Re: I can't figure out what year my saxophone is...
I give up on putting in links. Here's the post:
Conn Saxophone Models Timeline - by connsaxman_jim on 1/27/2005 10:42:00 AM
I am posting this for those of you curious as to what year or model your Conn saxophone might be. Here is the list with approx. serial number ranges of the following models.
pre 1895: These are the Worchester models. There were only a few made. They are very rare...almost non-existant.
1895-1917: The Wonder models. Serial numbers 1-40,000 Models made between 1906-1916 had the union label stamp. Horns were either silver, gold or nickel plated or bare brass
1912-1917: The New Invention models. Horns were gold, silver or nickel plated, often with elaborate engravings. Serial Numbers: Approx. 22,500-40,000
1917-1924 The New Wonder models. The micro tuner neck first itroduced on altos in 1922. Rolled tone holes introduced around 1918. Silver plated was most common. Some were gold nickel plated or bare brass. Serial numbers 40,000-145,000
1925-1932 The New Wonder Series II (Chu Berry) More experimentation from 1928-1934 leading to the M series. Different key configurations, the underslung alto necks, resonator pads and experimentation with different finishes began in the late 1920's and early 1930's including early lacquer finishes. Serial numbers approx. 145,000-249,200
1932-1934: The Transitional years: Conn was changing from the New Wonder series II to the M series. Many unique and experimental combinations were seen. and also elaborate engravings. Serial number range 249,200-260,000
1934-1947 The M series with rolled tone holes. Some of these earlier M series horns were silver plated, most of the late ones were laquered brass. The 2M and 4M (curved) sopranos were offered, along with the 6M alto, 10M tenor, 12M baritone and 14M bass (discontinued 1941) Other models offered during this period include the Connqueror 26M alto and 30M tenor
Serial number range: approx 260,000-327,150
1948-1968 The later Pro M series, Directors models and Connstellation models. Up until late 1968, horns were still made in Elkhart Ind. Horns made after 1947 did not have rolled tone holes. The directors model horns (14M alto, 16M tenor) introduced in 1955 The famous "Naked Lady" engraving disappears in 1959. The 6M and 10M were still manufactured until the closing of the Elkhart factory in 1969. At least to the best of my knowledge, no 6M's or 10M's were made at the Nogales plant or in Mexico. Serial Number range 327,150-949,465 (1948-1962) and prefixes C-L (1963-1968)
1969-1980 The MacMillan years. These are the BAD years of Conn. In 1968, Conn aquired the Best manufacturing facility in Nogales, Arizona, and all production was moved to Nogales, closing the Elkhart plants completely by the end of 1970. The Nogales horns were not built by the same legendary craftsmen as those made at the Elkhart facility, and the quality was not nearly as good. The 18M alto was made in Mexico. After 1972, ALL Conn horns were made in Mexico. Conn's reputation suffered tremendously until Daniel Henkin purchased the company from MacMillan in 1980. Serial number prefixes M (1969)-R (1972). These horns were made in Nogales. Serial numbers from 1972-1976 are inconclusive. Most of these records were destroyed along with many previous records. 1976 (83,000)-1980 (145,001
The Henkin era/UMI: After Daniel Henkin bought Conn in 1980, he did his best to restore the reputation of this once great company. He closed the Mexican facilities and the Nogales facilities and returned Conn to Elkart Indiana. The 20M was introduced. Unfortunately for Daniel Henkin, Conn's reputation under MacMillan was more than he could overcome. Frustrated, He sold the company to UMI in 1992. UMI has kept production in Elkhart, Indiana and has expanded the Elkhart facility to also produce other UMI musical instruments. The 25M was introduced under UMI along with a couple other models. Serial numbers 1981 (145,002)-1988 (273,178) From 1988 on, the first 2 digits in the serial number indicate the year: 1988 (3811713) - 1991 (4100000) After UMI, I have no information regarding serial numbers.
You can find more information at www.saxpics.com or for a list of Conn serial numbers www.drrick.com/conn.html