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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering.......I currently play a King Cleveland tenor. I really love the tone I get from it, though it's not a perfect horn, by any means, and not an S20.
I'm contemplating getting a Conn 10M that's been completely overhauled and should be in perfect playing condition.
Can someone who's very happy with the tone of a King horn be happy with that of a 10M? I like the recordings I hear of 10M's on Youtube.
My initial feeling is that I can't really go wrong, going from a less than perfect horn to one that's been totally set up right. Thoughts?
 

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Both horns can allow you to get a great tone, neither does it for you. Neither is better than the other because that comes from the player (not totally of course, a decent horn is important but both 10M and King Cleveland are good)

In my experience Conns are better for intonation, but that may be down to mouthpiece and embouchure compatibilty.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Pete. I bought a New Vintage Slant Link 7* Tone Edge from Dr G last year, and it is spectacular, IMO! It took me a little while to get my air supply up to snuff on it, but now it plays beautifully for me. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I've come a long way, too. If the 10M has better intonation than the Cleveland, I'm in for some wonderfully pleasurable practice sessions!
 

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King Super 20s and Zephyrs do need a little more attention in the 2nd 8va but are great sounding tenors in capable hands .

I've had S20s and 10Ms aplenty and didn't prefer one to the other necessarily .

Still have a late 50s Zephyr tenor(Excellent option) and an early 30s Conn 'tranny' ..

Conn and Kings: hard to go wrong with either, really .
 

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I'm contemplating getting a Conn 10M that's been completely overhauled and should be in perfect playing condition.
What I put in bold would help seal the deal for me. A 10M in top playing condition will be a very good horn. If your King is not in perfect playing condition, with a fresh overhaul, then I would suggest that tips the scales in favor of the Conn. I've played a couple of Super20s (supposed to be 'better' than the Cleveland you have) and have tried a friend's 10M. I preferred the Conn, and it wasn't in top condition by any means.
 

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Ive got a 615 and a 16M. I've found these two similar in volume and husky voice. 16M's share a similar or same body as a 10M. I read somewhere, that the King's and Conn's have the same length and taper in the body?
 

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Aren't the King's keys better suited for someone with small hands?
My hands will palm a basketball, span an octave and a third on a piano, and the Super 20 was just fine - really fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks JL......that was my line of thinking, too.
That's interesting to hear, Jim. I wonder if there's really not that much difference in tone, between the two? Playing against a wall, in a decent-sized room, my Cleveland has the most incredible tone. I have been told the Conn's are even darker, though. That would be something to hear! By the sound of it, I may just have to keep both horns, if the 10M that comes is as good as I hope it will be.
Thanks everyone.
Hey George........still loving the Link!!!
 

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Aren't the King's keys better suited for someone with small hands?
Yeah, I have smaller hands and I find the Kings a bit easier to get around on than the Conns bur admittedly I haven't tried all that hard to get on with either. The vintage horns I actually own are Bueschers so TIFWIW.
 

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Funny, Conn’s are known for Jazz....but the feature I like best out of my Conn tenor is the dark sound quality when playing an unbaffled mouthpiece.....Listened to a recording of myself the other day and it sounded a lot like cello......full and dark.

.......but ultimately, your preference for a King or Conn will be random. It only has to do with what works for you.......everyone looks at my Mark VII and tells me the VII is a better horn.....maybe it is better than my Conn, but it doesn’t always give me what I want.

One note: I have small hands and the Conn can cause some problems playing Altissimo with the left hand palm keys when I am standing up. (The horn can start to tip sideways). If I am sitting in my normal position (leaning the sax against my hip/thigh), it is not a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One note: I have small hands and the Conn can cause some problems playing Altissimo with the left hand palm keys when I am standing up. (The horn can start to tip sideways). If I am sitting in my normal position (leaning the sax against my hip/thigh), it is not a problem.
BJ, my King has a pretty poorly placed strap ring also, as far as balancing the horn around your neck. What I do to to counter this problem is to tighten the neck with it rotated 20-30 degrees to the left of center, and it cures the problem completely. I can let go of it and not get poked in the eye with the beak, and it stays in playing position, without fail. Simple, and it works.
 

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The Conn 10M and the King Super 20 are probably the best of the American vintage saxophones. You can't go wrong with either providing they've been set up correctly. The only vintage horn I've kept was my Super 20 tenor. My other horns are modern. Regarding intonation I never had any trouble with intonation on the Super 20. In fact it has excellent intonation. I stupidly sold the Super 20 once and regretted it ever since. Then I saw it on the Getasax website and bought it back. Somewhere along the line somebody far better than my local repair person had worked on it and the difference was amazing. The Super 20 doesn't take a back sit to anything. It has a powerful sound and a wonderful dynamic range, and playing with a sub tone is a breeze (no pun intended). The action is slick and fast. Wonderful horns.
By the way, Brian at Getasax is a great person to work with. The word that comes most to mind is integrity.
 

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A 10M that's been completely overhauled ? Buy it — and keep the King as well. Once you have the 10M you can get the S20 overhauled and not be without a tenor — you'll always have a back-up horn. If you're worried about strapring placement here's a simple solution, which is completely reversible if you want to return the horn ito its original state:

View attachment 213450 View attachment 213452

The brass flange you see in the photos was designed and made for me by a metalworker and saxophonist friend of mine from a piece of 2mm brass plate. It is 12cm long, and has four holes drilled in it — three for differing strap-hook positions, and one (the highest one) for fixing the flange to the original strap-ring. A small hexagonal-headed brass bolt is passed through the original strap-ring and the highest hole in the flange and held in place with two hexagonal brass nuts, one on top of the other (which avoids the need to cut the bolt down to size). I couldn't find any real brass nuts and bolts at my local hardware store, so bought them cheaply on eBay. They're solidly made, of top quality brass, from China ! For purely cosmetic reasons I filled the line of the join between the sax body and the flange with Sugru. It's a brilliant solution to the problem of too high a strap-ring, which avoids the degraded lacquer and solder residue which is left behind when you move a strap-ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nice solution, Mike. But for me, the rotation of the neck works just fine. I appreciate your input.
 

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Nice solution, Mike. But for me, the rotation of the neck works just fine. I appreciate your input.
The single biggest thing to watch out for on the Conn 10M is a "burble" or "warble" in low register notes. It seems to be the notes from about low F down to about low D. At low volumes it is very difficult to play these notes without having them try to pop up an octave.

This issue is NOT caused by an undiscovered leak, no matter what some people will say. Mouthpiece selection and mouthpiece position on the neck can mitigate it, but may not make it go away.

I had a 10M with this problem. Here's an incomplete list of things I tried - NONE of them worked:

- adjustment of key heights
- multiple different mouthpieces of different designs including an old enormous chamber one
- multiple attempts to find leaks
- sealing every single tone hole with duct tape, then wrapping tape around the tenon joint, then taping both octave pips closed, then taping over every soldered seam in the body (if there were any leaks in the horn after that, you would have had to use a helium mass spectrometer leak detector to find them)

The issue is some kind of acoustic problem with the bore design; I have never read a convincing explanation of exactly what it is.

Some 10Ms have this problem and some don't. I've been playing the Conn 10M since 1978 and I have had two of them with no evidence of this problem, and one (described above) with it.

So despite my appreciation for the Conn 10M, I would not buy one unless I could return it or test play it extensively before purchasing.

I do not know whether the New Wonder horns have this issue.
 

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...I played old Conns for years. I bought an S20 and liked it so much I got another...and yet another. After several years I sold the Conns except for a CHU alto, but i"d sell it too if I had a buyer.

Out front - you will sound exactly like you on either instrument. Behind the horn though they are different, but not as different as a Conn vs a MKVI. As others have said, you've really got to try a few and pick for yourself, but for me it was hands down the Super 20, and I loved my Conns...

Differences: Not many - The Conn will be a little lighter, both have that wide open roar you don't get on a Selmer Paris, but they're also not as ergonomically friendly. The later Cleveland S20's seem to have the best ergonomics of the US made saxes of old. All three of the S20 tenors I have across two models, (Yes I have three of the damn things, but it's a long story) have almost the exact same intonation so there seems to be some consistency there. They are a bit different from the Conns intonation-wise, but I don't find one more difficult than the other. Both are a bit 'squirrely' compared to a modern Selmer, but I like that. Once you have control over that, squirrely becomes flexibility - at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it....

Good luck in your search. I spent a decade buying, selling, and trading before I settled on the Conns.....only to stumble across the Super 20. Now I've got to STOP buying and focus on the selling bit - that's not nearly as much fun.
 

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The Conn 10M and the King Super 20 are probably the best of the American vintage saxophones.
You forgot Buescher (TH&C, Aristocrat)...& Martin.

Anyway, FWIW, the OP said he has a King Cleveland, not a Super20.
 

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You forgot Buescher (TH&C, Aristocrat)...& Martin.

Anyway, FWIW, the OP said he has a King Cleveland, not a Super20.
Ah, but If you can bring up Bueschers and Martins.. Super 20's can be mentioned(as I did in post 4 and then you in post 5) .

I have played a couple of 60s Cleveland tenors in the past and they are indeed great sounding tenors.
 
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