Saxophone Forum


by Christian Anderson
(73 posts)
10 years ago

Conn Bari

Hi I was wondering if conn bari's from 1919 with the double octave keys are any good and what sort of value they might have. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could help me out here.

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  1. by saxismyaxe
    (574 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Conn Bari

    First of all, are you quite certain that this horn was made C. 1919? Conn stopped using the double octave key on their horns about half way through the Wonder model's production run, around 1905/1907. Prior to this date, all Wonder, and earlier Worcester models(1888-1895) had the split octave keys. By 1919, Besides the standardization of the single octave key design, all Conn models were being made with rolled tone holes using the 1914 pat. Haynes rolled tone hole process. Does your horn have this Date stamped on the back of the body near the thumb hook or body/bow ring? Does it have plain metal key touches, or Mother of Pearl (Save for the New Invention models made between 1910 and 1912, Conn used metal key touches until 1919)? Does it read C.G. Conn, or C.G.Conn, LTD? If the former, it was definitely made prior to 1919. Regarding the double octave key pre 1905 Wonder model horns: This key arrangement is a bit of a nightmare to navigate technically, and makes it more of a minor curiosity among collectors rather than a player's horn. The intonation can be a bit sketchy as well. In addition, these horns feature an awkward neck octave key arrangement on the Baritone, where the key is located on the body bend, and the pip on the neck. This is less of a problem with the fixed neck Wonder models, but became a downright hassle when the New wonder I models were introduced with the same octave key design, but with the neck removable. I'm sure you can see that if the neck is angled in either direction with this arrangement, the key will no longer cover the pip on the neck portion. Since the later, slightly improved New Wonder series I Baritones can be found for around $1,000 to $1,500 in good working order at present, your horn isn't worth too terribly much in terms of monetary value. The earlier Worcester models can be worth more to Conn collectors (such as myself) because they were the first model Saxophones to be introduced by Conn (and are almost identical to Adolph Sax's original design) but for historical interest only, and for super fine/mint condition specimens. Best of luck.

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    1. by saxismyaxe
      (574 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Conn Bari

      If you would like me to possitively identify your horn for you, you can Email me some photos of the horn with close ups of the Bell engraving, keywork/keyguards, serial number and any patent date stamps, and the octave keys and I will research it for you. gentofthesouth1861@yahoo.com

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      1. by saxismyaxe
        (574 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Conn Bari

        I should clarify a few points. Although Conn introduced the Haynes method rolled tone holes on their New Wonder I horns in 1917, it was initially only on the Alto models, with the process becoming standard on Baritone by 1919/1920. Also, the removable neck on the Baritone models started to appear on the later Wonder models, but became standard equipment on the New Wonder Series I models. Lastly, some "Artists" model Worcester and Wonder model horns did have additional touches such as Mother of Pearl Keys, gold/silver plate, more engraving etc, beyond the normal production horns with their plain metal key touchs etc, but these keys didn't become standard until 1919 (again, with the exception of the rare New Invention model). Cheers.

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        1. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Conn Bari

          I promise I'm not tripping out on some illicit substance. The Haynes patent is for DRAWN TONE HOLES, not Rolled tone holes. You would think that after buying and selling dozens of these Conns, even 30 hours without sleep wouldn't cause me to forget this glaring detail. Sorry folks, I'm not a morning person! :)

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      2. by Christian Anderson
        (73 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Conn Bari

        Hi I've got more info on the bari. -Pat' Dec. 8, 1914 -serial number reading 51352 -The inside of bell has gold wash plating -mother of pearl keys -1119964 patent model -mercedes stye C key protector -metal fin at bottom of the sax Thanks

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        1. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Conn Bari

          With the Mother of pearl keys, above mentioned details, and the serial number which does indeed place the time of manufacture around 1919/1920 combined, indicates without a doubt that this is a New Wonder Series I Baritone. The value remains as mentioned above. These horns have a big, powerful tone in spite of the Mechanical quirks, and intonation issues. I would have it repadded and adjusted as needed and hang on to it for yourself, as the resale value is marginal compared to other pro Baritone horns on the market. All and all, a nice piece of Saxophone, Jazz Age, and Conn history to own. Cheers.

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          1. by saxismyaxe
            (574 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Conn Bari

            P.S. I still cannot begin to explain the presence of the double octave key on your horn. The date of manufacture and other details puts this horn YEARS ahead of the last Conn double octave key horns. I would be interested in seeing some pictures of this horn to sort out this glaring discrepancy once and for all. You have piqued my interest with this one.

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