Super 20

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  • King SilverSonic Tenor Saxophone Exceptionally Fine Player Overhauled 402584

    $ 5,750

    Here is a freshly overhauled King Super 20 SilverSonic (solid sterling neck and bell with gold inlay engraving) in excellent shape with a *monstrous* sound.  The overhaul is extremely clean and well done, and sports high-end reusable Tenor Madness resonators. The action is quick and light and smooth and feels absolutely fantastic under the fingers.  Even the left hand pinky table, which can be challenging for some repairers to get right, is light and snappy as it was designed to be. Seriously, hand this horn to the guy next to you on the bandstand just to let him feel it for a sec if you want to ruin his day.  

    Physically, this sax is in great condition as well.   The lacquer is original and has signs of honest wear, but there are no signs of any major or even minor damage or resolders, past or present.  The body is straight and the keys are all tight with no lost motion. Owner’s name lightly engraved on bottom of bell. Could be removed if you wanted to, but it is not noticeable. SilverSonics like this with the gold in the engraving on the silver bell are few and far between, and this one is bona fide Great. 

    It is hard to find a Super 20 SilverSonic tenor in good physical shape, and even harder to get one overhauled this well.  Buy this horn and you’ve got it all right out of the box- no worries, no mystery, no gremlins awaiting you down the line. Just a great American-made sax that is ready to make bandmates jealous, project all the way to the back of the room, and look great doing it.  

  • King Super 20 Alto Saxophone 1950 Full Pearls 308k Original Lacquer Fresh Matt Stohrer Overhaul!

    $ 6,000

    King altos are the best altos ever. This one has beautiful original lacquer and looks great, with the only past repair being a resoldered key guard foot. It just got a full, fresh, high-end overhaul, done by Matt Stohrer. This means it got about 30 hours of highly-skilled labor done to make the mechanism all factory fresh, and to replace everything that can be replaced so that it is back to new playing condition and pad wise. Matt is something of an authority on vintage King repair You can watch his repairman’s overview of King Super 20 saxophones here. I’m tempted to wax eloquent about what a proper overhaul includes, but think of it like rebuilding an engine or replacing a transmission, and you’ll have the right idea. It now performs great and will be ready to go for many many years to come with only regular maintenance needed.

    This King Super 20 alto is from just about the most desirable year, 1950, which is the same version of Super 20 that Cannonball Adderley played on Kind of Blue and Somethin’ Else. It is in great shape, with no serious past repairs at all.  This is the ‘Series II’ which has the best combination of beauty, features, and key work of all of the Super 20 altos. You really can get the Cannonball Adderley vibe going on one of these (with lots of practice) better than almost anything else. Cannonball played almost exactly this serial alto on Kind of Blue. This plus a Meyer 5 or Ted Klum NY Model plus a soft reed and lots of guts is what you need for what I consider to be the benchmark for good alto sound.

    Why do I say that Super 20’s like this are the best altos ever? The overall combination of tone, beauty, and ergonomics. For me, great tone that you get from these full pearls Super 20’s is pretty hard to beat. It’s warm, full, rich, and projecting, but without any hint of shrillness or thinness. Cannonball’s tone, I always think of as a tenor saxophone reincarnated in the body of an alto, and that’s pretty much what a Super 20 alto like this is. It feels like the tone is coming from a bigger, deeper instrument, but in the alto register, which is really remarkable.

    Just for fun, here’s Cannonball on his Series II Super 20 playing one of his classic ballads, Dancin’ in the Dark.

  • King Super 20 Tenor 298061 Series 1a Full Pearls Original Lacquer (mostly gone) Recent Overhaul

    $ 5,450

    This is a 1948 King Super 20 tenor saxophone with ‘full pearls’ on the side keys, G#, octave key, and palm keys, as well as on the rest of the key touches. The pearls, solid silver neck, double socket neck tenon, and fancier engraving mark this out as being the deluxe version of the Super 20 that sells for more and that is highly coveted by players for its beauty and unbeatable tone. This tenor is original lacquer, meaning that it hasn’t been refinished, but the original lacquer was chemically removed from the body tube, and still remains on the keys giving the horn a cool two tone look. It came to me from a pro player on consignment, and it plays well, like you might expect for a horn that had been recently restored. It was overhauled by Ivan Lukyanets in Encino, CA, who has a great reputation among pro players in the LA area. It feels nice and snappy under the fingers, and the black kangaroo skin pads are sealing well. They have flat, medium sized metal resonators that work well on a King and are similar to factory spec for this era.

    This tenor is very clean condition mechanically. I don’t see any past dent work or any resolders or other past repairs at all. The original solid sterling silver neck is also in excellent condition, and has not been damaged or pulled down. It has the matching serial number, as you can see.

    The main reason to get a King Super 20 tenor saxophone is the tone. These late 40’s Super 20 tenors are big and bold and projecting while still being medium dark and very saturated and punchy. If you put on a brighter mouthpiece, like the classic Berg Larsen / King Super 20 pairing, then you get a killing sort of dark/fat/bright/projecting sound that you can’t get on any other saxophone. It’s the reason why there is such a thriving community of King Super 20 players even 70 years after horns like this one were manufactured. It’s my favorite tenor as well, out of everything that I have played.

    If you’re looking for a very good professional tenor to play and enjoy that won’t back down no matter what you throw at it, that will cut through a band with ease, even without amplification, and that has the beauty of the pearls, engraving, and silver neck, then by all means, get this one. I try to keep a good selection of King Super 20 tenors around, so check them out, and email me with any questions. If you want to pair it with a new case, I can get you a great deal on a BAM that will fit it well. Just for fun, here’s a clip of Charlie Ventura playing his ’48 King Super 20 tenor. And I suspect, but cannot prove, that Sonny Rollins played Saxophone Colossus on a Super 20 much like this! 

    Only one available!

     

  • Sold Out

    King Super 20 Tenor Original Lacquer Amazing Condition 297xxx

    This is a 1948 King Super 20 tenor saxophone with ‘full pearls’ on the side keys, G#, octave key, and palm keys, as well as on the rest of the key touches. The pearls, solid silver neck, double socket neck tenon, and fancier engraving mark this out as being the deluxe version of the Super 20 that sells for more and that is highly coveted by players for its beauty and unbeatable tone. This tenor is original lacquer, in uncommonly nice condition. This is one of the best 40’s Super 20’s that I have seen, with beautiful honey gold original lacquer.

    This tenor is very clean condition mechanically. I don’t see any past dent work or any resolders or other past repairs, aside from so very small dents removed from the back of the bow area that are nearly invisible. The original solid sterling silver neck is also in excellent condition, and has not been damaged or pulled down. It has the matching serial number, as you can see, and it even has some of the original gold lacquer remaining on it! This sax was overhauled before I got it, and it plays well on the current overhaul.

    The main reason to get a King Super 20 tenor saxophone is the tone. These late 40’s Super 20 tenors are big and bold and projecting while still being medium dark and very saturated and punchy. If you put on a brighter mouthpiece, like the classic Berg Larsen / King Super 20 pairing, then you get a killing sort of dark/fat/bright/projecting sound that you can’t get on any other saxophone. It’s the reason why there is such a thriving community of King Super 20 players even 70 years after horns like this one were manufactured. It’s my favorite tenor as well, out of everything that I have played.

    If you’re looking for a very good professional tenor to play and enjoy that won’t back down no matter what you throw at it, that will cut through a band with ease, even without amplification, and that has the beauty of the pearls, engraving, and silver neck, then by all means, get this one. I try to keep a good selection of King Super 20 tenors around, so check them out, and email me with any questions. If you want to pair it with a new case, I can get you a great deal on a BAM that will fit it well. Just for fun, here’s a clip of Charlie Ventura playing his ’48 King Super 20 tenor. And I suspect, but cannot prove, that Sonny Rollins played Saxophone Colossus on a Super 20 much like this! 

    Only one available!

     

  • King Super 20 Tenor Original Lacquer Full Pearls Fresh Overhaul!

    $ 6,450

    Price just lowered 6/4/19! This is one of the most beautiful saxophones ever produced – the King Super 20 with pearl side keys and palm keys, bell and bow key cups engraved, solid silver neck, three ring strap hook – just about as de-luxe as it gets.

    But wait, there’s more! For a price lower than a new Keilwerth Shadow, or a new Selmer Reference etc, you get not only one of the best-built, most beautiful, best-sounding tenors ever made. You also get it with a fresh overhaul done by one of the most meticulous saxophone repairmen in the business – Carlo Cennamo of cennamowoodwinds.com . I have been hearing good things about Carlo’s work for a few years, but I finally got to see it earlier this year, and it is just top quality. Full mechanical rebuild including all key fitting to precise better-than-new tolerances; excellent pad work that feels dry and snappy under the fingers and makes the horn resonate its notes on its own as you close the pads; adjustment materials that make sense throughout; a carefully done neck fit for a good seal; nice, even spring tensions. This is a $1500++ overhaul and takes Carlo almost an entire work week to complete. So that’s a big deal.

    The only past repair I see on this horn is a resoldered brace on the bell side that popped off on its own when the horn was disassembled. It was popped right back on and is in good shape now. This horn has obviously been babied since it was new. It has almost all of its original lacquer intact. For you King geeks out there, this is King’s ‘light’ colored lacquer advertised in its sales brochures. The dark lacquer ranges from caramel to chocolate colored and looks completely different.

    This horn just sings, with a medium dark core tone that gets brighter and punchier as you push it. The solid silver neck gives you more upper partials and a bit more of a ringing focus to the sound. The whole horn comes alive as you play, and the response is particularly satisfying. If you have never played a saxophone that is actually right, then I hope that you will soon get to experience it. Low Bb is just another easy note to play, and you can play the entire low register easily at any volume, including pianissimo without losing ‘saturation’ in the sound. Basically, the horn just gets out of the way and lets you play what you want. It’s a beautiful thing.

    This comes with a new BAM Classic tenor case, and you can swap that out for a different case if you want to discuss options. There’s only one available of this beautiful Super 20. Get it now!

  • Powell Silver Eagle SE10 Alto One of 18 Made – all options solid silver +Matt Stohrer Overhau

    $ 12,000

    For your viewing pleasure, this is one of the 18 Powell Silver Eagle saxophones made. Powell conceived of an ambitious project to bring back an American-made saxophone of the highest quality. Inspired by the Super 20 SilverSonic, the Silver Eagle reproduces the bore while adding solid silver soldered tone holes and modern keywork. Powell sadly ended their project after making only 18 saxophones, despite high demand, due to the high cost of production. This horn plays like a good super 20 but a little more evenly, and has been completely overhauled by Matt Stohrer. This is the ultimate collectible among modern saxophones, and it is also a burning player. Asking price is just what these cost new, plus a little extra since it got a $1500 overhaul on top of that! It’s not even inflated for the collectibility value, which is probably not smart of me, but there it is. If you want to discuss all the details of this project, I can put you in touch with the people who built it. These were most definitely a new saxophone bore and neck design, inspired by the best King Super 20 SilverSonic altos, both according to them and according to the folks who bought the tooling and mandrels when the project ended. The keywork is modified from tooling bought from B&S, which accounts for the pinky table that sticks out farther than it would on something like a Yamaha.

    There is most certainly only one available. This one has all the possible factory options, which only a subset of Powell Silver Eagles had – including the solid silver tone holes and even cryo treatment. Of the 18 saxophones built, I know at least a couple of them were brass bell, and some others lacked other of these features. This is one of the ones with everything, which makes it even more collectible. Includes the original accessories, case, and paperwork.

    Just for fun, here’s Matt Stohrer’s repairman’s overview from when he overhauled it.