Saxophone Forum


by heysammy
(3 posts)
10 years ago

Conn Vintage Alto Sax

Anyone have any information about a Conn vintage alto sax I just acquired. Front says "Made by CG Conn (then looks like" LII") Elkhart Ind. USA It's smooth silver (colored) on front where name and design is, an unshiny silver (color) almost everyhwere else. Interior of bell is Brass. Pearl key insets and rollers. G# has a strange crosscut pattern inscribed. Has micro adjust neck for mouthpiece. Silver spacer for insertion when neck is removed. Silver (colored) ligature. Have no moutpiece. Rolled tone holes. Aside from apparent tarnish and dust , it and case is in excellent condition for the age. The following is in inscribed: PATD.DEC.8,1914 11199xx C M145 xxx Dioes the C mean it's a C Melody? Any information would be helpful, as well as suggested moutpiece. Thanks

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Conn Vintage Alto Sax

    Hi Sammy, A 145 serial numer dates this horn to late 1924-1925. Yes, the C means C Melody. It's not an alto. The crosscut "nail file" G# key that you referring to is typical of the New Wonder Series II horns (1925-1932) which is also known as the Chu Berry.

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    1. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Conn Vintage Alto Sax

      oh, the LII is LTD. After Conn sold the factory to Carl Greenleaf in 1915, The name became CG. Conn LTD. or Limited. A Brilhart Ebolin tenor mouthpiece works pretty good on a C Melody if you can't find a C Melody mouthpiece. There are a few newer mouthpieces out there for C Melody. I have a LeBlanc Woodwind mouthpiece that plays very well. I believe Meyer also makes one. The C Melodies are becoming more popular. I keep hoping that Keilwerth or maybe LA Sax will attempt to make a more modern C Melody saxophone.

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  2. by saxismyaxe
    (574 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Conn Vintage Alto Sax

    You have a Conn New Wonder Series II C-Melody Tenor in Two Tone matt and polished Silver Plate, with a Gold Washed interior bell finish. The Series II Conns are more often referred to by their nickname "Chu Berry" horns (after the famous Tenor saxophonist of the 1920's and 30's, Leon Chew or "Chu" Berry). The "C" does indeed stand for C-Melody, and their should also be a H or L below the serial number to indicate a high or low pitch of the horn. You want to have a Low pitch to match the current standard concert pitch of A=440. The serial number puts the manufacture date of the horn between 1924 (The first year of manufacture for the Series II New Wonders) and 1925. The 1914 Patent date is for the Haynes drawn tone hole process used on the horn (as opposed to soldered tone holes used on Kings, Martins, and several other makes). Ralph Morgan, Runyon, Beechler and a few other mouthpiece makers offer a contemporary C-Melody mouthpiece utilizing the Bb Tenor reed, all of which are good pieces.

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    1. by saxismyaxe
      (574 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Conn Vintage Alto Sax

      Jim, somehow I knew you were cooking up the same response as I typed away on mine! I suppose great minds not only think alike, but in time with one another. Sorry for the duplicate information; Jim appears to have been quicker on the draw. Cheers.

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      1. by heysammy
        (3 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Conn Vintage Alto Sax

        Thanks so much to everyone for your fast and comprehensive replies. I have heard of C melodies, and am bit disappointed that is what it turned out to be...regarding playing it, but its in great shape as a collectors item, I imagine. Thanks

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        1. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Conn Vintage Alto Sax

          Don't feel to down about your horn, as C-melodies go, yours is the Cadallac. C-Melody horns are make a comeback after MANY years as a sleeper, closet instrument. Properly set up, they can be quite nice to play, and are starting to go up in value. As I said, the Straight, tunable necked Conn New Wonder Series II horns are the best C horns ever made.

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