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Discussion Starter #1
Are the Conn 12M bari's good? I've recently been looking at one for less than $1500, would that be a good price to pay?
 

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That would depend on age, condition, etc. Keep in mind that the 12M was in production from the mid 1930's - early 1970's (more or less).
I recently purchased a late 50's 12M for $1,000 that is a nice, straight horn that has been relacquered. After spending ca $200.00 on a set up, the horn is now a killer.
My Yamaha YBS61 now sits in it's case as a back up.
The point that I want to make is don't be be affraid of later serial # 12Ms. Many are great playing horns that can be had for a fraction of the cost of the earlier baris that have more collector/snob appeal.
 

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That is a 1954 manufactured 12M. Based ENTIRELY on what can be seen on the Ebay listing photos, it looks very good to me.

These are wonderful Baritones indeed. I wouldn't expect it to remain too shy of the Buy It Now price at the end of the auction however. It might be worth the attempt though.
 

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If in good playing condition like the seller states, it would be a good buy, but I'd purchase it expecting to have some work put into it. In one of the pictures you can see a dent under one of the low-Eb keyguard feet and you can see how black one of the pads is. In other pictures you can also see darker pads, so even it it does play as is you should expect to put some padwork into it in the recent future.
 

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I personally expect EVERY horn bough at auction to need an overhaul, unless explicitly described as being player ready and setup (even then, sadly). But these are good points and I didn't spot the dent, which is another possible repair necessity.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How much (do you think) it would cost to replace a couple pads and take out the dent(s)? If it's not too expensive it looks like a good deal...
 

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I think it will likely need a complete repad judging by the degradation of those visible in the photos. This is a nice, pro horn if you can summon the money to put it right. It won't be fully ready to go out of the box (few horns are, new or used, frankly).

The dent on the bow may not even need to be removed (nearly all vintage Baritones are going to have SOME wear and tear by virtue of their size, age etc.). The main point in doing so is if it prohibits the key from working and sealing properly, or has altered the tone hole and chimney itself. Only personal examination of the horn will answer these quandaries.
 

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saxo44 said:
Also, checking out where the bow meets the bell, would that be cause for concern?
Do you mean the slight case of zinc leaching/acid bleed known as "Red Rot" around the bow to bell ring? That isn't a big deal (at least at this stage), and a bit of steel wool and a shot of touch up lacquer will likely take care of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
saxismyaxe said:
Do you mean the slight case of zinc leaching/acid bleed known as "Red Rot" around the bow to bell ring? That isn't a big deal (at least at this stage), and a bit of steel wool and a shot of touch up lacquer will likely take care of that.
That's good to know.
 

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The only safe course of action is to expect a complete repad - $600 - $700 at a guess. That should also include removing any dents and dealing with other minor blemishes. Those pads are too dark for anyone to expect them to be worth keeping.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
After looking at it closer I noticed that it might not have the split F#. Maybe I'm not seeing things correctly, so if it does please correct me.
 

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Are you talking about the extra G# trill key found on earlier Conn "Artist" horns? This, and the extra D#/Eflat trill function/tone hole were done away with by the late 1940's/early 1950's.

The Chromatic, side F# key is present. The only post A. Sax Baritone design I have seen without one of these keys is The Martin Baritone models. Why they deleted/omitted this key is still a mystery to me, but I do well without it on my example.
 

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The guy did mention that he had 6 - 8 pads replaced recently...
Does he know which? Perhaps he needs an abacus. Irrespective of this claim, all the pads in view are old and very probably need replacing. At the least, a prospective - and prudent - buyer should expect to have to repad the lot.
After looking at it closer I noticed that it might not have the split F#.
What's one of these? Presumably a F# key in the right hand. I must confess, I can't see it either, but I can't imagine that a 12M of this period would not have it. The interesting question here is whether it is set up for a split Eb; no extra key, just articulation between the D and E keys. I suspect it will be there as well.

There is a front F, though; my 1935 12M lacks this, which I miss.
 

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Gentleman,

As you can see from the photo, the Side/Chromatic F# key is very much present and accounted for on this horn.

As I mentioned, by the date of manufacture of this horn, the trill G# and D# keys were long gone from the 6M/10M and 12M models.
 

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The 12M Baritones never had the right hand G# trill key, it was only an Alto, C Melody and Tenor feature.

Also look for damage higher up around the G where the cross brace is. It is worth getting a horn like this rebuilt, money well spent and you will then end up with a horn that is a monster of a player.
 
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