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Hi all,

I just purchased a Conn 12M Bari from my local music store. I loved the sound of the horn and that was enough for me to get it, but I really want to add the front F key. I had heard about somebody putting a custom key on theirs, but was wondering if there were any pre-made parts like the one Oleg makes for the soprano (link below). Any leads would be very helpful. Thank you!

-Brandon


https://www.olegproducts.com/store/#!/Soprano-F-Fork-Assembly/p/86697892/category=24010006
 

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Starting from 1937 or 1938 Conn 12M baris came with a front F installed (mine has one). If you can get a good look at one of these later models, you can compare the keywork around the area to see whether you can install the newer version of the keywork in place of the old. The following photos show a 1953 12M with with original ex-factory front F:

conn358b.jpg conn358btopbow3.jpg
 

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I believe - although I could be wrong, as I don't have the horn in front of me - that all the front F keywork is added-on (separate posts and rods) rather than being integrated into the upper stack. If that's correct, then it would be quite easy to install it - once you got hold of a set of this keywork. Unfortunately the only place you are going to find a set of original Conn front F keywork will be a junked Conn. Keywork from any other horn will not fit; although you might be able to use it as a starting point.

Once upon a time I remember reading of a modification that installed using the lyre socket. Maybe someone else remembers this?

I think the best bet would be to get access to a second Conn with front F and make up a duplicate set of keywork using that one as a pattern; then give it back and install the mechanism on your instrument.

I don't think the front F issue is as well publicized as it could be. I play a Conn from 1946 and I use the front F a great deal. Unfortunately the period where the horns were still built to the top quality standards and they had the front F was rather short - maybe from 1938 to 1955 or so - unlike alto and tenor where everything from New Wonder 2 on is top quality till the cheapening of the late 50s.
 

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If you absolutely want a F front key and don't care about "look like original", you can buy new part from Yamaha: tear drop from 52 and up or traditional from the 23. You have to order all the part: mean the post, rod, etc.. separately. If your tech have access to Yamaha order part catalog, it will be more easy than do it yourself in line.
 

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Steve Crow in the UK did various keywork improvements on my 239.xxx Conn 12M, including fabricating and silver plating a new front F. Some pictures in this old thread: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ligan-Model-quot-Conn-Transitional-bari/page2

A good tech should be able to do something similar, but Steve Crow does amazing work for very good prices.

Rhys
That work done and shown in that thread is essentially the same (as far as I can tell) as the factory design.

(Very well done, too.)
 

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Steve Crow in the UK did various keywork improvements on my 239.xxx Conn 12M, including fabricating and silver plating a new front F. Some pictures in this old thread: "Mulligan Model" Conn Transitional bari?
Rhys, I know this is an old thread but it sounds very interesting to me. I would like my sax tech to make a custom front F key for my old Conn Baritone. Unfortunately the links to the pictures in the old thread mentioned above does not work. I searched worldwidesax.com and stevecrow.co.uk and did not find these pictures.

I would be very happy if you could help - of these pictures are still available.
Saxfax
 

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Rhys, I know this is an old thread but it sounds very interesting to me. I would like my sax tech to make a custom front F key for my old Conn Baritone. Unfortunately the links to the pictures in the old thread mentioned above does not work. I searched worldwidesax.com and stevecrow.co.uk and did not find these pictures.

I would be very happy if you could help - of these pictures are still available.
Saxfax
Here are the pictures of the new front F mechanism as constructed, silver plated and fitted by Steve Crow. If you would like any other pictures just start a conversation with me and I will take some more photographs.

10333


10334


And here's a picture of the new thumbrest that Steve made and fitted.

10335


I hope those help.

Rhys
 

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Thanks a lot, Rhys. This looks a very fine craftsmanship, appropriate for such a valuable instrument. I wonder though. to what extent this mechanism is adjustable.
 

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Thanks a lot, Rhys. This looks a very fine craftsmanship, appropriate for such a valuable instrument. I wonder though. to what extent this mechanism is adjustable.
There are no adjusting screws in the new mechanism but there are two places where material can be added or taken away to alter how much the F cup opens up when the front F pearl is pressed. One is the bearing point on a rocker arm and the other is where the lifting arm presses against the underside of the F arm.

I hope that makes sense (and I made up those terms).

Rhys
 

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Yes it does, thank you very much. I will discuss this with my tec, but probably only after the Covid restrictions have ended. In the meantime I will continue to practice alternate fingerings.
 

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Thanks, I know him. I saw two (and could play one) Conn Baritones that he modified - interestingly without adding a Front F key. With these Baritones he has made various modifications (octave key like Selmer, modified G# key etc.) that do not offer a improvement for me. Very good craftsmanship, though.
 
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