Saxophone Forum


by dcaiati
(2 posts)
1 year ago

Old Conn - help

I have an old Conn that I played years ago. Now, my son wants to play, and I'd like to tell him something about it. I looked at the serial number and the pictures on this site, but there is no match, it seems. Any help would be appreciated. this is the info on the bell:

PatD Dec 8, 1914 1119954, Serial  A 89288 L

Thanks!

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  1. by GFC
    (377 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Old Conn - help

    Conn "New Wonder" alto from the early 1920s.  Not the easiest horn to start on, but it will reward your son if he sticks with it.  Those things have a great sound.

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    1. by dcaiati
      (2 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: Old Conn - help

      Thanks for the response - do you know if there is any way to tell if it is silver or nickel finish? How do I clean it up?

      Why do you say it's not easy to start on? thanks!!

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      1. by GFC
        (377 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: Old Conn - help

        Nickel tends to look shinier and it wears off differently.  When it wears it tends to look like it's flaking off.  You horn looks like a silver horn with a gold wash bell.  For cleaning, use an old toothbrush, lighter fluid, pieces of rag, Q-tips, and maybe some of those silver polishing cloths.

        That model has very flexible pitch, so they require a lot of awareness and practice to play in tune.  Their keywork is also dated and kind of clunky.   Less of an issue for alto than for tenor.

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        1. by turtlejimmy
          (14 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: Old Conn - help

          Yes, that one is like the little brother of my 1924 Conn new wonder Tenor.  

          Yes, I'd agree ..... not the easiest to start with, though I started on mine less than a year ago.  The difficulties are, as was mentioned, with the keywork, which is very clunky on the tenor, but certainly can be gotten used to.  A light grip helps enormously.  Now, however, I love it and find modern horns more difficult to finger. 

          The sound is great, big and lush.  Well worth any extra effort.  On my tenor, also, I've had to work to get past a few quirks, like the G2 wanting to split into two tones, and the low D being a bit difficult to keep it in the low register (wanting to jump to D2).  But, a good teacher and some attention cleared this up months ago.

          I couldn't really say about the comment above regarding playing the horn in tune.  My tenor is fully restored, which may help .... But, it plays easily in tune.  Or, I have no trouble playing it in tune and I'm in my first year on it.  It could just be me, as I play other things and have for years .... I have a good ear for pitch, but it doesn't require any effort at all for me to play in tune up and down the scale.  My teacher played it and thought it was the best tenor he'd ever played.  In his opinion:  great intonation.  Again, that could possibly have something to do with the restoration.  Even up into the altissimo fingerings ....... easy to play in tune.

          I'd probably defer to the poster above about intonation, if he has a lot of experience (I don't).  He could be right.  It's a very flexible horn, easy to bend the pitch if you want.  Also, I think a big bore horn, as it's very wide open playing.

          I say, go for it!  The sound is really nice.  


          The Turtle           

           

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