This is an excellent prime period MK VI tenor serial 103xxx from 1963. The model period, just after 100xxx has a very special character. They tend to play slightly more compact than the late five digits yet still retain much of the early resonance and vocality. These add just a touch more bright edge and punch to the sound, slightly more compact and a huge amount of fun. I believe this particular design was inspired by the demands of emerging “hard bop” styles of jazz and amplified rhythm and blues and respond with power and edge it surely does. I personally love this period and prefer them myself. Within this range, 100k-115l (or something like that) I have literally never played anything but great and extremely satisfying horns.
This horn was clearly owned by a real player and was used a LOT. The lacquer and engraving are USA origin and the finish is all original. The engraving is sharp and the original neck has the serial number stamp as well. There is plenty of lacquer wear, minor dings and blemishes, minor resolders etc. This one is absolutely not a closet queen but a player’s horn. Although it is not a beauty it has major mojo and character. Besides the appearance it is likely to be far, far better than many that look a lot nicer. VI’s from this period do not get played a lot like this without a good reason, quality.
This horn really does need an overhaul. The pads are old and crusty and corks are missing etc. It needs attention but structurally it is very good and it’s not going to take any extreme measures to get it up and running, needs a cleaning too. This is the real vintage find right here. If I had the time to setup another horn here at the moment I would probably be playing this as I love this model.