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It seems many have the opinion that Zeph tenors were the series 2 and were best between late 40's and late 50's or ... serials up to 378xxx I think it is? I know I had one in mid 300xxx range and it was great! Of course I sold it ... damn there was a severe case of seller's remorse! What's the main changes or differences from a Zeph built a couple of years later ... say around low 400xx range? Pics I've seen show the neck is no longer double socket in the 60's. Was anything else changed in the neck or tube, i.e. bore size? I think the idea that the horns built later are considered "intermediate" is of no matter. I believe that's all cosmetics is it not?
 

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There are tons of discussions on the evolution of the Zeph. Basically you had one which was pretty much right in the 'sweet spot'.

General inclination , whether correct or not, is to believe that the Eastlake ones were inferior to the last Cleveland ones, although a number of members here fell that is not the case and that they remained quite good for quite a while, up until the '70's.

People also poo-poo the earlier Zephs, the ones which weren't akin to the first S20's...which I also feel is an unfair rap. Yes, their tubes were different, coming off of the VT-II design....but they produced a sax sound which is a paradigm long, long lost now. They were breath-y, sweet, sexy. But I digress.

In answer to your Q, there did come a time when the metal gauge changed and the body design/manufacture changed...so those weren't 'cosmetic' changes...they actually resulted in a dumbing-down of the model.

I will let those more knowledgeable with the history chime in to say exactly when that may have been....
 

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Hey thanks Jaye for the comprehensive reply! Very helpful.
"breathy sweet and sexy" eh? Suddenly I feel like I'm in an altogether different type of website! LOL.
 

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It seems many have the opinion that Zeph tenors were the series 2 and were best between late 40's and late 50's or ... serials up to 378xxx I think it is? I know I had one in mid 300xxx range and it was great! Of course I sold it ... damn there was a severe case of seller's remorse! What's the main changes or differences from a Zeph built a couple of years later ... say around low 400xx range? Pics I've seen show the neck is no longer double socket in the 60's. Was anything else changed in the neck or tube, i.e. bore size? I think the idea that the horns built later are considered "intermediate" is of no matter. I believe that's all cosmetics is it not?
Yes, a 300,xxx horn (ca. 1949) is right in the sweet spot of what I and many others consider the best Zephyrs in that it has the same bore and overall build quality of a full pearls Super 20 of the same year.

And yes, up around 370,xxx the Zephyr was cheapened considerably: The double-socket neck was eliminated, the keys became nickel-plated and the keywork became similar to that on the student Cleveland. In fact, though the Zephyr remained King's intermediate model, it was just as much a student model at this point as the pro horn it had previously been.

So even though it's still H.N. White-made I would shy away from a 400,xxx Zephyr unless it's a real steal, say no more than $300 for an alto and no more than $450 for a tenor (this is assuming both will need work of course).

But don't get me wrong: I think these make great back-up horns, and can sound fabulous; I just think the keywork on them is a little clunkier and "Cleveland-like" than earlier versions of the Zephyr.

Hope this helps.
 

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well, I am one who thinks that my Super 20 Eastlake 460XXX is every bit as good as any Cleveland of the nearby serial numbers , besides I even prefer the way the LH table is made on mine! (Smaller and more rounded and elegant).

Zephyr wise the later series are very good (I have had a '70 Zephyr alto) , I own a 1938 tenor which is very good indeed but the later series have better ergonomics , again, for the LH table, for example. Intonation-wise I think mine is very similar to the later 1940 series
 

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well, I am one who thinks that my Super 20 Eastlake 460XXX is every bit as good as any Cleveland of the nearby serial numbers , besides I even prefer the way the LH table is made on mine! (Smaller and more rounded and elegant).

Zephyr wise the later series are very good (I have had a '70 Zephyr alto) , I own a 1938 tenor which is very good indeed but the later series have better ergonomics , again, for the LH table, for example. Intonation-wise I think mine is very similar to the later 1940 series
Keep in mind I am talking only about Zephyrs here (the subject of this thread); and yes, the Eastlake Super 20's are pro horns all the way with the best ergos ever on an American-made sax.

However, I used to own a 380,xxx Zephyr tenor closer to the Cleveland-made 400,xxx he is considering, and I can tell you that the keywork on it was more like a student Cleveland than a Super 20. And I also thought it was inferior to the overall quality of Z's in the 300,xxx range, which he would be accustomed to.

Again, I think these later Zephyrs are very solid, well-built horns with the classic big King thing. In fact, I have found the late Clevelands such as the one he's considering to play even better than the early Eastlake Zephyrs (is that the first usage of that expression? :bluewink:). I just don't think they're as great as the earlier ones, especially those in the 280,xxx to 370,xxx range.
 

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well, I am one who thinks that my Super 20 Eastlake 460XXX is every bit as good as any Cleveland of the nearby serial numbers , besides I even prefer the way the LH table is made on mine! (Smaller and more rounded and elegant).

Zephyr wise the later series are very good (I have had a '70 Zephyr alto) , I own a 1938 tenor which is very good indeed but the later series have better ergonomics , again, for the LH table, for example. Intonation-wise I think mine is very similar to the later 1940 series
Milandro, I want to find a Super 20 alto but was wondering about the Zephyr altos. Are there any other King altos with the same LH pinky layout as the Super 20?
 

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Milandro, I want to find a Super 20 alto but was wondering about the Zephyr altos. Are there any other King altos with the same LH pinky layout as the Super 20?

I'll help here. No, there are not--if you're talking about the general LH layout on Super 20's made from 305,xxx on (i.e. the one your S20 would have). However, Super 20s from 272,xxx to 295,xxx have the same LH layout as most Zephyrs (basically the Zephyr Special design). But I doubt you would be interested in horns with that less ergonomic design, if that is the main selling point for you.

But I wouldn't rule out a Zephyr, for they will still have the same overall feel and key layout as a Super 20 and since many players use them as backups, or in the case of pros like Jesse Davis, as their main horns.

FYI--



And btw guys--there's goin' be no livin' with me now... :mrgreen:
 

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Trying out an ealier Zephyr tenor with the square cut to the keys is what gave me the itch for a King tenor. Great transition between the octaves to them, though certainly not as slick in the keywork department as compared to later King models.
 

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I also have a soft spot for ealy Zeph keywork....I think that it was actually pretty darn comfy and easy to move around on.

Smokey...I have a '55 Alto if you are interested; she's hardly pristine but is in the process of being worked up very nicely...PM me.

A lot echoes that the 'best' period was the 270,XXX-370,XXX time frame...this has been written quite a bit. But...

And yes, up around 370,xxx the Zephyr was cheapened considerably: The double-socket neck was eliminated, the keys became nickel-plated and the keywork became similar to that on the student Cleveland. In fact, though the Zephyr remained King's intermediate model, it was just as much a student model at this point as the pro horn it had previously been.
...and yes, the Eastlake Super 20's are pro horns all the way with the best ergos ever on an American-made sax.
This is confusing to me....can you elucidate ? (not trying to be a wiseguy).

It seems you suggest the last Cleves were dumbed-down to a lesser horn, then also claim that the early Eastlakes are pro models all the way....

So do you feel the models took a 'dip' in the late Cleveland period and came back 'up' with the early Eastlake horns ?????
Is there a difference between the last Cleveland-made and early Eastlake-made Zeph horns at all ???? Say, between a '63 and a '66 ???
 

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I also have a soft spot for ealy Zeph keywork....I think that it was actually pretty darn comfy and easy to move around on.

Smokey...I have a '55 Alto if you are interested; she's hardly pristine but is in the process of being worked up very nicely...PM me.





This is confusing to me....can you elucidate ? (not trying to be a wiseguy).

It seems you suggest the last Cleves were dumbed-down to a lesser horn, then also claim that the early Eastlakes are pro models all the way....

So do you feel the model took a 'dip' in the late Cleveland period and came back 'up' with the early Eastlake horns ?????

Is there a difference between the last Cleveland-made and early Eastlake-made horns at all ????
When I referred to "Clevelands" above I meant the Cleveland student line of horns, as opposed to the city the plant was located in. Basically, I was saying that after 370,xxx the Zephyr had more in common with the "Cleveland" student model than before. I never meant to bring Super 20s into the discussion, which just confuses matters; and I think someone else misunderstand my usage of "Clevelands" to mean all King horns produced in that city as well.
 

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OK, I see what you mean.

So you feel the Zephs went downhill in the late (geographic) Cleveland-made period... and stayed there....while the S20's didn't....
 
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