USA 14M's and PanAms the identical bodies to the 6M, minus rolled holes.

So nowadays...whenever I happen to have multiple horns of the same manufacturer around, I measure 'em up and write 'em down before shipping 'em to their lucky buyer. Funnily, there was a huge dip in S20 market values at the end of Spring this year and I managed to have two here at once. Noting that people have always said the 'sound changed' after a certain serial #....and also noting that my Cleveland one did sound different from the Eastlake one of 7 years later (although dammit to the eye they looked identical, really)....I figured what the heck.....

I don't have a Cleve at the moment, but next time I get one or two, I will gladly post my observations here....;)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,434 Posts
I am referring to the Super 20 which on the bell have written USA and not Cleveland or Eastlake , otherwise known as Series VI, their production year should start around 1975

In the words of Pete Hales “.......I can say that the horns after 511xxx have "USA" engraved on the bell instead of "Eastlake, Ohio" (UMI headquarters is in Nogales, Arizona -- about two miles from the Mexico/US border) ... and the underslung octave key disappears in favor of the standard "over the top" style......."
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
246 Posts
Great and interesting information about the late King S 20. Thank you. I have a sales brochure (pre UMI) that says that King 613K, 615K, 2414K, 2416K had "drawn tone holes - to assure accuracy of size and location". Perhaps the body tube on 613K, 615K, 2414K, 2416K were the same except for the high F# on S20? The bow on 613K, 615K were differnt. Of course, so was also the bell on 613K, 615K. They had low B and Bb on left side. I think this was the last sale brochure from King Musical Instruments, INC, Eastlake.

I sent King a letter about my late S20 tenor #871 XXX. That horn didn't play like the other King S20 I've owned. If I remeber right the toneholes were drawn on my King.

If a horn is stamped King , USA does is means the horn was "made in USA"? If so, why didn't they say so?

Thomas
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,434 Posts
if a Super 20 horn is engraved USA is a post 1975 (series VI) horn those made before were engraved Cleveland Ohio or Eastlake Ohio.


According to saxpics:

“...........Series VI
s/n: 540xxx to appx. 800xxx

There is a bit of a break in the history I've been able to come up with. Official serial number charts list 1975 as the final year that King produced the S20's, but there are obviously much newer S20's out there!
In about 1981 King was purchased by (excuse me: "amalgamated into") UMI and the Super 20 is gone from all serial number charts that I've seen %u2026 but you could still get Super 20's up until about s/n 800xxx (s/n 788xxx is the highest I've personally been able to verify, and that'd be a horn made about 1998 -- extrapolating from how many horns King produced per year).

I can say that the horns after 511xxx have "USA" engraved on the bell instead of "Eastlake, Ohio" (UMI headquarters is in Nogales, Arizona -- about two miles from the Mexico/US border) ... and the underslung octave key disappears in favor of the standard "over the top" style....."
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
7,216 Posts
I have a sales brochure (pre UMI) that says that King 613K, 615K, 2414K, 2416K had "drawn tone holes
The 615 tenor that you refer to is much later than mine.

Mine is HN White, Cleveland and is mid '50's.
Probably made right along side the S20's and Zep's of the day.

It does not have 615 inscribed on it, but it is referred to as a 615 in the catalog.

It is engraved CLEVELAND, in block letters, has the marching hat and crossed drumsticks engraving beneath it,
then, Made By KING Craftsmen,The HN White Co., Cleveland,O.

On the HN White site, there is an illustration of my tenor, from the catalog, in the Cleveland Band Instrument section, under Cleveland 1953.

It has brazed on tone holes.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
246 Posts
The 615 tenor that you refer to is much later than mine.

Mine is HN White, Cleveland and is mid '50's.
Probably made right along side the S20's and Zep's of the day.

It does not have 615 inscribed on it, but it is referred to as a 615 in the catalog.

It is engraved CLEVELAND, in block letters, has the marching hat and crossed drumsticks engraving beneath it,
then, Made By KING Craftsmen,The HN White Co., Cleveland,O.

On the HN White site, there is an illustration of my tenor, from the catalog, in the Cleveland Band Instrument section, under Cleveland 1953.

It has brazed on tone holes.
Yes, the saxes I'm talking about are from late 70's-early 80's. The late King (Eastlake) saxes.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,512 Posts
Just as a note...although they may have been model 615/613 back into the Cleveland-made days (well...Phil just showed that they were :|)....when people refer to the 615's today, they are referring to the ones engraved '615'...which began in Eastlake......

Regarding the other conversation....it appears that at some point in the late Eastlake/early USA production they stopped brazing the tonehole chimneys. My recollection is, however, that earlier Eastlakes still had brazed chimneys...I know for a fact a 1970 S20 did, and I am pretty sure the late '60's Clevelands (613/615) did.

I am still skeptical that the pre-'75 615/613 and S20 tubes were identical. Seems more feasible that the post '75 ones were.....
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,434 Posts
the USA super 20 alto that I had had brazed toneholes
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
Joined
·
7,372 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am still skeptical that the pre-'75 615/613 and S20 tubes were identical. Seems more feasible that the post '75 ones were.....
You are probably right about this. This is also related to milandro's earlier neck quest. I will get an Eastlake Cleveland neck and a late 1970s Cleveland neck and try them on my late S20. This is mainly to hear how the intonation changes. I'll also check the tenon sizes and try some other necks as well.

the USA super 20 alto that I had had brazed toneholes.
Yes, so does mine. It is in the 74xxxx range.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
246 Posts
if a Super 20 horn is engraved USA is a post 1975 (series VI) horn those made before were engraved Cleveland Ohio or Eastlake Ohio.


According to saxpics:

“...........Series VI
s/n: 540xxx to appx. 800xxx

There is a bit of a break in the history I've been able to come up with. Official serial number charts list 1975 as the final year that King produced the S20's, but there are obviously much newer S20's out there!
In about 1981 King was purchased by (excuse me: "amalgamated into") UMI and the Super 20 is gone from all serial number charts that I've seen %u2026 but you could still get Super 20's up until about s/n 800xxx (s/n 788xxx is the highest I've personally been able to verify, and that'd be a horn made about 1998 -- extrapolating from how many horns King produced per year).

I can say that the horns after 511xxx have "USA" engraved on the bell instead of "Eastlake, Ohio" (UMI headquarters is in Nogales, Arizona -- about two miles from the Mexico/US border) ... and the underslung octave key disappears in favor of the standard "over the top" style....."
I think UMI took over King in 1985 so if they started to stamp saxes with "USA" in the 70's ....... . Here is a sales brochure from 1980 or 81. It's from the years when King cooperated with SML. The silver bell and neckpipe were still available.

kinggraett.jpg kinggratva.jpg
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,434 Posts
anyway regardless of when exactly this happened , ’75, ’81, ’85 at a certain point they are engraved with USA and no longer have the Eastlake Ohio denomination, whatever the significance of this

the Silversonic models were available until the last days and indeed I have seen several USA silversonic both in tenor and alto
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
246 Posts
I think the last years of King Super 20 are confused. According to one of the last sales brochure King Super 20 was just available with drawn toneholes and laquered (brass) bells and necks. My late S20 was like that.

bariking.jpg
 
1 - 20 of 106 Posts
Top