It is clear as day to me that what Conn-hunter says, and has been saying for over a year now on this and the other LB threads, is true. He is not the only one who has had this happen, just ask Environguy and Walter Webb, and a couple of others--which is why Mike 86'd LOB (the SOB) from SOTW. Not for nothing, for sure. IMO the main thing to be focusing on here is not whether it is the same body or not but why CH got a mutilated cadaver back instead of his living breathing vintage sax. I'm not a tech but can see that a number of the keys are not the same in both sets of photos, but so what? As he just said, it doesn't really matter if this sax is not the same one that he sent because in that case LB played a switcheroo on him and substituted an abortion for his beautiful vintage NW after keeping it for years and years. Which is worse, doing that or taking the NW and butchering it beyond recognition? Does it matter?
I think LOB is the Dr. Frankenstein of saxes, with all the same finesse too. Just read what he wrote me that I posted in my post #55:
Options: I have the original Vintage, ala my avatar, a Deluxe Vintage model (adds articulated C# and tilting Bb spatula), and a Contemporary (Mk6 adaptation) version. The Deluxe and Contemporary are much more complex designs, and require that I have your horn here and take quite a bit more time.
You say you would go for the Contemporary.....why don't you just bring your sax with you to NY as Carry-On luggage? Once in NY on the 4th, you send it to me (without the case, bubble-wrapped and double boxed, it is a very light and smaller package and very safe (and cheaper) to ship. I can have most of the parts ready when your horn arrives. When it's done (before Aug. 29th), I ship it to you in NY, so you get it before you leave. No duty.
I"m also chopping the bodies in half and off-setting the lower stack 25 degrees, ala Mk6. Other options: silver solder all tone hole rings, Delaquer with raw brass or dark brown/black patina, special engraving.
The Contemporary is about 10x more parts and work than the Vintage. It costs $600. Chopping and offset - $100.
You see how he tried to entice me into sending him my horn rather than just the keys so he could do the Contemporary pinky table on it, and God forbid, chop the body in half to offset the stacks? He said it has 10X more parts and work than the Vintage that I got, and that it takes quite a bit more time. Why do you suppose he wanted to do that when he couldn't do it for Walter? Walter knows what that means in Burtoneese, and so do I now. You don't have to be a linguist to understand that he gets to keep your sax so he can experiment on it and cannibalize parts off of it. On top of it in the same breath he told me that if I mailed the horn from NY after July 4th he could do that job and have it back to me by Aug 29th.
The man is hallucinatory because he barely got my keys back to me with the basic vintage mod done on them (on the 27th) after trying to give me a revised version of the mod he was advertising and I had explicitly ordered and paid for, which he had to redo twice to give me what he had agreed to. And when I got them I found that the C# pad was burned up, which when you think about it takes effort to do because that pad is some 34 cm away from the end of the rod where he had to solder on the new key. Did you read what he wrote me when I questioned him on that?
To tell you the truth, I didn't inspect the pads when the keys arrived. I never get the torch close to that end so I don't know how it happened. I noticed it when packing the things up, but by then, the package had to be leaving. No matter anyway. Those 3 pads should be replaced since the whole C#/B/Bb mechanism is being adjusted back to your horn.
Translation into English: You must have sent it to me that way because I never get the torch near that end so I'm at a loss to otherwise explain it. It wasn't me, but anyway, so what? You will need to replace the pads...end of story.
The gall of the guy to insinuate that I sent him a burned pad. I know how it happened: he works in a small garage where he no doubt has little space to lay out a job. He probably had my four keys on the workbench and while he was soldering on one of the other keys it was too close to the pad end of the C# which then got fried. So he is either sloppy and unconscious of his work habits or is a liar. Take your pick. For me, looking at the abortion of Conn-hunter's hermaphrodite sax, I'd say LOB is totally sloppy and no doubt has keys from numerous saxes lying all about on his work tables getting intermingled and confused, if not actually consciously used for other jobs.
He has sent people back saxes in the wrong case, so clearly he has no method of tagging or sepàrating jobs. I have spent enough time at my tech's seeing how he and his assistent work rebuilding horns of all kinds and I can see that when you have a horn stripped that is a lot of parts and if you don't keep them in a separate bin for each job you can easily intermix parts. Of course in Lance's case that may not matter to him since he is doing Frankenstein cutting, chopping and soldering anyway and having different size and make keys, rods and posts probably comes in handy when he cuts one of those new toneholes of his and has to invent the mechanics of the new position.
So I think we should stop doubting Conn-Hunter about his sax and focus on helping these people get their horns back and in putting this guy out of business by cutting off his flow of innocent prospective clients. In my case I am luckier than the others, but it is just due to lack of money and the inconvenience and lack of time to bring my sax to NY, that I didn't fall into his trap and go for that deluxe job. If I could have, and I know I would have done it, my Martin would still be in Washington on some mouldy shelf in his wet garage, stripped of its parts and not worth a damn.