Saxophone Forum


by Freddie Nurk
(7 posts)
8 months ago

Conn Curious - Part 1

Hi people, I have 3 Conns, a '41 10M which is just fine; a late 30s 6M, more on that later but for now I need info on my other alto. The serial no.123469 (A over L) puts it between 1923/4. I was told it is "Gold" plated but the engraving is about as basic as it gets: C. G. Conn Elkhart Ind. U.S.A. (Army issue or similar?)
I don't need to know how much it's worth, just the model and anything else you might have on it.
Many thanks in advance.

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  1. by Saxquest
    (296 posts)

    8 months ago

    Re: Conn Curious - Part 1

    Can you post up a quick photo here so we can see what you have? I've not heard of any army issue horns from that vintage being gold plated. They were usually nickel plated. Its possible that it was originlly nickel plate and then relcquered in gold lacquer. But can't really know without seeing it.

    Cheers,
         Mark Overton
         www.saxquest.com

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    1. by Freddie Nurk
      (7 posts)

      7 months ago

      Re: Conn Curious - Part 1

      Thanks Mark & Turtle for your interest and I apologise for not getting back sooner, the horn was elsewhere for a while. Anyway here is a composite picture which I hope will give you the information you need, the photos are not great but let me know if there is any specific part that I've missed. As I mentioned before, the 'engraving' is basic and looks more like a machine stamp than anything done by hand. Also I am not sure the neck is original, although it looks the part it doesn't quite seat all the way down into the body, about 1/16 inch or so too proud. Over to you!

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      1. by GFC
        (331 posts)

        7 months ago

        Re: Conn Curious - Part 1

        Holy crapoly, that Eb key is in need of some professional help!  Take it to a shop that knows what they are doing bending brass and getting the right hardness at the end of the process.  Cold bending it could break it.  

        The horn is a basic plain-Jane version Conn New Wonder.  It is definitely a lacquer finish, not gold plate.  The plated horns had fancier engraving.  I also suspect that the horn was originally bare brass and lacquered later.  I'm not too sure how significant the mismatch at the tenon joint is to the originality of the neck, since the fit and finish on a lot of the early Conns was on the crude side.  You might check to see if there are any traces of lacquer on the neck.  If there aren't any, the neck was probably replaced after the lacquer job.  But as long as it plays OK it's not something to worry about.  We're not talking about some top dollar collectible horn.

         

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        1. by Freddie Nurk
          (7 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Conn Curious - Part 1

          Thanks for confirming that it is a New Wonder for me, and yes I'm aware of it's plain-ness and lack of value as a collectable, these things are irrelavant to me. I knew the Eb key was wrong of course but have never been tempted to man-handle it, I manage to work around it somehow but at least I have solid reference for the model should I decide to get it fixed at some point. There is some lacquer left on the neck and your point about the crude nature of these early Conns would seem to indicate that it may indeed be original after all.
          In spite of the wear and tear it plays pretty well and has a lovely tone. Thanks for your help and maybe I can count on you to clear up some of the mystery surrounding my 6M which I will post with pictures soon.

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      2. by turtlejimmy
        (14 posts)

        8 months ago

        Re: Conn Curious - Part 1

        Does it have any other engravings, like patent numbers?  It could be a new wonder if it's '23 or '24.  It probably has the split bell keys (one on either side), and a nice fat sound?  They can be a little hard to identify, that far back.


        Turtle



        Btw, someone just put up on Craigslist here locally, an Conn alto from the 1890's.  It looked like it was in good, playable condition and they were only asking $200 ..... but I thought it probably wasn't low pitch, and so I passed on it.        

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        1. by Freddie Nurk
          (7 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Conn Curious - Part 1

          Hi Turtle, yes, abobe the serial number it is marked 'Sept, 4, or 14, 1915' and underneath that it is stamped '11 3 89'.
          Hope that helps,

          Freddie
           

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