Saxophone Forum


by saxmom11
(2 posts)
9 years ago

1955 Conn Stencil

Hi everyone. This is my first time on the forum. Wondering if you guys can help me out. My 11 yr old son plays alto sax. He currently has a Vito that someone gave us for free. Maybe I should start out by saying: I have very little money. He has to lug this sax back and forth to school everyday along with a 20 pound backpack. I wanted to buy him another sax to keep at home but I wanted to try to find something that sounds better than a Vito, but my budget really couldn't exceed $300. (Are you laughing yet?) My son loves alto sax and he's a natural player, and I didn't want to discourage him playing because he has a crappy sounding instrument. Well I bought an old Conn Stencil and was hoping some of you more knowledgable people can give me some insight on what I have ended up with. It's a 1955 Conn Stencil "Continental Colonial" with a man engraved on it wearing a colonial hat. No rust or pitting. No dents. Straight tone holes.  Pads in decent shape. I know that stencils are not nearly as good as the real thing but I'm hoping I, at least, got my moneys worth and my son will have a sax with a nice tone. Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: 1955 Conn Stencil

    What you have is very similar to a Conn 14M Director's model alto, which is an intermediate model Conn. They play very well and have a good tone. I think you will be very pleased with it.

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  2. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: 1955 Conn Stencil

    Ideally, your son should be playing the same horn during practice at home and at school. Differing keywork could get hard to used to, though I suppose kids are quick learners, right? I recommend he use the same mouthpiece on both horns. Either he brings the mouthpiece home (again, ideal) or get two modern mouthpieces of the same make. There may be slight differences between the two, but should be similar enough that his embouchre doesn't have to change from one to the other.

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    1. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: 1955 Conn Stencil

      I wouldn't worry about key work and having different horns. He "should" notice a difference and know that the two horns will play and sound a little different. This just popped into my mind. At his age he WILL believe everything adults say. for example "here son, take this medicine it will make you feel better... " well he will agree with you even if it makes him feel worse. Why? Because, you're an adult and you said so. My point is... don't say this horn is 100% better than his other one. Let him come up with that on his own. I think it would be better just to let him know that this "new" horn is so he can practice at home. if you make it out to my this really special thing he may think any problems with it are just part of the horn. anyway I think I rambled on enough.

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  3. by saxmom11
    (2 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: 1955 Conn Stencil

    Thanks to everyone for the info so far. It's been very helpful. I'm not concerned with his learning the key work of different instruments, nor getting used to different mouth pieces. He's a sponge for learning and adapting when he has a genuine passion for playing. He hadn't even handled a sax before last summer and plays better than anyone in his school band. However if anyone knows the difference in key work (and tone) between the Vito and the Conn, I would love to know. I was a recording engineer and worked with some sax players but never really knew what they were playing, just knew what I thought sounded good, so this is a new experience for me to view the other side of playing music. Also, looking for some recommmendations for inexpensive mouth pieces and if anyone has any recommendations for any honest websites that may offer them for less than retail. As far as listening to everything adults say, you boys must not remember your pubescent years. My son clearly has his own mind and with hormones kicking in, he makes an extra special effort to go out of his way if there is a chance he can prove me wrong. Think back now. I'm sure you can remember those days.=0) Anyway thanks again for the info and any more insight will be greatly appreciated.

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    1. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: 1955 Conn Stencil

      keywork differences... one will feel wierd at first, and one won't. After a short while he will get used to the differences. i.e. it's not a big deal. "you boys must not remember your pubescent years" I didn't mean it like that... it's more of a indirect response to what adults say. I bet I could find things on google to back me up, but I'm too lazy right now.

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: 1955 Conn Stencil

        The Conn might be a little more comfortable for someone with bigger hands, but there really isn't much difference in the keywork. The Vito is a student/beginner model horn. The action on the Vito is decent, but the Conn should play much better. The Conn's have a fuller sound and better intonation.

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