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I was doing some readings on Conn and realized during war period (1942 to 1945), the Conn factory was retooled to make stuffs like compass etc and production was significantly reduced compared to pre-war period. (6000 during war vs. 4000 per year before)

That makes me wonder if this actually affect the built quality of horns during war period as I assume most resources (such as brass and staff) would be put into war effort.

Anyone wants to share their opinion/ insight?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Actually...I always wondered why the octave key on my '44 could double as a sextant.....:scratch:

just being a wiseass...it is an interesting Q, really....
 

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All countries suffered (among many other and much more serious that this) metal shortages during WW II ( used for the production of weaponry and machines of all sorts toward the war effort ) and that affected the music instrument industry as it for any other industry which was not reckoned to be essential to the war effort.


Indeed production of band instruments was almost halted from 1942 to 1945 as this article shows
http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/News/Newsletter/August2010/WWII.html

and many companies could only survive by getting contracts to provide military bands with instruments. The first few years of the war some companies might have been using some parts in stock but as the time went by it must have been more and more difficult.
 

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My 6M from late 1945 has excellent build quality, much better than some I have owned from the 1930s and 1950s. I suspect that the few built during the 42-45 period were done by the top builders and sold to the top players or military. I do notice some differences as mine (satin silver plated) has the guards and posts satin as opposed to the earlier ones with polished ones.
 

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Where Conn's quality is said to have suffered a bit is after a prolonged strike in 1947-'48. This supposedly was the reason sax tonehole rolling was abandoned.
 

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I wish Glenn Miller had lived and his music died.
Ya know, I honestly have to take serious issue with a comment like this. First off, am I a "fan" of GM's music? Hell yes. I'm a fan, admirer, researcher and performer of his music. There are so many levels of value GM's music attained, it's difficult where to start. First off, let's immediately start with the idea that his music was "corny". Back in the late 30's, his arranging (before he struck it "big" and had a staff of arrangers), varied from average to quite ground breaking for the time. There is no denying the Miller sound of clarinet lead, the mute/plunger work of the brass and the vocal stylings of the Modernaires have become the most recognizable sound to come out of what's known as the Big Band Era.
Let's skip ahead to his Army Air Force Band. With strings and vocal group (The Crew Chiefs), this ensemble was huge.....almost 60 members. His staff of arrangers.......Jerry Gray being the most notable, wrote arrangements that are still studied today.
If you can manage to get over calling the style this music was played as being corny or dated, maybe you would appreciate it a little more. I lead a big band that plays this style of music.....a lot of GM, along with Artie Shaw, Harry James and Tommy Dorsey transcriptions. Trust me, it's NOT easy recreating this music and getting players to perform this music correctly. There are a TON of bands who play this stuff quite badly. When it's performed with the correct articulations, phrasing, vibrato, etc. as the original recordings were, it's some amazing sounding stuff. When it's played by a band who plays the music like a Thad Jones/Mel Lewis or Stan Kenton chart, it sounds like crap.
Would you play a Johnny Hodges song or solo transcription in the style of Dave Sanborn and call it correct? I'd guess not.
Sorry.......you just hit a nerve. :mrgreen:

John
 

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Out of curiosity, isn't this actually an Artie Shaw quote? It sounds like something he might say. He said some nasty things about Goodman, too, IIRC!!
Yes it was Artie Shaw.

B
 

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I love Artie, but he never had anything good to say about any of his peers. His respect was only for those on a higher level than he was - the ones he called the true geniuses.
 

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The best way to describe Artie Shaw is: I love you, I hate you. Now drop dead!

BTW, I like Glenn Miller.......

B
 

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The best way to describe Artie Shaw is: I love you, I hate you. Now drop dead!

BTW, I like Glenn Miller.......

B
SO true about Shaw. Sorry for the rant above, but it's just frustrating sometimes to see/hear comments like you quoted. Shaw certainly was an "enigma", not to mention one of the most incredible jazz clarinetists to ever steal oxygen! Try playing some transcriptions of his solos sometime. You'll create some new words and expand your vocabulary for sure. :yikes!:

John
 

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Add another theory on the production history and quality of the 10M.

Some say the big change came between RTH and STH in 1947. Some say the big change came with the double socket neck and nickel keys in 1955. Yet others say a significant change occurred when the 30M was introduced. I suspect the big step down came in 1955, when the production rate was boosted dramatically, but I also have to admit that my 51 doesn't show quite the *awesome* level of craftsmanship of some earlier Conns.
 

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All countries suffered (among many other and much more serious that this) metal shortages during WW II ( used for the production of weaponry and machines of all sorts toward the war effort ) and that affected the music instrument industry as it for any other industry which was not reckoned to be essential to the war effort.


Indeed production of band instruments was almost halted from 1942 to 1945 as this article shows
http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/News/Newsletter/August2010/WWII.html

and many companies could only survive by getting contracts to provide military bands with instruments. The first few years of the war some companies might have been using some parts in stock but as the time went by it must have been more and more difficult.
That's an interesting short article. It's got a picture of an aircraft altimeter made by Conn; Buescher also had a contract to make altimeters. I'm pretty sure Buescher retained that contract after the war and kept making them until the '50's sometime. Never hear much about the effect of the war on Buescher's production, though it obviously must have. The "400" saxophones were introduced in the early 40's, IIRC, not long before Pearl Harbor. That would put quite a damper on the rollout of their fancy new sax model.
 
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