Saxophone Forum


by MarkLavelle
(300 posts)
8 years ago

1921 Conn Alto needs complete overhaul...

Last night I learned that a friend has had her grandfather's Conn alto laying about in disrepair for quite a while. She had looked into getting it fixed up but didn't feel like spending what people were asking. So I volunteered to see what I could do with it, and (after some joking about getting it back to her in about 3 years) it came home with me! It silver plated, S/N 80798 (with a C above the number and an L below), which appears to date it 1921. It looks just like this one: www.saxpics.com/cpg143/thumbnails.php?album=570 except it's well-tarnished and *all* the pads are shot. The case is in sad shape and smells downright toxic with mold. On the plus side, I haven't been able to find a single dent, all the mechanical parts appear unbent, and the rollers on the pinkie keys are still intact. Many of the (rolled) tone holes have dead pad crud stuck all around the rim, so I'm not too sure about how level they'll be. Given the good condition of the rest of the metal I have high hopes, though. All in all, I'm psyched to see what I can do for this baby. So other than stripping it of everything soft (pads, felt, cork), what's the first step on the road to recovery?

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  1. by MarkLavelle
    (300 posts)

    8 years ago

    Arrrgh - bum link!

    try

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    1. by MarkLavelle
      (300 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Arrrgh - bum link!

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  2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: 1921 Conn Alto needs complete overhaul...

    I belive that conn may have special nub screws that maybe deserve a reading up on, dont know for sure as I've never worked on one. I would clean the crud of the tonehole rims, but really, there's no way I know of to deal with an unlevel tonehole rim other than painstakingly conditioning pads to match the contour as best as you can. Other than that, don't lose parts, try to keep track of what screw went were, and if you're so inclined, used a gentle polish like Haggerty's. [not a pro. Just an amature repair person]

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    1. by MarkLavelle
      (300 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: 1921 Conn Alto needs complete overhaul...

      I did read something about the nefarious Conn locking pivot screws - I sure hope I don't have 'em! I'm inclined to think that what I'm seeing around the tone holes is just discoloration and debris, but there's no point in worrying about it until it's had a bath and been taken apart... Any tips on organizing the pieces while it's apart? It's not like I've got any large flat space that I can completely take over for a year! ;-)

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  3. by Tbone
    (120 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: 1921 Conn Alto needs complete overhaul...

    The "C" above the S/N means that it's a C Melody (C tenor) and not an alto. Sadly a full overhaul may cost you more than it's worth.

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    1. by MarkLavelle
      (300 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: 1921 Conn Alto needs complete overhaul...

      '[...] it's a C Melody (C tenor) and not an alto. Sadly a full overhaul may cost you more than it's worth.' Doh! I should've figured that by the in-between size, but it *is* my 1st exposure to one. My idea is to use it to learn about sax repair, so the cost will only be the parts and any specialized tools, and the owner is willing to pay for any parts. Seems like a fair exchange for some education. In a way, the fact that it's a C Melody makes it more interesting, since I'll get to see/hear/feel for myself what I think about the C Melody's reputation.

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