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 some 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!