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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering.......Is there an audible difference between the split bell key model, and the LH keyed models? Also, is there a mechanical advantage/disadvantage to the transitional model? Why didn't they ever go all the way, or did they?
 

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Conn promoted the version with both bell keys on the left as more positive in action. The mechanism is simpler by one piece.

I have had horns with one piece bell keys and with two piece bell keys and have never seen a lick of difference if properly adjusted; as long as you put a little lubrication (cork grease) where there's sliding contact, or use something like PTFE sheet to reduce friction there.
 

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Why didn't they ever go all the way, or did they?
I'm not sure what you are asking. The split bell key transitional model you mention was the transition from the Chu Berry model to the Naked Lady 10M that was manufactured and sold for quite a few decades. So what is meant by not going all the way?
 

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most transitional's are like the new-wonderII in keywork and have the bell-keys opposing.
they transitioned into the 10M very different and easier keywork and the bell keys on the same side.
they are audibly different saxophones.
i actually prefer the sound of the transitional models but play a 10M because of the easier fingering.
the 10M's still sound FANTASTIC!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure what you are asking. The split bell key transitional model you mention was the transition from the Chu Berry model to the Naked Lady 10M that was manufactured and sold for quite a few decades. So what is meant by not going all the way?
Perhaps I muddied the water a bit by referring to the split model as the "transitional?" I thought Conn went from LH keys to split. By not "going all the way" I meant having both bell keys on the right side.
So, I guess my chronology is wrong? I thought they went from the LHK 10M to split key, and then back to LHK, as if they were transitioning from LH to RH keys but never went all the way to right.
 

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Perhaps I muddied the water a bit by referring to the split model as the "transitional?" I thought Conn went from LH keys to split. By not "going all the way" I meant having both bell keys on the right side.
So, I guess my chronology is wrong? I thought they went from the LHK 10M to split key, and then back to LHK, as if they were transitioning from LH to RH keys but never went all the way to right.
I don't know if Conn ever made any saxes without the low Bb, but the general chronology is

- Low B only, on the left side direct action (1840s for A. Sax) (don't actually know when Conn's first sax was made, or if it had low Bb)
- Add low Bb, on the right side with a linkage (1890s?) - US mfrs - European mfrs may have been different
- Move low Bb to the left side, both are direct - 1930s for Conn, retained thru the end of the 10M and 6M
 

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Conn's first saxes were made in the 1890s and had a low Bb. They are referred to as the Worcester models. Interestingly, they had both bell keys on the left side. Saxpics has some pictures here:
http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&c=772
The subsequent model, the Wonder Improved, had split bell keys, which continued until the transitional models when the same side bell keys reappeared (left side for alto and tenor, right side for bari).
 

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Conn's first saxes were made in the 1890s and had a low Bb. They are referred to as the Worcester models. Interestingly, they had both bell keys on the left side. Saxpics has some pictures here:
http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&c=772
The subsequent model, the Wonder Improved, had split bell keys, which continued until the transitional models when the same side bell keys reappeared (left side for alto and tenor, right side for bari).
Interesting! I wonder what was the rationale for moving the low B tone hole around to the outside, with additional complexity? I know that some 20-30 years later when they introduced again the LH bell keys configuration the advertising was as I've described.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh crap......I had the evolution totally wrong in my mind. Thanks guys.
 

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I have a 1933 tenor that I believe is considered to be a transitional model. As far as I can tell, it’s a mostly a Chu, with Chu keywork and split bell tone holes, but it has the Naked Lady engraved bell and the 10M style “shot glass” octave pip on the neck. A few things I have been curious about: are all of the transitional horns like mine with the split bell tone holes, or did Conn make horns with left side Bb & B tone holes but with the Chu keywork? And did Conn make horns with 10M keywork but with split bell tone holes? And like Darrell I have wondered about the sonic differences between split bell tone holes and all left side tone hole. Mine sounds huge, but I have never owned a 10M.
 

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I have a 1933 tenor that I believe is considered to be a transitional model. As far as I can tell, it’s a mostly a Chu, with Chu keywork and split bell tone holes, but it has the Naked Lady engraved bell and the 10M style “shot glass” octave pip on the neck. A few things I have been curious about: are all of the transitional horns like mine with the split bell tone holes, or did Conn make horns with left side Bb & B tone holes but with the Chu keywork? And did Conn make horns with 10M keywork but with split bell tone holes? And like Darrell I have wondered about the sonic differences between split bell tone holes and all left side tone hole. Mine sounds huge, but I have never owned a 10M.
the later transitionals had a 10M neck(with the shot-glass octave pip).and some of the latest ones had the lady-face engraving.
i have never seen 10M keywork with split bell keys.
i have also never seen same side bell keys with the chu keywork.
there is difference in the audio between the 10M and the transitional,the transitional i prefer sound wise.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a 1933 tenor that I believe is considered to be a transitional model. As far as I can tell, it’s a mostly a Chu, with Chu keywork and split bell tone holes, but it has the Naked Lady engraved bell and the 10M style “shot glass” octave pip on the neck. A few things I have been curious about: are all of the transitional horns like mine with the split bell tone holes, or did Conn make horns with left side Bb & B tone holes but with the Chu keywork? And did Conn make horns with 10M keywork but with split bell tone holes? And like Darrell I have wondered about the sonic differences between split bell tone holes and all left side tone hole. Mine sounds huge, but I have never owned a 10M.
Could be that the neck was a replacement? Interesting, nonetheless.
 

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Looking at the saxophone.org site, the transitional tenors in the their site also seem to have the "shot glass" style pip. It looks like that was one of the earlier transitional changes.
 
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