My personal alto is a King Zephyr Special, and these horns have a special place in my heart. The craftsmanship is outstanding, the tone is unparalleled, and they are drop-dead gorgeous horns. They play much like a Super 20, but darker. I find the intonation to be particularly excellent, and the sort of zing to the tone that King aficianados seek out is present in abundance.
Typically, King Zephyr Specials are in lacquer, rarely in silver, and only a very few of them were gold plated. I have been lucky enough that this is my second gold plated Zephyr Special to come through the shop, and I actually have a third one scheduled for later this year! I would not be surprised if there were less than a couple dozen of them ever made, but I don’t really have any idea.
This horn came in wearing most of its original pads, which had gold plated (non-reusable) washer-style resonators. I kept one of the pads to put on my little altar of weird saxophone stuff in my workshop. The horn was in good physical shape, and cleaned up really nicely. Gold doesn’t tarnish much, and with gentle yet persistent cleansing and polishing it came out looking even better than I hoped, and played to match.