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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I don't know if this should be posted in the repair/maintenance section, however, I learned an interesting lesson about the 10m underslung octave key mechanism.

The other day, I saw a cheap 1965/66 10m for sale online. I didn't need another tenor, but you know how it is. In the online photos, the rod which activates the neck octave key looked very slightly bent back, away from the tube. I mentioned this to the seller, who said, 'no, it's just the angle'.

I bought the horn, because it seemed a good deal. It arrived today. Not in too bad shape. An obvious relacquer, and nasty looking nickel plated keys etc. I noticed that the rod I'd been concerned with was dead straight. Must have been my imagination, I thought. :)

Anyway, on playing the horn, I discovered that the octave key had a two stage feel about it, a light touch opened the neck octave key, and a heavier press opened both the body octave and the neck octave, ALL the time. Of course, I couldn't use the octave key below A, as both octave keys would open. What the?

I looked at a few threads on the forums, and had a close look at the mechanism. I could see that when I pushed the octave key gently, all was well, but if I put more pressure on the octave key, the mechanism allowed the rod to activate the neck octave key. Obviously, there was not enough clearance between the octave key rod and the neck octave key.

I realised that THIS was why the octave key rod was very slightly angled away from the tube. The seller had obviously straightened the end of the rod, after I commented on it. He obviously didn't blow the horn after this 'adjustment.'

I put a very tiny bend in the top of the rod, and the mechanism is now working well.

The horn sounds great. Huge, beefy tone, nothing like a Selmer. The ergos are a little hard to get used to, but after an hours playing, my fingers find the keys ok.

So I'm very happy with the Conn. It's certainly not the prettiest of horns but it is a really good player. Totally different to anything else I have.

Thought I'd share this long winded tale with you.

Cheers,

Chris

View attachment 244586
 

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I own 2 of these tenors. One I purchased new in HS. One I picked up cheap on eBay as an overhauled replacement.

One thing to be aware of is the fit of the double socket neck. The outside part of the double socket is mostly decoration. The inside tenon is what needs to seal on the top of the sax body.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I checked the cork first, it was fine.

The rod is not really bent, there is just about a mm in it, as you can see from the photo. But the octave mechanism is working fine, it feels good.

I can't get over the beefy tone, the horn is a lot of fun to play. The left hand pinky keys are a bit of a challenge for my clumsy fingers though!

Cheers,

Chris
 

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Cjames, there would have been another way of dealing with the issue, while maintaining a smaller gap between the neck key and the rod that operates it.
I would need to see more of the mechanism to comment further. (There is quite a variety of types.)

All octave mechanisms have to have a very slight double action, but it can always be minimised.
 

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Yes, I checked the cork first, it was fine.

The rod is not really bent, there is just about a mm in it, as you can see from the photo. But the octave mechanism is working fine, it feels good.

I can't get over the beefy tone, the horn is a lot of fun to play. The left hand pinky keys are a bit of a challenge for my clumsy fingers though!

Cheers,

Chris
Yes, the model 10M plays and sounds really good, no matter the year of manufacture. It does take a bit of time to get used to the fact that you barely have to move your left pinky to get the G# all the low notes C#, B, Bb. At first you'll miss the 'B' a lot. Once you're used to it, the 4-square seems like it would be the antique layout and the 3-in-line the new and improved version.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, the model 10M plays and sounds really good, no matter the year of manufacture. It does take a bit of time to get used to the fact that you barely have to move your left pinky to get the G# all the low notes C#, B, Bb. At first you'll miss the 'B' a lot. Once you're used to it, the 4-square seems like it would be the antique layout and the 3-in-line the new and improved version.
Haha!, I don't know that I'd go THAT far! But the keys are surprising light and responsive. The horn seems to be from a much earlier era, compared with a Selmer of the same vintage. But that big Conn sound is very addictive. It's very arrrr.....what's a good adjective, 'sonorous'. It's deep and rich. Interestingly enough, despite what I've read about the horns, this one is very mouthpiece friendly, I haven't found any of my pieces that this horn doesn't like.

I'm amazed that these horns are so undervalued. I'll agree that the later models resemble cheap student horns, but they are really a wolf in sheep's clothing!

Cheers,

Chris
 

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I'm real happy with my refurbed '61 10M. It was completely overhauled before coming to me, and George (JayeLID) did a great job putting it together and setting it up.
This morning I woke up and decided to play my '66 King Cleveland, just to see if I still loved it the way I always have.......and I did. Then, I got out the 10M, and the magic is still there, no matter how much I like the Cleveland. The 10M is just a joy to play, and can it scream! I just really LOVE getting that horn in my hands!
 

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Re the original problem, the most common reason for it is that the thumb octave levers moves beyond the stop of one of the octave keys (there are other possibilities, for example binding only in part of the movement, etc.).

If that is the problem, anything that would remove that extra travel ratio would work. Adding play to the neck octave key like you have done is one way. The usual repair is to have the thumb lever move less (or if that would mean not enough opening of the keys, or bad feel, increase the travel of the octave keys in addition if possible).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hello,

Thanks for that info. Yes, I looked over the octave mechanism pretty closely. All corks were in place, no binding anywhere, minimal play in the rods, springs ok. That Conn has a very complex octave key mechanism compared to the Selmer design. In the end, I took the simple route and put the displacement back in the neck octave key. Just a whisker did the trick. The mechanism feels light and responsive and the horn is playing well. I'm pretty happy with it!

Cheers,

Chris
 

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You have carried out an effective bandaid. It's good that you are happy with all that double action.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well,

There is not really a double action feel to the key, now. Previously, the second part of the double action was the neck octave key rod activating the neck octave key with anything greater than a very gentle press on the octave key. This issue is now resolved. I can sense your slight disapproval with my fix, but in truth, for me, it provided the most effective solution, with minimal disruption to the mechanism, and after checking all the other fundamentals. :)

Cheers,

Chris
 
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