|Dimensions||34 × 14 × 9 in|
**Price includes Matt Stohrer’s overhaul which was JUST finished!
If you’re reading this, then welcome! I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite tenor saxophones. There are many versions of King Super 20 tenors and King SilverSonic tenors and it can be confusing for people who don’t regularly geek out about vintage saxophones to know which ones are the best. The short answer in this case would be – this one! The reasons, you ask? So, the next earlier SilverSonic version, the ‘Series II’ with pearl side keys, will cost you many many thousands of dollars more money (because only around 200 exist). This is the next version after that, and it has the best combination of features that you could ask for: solid silver (not plated, but all the way through silver) neck and bell; thick gold plate inside the engraving on the bell, gold wash inside the bell with lacquer over it; double socket neck with underslung octave key. All of those features go away at one time or another on later Super 20’s and SilverSonics. So to have them all in one horn is what you want.
That’s the first big reason. The second is keywork. People always seem to want keywork that feels modern, even on a vintage horn. This is a barrier to lots of players getting to experience best vintage horns – they can have trouble with the idea that a Conn 10M or a Buescher Top Hat and Cane has different pinky key layout, and are afraid they won’t be able to adjust. If you’ve had the pleasure of spending a week playing a horn with an unfamiliar key layout, you’ll know already, that this fear is overplayed. Your brain makes the changes in your muscle memory and you very soon feel comfortable and at home. Nevertheless… if you’re someone who wants it both ways – vintage horn build quality, beauty and tone, but modern-ish keywork, then this is the horn for you. The Series III Super 20’s and SilverSonics are the first ones that feel pretty much modern under the fingers. No, low Bb does not tilt like your Yamaha, but it’s still in the same location and is the same basic shape. So it’s easier to make the move to this version of SilverSonic.
And why move? Well, to me, beauty alone is a sufficient reason. It’s easily one of the most beautiful saxophones ever made.That gold over silver on the bell, plus the neck – people are still imitating that look today, to varying degrees of success. This tenor just got a complete overhaul done by Matt Stohrer, who does King overhauls as well as anyone on the planet, if not better. Now, everything on this horn is clean, straight, tidy, and snappy, just like it should be. It probably plays better now than it did when it was brand new! It’s just fantastic. As Kings go, it’s in the medium category between dark and spread (Zephyr Special/ Super 20 series 1) and bright and focused (series IV and V Super 20). This has the earlier double socket neck design like a Series II, but the sterling silver bell seems to give it some extra zing, and it plays a little brighter than my Series II Super 20 brass bell that I compare everything to, and a lot more focused than my Zephyr Special, but not as bright and laser focused as the last few later SilverSonics that have come through. Lots of power though.
This version of the SilverSonic deserves to be worth more than it is, and I have this one priced actually lower than the last one I sold 10 years ago, so it’s definitely a great deal. You just don’t see Series III SilverSonics with doube socket neck and gold in the engraving very often. And they have a super-powerful, fat but not too shrill, projecting tone that is really hard to beat. This could easily be your only horn for the rest of your life, and you would never need to upgrade, and probably would never even be tempted to. Now that I’ve written this description, if the horn suddenly disappears from the site, you’ll know I decided to just keep it and play it.
Only one available! (Here it is playing a ballad, and it sounds quite different playing straight ahead.)