Saxophone Forum


by wazawaza
(3 posts)
10 years ago

More praise for the Conn 10M

I posted a couple days ago about a replacement case for a 1956 10M. I just wanted to post and say that i just recently acquired this horn off ebay, and i have to say that it completely and utterly rules. i've just started to get back into playing after a few years hiatus. i played in jazz bands back in high school, and i WISH that i had one of these back then. i sure as hell would have practiced more. my old YTS-23 just frustrated me more than anything. I also wish they had websites like this back then (i dunno...something like 1994) so i would have upgraded sooner. anyway, for anyone doubting the 10m and its other supporters on this site, here's another vote towards Conn's great instrument!

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  1. by saxismyaxe
    (574 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

    Welcome to the club, fellow convert. :)

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  2. by sonnyrollins57
    (17 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

    I love all vintage conn horns especially the conn 30m,but i really love the martin horns even better because there so rare like,like the handcrafts, the committee tenors altos and baritones.The only four vintage companies I like is Martin,Conn,Buescher,and Selmer.

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    1. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

      Have you tried a King? They're a nice vintage horn also. I have a Super 20 tenor that barks like a big dog! They're nice horns too, but the 10M is still my favorite!

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      1. by definition
        (963 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

        Yes, and while I LOVE my 10M, I will pull out my King Super 20 Silversonic first almost everytime!!

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    2. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

      Congradulations! I'm glad you like it. Play it with pride!

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      1. by chiamac
        (586 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

        join the club! they are great horns! like I've said before, I'll put mine up to any new/vintage tenor out there. Even if it dosn't sound "the best" I still paid thousands less than the other guy. =) have fun!

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    3. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

      Somebody read some of my posts and wrote me saying that they wouldn't buy or recommend a 10M or any horn without a hi F#, and proceded to tell me how much better the new horns play compared to the old ones. First of all, why do you need a hi F# key? I can get a nice F# on my 10M. All you do is play an F and hold the Bb key. I can play up to a hi A! That's above hi C! That involves articulation and takes some practice, but it can be done if the sax is in good condition; all pads sealing properly, etc. I've played some of the newer horns like the Keilwerth with the hi F# key, and it really doesn't make much difference to me. I actually prefer to do it the way I just mentioned. There is no horn on the market today that has the sound of an old 10M; not even a Keilwerth SX 90 which still sounds very good. Many people will argue with me on this I'm sure, but I think that the quality of brass has a LOT to do with the sound. Some of the Asian saxophones especially use an softer alloy which contains more tin. Conn 10M's are fairly heavy because of the quality metal that's used. They don't dent like soda pop cans; unlike many of the Asian saxes I've seen. I'm fortunate enough to afford to play whatever I want, and I've tried just about EVERYTHING on the market today. There are others that play better, but the 10M plays very good. I wouldn't care how much better it played if it still sounded like a tin can! The 10M sounds larger than life! It's a bold, full sound; brassy and bright, but not too bright. It's just perfect!

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      1. by ross
        (20 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

        Speaking of altissimo, My old Dulnet is being coaxed to play up there, with varying results... It will voice F# with your fingering, but is better tuned with fork and F..... Any suggestions for a general improvement in that range? I'm using a Jumbo Java 75 and number three reeds with reasonable success..... three and a half are better, but way too stiff down low... More volume would be nice.... B is the highest I ever try to perform... Any ideas????

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

          Sounds like you may need to make some adjustments, Ross. It could be that a pad is not opening up far enough. I would check to see how far the pads are opening up on these fingerings. I've been using Vanduren V16 2 1/2 reeds ever since I bought some a couple years ago and liked them. A 2 1/2 seems to perform best for me all around. I was using LaVos mediums for a long time, but they're harder to find around here and I have to order them.

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      2. by LesterYoung
        (4 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

        Connsaxman, This past weekend while Christmas shopping I spotted a nice looking Conn 10m locked in a show case at Bill's Music in Catonsville, MD. I never actually played one so I decided to ask to give it a try. I was most impressed by the really warm open sound. My Mk6 is a little stuffy in the palm keys but this horn just sang like a canary in early Spring; I felt like I was ready for a gig at the Cadillac Lounge with its big open sound. On the down side I wasn't real impressed with some of the keywork, the right hand pinky keys felt kind of odd and the left hand pinky cluster reminded me of the old Bundy tenor I played in Jr. High School. However, I assume my horn tech could easily spiff of up the action for me. Overall I was extremely impressed with the sound and I think it would make a great gig horn where you wouldn't want to drag a $5k Selmer. I couldn't agree with you more on the high F# key, I also use the two finger high F fingering with the B flat side key. ~Lester

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        1. by darci
          (3 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

          This past weekend, I was handed (literally) a 10M. I am trying to track down the date of manufacture, and perhaps a rough value. I would NEVER dream of selling this beautiful horn, but I am rather curious. Any suggestions? 548278 I can hardly wait to have her overhauled so I can play. darci

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          1. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            Darci, Here is a link to a list of Conn serial numbers. According to Dr. Rick, your 10M is a 1955. www.drrick.com/conn.html Reconditioned, They're worth $1800-$2000. In exceptional condition, maybe as much as $2500. The 1936-1947 models with the rolled tone holes are worth a little more, but I think the best playing and best sounding 10M's are those made between 1948-1959. The Wind Works in Burton, MI overhauled and relaquered mine a couple years ago. I've been very happy with the work they've done.

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          2. by darci
            (3 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            Thank you so very much!!!

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          3. by eman19
            (131 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            Do You really recommend the relaq? I know they make the horn look nicer, but I'd rather have a bare brass horn then the possiblity of screwing with the sound. I know that the chemical treatments are much better then the old school buffing, but still. Out of curiosity how does it play?

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          4. by darci
            (3 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            I probably wont re laquer it. I do, however need to have it completely repadded. I have no idea how long this horn lived under the stairs, and not inside a case. Imagine!!!.. I have absolutely no idea how it plays, the pads are so corroded, and many are just missing. As for looking nicer, i guess if you are into the shiny looks, a re laquer is the way to go, but this horn is so beautiful the way it looks now.

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          5. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            There are a lot of bad relacquer jobs out there. I wouldn't take it to just anyone. The guy who relacquered mine does exceptional work. I had seen some of the horns he relaquered before I had him do mine. He is careful not to apply too much lacquer, and bakes the lacquer to cure and seal it. I've never seen a better relacquer job from anyone else. He also removed a couple small dents and set up my horn so that it plays like it did when it was new. It plays as good as a Conn 10M is capable of playing.

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          6. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            My 10M had been relacquered and reconditioned at the Conn factory in 1962 before my grandmother purchased it for my father in 1963. It looked brand new when he got it, but after nearly 40 years of use by both me and my father, it was looking pretty rough. I had mentioned getting it relacquered and my uncle suggested I take it to The Wind Works. They had relacquered a couple horns for him in the past.

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          7. by sax_maniac
            (984 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            Playing a 10M is like driving a Corvette on wet pavement. A real blast once you get the hang of it. I've found the Selmer "holy grail horns" much easier to control, but sometimes too restrictive when you need to play "balls out".

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          8. by chiamac
            (586 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            NO... part of a vintage horn is just that "vintage." Some idiot did that to mine (don't know when) and sure it looks good, but my engraving is kinda bad and it just dosent look vintage at all. however it does play very well... so I guess I'm lucky. Although I still don't believe that a little buffing and new laquer (sp?) would change the sound that much. as with the keywork. That was my first reaction when playing the horn. It does feel a little cumbersome, but that's with just about any horn. It takes a little time to get used to, but once you do it's fine. as for them being "slow" or something... just think about this for a min. These same horns were around in the bop era and held up fine until the selmers replaced them as "the choice." (or one of the professional choices)

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          9. by eman19
            (131 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            See the slow keywork doesn't bother me. I have only played something besides a vintage horn twice, and both times it was a yamaha student model hor=o(. I would love to try a Mark VI, but won't even bother until I actually had the cash for one. And if I had 4500 to blow on a sax, I'd probably get another Martin Committee II (Tenor this time though), and either the conn 10M or 6M. I need to get a couple of back up horns anyway.

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          10. by johnsonfromwisconsin
            (767 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            the F# isn't a dealbreaker for me. As it's been said, altissimo F# is quite easy for an advanced player to reach if you have horn of sound accoustical design. The side F# does let you reach the 'G' nearly as easily, however.

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          11. by sax_maniac
            (984 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            It's nice to have high F# on an alto for legit as it is written into pieces fairly often and it is nice to have that explicit fingering available. However, for tenor and the types of music suitable for tenor, I don't think that having an explicit high F# is all that important. In fact, I've read opinions of some Mark VI "worshippers" (of whose Kool-Aid I haven't drank) that the high F# key diminishes the performance of the Mark VI design. Granted, these people may also include relative humidity of their reed case in their set-up.

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          12. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            I think part of the appeal to vintage musical instruments ARE their design characteristics and even their little imperfections. Not only horns, but vintage guitars; such as the staggerd pole single coil pick-ups like they used in the original Fender Stratocasters, or the tonewheel generators of the Hammond organs, or tube amplifiers like the Ampeg SVT bass amp, or the vintage Fender Twin Reverb amps. I think the same holds true for the Conn 10M and other vintage horns. Sure, the 10M has it's limitations, but it's these limitations that give the horn character. I wouldn't say that the action is slow at all. It sure as hell hasn't slowed me down! I can rip just as fast on my 10M as I can any other horn I've tried including brand new models. In fact, I'm more comfortable with the 10M and if anything, faster with it! Some of the keys are a little clunky. If you're used to a Selmer action, the Conn has a very different feel. I've tried just about everything. I own a vintage Mk VI tenor (1954), and the Conn 10M sounds 10X better than the Selmer even on a BAD day!

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          13. by eman19
            (131 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: More praise for the Conn 10M

            poor use of words on my part, I meant to say that I had not found the keywork on vintage instruments to be slow at all.

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