Saxophone Forum

by qbaker
(7 posts)
4 years ago

Microtuners, Rolled Tone Holes, Nickel Plated Keywork

Read a good write up here:      on Conn Saxophones. 

The article states:  (Last ||P)

"... The saxophones lost their rolled tone holes in 1948; and their Microtuners in 1954. The professional models gained nickel plated keywork in 1955, along with clear lacquer. The tenor neck was changed significantly in the late 1950’s to an underslung design, but  by then it was too late. In 1960, Conn acquired the Best Manufacturing Company of Nogales, Arizona, and moved most saxophone production there, although the “artist” models continued to be produced in Elkhart. The company has undergone several changes in ownership, and discontinued professional models in 1970."

 (1) Is (1948) around the time (all or most) saxophone makers ended the (rolled tone holes) or Conn only?

 (2) I haven't come up with much information regarding the (Microtuners) 
      (a) Was Conn the only horn company who employed or created this design?
      (b) The article states the microtuners design ended around (1954). When did it start?
 (3) The write up states: Nickel plated keywork has its beginning around (1954).
      Is this true for Conn horns only-- or other horns lines as well?

 Thanks all--

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  1. by GFC
    (644 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: Microtuners, Rolled Tone Holes, Nickel Plated Keywork

    Keilwerth, SML, and Kohlert are the only manufacturers other than Conn that I can think of who produced horns with rolled tone holes in the era that we consider "vintage," and produced them after Conn discontinued them.  Keilwerth revived rolled tone holes with the SX-90R and some asian-produced brands currently offer horns with either rolled tone holes or soldered rim rings.  

    Examples of Conn 6Ms in the museum section of this site bracket the end of the microtuner between 1950 and 1953. The microtuner was added to Conn alto and C-melody saxophones some time around 1920.  You might be able to nail it down by looking at examples on the museum section of this site and on

    Martin introduced nickel plated keywork on their horns in the mid 1930s.  Nickel plated keywork became the standard for student horns around the mid 1950s. 

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