Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

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jharding2
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Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by jharding2 »

Hello all, I was looking at buying a king 2b liberty and originally was curious about the horns reputation, but have since come to wonder the difference between the 2b and the 2b liberty... Any idea? I'm unsure as to the history of King as a brand, but am very aware of the 2b as a prestigious small bore trombone. Is it worth holding out for a 2b, or if I can snag a 2b liberty is it worth it?
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BGuttman
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by BGuttman »

The small bore King we know today started out in the mid 1930s as a single bore and was called "Liberty". Eventually (late 1930s) a dual bore version was brought out and it was labeled 2B to distinguish it from the single bore instrument. This was the origin of the "B" instruments. Larger bore instruments were then called 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, and 8B. Only the 2B was permanently Dual Bore (more on that later).

King also gave names to the different models:

2B (roughly 0.485") Liberty
3B (0.508") Concert
4B (0.547") Sonorous
5B "Symphony"

Later the 6B was introduced as the first true Bass and was called Duo Gravis for two valves. 7B and 8B were introduced even later and did not get names.

The Symphony originally came as a dual bore 0.536"/0.547" and some were also labeled 2B. These were generally from the period just before World War II. If somebody ever offers you a 2B with an F attachment, it's an early Symphony and is much larger than a Liberty.

King stopped using names and just called the instruments by their B designation some time in the 1970s. "B" series instruments had model numbers, first with 14xx and later 21xx. In the 21xx series, the 2B was 2102, 3B was 2103, 4B was 2104, 5B was 2105, 6B was 2106, 7B was 2107, and 8B was 2108.

After the 1930s the Liberty was only dual bore. There is a single bore 2B made a bit shorter for Jiggs Wigham often called a 2B Jiggs. Why it didn't get a different model number is beyond me.

Instruments filling different holes in the lineup were given 21xx numbers: 2115 was 0.500" bore and called 2B+ and 2125 was 0.525" bore and called 3B+.

I hope this is useful information.
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RichC
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by RichC »

I can only tell you that the mid-60's 2B Liberty I recently sold is a great playing small bore.
OneTon
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by OneTon »

On YouTube, Keith Hilson of Schmitt Music, who gets to play a lot of horns, says he has a “perception” that older trombones may play more openly than newer ones. The 2B Liberty predates the 2102. On the other hand, Mike Innes of Dawkes claims the 2B has not changed since its inception. Maybe they are both right. Listen and see if you can hear the difference.

Everything does make a difference. A product in production for that length of time will see evolution as raw materials and processes see subtle changes that may or may not be reflected in the specifications and drawings. It may be a challenge to determine the repair history of an instrument after it left the factory and dealership. Sometimes we run across a knowledgeable consultant or technician that is in possession of relevant facts and data. I wouldn’t hold out for that in this case.

I came across a 2B Liberty with the less preferred counter weight. It had been rode hard and put to bed wet. I liked the way it sounds, and I purchased it. I don’t know that I would get too hung up on whether it says “Liberty” or “2102” on the bell. I thought the one I purchased was a 2102 until I went to clean it.

Find one you like and buy it.
Last edited by OneTon on Sun May 29, 2022 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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BGuttman
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by BGuttman »

In a private communication I was reminded that at one time the 6B bore the number 7B although it was still called Duo Gravis. With the 21xx model numbers the Duo Gravis was called 2106 and 6B, the independent bass with a 9 1/2" bell was called 7B (2107) and the independent bass with the 10 1/2" bell was called 8B (2108).

So there is a 7B Duo Gravis and a 6B Duo Gravis. Both are the same instrument.
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greenbean
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by greenbean »

I have played numerous examples of each and have not been able to discern much of a difference, honestly.
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Posaunus
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Posaunus »

I have a 1958 King 2B "Liberty" and a ~1967 King 3B-F "Concert" - each made before the 210x numbering system.
Both excellent trombones in superb condition.

Photos attached of the bell engraving. (I much prefer the engraving on the 2B!)

Newer 2Bs are also fine trombones.
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wafeki
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by wafeki »

I started out on the King New Proportion then 2B Liberty single small horns and then moved on by high school to mostly play .508 3B. After the move I never could figure out the magic or excitement of the .481-.491 dual bore slides. Nor the .500 bore slide, which seems to really want to be on a larger bell. The all .491 though was a different story. On 2B I've never played a better (or more beautiful looking) slide than the custom Dan Truitt-DJ Kennedy lightened .491 slide. I don't know the science, but from experience can say that for tone color contrast and section sound a .491 2B just sounds great together with a .509 3B.
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Dsbones
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Dsbones »

When you say lightened how was it lightened if I may ask?….and also what leadpipe do you use in it?
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Vegasbound
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Vegasbound »

The Liberty was a straight 481/481 bore with a 7.25 bell and was King’s most popular model prior to WW2.production of this horn ceased at the start of the war.

The 2b ( 481/491) came into existence circa. 1938
OneTon
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by OneTon »

If you go to Dawkes King 2b on YouTube Mike Innes is a spokesperson and fan of the horn. He spells out that changes as mostly none and the uses. His other horn is an 88H. King mostly played with the engraving, the counterweight, and the designation over the years. Innes implies that the King 2b may be the least changed horn from WWII on of any. The brass, nickel silver, and lacquer available to manufacturers will evolve over the years. Keith Hilson at Schmitt Music does not have a YouTube video on King 2b trombones. But he often claims that the older horns blow more openly. Could you tell the difference in a blind fold test? Who knows? Innes does a YouTube video on Yamaha 897Z trombones, for comparison. There may be subtle differences. An individual may prefer one individual horn over the other. The preference may or may not go to the 2b Liberty. If you can try a few, go for it. If not, don’t obsess over it. A King 2b with a decent slide won’t hold anyone back.
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officermayo
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by officermayo »

My 1940 King Liberty is single bore.
Issued to my father at Parris Island in 1952.
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chromebone
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by chromebone »

“2B” originally referred to any King horn that was a duo bore. There was a Symphony “2B” that was produced at the same time as the 2B Liberty. At some point the 2B designation just referred to the horn that was originally the Liberty and then when the next size up was developed, it was simply called the 3B. The symphony horns continued to simply be referred to as Symphony with the respective model numbers (1480, etc.) when the 4B and higher designs came out in the early 70’s, they continued the B model designations.
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Macbone1 »

I think King kept the 2B designation with the Jiggs model since his original instrument for decades was a regular King 2B. That model sells very well so marketing dept probably decided to keep 2B in the name. I've owned both types of 2Bs and they were both excellent in their own way, with the dual bore 2B having capabilities up high that the Jiggs does not have. Oddly, I can't abide 3Bs at all, never took to them.
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Oslide »

Macbone1 wrote: Fri Oct 14, 2022 1:38 pm ... with the dual bore 2B having capabilities up high that the Jiggs does not have.
May I ask what those would be? Thank you!
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Macbone1 »

For me, regular 2Bs have a much more solid high D on up. The usually tricky (on most any trb) high E is a delight to play.
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Macbone1 »

BGuttman wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 6:09 am
After the 1930s the Liberty was only dual bore. There is a single bore 2B made a bit shorter for Jiggs Wigham often called a 2B Jiggs. Why it didn't get a different model number is beyond me.
Good question. Since Jiggs played a regular 2B for decades and it's a best seller for King, maybe they agreed to retain the model name as a tribute of sorts. And to avoid the expense of a big advertising campaign to "explain" the properties of the new instrument to customers.
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Matt4576
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Matt4576 »

I'm reading this thread because I just picked up a Liberty 2B at an estate sale this morning ($200 with several mutes, stand, etc.). The serial number is 220xxx, so depending on whose chart I look at, the horn is from 1938, 39 or 40.

It is engraved on the bell as a Liberty 2B but it is single bore (verified with calipers). The serial numbers match on the slide and the bell so it's the original slide. It sounds like the 2B designated the dual bores but mine is single. Has anyone heard of single bore 2B? I'm guessing it's a transition instrument when they were switching so it's an oddball.

Also, I'm not planning on selling it, but does it being a single bore make it less desirable/valuable?
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BGuttman
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by BGuttman »

How did you measure bore? the 2B uses the same OD inners with different ID (smaller ID at the top). If you have soldered on stockings, measuring at the stockings may not be accurate,

Then again, the inners may have been replaced with two tubes of the same ID.
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Re: Difference between King 2b and 2b liberty... Is there one?

Post by Matt4576 »

Thanks, Bruce, you're right. The OD"s are the same and the ID"s are different. I measured both OD and ID originally but wasn't careful to get the calipers square in the tube for the ID measurement. I just went back and remeasured the ID and I got .480/.490 so it is a correct 2B.
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