You are here:

Saxophone/King 613 alto saxophone


I have a king 613 with a serial number of N179801. Can you date it for me. I have found conflicting information. Is it from the 1970s or a 1980s made in mexico conn?  Thanks

Kings were made in Cleveland ( Eastlake ,ohio) then
King and Conn got bought by a bigger conglomerate.
Dan Henkin bought King in 1983. In 1985 (maybe late 1984) saxophone production at Eastlake(KING Cleveland) was stopped and the alto King 613 became a Conn 18M, while the Tenor 615 became either a 16M or a 60M. the full serial of N208229 was made in 1985 so your sax is a year older 1984. I found a King 615 on eBay with a N208xxx serial number a few weeks ago and I knew it had to have been a rebranded Conn. The horn definitely had the Vito-style keywork of the 60M, and it stood to reason that Dan Henkin would've consolidated sax production at one factory (allowing the King plant to take on Conn brasswinds). It also confirmed my suspicion that that infamous "N" prefix didn't mean 1970 on saxes. I knew that the "Saxophones 1976-present" list floating around had to mean something, and putting the "N" in front made it all come together fairly well. Some say that the N stands for the Conn Nogales Arizona plant. King and Conn did get taken over by UMI Musical Instruments. A large band instrument importing company. These UMI saxes were the real start of "standardization" and cheap sax importing. Quality also went really wonky, giving UMI instruments a hugely bad reputation!
At around this same time, Martin went to LeBlanc, made by Yanagisawa, Vito was still LeBlanc, but switched manufacturing to Yanagisawa, Buescher went to Selmer USA (actually the first to make a drop in quality and marketing), and the Bundy name was picked back by Selmer USA (having been a pro brand in the 1920s).
To clear it up:
Buescher goes to Selmer USA in the late 1960s
Martin goes to LeBlanc in the early 1980s?
Conn goes to UMI in the late 1980s, with King following close behind the 1990s?
They had all stopped being pro-level saxes by 1980 or so, and some brands (Buescher) much earlier. Selmer USA bought Buescher in 1963.
Wurlitzer sold Martin to Leblanc in 1970 or '71. The true Martin saxes ended production in '72 or so.
Daniel J. Henkin bought Conn in 1980, King in 1983, and sold both to Skäne Gripen/UMI in late 1985.
Conn's pro saxes were dropped in 1969, and King's around 1975 (officially, but there were Super 20s made later). The "Cleveland" name was dropped from student horns around this time as well. The Eastlake factory stopped building saxophones in 1984 and from then on they were built in Arizona and essentially Conns.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Grant R. Koeller


I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.


Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

©2017 All rights reserved.