King 660 Alto

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Thread: King 660 Alto

  1. #1

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    Cool King 660 Alto

    Hi,

    Can anyone tell me anything about the King 660 Alto. I'm thinking of purchasing one in good condition for $400, as an intermediate/student horn. What I want is a good sax that will get me through perhaps the first few years of learning. I'm interested primarily in jazz.

    Thanks,

    Sean

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  3. #2

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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    All the king models are jazz horns so don't worry about it. But I will mention that without a good mouthpiece you won't get that jazzy sound the king has, so I advise you get something like a yamaha 23 for learning, then once you have the chops get a vandoren v16 small chamber or something like that, and also, good condition on the internet could mean that the sax body is in good condition, but it will need an overhaul. I highly advise you play on the horn before you buy it if you can. Otherwise, don't buy it because I once bought an HN white King for 800$ in "good condition" but the overhaul cost me $925.


    In summary, don't buy it if you can't try it. Go down to your local music store and get a YAS-23, you won't regret it.

  4. #3
    The Tenor Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    I purchased one of these a couple of months ago at a yard sale for $40...

    It's not a bad little horn and the intonation is quite good...and it's rare to find an American made student model.

    I'd say the top price on these should be about $200 in great condition....

    Just my 2¢...

    The Tenor Man

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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    I always find it interesting when "matter of fact" statements are made. Personally, I've bought and sold a load of saxophones on Ebay. Some have been dogs but most have been good, and some of the new ones or historic ones have been great. Before I buy a used horn I ask some questions, take a good look at the pictures and then make an educated decision, knowing I'll probably have to put some money into it to make it reasonable to turn over. When I buy a new horn I make sure I know what the company reputation is. If it's not good... ie... China!... I'll pass. If it's someone I know or a company I respect I'll go after the best possible price. All this being said, I don't feel it's mandatory to play the horn before you buy it. Sure, that's a great idea if you can. But, if you can save $500 on ebay over a local shop, then go for it. I've bought a new Yani sop that I loved and I've also bought quite a few horns directly from Gary Sugal that are so under-rated it's amazing. That's another thing I've found here. People tend to dump on a horn because someone said.... I've never had a problem with the Professional horns Gary has sold me and I think they are worth every nickel I've invested. Many of these I've resold but I've also added three of them to my Selmer stable.
    So.... if you're looking for a King 660 and it's worth the money, go for it. If you can talk them down... go for it. If you get it and have to replace some pads, but it's still worth the price, pat yourself on the back. If you aren't a player I'd recommend asking someone who is for their local advise. SOW is unknown advise. I'd rather take advise on something I'm not familiar with from someone I can meet. I think that's much more important than playing a horn that is a good deal over the net. Best of luck to you. I hope you have, at least, nearly the success I have.

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    Starsax A2's Avatar
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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    This is an old thread, but I am so impressed with my 660 alto I wanted to go on the record.
    I am a huge fan of the YS-23's, having an alto and a tenor. I found the King 660 alto in a pawn shop for $150, and snapped it up. It was in good playable condition. Compared to my 23, the 660 is warmer with the same mouthpiece/reed. The ergonomics fit me better-the horn feels like it is part of me, as opposed to feeling like I'm holding it. The response is excellent.
    In altos, I have a Bundy II, the 23, and the 660. The 660 is my go-to horn.

    I'm concentrating on tenor at the moment, playing a YTS-23. I've seen a couple of King 662 tenors on Ebay, and wish I had the money to get one, based on the alto I have.

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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    The 660 was produced in two variants. Either will sound good. I currently have several of the Pro variant as well as two 662 tenors. They feel like and look like 40s era Conns except for the modern Selmer left pinky table. They may have been made in a Conn factory. Selmer owed everything by then. They have a big sound and are easy to articulate. I have exported dozens to Guatemala where buyers are grateful. I cannot explain the lack of interest in them here in USA. And there is zero information about them on the internet. If you can buy one inexpensively, it will be worth the cost of fixing it.

  9. #7

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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    are alto King 660's student or intermediate horns?

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    They were King's cheap line. They are good but unsophisticated saxophones in their mechanics. By the time these were on the market other saxophones had much more advanced mechanics.

    Any horn is a student, intermediate or pro depending on who plays them, but I suppose that one would call them student’s.
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    King 660 was a horn from the Daniel Henkin era, when he bought out Conn, Amstrong, King, and Artley I believe.

    So from '80-'84....basically the second-shelf Kings and Conns were identical horns. So a King 660 is the same horn as a Conn 20M.
    Rugged and reliable enough horns, ergos and mechanics are actually fine ....but nothing spectacular soundwise. It's a perfectly OK student horn, though.

    NOW...just to clarify, because it was mentioned in an earlier reply: the King 665 (Alto - aka "Empire") and 662 (Tenor) were made under UMI ownership ('84-'03). The 665 and the Conn 24M are the same instruments.

    The 665 is nothing like the 660, different design really.

    THESE (665, 662, Conn 24M) are a significant step up from the Henkin-era horns....and I would not hesitate to call them 'intermediate' or better instruments. The Armstrong 3055 Tenor also fit in this echelon.

    Henkin never tried producing top-shelf saxes, he contracted Keilwerth to make the DJH Modifieds to fill that hole.

    UMI, on the other hand, dabbled in producing some Pro lines...with fairly successful results although they never caught on, particularly.
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    Distinguished SOTW Member Stocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: King 660 Alto

    The King 660 was actually a UMI-era instrument, made from 1993-97. It was, as far as I can tell anyway, the same as a Conn 21M.

    Henkin-era King saxes kept the 613 and 615 model numbers despite becoming 18M and 16M clones.
    Martin & Conn saxophones
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