Jeff Taylor's 1938 King Zephyr

When I received this instrument I was in for a surprise. Jeff had sent some pictures for me to use in evaluating the instrument, but they showed none of the real problems. The instrument had been painted with a heavy gold colored paint that had long ago tarnished. The body of the instrument had been badly beaten and had had a tremendous amount of dent work done to it. It was very rough to say the least.

You can click on any of these pics to view them at full size.

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As you can see, the engraving was completely gone. The bottom bow and neck were very rough and required a lot of hand burnishing just to get them right.

The first pic shows the bell before and after we had the engraving re-etched. The others are more detail of the engraving. The original engraving was followed exactly.

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After we received the bell back from the engraver's, we reassembled the body and masked off the engraved area. The body was then etched using a very fine glass bead. This helped to cover a multitude of faults in the body that could not be corrected without removing so much metal as to affect the sound of the instrument.

Then the instrument was silverplated with a goldplate inside the bell. Because of the bead blasting, the body is a satin silver while the engraved area, the neck, inside the bell, and the keys are all mirror bright.

After the instrument was plated, we sent the it to The Brass Bow Music Company for Cryogenic Treatment.  Cryo Treatment is a cold  annealing process that removes stress in the brass. All manufactured instruments have these stresses, but an instrument that has been damaged and then had dents removed has even greater stresses in the brass. This probably saved the instrument. The sound is now very even and big. Not what I expected from an instrument so badly abused.


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Jeff wanted; a big, bright tenor sound, so I used Hollywood boosters on black goatskin pads. The pads have a very hard felt with brass foil in between the leather and the felt. These pads are very flat, firm and stable.

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The rest of the pics are different views of the finished instrument.

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Now completed, this King is exactly what a King owner would want. A huge bright sound that will fill any room and yet it has the capabilities to be played soft and sweet. It's a great versatile horn!