D&J vs. JK Necks

Years ago there was a great deal made about the differences between Dörfler & Jörka and Julius Keilwerth necks. At the time, Paulo from Just Saxes, was one of the few people who had had any experience with the D & J brand, and had gone on to publicly write about them on his website.

Fast forward 4 or 5 years, and you’ll find quite a bit more on the ‘Net. Most of that information is available here on this site, on the previous Dörfler & Jörka page. That page is a culmination of years of research by myself and Uwe Ladwig, a sax historian from Germany.

The following table is a further piece of D&J research that has, until now, been lacking. It addresses the fundamental question: What are the size differences in the neck and socket openings between a Dörfler & Jörka tenor, and a Keilwerth Toneking or The New King, of the same era?

The table is a comparison of 8 horns. Two D&J horns are the first ones noted along the top (my De Villiers and a Boucet belonging to a fellow from Austria). The next 2 listed, the Toneking and The New King, are the Julius Keilwerth models that Dörfler & Jörka copied. The last 4 are just a random sampling of vintage horns for comparison. The Klingsor and the Mark VI, happen to be the ones I used a few years ago to illustrate the mouthpipe openings.

Dörfler & Jörka

Julius Keilwerth

Comparison Horns

De Villiers 11XXX

Boucet 90XX

Toneking 29XXX

The New King 32XXX

JK King   Modell 3   57XX

Klingsor  043XX

  Selmer    Mark VI 198XXX

Hohner President 104XX

Socket Size

28.00 mm

27.82 mm

27.71 mm

27.45 mm

30.08 mm

Outer Tenon Size

27.98 mm

27.95 mm

27.96 mm

28.10 mm

27.76 mm

27.85 mm

27.51 mm

29.80 mm

Interior Tenon Size

25.48 mm

25.65 mm

25.66 mm

25.98 mm

28.09 mm

Mouth Pipe Opening

11.58 mm

11.79 mm

11.42 mm

11.70 mm

12.64 mm

11.54 mm

12.84 mm

12.88 mm

In 2012 I corresponded with a fellow in Austria who, like myself, owns both a D&J tenor and a JK from the late 1950s. Unlike my 1957 tenor, which is a stencil of the Toneking, and therefore has a high F#, Paul’s doesn’t have a high F#. His is The New King model tenor, from 1958.

During the course of our email exchange, Paul decided to measure the mouth pipe openings and tenons of his horns. Because I hadn’t measured my horns earlier, the results were not what either of us expected. Although his and my measurements differed to some degree—in part no doubt, depending on exactly where we placed the callipers—one thing is consistent: the necks of the D&J horns have larger tenons, and do not fit into the socket of the JK horns.

Furthermore, Paulo from Just Saxes, mentioned that:

…in most cases, and the mouthpipe opening (not the tenon) of the neck is extremely small; I’m not talking about “extremely” as a technician’s term, which could be thousandths of an inch, but in terms of the naked eye. The tip opening on most D&J tenor necks is almost soprano-like in diameter.

However, as you can see both from my measurements, and from those by Paul, the research doesn’t bear this out. In fact, the Keilwerth neck has a smaller mouth pipe opening than the D&J does.

Here are some photos so that you can see all of these necks and measurements for yourself.

Dörfler & Jörka-made De Villiers Tenor & Julius Keilwerth-stencilled Jubilee Tenor Necks

The D&J neck is on the top in the first 2 photos. In the third photo, the JK neck is on top. (It is the one with the big, round thumb screw.)

  De Villiers tenor, serial # 11XXX & Jubilee tenor, serial # 29XXX Source: H. Kahlke

Dörfler & Jörka Neck & Socket Measurements

These measurements are all in millimetres.

  De Villiers # 11XXX, Source: H. Kahlke

Julius Keilwerth Toneking Neck & Socket Measurements

These measurements are all in millimetres.

  Jubilee # 29XXX, Source: H. Kahlke

Dörfler & Jörka-made Boucet Tenor & Julius Keilwerth The New King Tenor Necks

The Keilwerth neck is on the top in the first 2 photos. In the  third photo, it is on the left. (It is the one with the big, round thumb screw.)

  Boucet tenor, # 90XX & The New King tenor, # 32XXX Source: Paul T.

Dörfler & Jörka Neck Measurements

These measurements are all in millimetres.

   Boucet # 90XX, Source: Paul T.

Julius Keilwerth The New King Neck Measurements

These measurements are all in millimetres.

  The New King # 32XXX, Source: Paul T.

Whatever Dörfler & Jörka did with the necks and with the bore taper, they did produce a horn that was remarkably similar to the horn that it was a copy of. These D&J stencil horns sound nearly identical to the Toneking and The New King models. When I play both horns, with the identical set-up, for someone who is very familiar with my sound, she cannot tell the difference between the two horns. However, when I play either horn, and then any other of my vintage tenors, she can not only hear a difference immediately, but can also correctly identify which of my other tenors I am playing.

The fact is, D&J copied the sound of the Tonekings and The New Kings nearly identically. While the D&J’s ergos are not quite as friendly as the JK’s are, it is a solid horn—one that I would easily use for a show. It makes a great back-up horn to my JK.

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