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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a vintage Guardala Super King Curtis, the model with the highest baffle, here for trial. I had a King before, but never a Super King. My first impression is that it lives up to the information I could find online: very loud, a lot of focus and projection. Yes, this baby will cut through a complex sonic situation.
What surprises me, on the other hand, right from the start is the fact that there is indeed another side to this model: you need to adjust your embouchure, but it can sound a lot softer and more spread if you can manage a balance between losing your muscles yet holding on to a proper airstream.
Have you experienced the same surprise with your Super King Curtis concerning a "double character"? Mine is a 5-digit silver plated with the original round brown box, lit and black plastic cap. Engraving says DG and SKC, and the diagonal file marks plus the near perfect state (no loss of plating, no dents, perfect rails) make this mouthpiece very tempting.
I will have to give it back within a week. If I can't decide: how rare are these models? I would hate to let it go if I'm undecided and to find out later I can't find another one if I regret returning it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, 1saxman. I'm not sure about the throat ring, so I'll add a couple of pics. It does look like it was filed down. The bite plate has a protective seal that was put on by the shop who's selling it. For legal reasons I have rendered this seal white because I'm not sure if I'm allowed to make their logo available to the public.
I have measured it with my feeler gauges, and the tip opening will be something between 0.120 and 0.122.
There is a 3-digit King Curtis available at a shop in Berlin at the moment, but I'm not too sure if the gold plating on that one is original: I can't detect the typical file marks. On the other hand, I do not know if the gold ones show them as well as the silver ones.

https://www.saxophon-service.de/detail/index/sArticle/1673/sCategory/1547
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess the "lopsided" impression is due to the camera being held off-axis. I just have a small Ixus at hand that makes it impossible to control a correct perpendicular position.
What always puzzles me is the matching of serial numbers to production years. If I got you right, 1saxman, my SKC features a "more rounded" window, making it an earlier model. How does that correspond with the 5-digit serial that indicates a later model? If you go to the link above showing a 3-digit King Curtis in Berlin and look at the pictures you may find that its window looks more like a square than the one on my SKC. Moreover, as I said, the 3-digit KC looks like the files marks are filled with plating or lacquer. Strange. How did DG handle those serial numbers, btw?
I just found this old thread you started, 1saxman:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?119372-Guardala-Serial-Number

Well, at least I can say that the number engraved on my SKC (14115) shows there ARE mouthpiece that Dave made which feature a 5-digit serial number. Maybe he changed his system somewhere on the way from a consecutive number regardless of the different models to a complex number of a model plus serial or a year of production plus serial. We'll never know....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your expertise, MojoBari. Concerning the 'King' vs 'King Curtis' mystery: the typical round box that came with this mouthpiece says 'Super King' whereas the engraving on the mouthpiece itself shows the 'C' for Curtis. I don't know if the older boxes made it 'Super King Curtis', but it might be that Dave did not really fear a 'C' on the mouthpiece might cause legal hassle whereas a 'Curtis' on the box certainly would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I bought this mouthpiece because I had always wanted to play a Super King Curtis. I still love it, but the playing time it gets and the money involved cannot really justify its life in my drawer. So I have decided to put it up for sale. I know these special Guardala mouthpieces will always go up in value, but I'm not really a collector and am not really planning to become one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I never said it was a gold plated Super King Curtis. The engraving SKC clearly indicates it's either a "Silver King Curtis" or a "Super King Curtis" model. The label on the box says it's a "Super King" model:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/u9d568nonr53dtc/AAAD2kb_E21sOCZAB7C92w1ca?dl=0

I have owned and played a lot of Guardala mouthpieces over the years, and both plating and facing do look original and genuine.
 
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