Saxophone Forum


by puppetmasta
(3 posts)
10 years ago

Tips on cleaning up a Conn New Wonder II

I have been playing a silver new wonder II off and on for over 10 years now. (nail file G# key, pearl key insets, C and Bb pads on opposite sides of the bell) I was lucky enough to inherit the horn from my grandpa when i started playing in school and never really knew what a good horn it was until recently. I've had it repadded a couple times throughout the years as well as having it dipped in an acid bath to clean up tarnish. The trouble is that the tarnish is so bad that even an acid bath doesn't bring it back to its full luster. I've always just assumed that I couldn't get it any better than where it is at, but then i saw all the beautiful finishes on saxpics.com and thought to myself that there has to be a better way to get rid of the tarnish. I'd love to be able to just take the entire thing apart, clean it all up, repad it myself, and make it look like new again. Can all you experts suggest where i might get started with all of that? Any good polish kits out there? Any guides on how to take a sax apart? (I fear I wouldn't be able to get it back together). I'm sure I could figure out how to repad it without much trouble. Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks in advance, Dave

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  1. by Dave Dix
    (421 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Tips on cleaning up a Conn New Wonder II

    i use a silver polish on my horns like silvo (brasso type) Try removing the top palm keys first polish that part of the sax up and oil the screws etc and re-assemble but be careful you dont stab yourself with the needle springs as they do hurt (been there and done that!!) then slowly proceed thru the horn bit by bit Dave

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    1. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Tips on cleaning up a Conn New Wonder II

      In order to effectively clean a sax, you need to disassemble it. What I did with my first "project", a New Wonder Series I alto, was I disassembled the horn. I took all the screws and rods and put them back in the posts they came out of. I polished up the keys with silver polish. The Brasso stuff is good, or Wright's silver cream I actually prefer. If you're replacing the pads, no worries...otherwise, be careful not to get the polish on the pads! For the body, get an old toothbrush, a small paintbrush (to get in around the keyguards and tight places), a pair of rubber gloves and a small butter dish. Get some Tarn-X, and dump a little in the butter dish. Dip the toothbrush in the butter dish and brush the tarnish away. It'll come off pretty easy. Use the small paint brush to get in around the keyguards and tight places. Rinse the horn body with water to neutralize the acid in the Tarn-X. Don't leave the Tarn-X on very long, because it is an acid and could hurt the silver, although I have used this several times and have never had a problem. After rinsing the horn, Get a rag and some Wright's silver cream and hand polish the silver. You will be amazed! It'll look like new! Reassemble the horn, making sure all the keys and mechanisms line up properly. You may need a small pair of pliers, or a spring too to reattach the springs. After all keys are reassembled, replace any corks/felts and use a leak light to check to make sure the pads are closing properly and adjust as necessary. If any of this seems too difficult, you could have a tech disassemble the body and replace pads, etc, and just pick up the body, clean it and bring it back. A little pointer! (no pun intended) Those needle springs are very sharp and hurt like a bitch when you poke your finger on them! So be careful when cleaning the body.

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      1. by puppetmasta
        (3 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Tips on cleaning up a Conn New Wonder II

        Thanks for the suggestions!! I'll defintely take a shot at this! So you're saying to just reassemble the keys/posts as I take them off? So for instance the main assembly that makes up the g,a,b,c keys, right? and then move down to the lower set which make up the f,e,d,low c etc? I have a set of eyeglass screwdrivers so I'm hoping those will be small enough for the task. Can you guys also suggest a good place to buy pads? What exactly will I need, just pads and glue? or should I go with the snap ones (do they make those for conns? are they universal?). I'm basically looking to bring this baby out of retirement after a 2-3 year hiatus. I'm in need of a new intermediate mouthpiece as well. The one i had prior was a $30 Yamaha model i believe and it seems like a good one except that it has a chip in the edge where the reed vibrates (can't be good). I looked through all the mouthpieces at music123.com and its just overwhelming the amount of selection that is available! Would you guys recommend anything in particular for an intermediate player? Also one more question, The serial on my sax is 229xxx is this indeed a chu berry? or just a regular new wonder II? Any idea on the value of these horns? How much does the condition reflect the value? I'm guessing a great deal, but it will be looking great soon so that won't matter :) Thanks again for your suggestions and help, this has to be one of the most knowledgable forums on vintage saxes i've found!

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Tips on cleaning up a Conn New Wonder II

          you want a good set of screwdrivers. I've twisted many tips trying to get screws out of horns that have been rusted and corroded in place. If you have screws that won't budge, try soaking the horn in kerosene for a week or so. It works wonders on New Wonders! I would completely disassemble the horn myself. You'll probably want to go over it a couple times with the Wrights silver Cream after using the Tarn-X. Just keep track of where everything goes, which really isn't that hard, because of the way they fit together. If you're worried about it, label the keys.

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        2. by saxman0317
          (53 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Tips on cleaning up a Conn New Wonder II

          Ive got the same horn and had to do a rehaul on it a few years age. Its not really all that bad as long as u keep track of your parts, be careful with small parts, and have a tech number near by if u get in a jam. As for a mouthpeice?....well, thats all opinion, but if ur looking for a relitivly inexpensive mouthpeice thats worth its money, a yamaha 5c with a rovner lig. isnt all that bad. Ive seen some pros using it, even though its said to be an beginner-intermidiate mthpc.

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