Saxophone Forum


by Sax on my mind 99
(5 posts)
10 years ago

Conn Sax's

Hey I was wondering if any one new if a Conn "Chu Berry" is a intermediate or Professional sax. And also if I should get a completely overhauled Cu Berry or a Conn 10M "Naked Lady". The Conn 10M is $2300 and the "Chu Berry" is $2000

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Conn Sax's

    I collect Conn saxes and actually, I own a 1922 Conn New Wonder, a 1932 Conn Chu Berry and a 1948 Conn 10M naked lady. The New Wonder is a neat old horn, but I don't play it too much. It's more of a keepsake. The action is "clunky" and the key arrangement is somewhat cumbersome. The intonation isn't the best. It's hard to keep this one in tune. The Chu berry is a lot better than the New Wonder. There were a number of advancements made on the Chu Berry, also known as the New Wonder Series II. Many of these features were later standard on the M series. I haven't really played the Chu all that much, as I purchased it on Ebay a few months ago and just recently finished restoring it. It sounds really good, and plays pretty good too. the intonation is much better than the New Wonder. The key positioning is better; closer to the 10M. The horn I gig with, that I absolutely LOVE is a 1948 Conn 10M Naked Lady that belonged to my father. I had it relaquered and repadded a couple years ago with new resonator pads, and I use either an Otto Link Super Tone Master or a Selmer C*80 mouthpiece with a Rovner MKIII lig. The sound is INCREDIBLE! I let a friend borrow it who offered to trade me his brand new Selmer Paris for it! The action is still a little clunky on the 10M, but very positive and reliable. It's a vintage horn. I haven't found anything that sounds like a Conn tenor. I'd go for the 10M.

    Reply To Post Yahoo!


    1. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Conn Sax's

      Both the 10M and Chu Berry were pro model horns. I would recommend buying a Conn built between 1936 and 1956. After the company was sold in the late 50's quality went down hill. Sad to say, but I'd rather play a beat up Bundy than a Conn made after 1965, until the company was sold again to what is now UMI. The new Conns are very well made.

      Reply To Post Yahoo!


  2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Conn Sax's

    the "Chu Berry" horn was a pro-line horn built in the late 20's. The 'M' series was it's eventually replacement after a brief transitional period. I've played around with a few Chu's and while they had a big sound, they had dodgy intonation and clumsy keywork. Good horns overall, but just too antiquated. From what I gather, the 10M is a large improvement over what the Chu lacks.

    Reply To Post


    1. by SaxMan
      (559 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Conn Sax's

      i would take the "chu" hands down. Much more lusty than the 10m, and big.

      Reply To Post


      1. by jazzfool132
        (144 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Conn Sax's

        How about the 16M Tenor Saxes. I have one and plays great with a big sound with a decent yamaha mouthpiece and Vandoren reeds. My solos are easier with the fast key action of this horn. What do u think of the 16m series?

        Reply To Post


        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          I had a 16M which I sold about a year ago. Mine was a 1963. Nice horn. Good sound, smooth action. If you're looking for a good vintage sax for a bargain price, a 16M is a great buy. Mine sold on ebay for less than $500 with a fresh repad and new case! They're just not nearly as sought after as the 10M's and Chus. They're a definate down-grade from the 10M tenor or 6M alto though. The 10M has prestige, along with a Bold and Brassy sound that will make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up and pay attention!

          Reply To Post Yahoo!


        2. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          16M's don't get the respect that 10M's get, but (like all the older Conns) are fine horns if set up well. It sounds like your 16M is serving you well, and that's good enough, right? Sort of how I feel about King Cleveland horns. Not much respect compared to Super 20's but they can be awesome players as well. Great bang for the buck with 16M's.

          Reply To Post


        3. by jazzfool132
          (144 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          yea my 16M is set up well and i do have a new Berg Larsen metal mouthpiece. My horn was set up well and is a great horn for the money. i spent around 600. do u think that is a decent price? how much to the king clevelands go for?

          Reply To Post


        4. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          $600 sounds like a decent price assuming it was in really good cosmetic condition and required no further repairs to play well. Clevelands are in the same price ballpark as 16M's. $300-ish assuming they need some TLC and aren't totally trashed. Upwards of $800 if minty and ready to play.

          Reply To Post


        5. by jazzfool132
          (144 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          yes my 16M was in pristine condition. i am also looking to buy a pro series alto sax. i have a YAS-23, a great student horn, and i looked into DC saxophones. Dominic's music distributes them and they go for around $895 for an alto. Engraved and everything. Have u heard of DC? if so are they decent to buy?

          Reply To Post


        6. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          You should be able to get a nice 6M for less than that. If you want a nice NEW horn, look at the Keilwerth, or the new Selmer Super Action 80, or even the new Conn 25M. Don't buy the DC. Your Yamaha is a better sax than that. The keys break easily and the pads are very poor quality. I've repaired a few of them. There are so many Chinese and Taiwan made horns out there that just do not hold together.

          Reply To Post Yahoo!


        7. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          I've not tried the DC's. $895 tells me it's a Taiwan horn which isn't necessarily a bad thing unless you aren't happy with it and choose to resell it. You'll be lucky to get half your money back when you go to sell. Incidentally, I used to play a Selmer III and let it go when I came across an outstanding YAS-23. One tenth the value, but 90% as good as my III (and somewhat better intonation w/ the exception of middle C#). If your 23 is serving you well, you should keep playing it so long as having a high F# key isn't a requirement for you. Altissimo F# pops out great on mine. It's fun to chase gear around for a while, but eventually you'll just want to play play play! Maybe keep the 23 and go after a sop!

          Reply To Post


        8. by jazzfool132
          (144 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          wow!! that is amazing to hear someone dropped their selmer series III to play a student model. And it is a great horn for the value, its just i always thought pro models had better sound and quality. Do u think its the player more than the saxohpone?

          Reply To Post


        9. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          ---------------------------- Do u think its the player more than the saxohpone? ---------------------------- I do.

          Reply To Post


        10. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          "Do u think its the player more than the saxohpone?" assuming the horn is in decent playing shape... crap in crap out. (I'm NOT arguing agest this, but a good player will still sound like crap on a out of adjustment horn.)

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


        11. by jazzfool132
          (144 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          chiamac...good point. however an excellent player will sound better on a generic horn than a decent player on a mark iv

          Reply To Post


        12. by jazzfool132
          (144 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          "a mark iv" excuse me, a mark vi

          Reply To Post


        13. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          It's the whole combination; the player, the sax. and the set-up. The reed, mouthpiece, etc. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. I like vintage horns. Sure there are disadvantages. Most of them don't have a hi F# or an adjustable thumb rest. The action is often a bit clunky and they may need a little more care. They have character though. Sometimes it's those little imperfections that make their sound so unique.

          Reply To Post Yahoo!


        14. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          I'm extremely familiar with the mouthpiece I've been using for 20 years and I also know how to tweak a horn to optimize it's perfomance. With all "humbleness", I have the ability to take a horn that is perhaps less than exceptional and bring it to life. So when I came to the realization I didn't need to have $3,000+ sitting on the stand to play well, I just did the practical thing. The 23 I'm playing is from the mid 1980's, so I don't know if that offers any difference from modern 23's. I tried a modern 23 in a store and was unimpressed, but then again, I set up my own horns, so I know exactly what I want. The character of the sound from the Yamaha isn't as complex as the Selmer, but I like the clean slate Yamaha provides so the sound coming out is really MY sound. When I hear someone complaining about their crappy Bundy or Yamaha 23, I just wish I could get a couple hours with their horn - knowing all it probably needs is a little sprucing up.

          Reply To Post


        15. by jazzfool132
          (144 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          connsaxman_jim, what is your horn set up? (what mouthpiece, saxophone, and what reeds do u use?

          Reply To Post


        16. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          by jazzfool132 on 11/12/2004 2:24:09 PM connsaxman_jim, what is your horn set up? (what mouthpiece, saxophone, and what reeds do u use? ----------------------------------------------------------------- I play a 1948 Conn 10M (doesn't have the rolled tone holes) I haven't noticed to much difference between rolled vs. non-rolled tone holes as far as sound. It seems as if non-rolled might be a little brighter, but that could be partly due to the pads also. The pads on my 10M are a premium leather plastic resonator pad. I have a collection of mouthpieces, and depending on the tone I'm looking for, I primarily use one of these three. For jazz, funk, and stuff that really screams, I use an older Otto Link Super Tone Master, #5 facing. Ironically, one of the mouthpieces I like the most is a Rico Royal B3, which is an inexpensive mouthpiece, with a Rovner Lig. I have a Brillhart Ebolin I like for some softer stuff where i want a more even mellow tone. I like Vanduren reeds, and I vary between a 2-3 1/2, depending on the mouthpiece I'm using. With a more open face, you'll want to use a softer reed. One thing that I don't do, is I don't put a lot of effects on my sax when I play. A lot of sax players often add too many effects and it ruins the sound. I use reverb and sometimes just a touch of delay. The type of microphone you use to mic the sax makes a HUGE difference also. I haven't found a cordless sax mic yet that I really liked. IF you absolutely have to have a cordless mic, pay the money and get a good one. The Sennheiser is about the best one I've found. What seems to work best for me is a Shure Beta 58A, which is also what I use for vocals. I guess that prett much covers my set up. Feel free to ask me any questions and I'll answer them as quickly as I can to the best of my knowledge. I've been playing sax for about 20 years, and learned a great deal from my uncle, who has been playing professionally now for almost 60 years.

          Reply To Post Yahoo!


        17. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          I also play alto, so I'll fill you in on my Alto set-up as well. I have a couple alto's that I use. Mainly a 1950 6M naked lady with the underslung neck. It matches my 10M and the 2 ladies just look nice sitting in my stand along side one another. I have a 1926 Chu, which is pretty cool, and I have a 1952 Selmer Balanced Action that belonged to my uncle. I use either a Selmer C* a Brillhart Ebolin, or a Conn Steelay mouthpiece. I have a Super Tone Master for my alto also, but it's just a little too piercing at times. I prefer a hard rubber mouthpiece on the alto, with usually a #2 or 2 1/2 Vanduren reed.

          Reply To Post Yahoo!


        18. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          I have a 41 10M tenor, and a 39 6M alto... I love them both! although the alto dosn't like to play quiet that well... it's a loud horn.

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


      2. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Conn Sax's

        I think you would have to play them both to decide between the two. The prices are quite high, so they must be in incredible condition.

        Reply To Post


        1. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Conn Sax's

          For a tenor that's really not too high. I paid a lot more than that for my VI and i wish i could try a 10M.

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


          1. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            do u think 10m are better jazz horns than mark vi?

            Reply To Post


            1. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              "After the company was sold in the late 50's quality went down hill. Sad to say, but I'd rather play a beat up Bundy than a Conn made after 1965" Conn was sold to a subdivision of the McMillan Publishing Company in 1970, not in the 50's. and quality didn't take a complete nose dive untill it aquired the Best Manufacturing company in the very late 60's and moved production of ALL instruments to Nogales in 1970. Horns made between the early 50's and 1968/69, while not quite up to the desirability of the 30'/40's Lady Face models, are none the less still quality playing/sounding pro horns. Certainly better than the Director or "Shooting Star" models mentioned earlier which are, contrary to some erroniously published info, based on the Pan American not the M series horns.

              Reply To Post


            2. by jazzfool132
              (144 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              have u played a 16m because contrary to what people say, they are a fine horn if set up properly. the shooting star model is not as recognized as the earlier conns but it plays just as good. and what is this 16M models being based on the Pan American and not the M series?

              Reply To Post


            3. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              "and what is this 16M models being based on the Pan American and not the M series?" Just what I said, the Conn Director series was Conn's continuation of the second tier (read Student to Intermediate) level of horns introduced in the 50's to replace the Pan American name. The horn is actually closer to the original Pan American company product in terms of bore dimention and keywork than the "M" series. Conn bought out the Pan American company in the 20's, and continued to produce those horns using P.A.'s propriatory designs, rather than Conn Ltd. designs, in the same way that Selmer maintained the Beuscher designs after buying out that company.The idea that the "Shooting Star" horns are simply lower priced 6/10M bodied horns is a recent bit of misinformation. I'll note here that this seems to have been postulated by a few horn vendors(who shall remain nameless by me) who are trying to hock student horn's as the "poormans" Lady Face, by implying a false pedigree. This is NOT the case, however.

              Reply To Post


            4. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              And yes I have played many 16M's ( My first horn, actually). As a long time collector of Vintage horns (38 in my collection at present) and a long time student of the Sax for over 32 years, I've played just about every horn possible.

              Reply To Post


            5. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              Btw, should anyone want further information on this topic, or any other horn's history, I highly recommend Pete Hale's www.saxpics.com website. To quote him regarding the 16M' history: "This model appears to have been officially called the "Director" model by Conn (1), although it is commonly called the "shooting stars" model. It is an "updating" of the 1930's Pan American model (similar keywork, bore size, etc.), and these models, the 14 and 16M, are two of the few intermediate models I picture on this website."

              Reply To Post


            6. by jazzfool132
              (144 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              well since you started off on the 16m did you enjoy and of its features in particular, and little to my knowing, are the Pan American models at least decent so i can feel i bought i good horn(the 16m) and not some run of the mill horn?

              Reply To Post


            7. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              First, when was your's manufactured, and what did you pay for it? Unfortunately my 16M was a 1970's production model, which are some of the worst of the lot. Those made between the introduction of the model around 1955 to about the mid 1960's aren't bad horns ( the ones with wire key guards, and nickel plated keys). Although they don't compare with top of the line horns Conn or otherwise, the sound can be quite good(as were most Pan Americans). The workmanship on these earlier models is satisfactory as is the keywork (although a bit dated in design) The later models, especiallay those made in Nogales, Arizona/Mexico around the very late 60's onward can be a nightmare to put/keep in adjustment. The key work is so flimsy and easily bent that once in anything approaching a proper setup, it quickly proceeds to form leaks etc. And the workmanship on these "Mexi-Conns" as they are often referred to is often sub par. It IS possible to get a fairly playable/dependable later production model, as far as student/intermed. models go, but they are few and far between. If your's is in good adjustment, and you are carefull with it, it should get you through a few years of early study, but you will reach a point where you will want to replace it with a pro model. Best of luck.

              Reply To Post


            8. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              By the way, you mentioned that you bought your horn from your teacher I believe? That might mean that your horn was properly setup/adjusted while in his possession which is in your favor. If your's is a good player, and you are able to easily play the entire range from the bell notes to the altissimo, then I would just play and enjoy the horn. These horns can have a good sound, you just don't want to get bogged down with unnecessary problems due to faulty mechanics of a problem horn.

              Reply To Post


            9. by jazzfool132
              (144 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              The Serial Number of my 16m tenor is 919422. I dont really know the production year but i hope this serial number helps. Yes, my instructor defiantely helped to adjust the horn to fit playing ability. Like I said before, the key action is quick because of constant tweaking. But yea, the serial number is 919422. If you could, please find some info with the number. Thanks

              Reply To Post


            10. by jazzfool132
              (144 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              Yea i am in the early years of my studies and i cant really afford too much right now. im hoping that in the future i will be able to get a job make decent money and buy and collect many saxophones, as do you according to your profile.

              Reply To Post


            11. by jazzfool132
              (144 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              by the way, how old were you when you first started playing the saxophone? in a recent post you said you have been a student of the sax for 32 years and your profile says your 37...but i dont think u have been playing since you were 5. just wondering -j

              Reply To Post


            12. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              The serial number you have given me indicates that your horn was made between 1961/1962 which is a good vintage for this model horn. Your horn is well within the better years of manufacture, so you should indeed have a good playing horn. Regarding the age I started playing reeds; yes I was 5 years old. My mother was a concert pianist, and my father, although a Colonel and fighter pilot in the U.S. Airforce, had played trumpet all throughout highschool and college, so I was encouraged to study music at an early age. I started on clarinet and piano, and quickly switched to the Sax, first on a rented alto (a King) and then to the afore mentioned 16M. As I said earlier, mine was one of the least desirable 16M's and it is a wonder that I stuck with the Sax considering that horn's quality, or lack there of. And it was brand new, too. I'm glad to hear that you have a much better vintage 16M, and it should get the job done for you. Cheers.

              Reply To Post


            13. by jazzfool132
              (144 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              Thank you so much for researching my sax i have yet to find info on. This indeed helps me and makes me more confident in my playing knowing i have a good vintage model. That may sound funny but its true. Greatly appreciative, -j

              Reply To Post


            14. by jazzfool132
              (144 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              how much do u think my horn would be worth if i told you it was in great playing condition, lacquer looked new, and there are extremely small scratches and thats all the damage. the shooting star engraving is clear as well? i suppose just an average price. thanks again

              Reply To Post


            15. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              You see these models on Ebay all the time, and like most things sold on that sight, they are priced below what they are worth. Most online sax vendors are selling these for around $1,000.00, (about half or less for the late 60's through 80's models) but they can be had for much less via various sources. As I said, as far as 16M's go, yours is a good example, so I would expect to get a top price relative to the Directors model going rates. If you would like to read a bit more info on the Conn Director's models, and see some photos of various examples, I would suggest that you go to www.saxpics.com. Pete has some great info on vintage model horns of all manufacturers and eras. You will have a blast looking through that site's information.

              Reply To Post


            16. by saxismyaxe
              (574 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              And you are quite welcome. Glad to be of help to a fellow Sax fan.

              Reply To Post


            17. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              Interesting information there saxismyaxe, and something I've never heard before, but it makes sense. The Pan American is the most famous of the Conn "Stencil" horns. Although similar to a 10M, their were noticable differences. Pan's sold for less than a 10M, and were more of an intermediate model while the 10M was the professional model. Conn decided to focus on making less expensive intermediate models, and they downgraded the quality (and price) of their instruments. They were still a pretty good horn though up until the mid 60's, even as late as 1968, but from about 1965 on is where you see that downward slide until as you said, production was moved to Nogales. Interesting information though. I bought a couple 60's Conns; a 1963 Alto and a 1961 Tenor, and after repadding them and making a few repairs, they both played very nice, and were nice sounding horns also. The disappointment came when I tried to sell them, and even after all the work I put into them, I couldn't GIVE them away. The tenor I relaquered and I had about $1000 into it, and sold it for $850. Beautiful horn too. The alto I cleaned and repadded, replaced all the springs, and it sold for $425 with a new case, 2 mouthpieces, a Neotech strap, a nice silk swab, Rovner ligature......Sigh!!! Someone got a good buy!!! It was a learning experience.

              Reply To Post Yahoo!


            18. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Conn Sax's

              "After the company was sold in the late 50's quality went down hill. Sad to say, but I'd rather play a beat up Bundy than a Conn made after 1965" Sorry...Meant late 1960's not 50's. Typo. I thought MacMillian bought Conn in 1968. I'll have to review my history. I know that they aquired Best along the same time and moved production to Mexico within a couple years.

              Reply To Post Yahoo!


          2. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            10M's have a "bolder" more "brassy" sound. Don't get me wrong, the Selmer sounds very good, but I know a 10M when I hear one. The selmer VI is a great all-around horn with a good sound for just about any kind of music. A 10M might be a little bold for some applications. Just to give you another example, playing classical music on a 10M would be like playing classical music on a Fender Strat with a Marshall amp and the overdrive peaked! The action on a 10M isn't as smooth as a VI, but it's good. I play a 10M for the sound; not because they're the best playing sax out there because they're not. They are what they are.

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          3. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            I am looking for a new alto saxophone and my instructor is trying to find me one. I thought of looking into a 10m because they are not as expensive as the sought after Mark VI's, although they may be, in some cases, a better horn. Do you have any price ranges and year ranges that I should look into for 10m alto saxes? ps I have looked on saxpics.com and they did not give price ranges. thanks -j

            Reply To Post


          4. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            No, Saxpics.com is all about the history of various horns and manufacturers, not current prices. One correction, the Alto version of the "M Artist" horns is known as a 6M; the 10M is the Tenor model only. Choice vintage year 6M's aren't too cheap price wise either, frankly. These are considered some of the best Altos ever made, and the best examples go for up to and over the $2,000.00 price range. If you want a Conn 6M, your best bet is to look for one made after 1947 through the 50's. After 47, Conn dropped the rolled tone holes, and although these are great playing horns, the purists among collectors don't desire these as much as the 1930's/40's horns. There is one going for a low price on www.shopgoodwill.com under the misidentified tag 1914 CONN LTD FOR SALE. This is an auction site, and the sale ends in a couple of days, but it might be a good opertunity for you to pick up a great horn cheap. I suspect that you will have to put some more money into it to get it repadded, so be aware of that.

            Reply To Post


          5. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Hi Connsaxman, Nice to talk to fellow Conn Collectors. Actually the Pan American isn't a true stencil horn. Stencil horns are simply a manufacturer's own design, often an older one no longer being sold under the parent companie's product line up, or a slighty stripped down version (although this isn't always the case) made for secondary source such as a music store, another manufacturer etc. with that companies name engraved, or "Stenciled" onto the horn. In the case of the Pan American, Conn bought the company and continued to manufacture that companies designs with the name intact, but under the new ownership of Conn Ltd. The same situation as Selmer/Buescher/Bundy. A good example of a true Stencil would be the Conn/Martin Wurlitzer or Conn /Mastercraft etc.

            Reply To Post


          6. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            In terms of the actual dates, I took a look at my sources, and to set the record straight: Conn began the Director series in 1955 and continued to manufacturer that line untill about 1980. Conn aquired the Best Manufacturing Co. in 1960 and started moving some of their student line horn production to that location in Nogalas around that time. Conn was purchased by the MacMillian Publishing Co. in 1969/1970, and the last Elkhart Ind. made Conn was made in 1971. Whew, that's all she wrote about that topic! Cheers.

            Reply To Post


          7. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            sale. I would suggest giving that source a try WAY before you even consider Ebay as a possiblility. Too many people have been taken on Ebay recently and frauds abound on that auction site. I'd hate for you to be taken for all of your money and end up with either a dud horn, or none at all. Best of luck.

            Reply To Post


          8. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Jazzfool, sorry about the above post, my paste attempt cut off the first half of my message. I was saying that you might want to give www.SOTW or Sax On the Web a try. They have an excellent Sax forum (the most active on the web) with a forsale board where you might want to take a look for a good deal on an Alto. I would try that before even contemplating Ebay as a possibility. Too many people have been scammed recently on that auction site, with little or no recourse. Cheers.

            Reply To Post


          9. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Thank you for all of this information. This certainly helps me on my saxophone quest. I have looked on www.SOTW before but I didnt know how to set up a screen name on that site for I created one here at saxquest. Anyway, do you think the Conn 6M is better than the best Mark VI's(the best Mark Vi's meaning the best production years..etc.), personally? thanks -j

            Reply To Post


          10. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            My personal opinions on the various horns available, both in terms of models and vintage are as follows: I prefer the late 30's to early 40's Conn Connquerers and 10M/6Ms for their sound and flexibility. I would also rate the late 40's through the 50's The Martin Committees as some of the best horns ever made, as well as the Buescher True Tone, Aristocrat and 400 Tophat and Cane, King Zephyr and Super 20, and the lesser known SML's, Buffets, and Dolnets are a good value as well. Selmers have their own sound, which you either like, are willing to accept as a trade off for their other virtues, or you hate. I personally am not crazy about their core sound, although I own and sometime play a Super Balanced Action tenor and alto, and a MkVI Tenor and Alto, and a Super Action Series III. I have also owned a Selmer Reference 36, but sold it as it was not what I thouught it was marketed to be. My dream horn (which has yet to be manufactured by any one company) would have the body and bell of the best Amercian Vintage horns, with the slick keywork design of the MkVI and later Selmer or Yamaha/Yani horns. It's important that you know that no one horn is perfect to every player. My best advice to you is to try every make/ model you can as you mature as a player, ditto with mouthpieces/ligs/reeds, and hopefully by the time you are ready to take the plunge and buy a horn you will keep and play for life, you will have some idea exactly what suits YOU best.

            Reply To Post


          11. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            I'd also like to add that beyond the instrument performing as it should, the gear you are using is not as crucial as the effort you put into playing and learning/growing as a musician. Of course you want to find an instrument that will not hender your development and help take you where you want to go, but collecting stores of horns as I have done isn't part of becoming a great Saxophonist. I have been blessed to be able to afford a large collection of instruments over about 30 or so years, but in reality all it takes is ONE good horn and a LOT of effort.

            Reply To Post


          12. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Theyu do make such a horn saxismyaxe. It's called a Keilwerth SX 90. I have been thinking about buying one. I'd like to keep my 10M nice, so I'm thinking about buying the Keilwerth to gig with an play the crap out of, while my Conn stays nice, but then again, The old lady needs to sing too!

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          13. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            I owned a SX90R a few years ago, and sold it. I did NOT feel that it hit the mark in terms of vintage sound with modern keywork. Although superb in terms of craftmanship (dependably German built/engineered), I find the sound to be quite a bit too spread, and rejected it. Many do like the sound of these horns, though. Gus Buescher is said to have left C.G. Conn well before Pan American was bought by Conn, and contrary to what you mentioned hearing, all my sources clearly state that it was a separate company under independant ownership prior to Conn's purchase. Although they did indeed produce various instruments, one is hard pressed to find them in as abundant a state as their saxophones. This is due I'm sure to the fact that their short history before the Conn days peaked during the Sax craze of the late teens and early 1920's, where it seems that eveyone was trying frantically to get a piece of the action. I might add that it would appear that virtually eveyone seems to have spent some time under the employment of Conn LTD. as the two Martin Brothers who along with their father would later start the Martin Instrument Co. (not to be confused with Martin Frerees or "Martin Brothers" of Paris) spent time working there as well. tThis was in the later part of the 19th C. however.

            Reply To Post


          14. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Actually, I've heard a slightly different story regarding Pan American. The company was originally started in New York by the CG Conn in the early 1900's to help satisfy the demand and for export purposes; one reason for the name, Pan American. I guess you can't REALLY call it a stencil, because it's not really based on any of Conn's designs. In fact, they earlier Pan Am's were designed by Gus Beuscher, who worked for Conn at the time before starting his own company. The Pan American company didn't only build saxophones but other musical instruments as well, including accordians.

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          15. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Conn Sax, If you have the source information regarding Pan American handy, I would certainly be interested in taking a look at it. This is the first time in many years of study I have heard this info, and am curious to see it. Thanks! Mike.

            Reply To Post


          16. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Regarding the SX-90: Is the key action faster on this horn or the Conn 6 and 10m's? obviously depending on the conn's condition? How is the tone compared to that of the 10m and the mark vi? And finally, how is the overall quality and durability of the Sx-90 Ps if i looked into the SX-90s, should i get the sx-90II or the sx-90? also, what lacquer should i get if i bought this horn?

            Reply To Post


          17. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            I thought the SX 90 sounded the most like a 10M of any of the modern saxes I've played. The quality is very good. I thought the action was better than anything else I've ever played. I like the black nickel. I just think it looks really sharp. As for the SX-90 or SX-90 II, I'm not sure what the differences are if there is a difference. I think the one I played was just an SX 90

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          18. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            so would you recommend an older conn or an sx-90?

            Reply To Post


          19. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Well, That's the story I heard from a musician friend when mentioning the Pan American saxes. He said that Pan Am was originally started by CG Conn and another investor in like 1904? And that the original Pan Am was a Buescher design, and that Buescher left Conn a couple years later to start his own factory. As his version of the story goes, the Pan American company began exporting saxophones and other instruments up into the 1960's, however Conn bought out the Pan American company completely and later dropped the Pan Am saxes. He says that the company was also quite famous for their Pan accordians. Again, I'm not certain how true any of this is, but I have heard of Pan accordians, and Panaramic accordian amps.

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          20. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            The main difference between the SX90 and the SX90R is that the latter has soldered on rings on the tone holes that mimic the rolled tone holes of Conn's, SML's, Hullers etc., and that model also has adjustable left hand palm keys i.e. for hight and angle. I had the SX90R Tenor, and also tested an SX90, and to be honest, if I were you, and dug the sound of the Keilwerths, I would save some money and forget the "rolled tone holes" and get the SX90. Don't over look the excellent German B & S Medusa horns if you want to go new, because these sound and play great, and are reasonably priced. Dave Kessler at www.kesslermusic.com has a good supply of these horns.

            Reply To Post


          21. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Hmm i might try to SX-90 now..but its too expensive for me..how are the EX-90II compared to the SX-90??

            Reply To Post


          22. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Not even in the same catagory. The Student grade horns put out by Keilwerth aren't actually made by them, I believe that they are either Asian or Eastern Eurpean (Czech ?) made, and not the best deal going in their catagory. If you are looking for a new horn, the Yamaha Z horns are quite reasonable (It is possible to get one for around $2,500.00 new for the Tenor model, less for Alto). I have tried a few of them, and while they don't have the same feel and sound of Vintage American horns (Not bad, just different), they are none the less very good instruments, and certainly played to great effect by a number of well know Jazz artists, not the least among them Phil Woods. He is able to get a fantastic sound out of them, proving that is more the artist than the horn alone that creates a personal "Sound".

            Reply To Post


          23. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Jazzfool, If I were you I'd look for a 10M. I really think you would like the sound. I'd look for one made between 1948-1956 without the rolled tone holes. They're usually a little cheaper to buy, easier to repair and I think if anything, they sound a little better than the rolled tone hole versions.

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          24. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Thanks for the info, but I'm looking for a new alto. So I should get a 1948-1956 6m then. Are they as good as the 10m models?

            Reply To Post


          25. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            how about the yamaha custom class and the yas-62II?

            Reply To Post


          26. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            A 6M alto is a great horn. One of the best designed alto's I've played. I especially like the pre 1954 models with the microtuner necks, but even the later ones are AWESOME horns. They have a very smooth action and a solid feel. They're balanced really well, and the tone is acceptional. Like the 10M, they're raspy and bold. For some things I like my Selmer better because it's a little more tame. The Conn 6M is definately an eye catcher though with the underslung neck. You can often find them fairly reasonable online too. I bought mine on Ebay for $350, and the pads were like new. I relaquered it, made a few adjustments and it plays very well.

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          27. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            thanx for the help jim! have u played a 16m before? just wondering! -j

            Reply To Post


          28. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            I've played just about everything....everything worth playing that is. I have owned a couple Directors model Conns, including a 1963 Conn alto and a 1961 16M tenor. They both played very well and sounded great! I didn't have the tenor very long. I bought it with the intentions of fixing it to resell, since I had my 10M and a couple others at the time. Iplayed the alto for a few years before I bought my first 6M on ebay which I had completely relaquered and restored. I sold both the 16M tenor and the alto and neither of them sold for anywhere near what they should have been worth! I think the alto, with fresh pads, a new case, and lots of extras sold for like $425! I put more than that into it! The Tenor sold for like $850 with new laquer and pads! WHAT A DEAL THAT WAS!!! I just sold a 1956 6M that I completely repadded and relaquered. It looked and played like brand new, and it sold for $1250 My uncle, who has played sax for over 60 years (and still plays) uses a Conn 16M tenor from the late 1950's. He was playing one of the earlier 10M's 3-4 nights per week and could not afford to be without it for a couple weeks while it was being repaired. He decided to buy a newer horn, and bought the 16M tenor brand new because he couldn't really afford a Selmer MK VI. He loves the old 16M, and I offered to give him a 1954 MK VI in mint condition. ( He handed me a 1952 Selmer SBA Alto and told me to take it home and put it to good use) but he said no thanks, He's used to the old Conn and as long as he can still play, that's the sax he'll use!

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          29. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            How is your SBA? Is it minty condition? Do you like the "Selmer" sound? -j

            Reply To Post


          30. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            i myself love the selmer and conn sounds!

            Reply To Post


          31. by saxaholic001
            (4 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            I just bought a 16M, and the man was selling it for about $425. I sold him a newer really bad conn alto so I only paid about $150. I was wondering how much the 16M is really worth. It is in good condition, hard case, and a selmer mouthpiece.

            Reply To Post


          32. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            The SBA I have is a 1952, and it's had some use, but it was relaquered some time ago. Whoever did the work on it did a very good job. It looks factory. It was repadded not long before it was given to me, and the pads are in excellent shape. It was relaquered and repadded before my uncle aquired it from one of his musician friends. I like the sound of the Selmer. It's a silky smooth, clean, classy and sophisticated sound, where the 6M is somewhat "sleazy and bold". An American made 16M tenor in good shape should bring between $800-$1200. An Alto more like $400-$750....but they usually go for less. I think because there are so many of them out there, and a lot of people look at the stars on the bell and assume that it's a later built "Mexi-Conn" and it's junk, which is not the case of the earlier Director and 16M models. My advice is, don't put a ton of money into one. If it needs pads and some TLC, fine, but don't spend the money for a relaquer. You'll never get your money out of it if you sell it. Just play it and enjoy it. If you buy something else, keep it for a back-up.

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          33. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            saxaholic, i have a nice 16m too and mine is worth about 1000 but i only paid 600 and its nearly minty. Yea, they are good horns but will never be able to sell them for a higher price than around 600. -j

            Reply To Post


          34. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            i really like the sound of the 16m too!

            Reply To Post


          35. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Has Anyone heard of the P. Mauriat Horn line? I would like to know more about them! -j

            Reply To Post


          36. by saxaholic001
            (4 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Refering to the Mexi-Conns, i read somewhere that if the serial # is Nxxxxx then it is from Mexico. I checked mine and the serial # was Lxxxxx, so is mine from America? (I am not really sure on the amount of x's, and i only put those there because i don't know the # off hand)

            Reply To Post


          37. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            An "L" before the serial number dates this horn to around 1968. Horns with an "M" and "N" are made between 1969 and 1970, around the time that Conn moved it's horn production in mass to Nogalas Arizona on the Mexican border, and are thus referred to as the Mexi-Conn horns.

            Reply To Post


          38. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            I know mexi-conns are awful horns but what really makes the huge difference in quality?

            Reply To Post


          39. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            A Saxophone is one of the most mechanically complex instruments of the woodwind family. There is a lot that can go wrong, both before and after manufacture. The Mexi-Conns were not assembled by the legandary Master Craftsmen of the earlier Conn dynasty, and thus the materials, fit and finish, fine tuning and over all expertise is sadly missing. Things like body to bow to bell fit, keywork fit and function, pad seating, final adjustment is sub par on these later horns. The bodies tend to be poorly crafted, and the keywork is a flexing, ever bending nighmare to put into and keep adjusted. Some have said that they have gotten ahold of a good one of the Mexi-Conns, but my experience has been that there aren't any good ones. Milage may very with others :)

            Reply To Post


          40. by jazzfool132
            (144 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            how is the quality of the Martin Horns?

            Reply To Post


          41. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Jazzfool, Check out the threads on the Martin horns on this board, I have posted my opinion there. In short, I think that The Martin Committee, Magna, and Handcraft Saxophones are some of the best American Saxophones ever made, and can still be had for a realistic price (although these too are quickly rising in cost lately). I have many Martins, and absolutely love them, especially 1946 through the 50's The Martin Committee models. Mike.

            Reply To Post


          42. by zoot51
            (10 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Most of the Pan-American saxes I have seen are Conn designs, generally Chu-style, cheapened slightly (no rolled toneholes, small changes in keywork). Still, as you say, they are not REALLY stencils. They are closer to, say, the Martin Indiana -- a cheaper second line sharing some, but not all, of the qualities of the first line. If the Pan-American saxes were that company's "own" design, they should have been SUED, not BOUGHT, by Conn!

            Reply To Post


          43. by snowsax
            (11 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            hey guys, as a novice, it's great to read so much good info on sax's - I have an opportunity to check out a Conn locally (heard enough horror stories about eBay), and want to call the guy and ask a few questions first. Besides whether it's a 10M or 16M (stupid question: what's the difference anyway?), and the concensus seems to be that 10M's are preferable to the 16m's (true?), I gather that I should stay away from those manufactured after , say, 1965? any other questions I should ask, before, obviously, checking it out personally...thanks alot

            Reply To Post


          44. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Conn Sax's

            Snowsax, There is a pretty big difference between the 10M and the 16M. The 10M was first introduced in 1934. This was the professional model Conn at the time. The 10M's made between 1934-1947 had rolled tone holes. Conn dropped the rolled tone holes in 1948 and continued to manufacture the 10M until 1970. The most valuable 10M are those manufactured from 1934-1947. Some of the earlier models were silver plated. Most of the later models are lacquered brass. Those made from 1948-1968 are also very good saxophones. In 1949, Carl Dimond Greenleaf; CEO of Conn retired, and Paul Gazely stepped up as CEO. Gazely felt that their was a bigger market for student and intermediate model horns, and sought to produce more inexpensive intermediate models and less professional models. Consequently, the 16M was introduced in 1955. Also called the Director's model, this was an intermediate level sax based on the Pan American line. Pan American was a company that Conn had aquired early on and had developed as a "second" line. In 1959, Paul Gazely stepped down and Carl's grandson Leland became CEO. Under Leland, the Conn company began to develope other musical instruments besides horns. The Conn organ company was started, Conn purchased the Ludwig Drum company and a few others. I think, basically, Leland was spending more money than he was making. Conn aquired the Best manufacturing company in Nogales in 1968, and began producing instruments there in late 1968 and 1969. By the end of 1969, all Conn saxophones were built in Nogales. Conn stock had dropped considerably and Leland feared a corperate take over. In 1970, Conn was sold to MacMillan; a publishing company who knew very little about musical instruments. Shortly after the buy-out, MacMillan started shipping manufacturing just across the border to Mexico. Unfortunately, the good name of Conn was reduced to poor quality garbage. It was after the MacMillan buy-out that pro line (10M, 6M) was dropped completely. Maybe this is a little more history than you needed. An earlier model 16M is a nice horn, but doesn't begin to compare to the 10M.

            Reply To Post Yahoo!