Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was looking for a project horn to start practicing some basic repairs on and ran across an old conn on Facebook. It’s silver with the inside of the bell gold washed. It has rolled tone holes, no Microtuner, b and b flat are on opposite sides of the bell, and it has an engraving of flowers (not the art deco one). Serial number M224xxxL. It is in desperate need of polishing, but the seller polished a window and the silver appears intact with no major scratches and the same goes for the gold wash inside the bell. It definitely needs new pads and the bow is dented (doesn't seem as bad as others I've seen). The main issue is that at some point someone decided to hang it on a wall and drilled holes in the rim of the bell and all the way through the neck (neck being a bigger issue than the bell). I have the tools and time to patch the holes, but am wondering if it’s worth it to try to rescue and restore this guy. Cost is about $80.

*updated* Originally had the horn listed as a transitional, because no matter how many times I read the serial number (224xxx) and typed it correctly, my brain kept seeing 244xxx. It is actually Chu Berry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,458 Posts
Re: 1931 (?) Conn Transition Alto that needs a lot of tlc

The drilled holes are minor to fix. The biggest problem I see is the bow. Getting that properly straightened and the damaged tone holes back level is going to be a real job.

Of course it's a total teardown, all soft parts replaced, probably got some mechanical work needed like loose pivots etc., wouldn't be surprised if the little set screws are missing. From the photos it looks like the mechanism has taken some shots and will need to be straightened up.

If you do the work yourself (except maybe contracting out the dent work on the bow) you'll put some considerable hours by the time it's playable. If you were to pay to have the work done the cost of paying for it would probably be about equal to the resulting market value (because it's pretty battered, so it's never going to command a premium price).

I would question whether the neck is original. Certainly there were altos made wtihout microtuners, but I think it was more common in the "true 6M" years.

If the neck is correct for the horn, and you get the body straight, get the keywork straightened out and tightened up, new pads corks and felts and proper regulation, you'll have a top quality professional alto that gives up nothing to a Mark 6 Selmer - although even in a fully repaired top playing condition, it'll probably only be worth a third of the Selmer.

Personally, if you handed me that horn in repaired condition, I'd play it on any gig any where any time. (But I've been playing a slightly newer 6M since 1978.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Re: 1931 (?) Conn Transition Alto that needs a lot of tlc

If the goal is to "start practicing some basic repairs", you may want to begin with an easier horn as a guinea pig!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Alain, I figured this guy would be a bit of bigger bite than I’m ready to chew now. I’ve done some minor stuff (straightening rods, pad replacement, new cork, etc.) on a couple bundys and was originally looking for something with a bit more work needed when I found the Conn. I guess the better question is whether the Conn is worth snagging now, storing while I improve my skills, and later restoring.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
525 Posts
Re: 1931 (?) Conn Transition Alto that needs a lot of tlc

Market value on an excellent condition later NW II Alto with silver plate is $700-$1100. This one is the most common variant...regular engraving and not gold/burnished gold plating. As far as whether it is worth it to get it into playing condition experiencing the satisfaction of having an incredible blowing horn...well I'm a little biased. I've bought 4 NW1/NW2 altos in varying conditions in the last couple of months. They're awesome horns.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,983 Posts
Re: 1931 (?) Conn Transition Alto that needs a lot of tlc

Market value on an excellent condition later NW II Alto with silver plate is $700-$1100. This one is the most common variant...regular engraving and not gold/burnished gold plating. As far as whether it is worth it to get it into playing condition experiencing the satisfaction of having an incredible blowing horn...well I'm a little biased. I've bought 4 NW1/NW2 altos in varying conditions in the last couple of months. They're awesome horns.
The holes will drop the market value considerably. It doesn't matter whether the hole repairs are well done and do not effect anything in the performance. The market value will take a significant hit. Also the microtuner-less neck raises suspicions. Most Chus had 'em, of course.
Still, after an overhaul, worth around $500 probably.

I was looking for a project horn to start practicing some basic repairs on and ran across an old conn on Facebook. I have the tools and time to patch the holes, but am wondering if it’s worth it to try to rescue and restore this guy. Cost is about $80.
Well, considering a Bundy project horn costs around $80-100, yes it is worth nabbng this Chu (it IS a Chu, not a Tranny...Trannies do not appear until around 231,XXX serial).

As you say, perhaps it isn't the NEXT horn you attempt a refurb at, but it certainly needs to be snatched up at $80.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,310 Posts
Re: 1931 (?) Conn Transition Alto that needs a lot of tlc

In the worst case it can be used for parts. The dent in the bow is a pretty bad one but I recommend Meridianwinds if you want to have it done professionally (unless you have somebody local).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Re: 1931 (?) Conn Transition Alto that needs a lot of tlc

I flipped the serial number around in my head. On the horn, it is 2247xx, I typed 2247xx, and my brain kept seeing 2447xx. It is definitely a Chu. Thank you for pointing that out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
525 Posts
Re: 1931 (?) Conn Transition Alto that needs a lot of tlc

The holes will drop the market value considerably. It doesn't matter whether the hole repairs are well done and do not effect anything in the performance. The market value will take a significant hit. Also the microtuner-less neck raises suspicions. Most Chus had 'em, of course.
Still, after an overhaul, worth around $500 probably.


Very good points. my $700-$1,100 range figures just the body and neck in excellent original or restored to original condition--$1,100 or so is complete with original mouthpiece, original case in excellent condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
I was looking for a project horn to start practicing some basic repairs on and ran across an old conn on Facebook. It’s silver with the inside of the bell gold washed. It has rolled tone holes, no Microtuner, b and b flat are on opposite sides of the bell, and it has an engraving of flowers (not the art deco one). Serial number M224xxxL. It is in desperate need of polishing, but the seller polished a window and the silver appears intact with no major scratches and the same goes for the gold wash inside the bell. It definitely needs new pads and the bow is dented (doesn't seem as bad as others I've seen). The main issue is that at some point someone decided to hang it on a wall and drilled holes in the rim of the bell and all the way through the neck (neck being a bigger issue than the bell). I have the tools and time to patch the holes, but am wondering if it’s worth it to try to rescue and restore this guy. Cost is about $80.

*updated* Originally had the horn listed as a transitional, because no matter how many times I read the serial number (224xxx) and typed it correctly, my brain kept seeing 244xxx. It is actually Chu Berry.
I would suggest you read this first: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?341296-So-Ya-Wanna-Learn-Sax-Repair
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Quick update: I decided not to buy the horn, because I don’t have the time right now to give it what it needs or the space to store it if I’m not playing it. Good news though, it was bought by a repair tech who plans to put it back in working order as a demo of his services and keep it around the shop for his personal use (so happy ending for the horn). Thank you for all of the advice and tips! I learned a lot from this thread others on here while looking into this.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top