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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I was wondering if any of you had some experience with the Conn 11M Low A Bari. I've got one on trial for now. I think it's from the late 60s, & it seems to have been a school horn at some point (there's a sticker on the coffin case that says something about a school district, though I'm not actually sure this is the case for the horn) I'm wondering what a reasonable price to pay for it is. It's in pretty good shape (a few small dents in the crook & bow, but I understand that's pretty normal for baris), but a few pads need replacing & some of the springs could use a fixing (G# mechanism is all messed up). If I buy it, I'm buying it from a really great tech so I know he'll resolve the mechanical issues. He also said he'd match any price I find online, so if any of you happen to have seen a great deal on this horn please let me know.

I'm having lots of intonation issues, but I'm not a particularly experienced bari player so I'm not sure how much of that is the horn and how much of it is me.

The tone colors are nice, but I'm still getting used to playing the thing.

I need a bari for a few recording sessions, & with the hope of getting some big band work, but I'm (sadly) not made of money.


Any help/advice/comments are GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks in advance!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
wow! Thanks so much for the great find. I hope he was serious about being willing to match the price
 

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I just bought one off of JayeSF here that was on his website 2ndending.com for $1900. Before you buy, make sure that it is an Elkhardt horn, not a Nogales.
 

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It played ok out of the box. But its at the tech now, with an estimate for a couple hundred dollars to get it fully tuned up and ready to go. Total out of pocket will be approx. $1000-1100. Sound was good, though.
 

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These are good horns, period. I guess sorta impossible to get out from under the shadow of the 12M legend (although when one really looks at 'em, the 12M was always a particular and sensitive model in and of itself). But the one I sold to Esb was my main low A horn for a couple of years and it did everything I could ask for...including rocking the house foundations. These horns have a massive tone.....

If you are having intonation issues, it could be because of 2 things:

1) Mouthpiece ~ you need a large-chamber mouthpiece. No small chamber, no medium-to-high-baffle job, is gonna intone an old Conn BigHorn properly. You wanna get one on the cheap ? A new George M. Bundy #4 is what I'd recommend.....it's a throwback design to the old-school Baritone m'pieces. A Meyer Rubber works pretty well, also.

2) Key heights ~ I am gonna go out on a limb here (not) and guess that if the horn was in a school system....it's keyheights are probably pretty messed up. Horns can be better ntoned by keyheight adjustment of the upper and lower stacks. A tech worth half his/her weight should know how to do this, relatively inexpensively, too.

I actually have a Mexico-made one here which I am gonna work up in a few months....
 

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Have you experienced more intonation problems with a 11M than for a typical 12M or other Bb vintage baris ? I'm thinking about the fact that the bell seems to be a cylindrical elongation of the 12M's. I've to say that I'm familiar with "traditional" intonation problems with older baris, now playing a IBICO- Martin with an HR Berg and a shank elongator manufactured by Lance "MartinMods"; I used to play a NW II Conn as well..
Thanks
J
 

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Jacques -- my 11M has less intonation quirks than my old Martin IBICo low Bb. Its less finicky about mouthpiece, and less quirky across octaves. FWIW.
 

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Great news, thanks !
J
 

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Have you experienced more intonation problems with a 11M than for a typical 12M or other Bb vintage baris ?
No. In the least, one can say that...the 11M is no more sensitive in the intonation dept. than a 12M. Although, as I said above...my (former) 11M didn't have intonation issues once paired with a good m'piece and going thru a keyheight-check from my tech.

Yes, indeedy, the 11M seems to be a 12M with that extra piece of bell added. People roll their eyes about this all the time. My tech has pointed out that Conn wasn't the only maker to do this, BTW.

But I say...who cares ? It's not the most beautiful design, but quite honestly it looks way better than the post '80's "drainpipe" sorta low A's where there is very little taper from bell to bow. And...so what ? It sounds as big as a house and is much more lush-toned than most Low-A's.

 

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I have a STM on the 11m and it roars. I actually recorded with it for the first time last Friday and have to say that I was blown away. Like any other horn, if they are in proper adjustment, they roar. I wouldn't have guessed teh horn could sound how it did on the recordings.
 

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Thanks to JayeSDF and EsbSpecial as well. The verdict seems obvious !
J
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow! Thanks to everybody who put their two cents in on this matter. I showed the seller the link to the $785 11m on ebay, & with any luck he'll stick to his word and sell it for $785. But if he doesn't charge the $785 he promised to match, how much is too much?

Also: I realize this is probably a question for another thread, but as long as we're on the subject:

I'm going to need a case because the one this comes in is a falling-apart piece-of-trash coffin case. I was thinking about the SKM hard case, but it lacks backpack straps which seem like maybe a necessity on a bari case. I was also thinking about a Gard Bag, but then I worry that maybe they're cheap for a reason (can anyone tell me if this is or isn't the case?. There's also the obvious protec route. Is getting a bag-style case for a giant low-A bari asking for trouble in the long run?

If this changes anything, I might (this is still a MIGHT, which obviously makes things more complex) be going on tour this summer. In your opinions, should I stick with the protec/gard bag for now and maybe pick up an anvil case to put it in if I'm flying with the horn later on? How much does an anvil cost?

I realize this is a lot of questions.

Thanks to everyone who puts in their two cents.
 

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I would avoid a gig bag, unless you like to visit your tech :) If you get the 11M, you might want to test fit it in cases before buying, if possible, as it may be too tight in some of the low A cases.
 

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Wow! Thanks to everybody who put their two cents in on this matter. I showed the seller the link to the $785 11m on ebay, & with any luck he'll stick to his word and sell it for $785. But if he doesn't charge the $785 he promised to match, how much is too much?
I bought one of these, it was about £1250. A truly great horn, after some work done it I sold it for a bout £1500 so I made very little if anything.

I sort of wish I hadn't sold it as it really was a great horn, so if you get a really cheap one, then that is brilliant.

If I needed a really nice vintage low A bari, I wouldn't think twice about paying £1400 - £1500 for another one as like that one I had. All the great 12M bottom, plus the low A, plus the upper register lyricism, what more could you ask for?
 

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I have a STM on the 11m and it roars. I actually recorded with it for the first time last Friday and have to say that I was blown away. Like any other horn, if they are in proper adjustment, they roar. I wouldn't have guessed teh horn could sound how it did on the recordings.
I just got my 11M back from the tech, all adjusted and ready. I only got about an hour on it last night, but I noticed this same thing. It does not sound huge to the player -- it is definitely one of those horns where all the sound goes straight out the front. As a result, on a quick recording I blew, it sounded MASSIVE. And my wife certainly commented about the projection and power. When I faced into a wall I caught a heck of a blast. Very interesting, all-front projecting horn.

Nicely focused, thick sound. Responsiveness is ok, ergos are ok, intonation is very workable. Not too mouthpiece picky -- I had success with everything from a metalite to a Dukoff to a double-chamber Erik Griffenhagen special to a link. I tested it against a tuner, and only found a few quirky notes (G2-Bb2, low B). All within reasonable ranges for a vintage bari.

I'll probably do a more complete review in a month or two when I get it fully singing. I'll try to blow a few clips to add then. For the price I paid, this was a great purchase.
 

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I sort of wish I hadn't sold it as it really was a great horn, so if you get a really cheap one, then that is brilliant.
...whimper...whimper...whimper.....I feel you.....

Considering how we are talking about the same horn...heh
Notes...I mean, considering what's out there...an 11M in good, solid playing shape is worth about $2000, if not more, IMHO.
If it needs some tweaks and such, or has some body damage, maybe $1200.

So if it plays and you can bring it in for somewhere in that vicinity...you have done very well...
 
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