Saxophone Forum


by vipegrad
(47 posts)
10 years ago

C melody sax

I am interested in purchasing a c melody sax. I have very little knowledge about them so i am wondering where to begin my search as they are not carried by most if any standard music shops. I would also like to know what price range i am likely going to pay for a sax in playable condition.

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: C melody sax

    I would definately look for a Conn New Wonder Series I or II, made in 1922 or after, with the straight microtuner neck. They have the best intonation and are the most valuable. I have one which I recondition this past fall/winter, and now that I have the proper set up, the intonation is pretty good and it sounds fantastic. It really plays easy; easier than some of the new horns I have tried! It's a lot of fun to play also. You can pick them up on ebay for under $500 needing pads and a good cleaning. Most that you will find are going to need some work. You'll want to make sure that the sax hasn't been damaged in any way, and that all the keys are free. If the tone holes are damaged in any way, getting the pads to seat properly can be next to impossible. If you buy one from ebay, email the seller and ask these questions. 1. Is the saxophone complete. Do you have the neck and mouthpiece for it? 2. Have you ever had the saxophone repadded. How new/what is the condition of the pads? 3. Are there any dents/missing key guards, pearl inlays/rollers, soldered or broken keys, broken springs or any other damage? 4. Do the keys and mechanisms move freely? And last but not least, I would look for one with a decent case. C Melody cases are very hard to find, and there aren't many cases that will fit a C Melody. Also, if the case is in good shape, chances are the instrument will be in better shape than an instrument in a case that is pretty well beat up! Jim

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    1. by Stuckond
      (2 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: C melody sax

      I've been a Selmer snob my whole playing life untill I fell in love the the idea of a c-mel. I just picked up a Conn c mel LP, (Just learning before it gets delivered how little I know about Conn and c-melody!) with the micro tuner and strait neck and would appreciate anythink you bright, c-mel sax people can teach me about it. S# 118804. I'm going to presume it'll need new pads although they said it is in good playing condition;-). Where to go? Old-school kid pads or metal resonators? What kind? I like playing blues and classical and dabble in Rock now and then. I'll need a mouthpiece, too. Thanks in advance for helping! Stucko

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: C melody sax

        I'm trying to find a particular Meyer mouthpiece that is made for C Melody. Newer C Mel pieces are hard to find, but they are out there. Some people use tenor pieces, but the tenor pieces do throw the intonation off. I have a LeBlanc woodwind piece that I use with a Rovner ligature and Rico Royal bass clarinet reeds. This set-up works very well and the intonation is pretty good. The Conn straight neck C Melodies are the best. With a good mouthpiece and set-up these old horns can really scream! Yours would be a 1923. That's a good vintage.

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        1. by Stuckond
          (2 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: C melody sax

          Thanks, Connsaxman for the info. I'll keep learning! Any other info from the rest of you is valuble to me. off hunting for c-mel equipment. Anyone with ideas/links on where to find c-mel "stuff" besides ebay?

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      2. by jamterry
        (573 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: C melody sax

        are you collecting antiques, or do plan to play sax? if you want to play stay, away from a C melody sax!!!! they didn't flop for no reason. they have a terrible sound, and were mostly roaring 20's trinkets. if you want to play a vintage Conn, find an alto. if you really want a C melody, Conn is the way to go.

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: C melody sax

          I wouldn't say that C Melodies have a terrible sound. My Conn New Wonder Series I sounds awesome with metal resonator pads, and a good mouthpiece. C Melodies have a bad reputation, but the problems with C Melodies intonation has more to do with their inexperienced owners than the horns themselves. Another problem is that their original mouthpieces were not the greatest, and alto and tenor mouthpieces which are often used to substitute the original mouthpiece are not really designed for the instrument either! I was fortunate enough to find a LeBlanc woodwind mouthpiece. With a Rovner Ligature and bass clarinet reeds, the intonation is very good. The sax plays so easy. It really plays easier than any tenor or alto I have ever played. The key to any saxophone's sound, especially a C Melody is the proper set-up.

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          1. by west
            (242 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: C melody sax

            I have a conn new wonder series 2 and it sounds great. Go for a C-Melody!

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        2. by smcdonaldaz
          (4 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: C melody sax

          Anyone have an opinion on a silver King C Melody made in Cleveland? It appears in decent shape and the pawn broker only wants $50. as a beginning alto player, should I bother? I thought it would be fun to restore until I got better.

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          1. by west
            (242 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: C melody sax

            Heck. Even if it needs work i'c pay $50 for it.

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            1. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: C melody sax

              The King C Melodies are a good horn. It's well worth $50 even if you just end up making a lamp out of it!

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              1. by Candyboy
                (75 posts)

                10 years ago

                Re: C melody sax

                I'm sure that the King C-mel would work great,but the Conn straight neck is so comfortable. If someone made a neck like it for the king I would own one. I am not sure how serious of a player I am, but I made 100 bucks yesterday afternoon playing a 2 hour gig and I did it with "old Crusty" my trusty Conn C-mel serial 86xxx made feb 2 1922

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              2. by mosplace
                (26 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: C melody sax

                First of all: It is not true, that c-melodys are bad saxophones!! They are as good or as bad as any other alto or tenor saxophone of this time. The same material, the same know-how, the same craftmen have build these. The rumor that they are bad, raised do to the fact, that they have been played mostly by amateurs. That the have been most of the time overhauld with cheap pads etc. C-melodys are awsome horns! I love them. I have a few of them and I would never give them away. It is no problem to get modern c-melody mouthpieces. Some producers are e.g. Morgan, Runyon, Zinner, Leblanc. DonĀ“t believe the people, that say, they are a piece of junk! You have the luck in the States, to get these saxophones very cheap. Invest a good overhaul and you will be suprised by the sound and the character these saxophones have.

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              3. by connsaxman_jim
                (2336 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: C melody sax

                I played a keyboard gig tonight and doubled on sax. I took my 6M alto, and my C Melody! That's right! I left the tenor at home tonight! I was going to bring the tenor, but they do a lot of blues and songs in not so horn friendly keys. I can handle E on tenor....that puts me in F#, but I thought, since I haven't really played much with these guys, I'd rather play the C Mel, because it's a lot easier not having to transpose when you're winging it! The job went pretty well. A few songs, I played the alto on, and then some of the songs that I would normally play tenor on I played C Mel. I forgot how good that old Conn can sound!

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              4. by Candyboy
                (75 posts)

                9 years ago

                Re: C melody sax

                Amen brother Jim. Another poor sinner that's discovered the light. That's spreadin the gospel that I've been preachin for years. Can we get another testimony?

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