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Has anyone heard of these? I have found several references and more than a few ads from the early to mid 1920s that mention these. Were they an answer to Buescher's snap-on system? I'm guessing they did not catch on as well as the snap-ons, because there is little about them anywhere (I searched SOTW but didn't find anything). Here is an example: Conn-foil pads.
 

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I’ve searched as well, and as usual applying nothing more than the information that you gave I found that a few references are in our archives.

https://www.saxontheweb.net/vintage/Conn.html

“.The 1922 catalog saw the re-introduction of the straight B flat soprano and the Conn Vacuum pad, which was designed to be installed without adhesives. The straight neck C Melody also made its debut in this year. During this period, Conn saxophones were often seen with spectacular engravings, and considerable experimentation was carried out in manufacturing techniques and design improvements. Conn was unique among American manufacturers in that a full time laboratory with a staff of six was maintained to pursue design improvements.

The Conn design laboratory employed several designers, principally Allen Loomis; Hugh Loney; Paul Hardy; Russell Kerr; Edward Gulick; and Leland Greenleaf. The legendary Santy Runyon also consulted with Conn on design matters. Loomis was known for his innovative, often bizarre, designs, many of which were never considered practical enough to enter production. Gulick might best be remembered for his...”


page 45 of this catalogue is the one you published.

https://www.saxophone.org/museum/publications/id/143




On a side note The " Conn Foil Vacuum Pads" on p 45 of the above link look like a goodish idea that never took off/worked.LOL
I see these all the time on original pads Conns. I believe it was lead foil, and by now they have usually turned to dust (or very porous sheets with a healthy helping of dust). When I disassemble Conn saxophones with very, very old white pads with a resopad ring, single center stitch and no resonator I do it outside with a mask on, and very, very carefully.
https://books.google.nl/books?id=oN...nepage&q=conn saxophone pad foil vac&f=false


This I found on line ( click a couple of times on the pics to expand)

https://books.google.nl/books?id=oN...nepage&q=conn saxophone pad foil vac&f=false

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https://books.google.nl/books?id=2C...nepage&q=conn saxophone pad foil vac&f=false

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https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1925-81-17/index.php?page_no=38

View attachment 243642
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup. Those would be most of it! The Pop Sci and Pop Mech ads are the latest dates I found, too - '26 & '27. Buescher snaps were patented in Dec of 21, so the timing of '22 seems right for these to have been a competitive catch-up game. Like the snaps, they seem like a convenient, clever idea. But, unlike the snaps, these are a disposable commodity requiring no design mods to the cup. So if a horn originally had these is basically moot. And, it was probably also designed that way in case it was a flop - no retro-fitting to remove the pad system like happened with the snaps.
 

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Why were they called "vacuum"?

I cannot see any semblance of a vacuum being a feature.
 

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Let’s also say that, even if they would have been successful, nobody could use lead foil in the making of anything like this these days
 

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Why were they called "vacuum"?

I cannot see any semblance of a vacuum being a feature.
Maybe they used some vacuum technique to manufacture them?
 

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So these were white soft leather pads, with a metal ring that fitted the pad cups perfectly, and I mean like a perfectly tight glove. So perfect no adhesive was necessary nor used.

Between the leather stretched over the metal ring and a layer of white felt was sandwiched a thin layer of foil.

The leather was stitched with white thread on the underside.

No resos were used.

These images are from a full set of 'Conn Foil' pads that came off a 1927 gold plated Conn New Wonder II soprano just purchased. These pads were replaced with standard adhesive pads in he overhaul, but I'm thinking that one day I'll get these remade by hand and reinstall them.

If anyone here is expert at making their own pads please let me know and I'll be delighted to commission you to create new ones using the original metal rings (and the old felt that remains in perfect condition).

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I am unsure but the foil always seems to have disintergrated.They look aluminium but I remember someone saying they were lead. They had the metal ring like the reso pads and were stitched.
 

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The foil could have been tin, which tends to flake away over time. Buescher made its pad backing discs of sheet tin.
 

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So these were white soft leather pads, with a metal ring that fitted the pad cups perfectly, and I mean like a perfectly tight glove. So perfect no adhesive was necessary nor used.

Between the leather stretched over the metal ring and a layer of white felt was sandwiched a thin layer of foil.

The leather was stitched with white thread on the underside.

No resos were used.

These images are from a full set of 'Conn Foil' pads that came off a 1927 gold plated Conn New Wonder II soprano just purchased. These pads were replaced with standard adhesive pads in he overhaul, but I'm thinking that one day I'll get these remade by hand and reinstall them.

If anyone here is expert at making their own pads please let me know and I'll be delighted to commission you to create new ones using the original metal rings (and the old felt that remains in perfect condition).
You might ask if Music Medic could do that for you. In order for the pads to fit, the existing leather would need to be replaced with leather that is close to the same thickness. If it were my choice I would go with white roos without resonators to resemble the original look. With pads that are "pressure fit" the only seating adjustments available are to bend the key cup. A pad on a bed of shellac allows more "nuanced" adjustments which will allow more accurate regulation and reliability.
 

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You might ask if Music Medic could do that for you. In order for the pads to fit, the existing leather would need to be replaced with leather that is close to the same thickness. If it were my choice I would go with white roos without resonators to resemble the original look. With pads that are "pressure fit" the only seating adjustments available are to bend the key cup. A pad on a bed of shellac allows more "nuanced" adjustments which will allow more accurate regulation and reliability.
Great advice thanks. Now it’s been repadded with shellac I think there’s no going back (and no key bending!) and I like the stability of a shellac base anyhow. So maybe keep the felt which is in ridiculous good state and together with the metal ring keeps a 1928 connection, add backing card, go for thinner white leather, and maybe, maybe, stay without resos.


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> and maybe, maybe, stay without resos.

The foil layer was supposed to do 2 things: take the impression of the new rolled toneholes to make a reliable seal, and act as a "sounding board" to increase resonance. So some kind of resonators (say the double-disc Conn type) may be good to have.

OTOH, in 1929 Conn switched to unresonated, ringless tan pads with only a center rivet. So maybe you don't need them that badly after all.
 
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