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Discussion Starter #1
It has been asserted on SOTW that the bodies of the Conn 10m and the contemporary Pan American tenors are different.

Keywork (most notably for the bell cups) is clearly different and so the posts are positioned differently- but my admittedly cursory measurements comparing a 10m to a Pan Am tenor appeared to indicate otherwise identical horns. The interior dimensions of the body and neck determine sound; you'd have to go quite a long, long, long, way with posts and keywork to have any effect at all.

The 10m's are clearly "top of the line at the time" horns, the Pan Am's the cost cutter Camaro to the 10m Firebird- but does anyone have any actual hard data to clarify or validate differences beyond post placement and keywork (IE: body tube dimension measurements, ETC) or are they just sorta, kinda, asserting this as a "common sense" "it must be so"?

No confrontation intended here- just inquiry. I'd wondered the same thing and compared the two side by side and reached the conclusion that they were the same- but never measured in the kind of depth myself but that specific precision measurements would persuade me that there were differences.
 

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My understanding is that most PanAms are in fact identical horns to the early 16M's of the '50's. Or as some people might say, the entire Director series was really just a renamed and remarketed PanAm series.

I can tell you ...the 16M USA body and the 10M body are different. I can tell you that they are not identical. There are differences in neck taper and body tube and bow diam's along the same points. I also believe there were some differences in hole diameters and locations. I recall I measured this once.

Of the PanAms I have seen and played, I recall them being the same in design and tone as the 16M's. This...in the context of having sold a 16M, then a week or two later receiving a PanAm and while working on it, saying "ummm...Deja Vu...this seems to be a 16".

But granted, while I DID once actually take calipers to a 16M then a 10M body...I never did do that with a PanAm or PanAm-esque stencil horn vs. a 10M.

I am going to at next opportunity however...because your question has been coming up often (in part because unscrupulous sellers, in trying to talk up their horns, keep claiming the PanAm or PanAm-resembling horns are really 10M's ~ they do the same with PanAm Altos, calling them '6M stencils'. They do the same with Clevelands, claiming they possess the S20 sound; or Buescher/Elkhardt 30A's, claiming they are Aristocrat stencils. press, press, press ).

(Actually..in the meantime, you may have inspired me to grab a mid-vintage PanAm alto I have here and compare it to a '57 14M I have here. That wouldn't be a direct answer to your Q...but if it turned out the body designs were the same, it'd provide some circumstantial evidence towards one conclusion).

(So, my Q to you would be: do you have the 2 models (PanAm & 10M) side by side ? Did you also check hole locations and hole diameters throughout the horn ? Did you check the tube diameter at several points (like 4 or 5) along the tube ? Did you check the neck taper and shape ? Stuff like this....Like you, not being argumentative...but it'd save ME time if you did that.)

So for the moment, I suppose you can say...... in the absence of any bloke reporting back with a deconstructed side-by-side comparison proving that they are different.... they could be the same.

However, a safer proposition would be to say that...in the absence of any bloke reporting back with a side-by-side, deconstructed comparison proving that they are the same....a PanAm is not a 10M.

Why do I lean towards that ?

Because a PanAm doesn't quite sound like a 10M.
Like the 16M, they are close, and like a 16M they are pretty sweet-toned horns...they have a lot of the same sonic attributes as the Artist series....but they ain't quite a 10M sound.

And if that is the case, and we agree that it isn't the key design dissimilarities which would cause a tonal difference, then that'd leave the body/neck design.

Now...I am off to the basement.....or the attic...or wherever the hell those Conn altos might be....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My understanding is that most PanAms are in fact identical horns to the early 16M's of the '50's. Or as some people might say, the entire Director series was really just a renamed and remarketed PanAm series.

I can tell you for sure, absolutely, without a doubt...the early 16M USA body and the 10M body are different. I can tell you that right here: the 10M and early 16M bodies are not identical. There are differences in neck taper and body tube and bow diam's along the same points. I also believe there were some differences in hole diameters and locations.

Of the PanAms I have seen and played, I recall them being the same in design and tone as the 16M's. This...in the context of having sold a 16M, then a week or two later receiving a PanAm and while working on it, saying "ummm...Deja Vu...this seems to be a 16".

But granted, while I DID actually take calipers to a 16M body then a 10M body...I never did do that with a PanAm or PanAm-esque stencil horn vs. a 10M.

I am going to at next opportunity however...because your question has been coming up often (in part because unscrupulous buyers, in trying to talk up their horns, keep claiming the PanAm or PanAm-resembling horns are really 10M's ~ they do the same with PanAm Altos, calling them '6M stencils').

(Actually..in the meantime, you may have inspired me to grab a mid-vintage PanAm alto I have here and compare it to a '57 14M I have here. That wouldn't be a direct answer to your Q...but if it turned out the body designs were the same, it'd provide some circumstantial evidence towards one conclusion).

So I suppose you can say...... in the absence of any bloke reporting back with a deconstructed side-by-side comparison proving that they are different.... they could be the same.

However, a safer proposition would be to say that...in the absence of any bloke reporting back with a side-by-side, deconstructed comparison....a PanAm is not a 10M.

Why do I lean towards that ?
Because a PanAm doesn't sound like a 10M. Like the 16M, they are close, and like a 16M they are pretty sweet-toned horns...they have a lot of the same sonic attributes as the Artist series....but they ain't quite a 10M sound.
Good reasoning- though I suppose it's quite possible we're talking different models of Pan Am tenor. I have no idea how the models were ID'd.

The PanAm tenors I decided were about identical to my 10m ('39) were both clearly from some time in the thirties themselves. If they were identical to another horn in bore other than the 10m I'd have thought it to be the Chu's. In any event the necks on the 10m and the Pan Am (both from the thirties) appeared really close to identical in all but the cosmetics. The length, curvature, and egress at the same sized tenon and inlet at the opening were absolutely identical (and this I did measure with calipers). The pip on the PanAm was just a plain pip though, vice the 10m funnel.

In playing they were as close as any two 10m's in tone and response- always some slight horn to horn variations- though the whole LH pinky cluster was much more clunky on the Pan Am in terms of feel when playing.

I've got close to zip for experience in the Director series of tenors. As a result what might have been an epiphany of agreement eludes me on your assessment.

I agree with you on the BS blather that surrounds the sales. The 10m is clearly a better made horn- though it is quite possible that the passage of time has slimmed down or eliminated that difference for many individual horns; a whipped 10m vice a mint Pan Am. (I'd buy the 10m and work on it myself!) Cut it how you may- while the Pan Am may sound the same- an unprovable argue, argue, argue deal- it won't feel the same in your hands. I believe the technical term from the legal community for the trumpeting of the PanAms as 10ms in sheep's clothing is "puffery"!
 

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It would really be interesting if in fact Conn (or any company) actually had used the same body design and just outfitted the horn with different hardware. I mean, in one way, that might have made sense. Same body tooling for every model.

I guess that history sort of suggests that this isn't how the old houses operated, however. But again, as you say...I am only gleaning this and cannot say so authoritatively.

Also...you are right...PanAms started out as opposite-bellkey, NWI or Chu-esque looking horns. I also have no idea as to the evolution of the PanAm. Could there have been more than one redesign of that series ?

When 10M's appeared, same-side keys...did the PanAm also switch to same-side keys also ? Or was there a lag time there ?

That's an interesting, although digressive, Q....
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...of-a-16M-or-lost-orphan&p=1824370#post1824370


I'll be back with the PanAm/14M comparison later.....
 

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Well....I happened to pull out the following horns, altos :

PanAm ~ serial 657, 5XX

14M Shooting Star serial ~ 661,6XX

6M Lady serial ~ 681,4XX

:|

:shaking2:.....Interesting..or should I say..."is this Crazy, or what ?"....:scratch:

All of these horns are from 1957. Coincidentally...3 of the 4 Conn Altos I have in storage are all from the same year ! The very year where Conn stopped the PanAms and introduced the Directors.....

(interesting also to note that the PanAm engraved horn does not have the PanAm serial sequence, but a regular Conn one).

I took measurements at these points:

1) Interior of neck tenon ~ diam.

2) interior of neck end/mouthpiece end ~ diam.

3) Neck length.

4) Bottom of neck receiver/top of body tube ~ diam.

5) Body tube at G-hole location ~ diam.

6) Body tube at a point 50cm above the tube/bow ferrule ~ diam.

7) Bottom of bow/tube ferrule ~ diam.

8) Vertical distance from bottom of bow curve to bow/tube ferrule.

9) Bow/bellpiece ferrule ~ diam.

10) Bell lip ~ diam.

11) Tonehole diameters of the following bow/bell holes:
C, Eb, B.

12) Of the following body tube holes: G, F# trill, B.

At least in the case of these Altos...the only difference...

.... is that the 6M neck is 2mm longer than the others.

There is a variance of .5mm or less in the diameter of a few of the toneholes.

:dazed: Interesting...and NOT what I would have expected.

Unfortunately...none are playing, or close...although this gives me impetus to make them so.....

Whatd'ya think of that (so far) ????
 

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I think one thing to note here is this:

BOTH my 14M and PanAm were made in the same facility, thus serialed with the same sequence.

They are identical horns, except for engraving.

This could mean that a PanAm serialed under the PanAm sequence (Loyalist claims that sequence ended c.1955) might have been built at a different assembly line/plant/facility than my PanAm. So...a '54 PanAm might differ from this '57 Director...I dunno.

But what is interesting is that the '57 14M body vs. '57 6M body seems to show no (or negligible) dimensional differences.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Really interesting stuff.

Of course, the annoying part is the pre 1955 horns appear to be shrouded in an inpenetrable veil of mystery. Lots of speculation, quite a few individual observations of single horns (such as mine was; tenor with tone holes on the left of the bell- no idea what model number but ... model 66? Surely made prior to the fifties. Make that "almost surely".)

The absence of records makes this really difficult- perhaps impossible- to nail down.

The 14m/ 6m comparison would certainly seem to have implications for the 10m comparison, and more likely so for late model horns- this is the conglomerate that started rolling Buescher 400/ Aristocrat/ Bundy horns into differently labeled but near (not "exactly"; "near") identical bodies with different lables, but...
 

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I think all 16M's and all PanAm or PanAm stencils I have ever seen had LH bellkeys, didn't they ?

I have never actually had a PanAm engraved Tenor. I have had a Haynes-Schwelm stencil and a Topper stencil...both from the pre-Director eras and very much resembling their contemporary PanAm brethren.....

Conn was still Conn, pretty much, up until MacMillan took over and proceeded to ruin the company starting, when ? '69, right ?

I would think if we were looking at '40's-'60's horns, it would still be fairly safe to assume that the company was still at or near the top of their game.

In Tenors, I only have an early 16M and a '49 10M here at the moment....probably a spread of 10 or so years between those two.
Maybe tomorrow I will do a quick look at those two ~ thanks for this, BTW...I thought this weekend was gonna be boring !

(Of course, such a comparison doesn't directly address your question, because as you said....it is the pre '55 PanAm's which you were asking about).

I might also check to see if I still have any old 14M USA soundclips to compare to the 6M soundclips I have....man, my impression of them has always been that their tones were different...but this really begs a closer look (or ear, as it may be).
 

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I would suspect the post-1955 horns with the Conn numbers were probably labeled P-A to sell to stand alone P-A dealers who were not Conn dealers. One of the main uses of the P-A line was too be able to have dealers in the same area both selling Conn products without annoying the large Conn dealer.
 

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In my experience, a Pan-American Conn has only 1 consistent property: It has straight tone holes. Other than that, their features vary from having lesser key-work such as lacking front "F" and/or the inline Bb extension to being otherwise identical to the 6M/10M/12M.

I suspect the latter are mostly post WWII horns and probably as Bruce suggests above, a factory "sleight of hand" to pacify CONN dealers. Also, as Bruce has pointed out in an old thread, the silver plating on the early P-As is sometimes not as heavy or well done (on mine the rods exhibited some peeling) but the engraving and the matt silver finish is just as gorgeous as that on the 10M/New Wonder I/II...if not more so!

Soundwise?...in my limited experience, it seems to vary from horn to horn...a brass split bell 48M P-A bari (30s-40s?) that i had, sounded ooh so beautiful but slightly less powerful than some 12Ms I've heard (not owned) tho' to be fair, it had older generic rivet pads... A recently departed Pan-Am NW I/II mix was the equal of any tenor I've owned. Also, at a jam that i attend regularly, a kid plays a 10M Pan that is unmistakeably a 10M in sound and appearance. Except that his friend "clued me in", i'd swear it was a (brass) 10M...
 

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OK, just measured a '49 10M vs. a '63 16M USA. There is quite a spread in there, and the magic year of '55 lands almost smack in the middle.

So again, this isn't quite answering the question since the comparison horn is a relatively late 16M, not an earlier PanAm.

BUT...just for the record....using the same measuring points as I used on the Altos....the only significant difference is:

The 16M bell is 4mm wider at the lip diameter.

Everything else (neck opening diameters/length/tapers, the 6 tonehole diameters, the diameters at the body locations, the radius of the bow, the diameters of the bow ferrules) are the same or within less than .5mm of each other.

I would like to then, stand corrected....as I have contradicted both Bruce and Henry at one time or another in insisting there were significant differences in the bodies of the models.

Keeping in mind that my stuff here isn't the most perfect set of subjects (I would really love to have a PanAm within 5 years of this '49 10M...and a 10M within 5 years of this '63 16M, for example)....

I think I would have to concur that the body designs of the Artist and PanAm/Director Tenors (and Altos) show no significant differences.

The differences would be in the keywork design and external details (i.e. bowguard and stuff like that).

(One variable which I cannot check for is the gauge of the metal used. I don't have calipers that exacting and to weigh the bodies accurately, they would literally have to have all posts and saddles removed from 'em).

But this does suggest, in fact, that Conn did use a single body spec, rolling one body design off of the line and outfitting 'em differently....at least covering this certain period of a couple of decades, give or take.

:dazed: That is pretty mind-blowing......
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Offer an apology my sister's moustache!!!. I owe you a debt of gratitude for actually taking the time to reduce what had been an almost exclusively conjecture based discussion to one based upon hard observations and measurements.

Is it a small sample size? Well sure.

Is it, given the nature of what is under observation- the dimensions of the instruments, something not all that subject to variation within any given model- sufficient to draw conclusions? I believe so.

Pretty interesting stuff. Makes me believe that my mint "Frat Model" Pan Am trumpet really is pretty much a twin to the the New Era Conn. (both trumpets, my apologies) I guess I'll delete the standing search I had saved in E-Bay now.

How's that for a large leap of faith!
 

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JayePDX, many thanks for doing all the measuring! I guess the real answer is to play each horn and then decide....I had a few Sherwood altos that were really great. The downside of a P-A horn is that if it needs a redo, it costs the same as doing a first line Conn.
 

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In my experience, a Pan-American Conn has only 1 consistent property: It has straight tone holes. Other than that, their features vary from having lesser key-work such as lacking front "F" and/or the inline Bb extension to being otherwise identical to the 6M/10M/12M.

I suspect the latter are mostly post WWII horns and probably as Bruce suggests above, a factory "sleight of hand" to pacify CONN dealers. Also, as Bruce has pointed out in an old thread, the silver plating on the early P-As is sometimes not as heavy or well done (on mine the rods exhibited some peeling) but the engraving and the matt silver finish is just as gorgeous as that on the 10M/New Wonder I/II...if not more so!

Soundwise?...in my limited experience, it seems to vary from horn to horn...a brass split bell 48M P-A bari (30s-40s?) that i had, sounded ooh so beautiful but slightly less powerful than some 12Ms I've heard (not owned) tho' to be fair, it had older generic rivet pads... A recently departed Pan-Am NW I/II mix was the equal of any tenor I've owned. Also, at a jam that i attend regularly, a kid plays a 10M Pan that is unmistakeably a 10M in sound and appearance. Except that his friend "clued me in", i'd swear it was a (brass) 10M...
In the interest of accuracy and in case it matters to anyone, i'll correct some info above: my P-A 48M bari was in fact a same side bell key horn; my silver P-A tenor was a split bell horn.
 

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Aaaaaw....You just like quoting yourself , is all....

So does your former 48M bear resemblance to the "Conn" engraved one in the other thread here ????
 

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:confused:
Aaaaaw....You just like quoting yourself , is all....

So does your former 48M bear resemblance to the "Conn" engraved one in the other thread here ????
Well, I thought i had dumped all the fotos of it but I just found one of it resting comfortably in "Daddy's" lap and whatddya know, I was right the first time...It is a split bell! :confused:
 

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Dude...not to sound weird here...but...

that is an AWESOME pic.

I mean, sumthin' about it is just really....perfect. A man and his horn...calm...connected.

Corner windows....trees..sunlight across your hand and then the bell....really nice vibe to that shot.

Seriously, that's a damn great pic...I am not being facetious.

Who took it ????
 

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I've got 2 PA's here that i got for my son.... a 66M Nickel tenor with same side bell keys [but that little Eb trill key.... they did away with those fairly early, right?], and a silver-plated same-side-bell-key alto that has no "M"& number, just the A & L above and below. Don't have an actual Conn to compare them to, but it's fun looking at Saxpics and sizing them up that way. Both are big bold sounding horns....
 
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