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Discussion Starter #1
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=171711676379

I thought I knew a lot about Conn baritones, but this is the second one of these I've seen for sale in the past 6mo, and I've never seen one before that (and never in person).
It's low A, but it's stamped "12m" instead of "11m".
Six-digit, numeric serial#.
Also, it's low A, but it doesn't have the ugly "CONN" logo bell design from the 11m's, but rather the naked lady-style engraving. It's obviously a little different from the original engravings, but close nonetheless.

Does anybody know when/where these were produced?

Any feedback on their performance? Specifically, the tonal quality and intonation of the bell notes, as well as whether or not the horn plays in tune with modern high-baffle MPs?
 

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The low A tone hole looks drawn, while the low B-flat looks soldered & beveled like a Martin... weird. Also, that bell to body brace looks more like a carrying handle - it's huge!
 

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I can't say I've ever seen anything like that before, but I'm not a Conn specialist.
 

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Wow! I also notice that there is no low a key below the octave key.
 

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I'm looking forward to hearing from our many Conn experts on this. Like Myoozishun, I thought I had an understanding of Conns, but I've neve seen some of these idiosycracies before. My knee-jerk reaction is that this is a "Frankensax" with a re-lacquer. The engravings (Especially the Lady) are even unique.
 

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What a wonderful instrument!

The SN dates to 1955, quite a few years prior to the production of the 11M low-A bari (which is dated to 1968 by Saxpics, but may well commence a little earlier).

hakukani: the low A is activated by an extra touche below the LH little finger table. The mechanism can be seen clearly in Pictures 5 and 9.

The band covering the joint for the bell extension is absolutely plain, whereas the other tube-joint bands are stock standard 12M.

While the low A tone hole is drawn but not rolled, the key-cup and guard for the low A both look like standard Conn production

The Lady Face engraving is skilfully-enough executed, and may well have been done by Conn.

The bell-to-body brace is decidedly agricultural in design, which suggests a privately-organised modification, although it may have been done by Conn as a one-off special or as part of an early prototype.

I can see three possibilities as to its origin:

1. A prototype for what was to be the 11M;
2. A special order from Conn, for a 12M with low A extension;
3. An "after-market" modification of a 12M, done either by Conn or by a highly-skilled independent technician.

It's hard to say any more than that. What a shame the seller doesn't know (or can't be bothered sharing) the history of this horn.

I covet it. Massively.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Both of these horns that I've seen for sale recently have had this unusual, massive bell-to-body brace that curves sideways (likely to stay out of the way of the pinky table).

Also, it seems pretty obvious that the serial number is part of an undocumented range from later in Conn's production. I highly doubt that this horn was made in the mid 50's.

Of course, I could be wrong about all of this, but I'm just guessing based on what the signs say to me.

I have 1950 & 1955 12M's, and I have personal experience with at least a dozen others. Additionally, I have read much online about Conn's American sax production (looking at hundreds of pics as well), and looking at this horn just makes my head hurt...I don't get it! LOL

I'll send a question to the seller and see what info they may have to offer.
 

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Are you sure they weren't both the same horn being sold twice ? Do you have the SN of the earlier one ? Did that one have the Lady Face engraving ?

If there were two of them, with the same "signature" bell-to-body brace, this suggests that they were part of a small run of prototypes or a special order (for example, an order for the US Navy, as is known to have happened with other Conn saxes, e.g., the 28M, which had its signature plastic guard replaced by a different, wire one for a Navy order.)

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the serial number as from 1955 either. The SN is from 1955, according to SN lists; in addition, the style of the SN stamping is 1950s. And the Lady Face engraving was still being used by Conn in 1955; it was discontinued in 1959-1960.

Ockham's razor.
 

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in the 500,000 serial# range,conn also made some 16M tenor saxophones,and some altos too,with a standard C.G.CONN engraving....
so they were experimenting at this time....
cheers,philip
p.s.i would love this lowA bari.....
 

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I say it is a 1955 horn that has been remade into a low A horn. It has an extension similar to the SBA Selmers that moves the Low B and Bb sections downstream adding a new area where the B tone hole is now.Note too that the body ring is not a standard Conn part. I don't think Conn would have put out a horn that is this sloppy.
 

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I say it is a 1955 horn that has been remade into a low A horn. It has an extension similar to the SBA Selmers that moves the Low B and Bb sections downstream adding a new area where the B tone hole is now.Note too that the body ring is not a standard Conn part. I don't think Conn would have put out a horn that is this sloppy.
This was my thought as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I didn't note the serial# of the first one I saw. It sold successfully on eBay. It very well could be the same horn being sold again, but I want to say the lacquer/engraving looked better on the first one. Who knows...
 

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I don't have any thing I can add to this, nor am I really all that knowledgeable to these old horns. However, I have learned quite a bit recently and the engraving on this horn does not look like a Conn engraving. I tend to lean towards this being someone elses creation and not Conn's
 

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SOLD.

Weird thing is, it says : "Ended: Mar 15, 2015 , 6:12AM."

Today is March 11.
 

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Conn 12m low A

Was there ever a 12m low A manufactured even as a prototype? An Ebay listing had a Lady low A mid fifties vintage with a different brace s
ystem. Anyone else see it? I will try to find it and post-it has been sold.
 

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Re: Conn 12m low A

No...the 11M was the Low A and they weren't made until the late 60's.

THIS horn wreaks of a George Borodi special...they tech who takes parts and pieces of vintage horns and assembles them into new ones, refinishes them, adds a fake old engraving, and then sells them.

My guess is he had a 12M body tube and an 11M bellpiece extension, and frankensteined it all together.

Look at that BELLBRACE, for crisssake ! :dazed: At first I thought it was part of the sax stand, but it's actually a bellbrace.

Also, look at the ferrule between the bellpiece extension and the bellpiece (above the Low B tonehole). That is not an original Conn ferrule.

Lordy, I hope nobody actually offered anything much for that...
 

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Re: Conn 12m low A

This was already discussed, HERE.

The George Borodi idea wasn't suggested in the original thread — it sounds very plausible, too !
 

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Re: Conn 12m low A

I missed that last thread, thanks. I actually think the Borodi premise is the most likely. He has done this before...used 12M/PanAm bodies and slapped the 11M bells on 'em.

Or if not him, necessarily, then someone who basically did the same thing.

It would explain the absence of the Low A trigger for the right thumb (because a 12M body tube with keys would not have had this key).

I do not believe it could have come from the Conn factory, because of the aforementioned bellbrace and weird ferrule on the bell.

But the engraving is obviously a fake, the whole thing has been relacquered, and those are tow Borodi attributes; but besides all of that - the horn has been misrepresented in the auction.

The horn itself does not bother me in any way (except the bellbrace was a very bad idea....they should have been smarter on using something much less Neanderthal in proportion).

Matter of fact, Mike, as you stated in the other thread...in a way, it's actually a really impressive job and somewhat amazing that it could be pulled off (assuming it plays decently). I have always said this about Borodi or others who do this kind of thing ~ on the level of tech expertise...wow, I wish I could do that.

My problem is always....represent the dang horn for what it IS, then. Don't lie, don't intimate, don't use words which imply it is something which it is NOT, while leaving yourself enough semantical wiggle room to escape once the likely reality is figured out.

 
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