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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a king zephyr alto on the way, but no mouthpiece...does anyone know which king mouthpiece model would have been originally on a 1940 zephyr? The sax has the moved tonehole for low c#, rounded keywork, double socket neck, and triple loop for neck strap. Thanks!
 

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Are you looking for the actual original mouthpiece specifically, or one that will play well on the horn? I don't know what the original would have been, but I have a Series 1 Super 20 that is essentially the same alto. It is very mouthpiece friendly. I have played Beechlers, a Jody Jazz Jet and currently a Meyer and they all work very well on my King.
 

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Are looking for the actual original mouthpiece specifically, or one that will play well on the horn? I don't know what the original would have been, but I have a Series 1 Super 20 that is essentially the same alto. It is very mouthpiece friendly. I have played Beechlers, a Jody Jazz Jet and currently a Meyer and they all work very well on my King.
Well, what came with the horn was probably one of those generic blanks stamped with "King". Check out Mark Fleming's website for dissertations on these.

What is likely to work well? I'd say Meyer, Brilhart Tonalin/Ebolin/HR, Otto Link HR are what professional musicians were most likely to be playing on when they were new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a few mouthpieces that I'll try on it...some old holton metal/bakelite hybrids (I really like these), a buescher from a true tone, a selmer c*s80, and have a super tone master on the way...but was trying to figure out what originally came with it...as long as they aren't too expensive, it would be nice to hear what the horn was "supposed to" sound like. I've seen a bunch of king mouthpieces on ebay, but I haven't been able to figure out which would have been correct...there's king "a" mouthpieces, king unmarked, king equa-tru in all rubber, equa tru with a metal ring around the shank, and a few marked "zephyr special". I don't have access to the classifieds area of saxontheweb to see what's there...I've been lurking on the site for years, but just signed up a few weeks ago. I'll check out Mr. Fleming's website. Thanks.
 

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Most King mouthpieces I've seen were white so a Tonalin would at least look the part. None of them were anything special and a vintage Brilhart would most likely be an improvement. However, just to have a good mouthpiece on it to play, I'd probably go with a STM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, what came with the horn was probably one of those generic blanks stamped with "King". Check out Mark Fleming's website for dissertations on these.

What is likely to work well? I'd say Meyer, Brilhart Tonalin/Ebolin/HR, Otto Link HR are what professional musicians were most likely to be playing on when they were new.
Can't seem to find the Mark Fleming website you refer to. Dr. Google isn't working. Do you have the link? Thanks.
 

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I have one of those vintage white plastic generic King alto pieces with a rollover baffle and no other markings. It's a bit closed, but not a bad player on my 1950 Zephyr, and very loud.
 

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I'll keep my eye out for cheap equa tru pieces.
Why? They can be truly awful mouthpieces. As old as they are, you can't assume buying sight unseen that they haven't been mangled as well. Horns have come with stock mouthpieces for a long, long time. And they're rarely the best match given all the better options out there. I'm not telling you to spend a fortune. But if you want a vintage piece that won't break the bank, seek out Woodwind Co. pieces. I have an earlier Zephyr alto that has sketchy intonation with modern styled mouthpieces, and my son used a WW Co. piece to keep it in tune. But yours is a later version and should be fine with most other mouthpieces.

Your best bet would be to find a Meyer-like alto mouthpiece from a decent maker like Vandoren. Or you could go with a Selmer piece. You just don't have to find what came with the horn... because if it ain't still in the case, someone dumped it long ago; and probably for good reason.
 

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I have the same Zephyr. Compared to my Yanagisawa AWO2, the Zephyr has a darker tone and more resistance. I am not sure what you are using now, but you may considered something with a smaller tip opening or a softer reed. I also like a slightly brighter mouthpiece on it, otherwise if I use something like Link STM, it sound a bit dull.

Also, just a note, I can’t fit a Berg HR on it. I can’t push it back enough for some reason.


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Why? They can be truly awful mouthpieces. As old as they are, you can't assume buying sight unseen that they haven't been mangled as well. Horns have come with stock mouthpieces for a long, long time. And they're rarely the best match given all the better options out there. I'm not telling you to spend a fortune. But if you want a vintage piece that won't break the bank, seek out Woodwind Co. pieces. I have an earlier Zephyr alto that has sketchy intonation with modern styled mouthpieces, and my son used a WW Co. piece to keep it in tune. But yours is a later version and should be fine with most other mouthpieces.

Your best bet would be to find a Meyer-like alto mouthpiece from a decent maker like Vandoren. Or you could go with a Selmer piece. You just don't have to find what came with the horn... because if it ain't still in the case, someone dumped it long ago; and probably for good reason.
I get that. I have a few mouthpieces I'll try on it, but I'd like to hear what it was meant to sound like. Not worth spending a lot of money to hear it, but worth a little.
 

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I get that. I have a few mouthpieces I'll try on it, but I'd like to hear what it was meant to sound like. Not worth spending a lot of money to hear it, but worth a little.
I don't put a lot of stock into what it is 'supposed' to sound like. Get 20 players on the same setup and you're going to get 20 different sounds. Finding the original piece is more of a collector move to have a complete set, though in this case it adds exactly $0 to the value of your horn

Best advice is to make sure it sounds like an alto and you like your tone. I also play a similar vintage Zephyr alto with the double socket and have for 15 years, it is a very mouthpiece friendly horn. I've had the same Jody Jazz Classic on it for about a decade now, previously played a Meyer 6M on it. Used a Vandoren for some more classical work in school, everything worked great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't put a lot of stock into what it is 'supposed' to sound like. Get 20 players on the same setup and you're going to get 20 different sounds. Finding the original piece is more of a collector move to have a complete set, though in this case it adds exactly $0 to the value of your horn

Best advice is to make sure it sounds like an alto and you like your tone. I also play a similar vintage Zephyr alto with the double socket and have for 15 years, it is a very mouthpiece friendly horn. I've had the same Jody Jazz Classic on it for about a decade now, previously played a Meyer 6M on it. Used a Vandoren for some more classical work in school, everything worked great!
I hear ya. sax is supposed to arrive Monday, and have a Link STM arriving Saturday...so I'll see pretty soon how I really feel about it...but my favorite mouthpiece is actually a stock vintage mouthpiece...not from the same horn that I use it on, but it came from a horn from the same era. I did end up getting that one opened up a little, but I have an identical one that's still stock, as far as I know.
 

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Not tenor, but I have one of those white pieces for alto. Mine is (just barely readable) "Bruno Artist". This is the exact same model of mouthpiece Johnny Hodges played at some point in his last years. I'm betting his wasn't a #2 like mine. It sounds great but with a #2 facing it's really really quiet. From reading Fleming's website it looks like there were lots of these made and stamped with pretty much everything under the sun. They may actually be essentially the same as the Brilhart Ebolin and Tonalin too, if I'm reading correctly. So they might not be too bad at all. I've thought about picking up a couple to mess around with.
 

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Well, if it's an Equa-Tru you've got your heart set on, you can probably convince someone that has one to give you at least twenty bucks to take it off their hands...
I've tried that before. It won't work. Try booze.
 

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I find that my Z is good with any mouthpiece. I guess I am odd as I use the same S-80 D on every alto I have. Same mouthpiece for 40 years,
 

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See now, I misunderstood bruce's advice some time ago, and picked up a Super Session D on sale. But damn, it's great on all my altos. Good intonation and just the right amount of velvety focus for ballads. I always take it along to gigs, though don't always use it.
 
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