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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm thinking of getting my first alto sax and saw a Zephyr alto for sale with a serial # of 382135. It apparently was made in Cleveland and has a single socket. It's supposed to be on a good shape with 90% of lacquer left. I was wondering if Zephyrs of this age/serial # fall into a group of "desirable" Zephyrs or not. Which ones would be the serial numbers to avoid?

Thanks,

Rafal
 

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yes, definitely desirable. They have the same body as the contemporary super 20 but a slightly less comfortable , unsophisticated, mechanics.
Good players, in my opinion no zephyrs have to be avoided but I have an Eastlake tenor.
 

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At that time in the run it was definitely an intermediate model, and IMO it's better than most of the "pro" stuff out there right now. Just try to get it for a decent price. What are they asking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The asking price is $600 with a case, student mpc and an Oleg ligature.

I'm also considering mid thirties Matin Committee 1 and Conn M6 "Ladyface" from mid fifties. Both are similar in price to the Zephyr and in good playable condition.
 

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This sax was made in 1962...The Zephyrs made before 1950's are going somewhere around $1500 to $1800 , and by the mid 1950鈥檚, the King Zephyr became an intermediate model, so deduct 30% will give you a rough value of about $1050 to $1260. So $600 is a great deal for a fantastic sax that Charlie Parker would have loved to play the hell out of...Had he lived...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This sax was made in 1962...The Zephyrs made before 1950's are going somewhere around $1500 to $1800 , and by the mid 1950's, the King Zephyr became an intermediate model, so deduct 30% will give you a rough value of about $1050 to $1260. So $600 is a great deal for a fantastic sax that Charlie Parker would have loved to play the hell out of...Had he lived...
Thanks, that's very reassuring. How would this compare to the conn and Marin I mentioned?

Cheers,

R.
 

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Both the MARTIN and the CONN are top of the line pro saxophones. The CONN 6M lady face is the real deal!!
If I had a choice, I'd take the Conn 6M over the other 2 saxophones, but the MARTIN Committee also called "THE Martin ALTO" is also a great sax.
The bottom line, it's not the horn it's the player, maybe what you really need is a YAMAHA YAS 23 with a classical Vandoren mouthpiece. When you can master all 4 volume's of the blue RUBANK book ,and then master all the standard repertory saxophone literature,such as...
18 Exercices Ou Etudes d'apres - Berbiguier / Mule, $29.40
24 Intermezzi - Rascher, $19.50
48 Etudes d'apres - Ferling / Mule, $29.40
Advanced Jazz Conception - Niehaus, $19.95
Art Of Saxophone Playing - Teal, $17.95
Basic Jazz Conception For Sax, Volume 1 - Niehaus, $19.95
Basic Jazz Conception For Sax, Volume 2 - Niehaus, $19.95
Charlie Parker Omnibook (E-Flat), $16.99
Fifty-Three Melodious Etudes, Book 1 (B220) - Rossari/Iasilli, $10.95
First Book Of Practical Studies For Saxophone - Hovey, $7.95
Five Minute Theory Book 1 - Wessels, $3.95
Forty-Eight Famous Studies (B103) - Ferling, $8.95
Forty-Eight Famous Studies, 2nd Part (B104) - Ferling, $8.50
Foundation Studies (B496) - Baermann/Hite, $12.95
High Tones - Rousseau, $29.95
Intermediate Jazz Conception - Niehaus, $19.95
Larry Teal Daily Studies Book (1905-1984 For The Improvement Of The Sax Technique), $19.95
Melodious and Progressive Studies, Book 1 (B379) Gr. 2, Hite, $13.50
Melodious and Progressive Studies, Book 2 (B472) Gr. 3, Hite, $13.95
Pares Scales For Saxophone - Pares / Whistler, $6.50
Rubank Advanced Method, Volume 1 - Voxman / Gower, $6.95
Rubank Advanced Methods, Volume 2 - Voxman / Gower, $6.95
Rubank Elementary Method - Hovey, $5.95
Rubank Intermediate Method - Skornicka, $5.95
Saxophone Altissimo- High Note Development For The Contemporary Player - Luckey, $19.95
The Saxophonist Workbook - Teal, $14.00
Scales For The Saxophone - Rascher, $8.00
Second Book Of Practical Studies For Saxophone - Hovey, $7.95
Selected Studies For Saxophone - Voxman,H, $6.95
Then you can upgrade to a pro saxophone like a Selmer Mark VI, Yahama 62, Yahama Custom, or a Selmer Super Action 80 series II.
Remember, It takes your entire life to learn the saxophone.
Then when your done with all the fundimentals...
then you can start to think about learning Jazz Improvisation.
 

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Both the MARTIN and the CONN are top of the line pro saxophones. The CONN 6M lady face is the real deal!!
If I had a choice, I'd take the Conn 6M over the other 2 saxophones, but the MARTIN Committee also called "THE Martin ALTO" is also a great sax.
The bottom line, it's not the horn it's the player, maybe what you really need is a YAMAHA YAS 23 with a classical Vandoren mouthpiece. When you can master all 4 volume's of the blue RUBANK book ,and then master all the standard repertory saxophone literature,such as...
18 Exercices Ou Etudes d'apres - Berbiguier / Mule, $29.40
24 Intermezzi - Rascher, $19.50
48 Etudes d'apres - Ferling / Mule, $29.40
Advanced Jazz Conception - Niehaus, $19.95
Art Of Saxophone Playing - Teal, $17.95
Basic Jazz Conception For Sax, Volume 1 - Niehaus, $19.95
Basic Jazz Conception For Sax, Volume 2 - Niehaus, $19.95
Charlie Parker Omnibook (E-Flat), $16.99
Fifty-Three Melodious Etudes, Book 1 (B220) - Rossari/Iasilli, $10.95
First Book Of Practical Studies For Saxophone - Hovey, $7.95
Five Minute Theory Book 1 - Wessels, $3.95
Forty-Eight Famous Studies (B103) - Ferling, $8.95
Forty-Eight Famous Studies, 2nd Part (B104) - Ferling, $8.50
Foundation Studies (B496) - Baermann/Hite, $12.95
High Tones - Rousseau, $29.95
Intermediate Jazz Conception - Niehaus, $19.95
Larry Teal Daily Studies Book (1905-1984 For The Improvement Of The Sax Technique), $19.95
Melodious and Progressive Studies, Book 1 (B379) Gr. 2, Hite, $13.50
Melodious and Progressive Studies, Book 2 (B472) Gr. 3, Hite, $13.95
Pares Scales For Saxophone - Pares / Whistler, $6.50
Rubank Advanced Method, Volume 1 - Voxman / Gower, $6.95
Rubank Advanced Methods, Volume 2 - Voxman / Gower, $6.95
Rubank Elementary Method - Hovey, $5.95
Rubank Intermediate Method - Skornicka, $5.95
Saxophone Altissimo- High Note Development For The Contemporary Player - Luckey, $19.95
The Saxophonist Workbook - Teal, $14.00
Scales For The Saxophone - Rascher, $8.00
Second Book Of Practical Studies For Saxophone - Hovey, $7.95
Selected Studies For Saxophone - Voxman,H, $6.95
Then you can upgrade to a pro saxophone like a Selmer Mark VI, Yahama 62, Yahama Custom, or a Selmer Super Action 80 series II.
Remember, It takes your entire life to learn the saxophone.
Then when your done with all the fundimentals...
then you can start to think about learning Jazz Improvisation.
Are you seriously saying you should purchase and play through ALL of those books before getting a nice horn and before even thinking about learning Jazz improvisation? Because if you are that's completely absurd.
 

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I'm sorry you think it's absurd...
What I'm saying is a beginner should get a good basic student alto like the Yamaha and go to town. If their saxophone skills improve greatly, then they can reward themself with a nicer pro sax.. What if the beginner got a pro horn, and dropped it, that could be expensive...
I know that a professional player could also accidentally drop an expensive sax...
Please don't put the cart before the horse, it not about the horn, it about the players skills...
I know it's expensive to purchase all this music, I spent alot of my money on on this, but it's an investment after 40 years...
I still have all this music to practice,
If you want to be a professional saxophonist, this is to expected...
How can you play jazz, if you don't know the saxophone?
 

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What I'm saying is a beginner should get a good basic student alto like the Yamaha and go to town…
I agree with that. Starting with a modern horn makes it easier for a beginner to finger the sax and get in tune. (vintage lovers, hold your fire. I love older saxes too.)
 

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I also agree. I find that the Zephyr has a few intonation problems which makes life hard for a beginner.
Out of curiosity, approx. how many of which Zephyr "vintages" have you played? Having owned around 10 Zephyrs from across the entire 40 or so years of their production, I've found that yes, the ones from the late '30s through the mid '40s can be challenging intonation-wise (but then again, so can a lot of American horns from that era); but by around 280,xxx the Zephyr is essentially the same horn as the Super 20 in all important construction, and my mid 1950s Zephyr tenor has spot-on intonation.

Is your experience with earlier "Art Deco" Zephyrs, because yes, I agree those can be wonky, especially without the right "period" mouthpiece.

And btw most 1930s Conns I've played have not had a spot-on scale.
 

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I have first hand experience with several of the horns mentioned by the original poster and the Yamaha 23.

My teacher found me a Conn 6m when I was in the 4th grade. I played it through high school and got a Selmer Mark VI for college and the next 35 years. I sold the Mark VI over the winter and bought a 1958 King Zephyr. I am loving this horn more than my very good Mark VI. Perhaps because it was time for me to move on and do something different. It does have it's quirks however. So did the Conn. After several years, most of the bugs were taken out of the mark VI.....After 35 years it was almost a flawless player.

However...........................If possible, I recommend that my students get Yamaha 23's if they can afford them. The ergonomics are very good, the intonation is very good, the tone quality with a good mouthpiece is very good, the durability is very good. You are likely to find one for 600.00 or less in perfect condition. The vintage horns you are looking at may need work to really be up to snuff. If they don't need work now, they will! As a new player, you are at the mercy of the seller in this area. Of the horns mentioned, the Yamaha the best place for a student to start. It may be all the saxophone you ever need.


As for all the books...............................


You won't need them all at once. but, take a look at the credentials of the person making the suggestion. He is a real live, working musician. The material he suggests is very proven and will provide quite an education in the instrument.
 

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The OP never said he was intending on becoming a professional saxophonist. And he may not be prepared to invest the time and effort required.

I agree that a Yamaha 23 would probably be all he really needs at this stage. However, we all have an individual approach to music, and for some, getting a pro horn, long before they are a pro, is part of the motivation to play, practice, become better and enjoy the journey.
 
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