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I had been under the impression that circa 1960, Conn ended all of their Elkhart woodwind operations - that they had shut down the clarinet line altogether [choosing instead to import stencils from Malerne], and that they had moved the saxophone manufacture to Nagoles, Arizona [and then across the border to Nagoles, Mexico].

Yet here's an eBay listing with a horn that appears to have "Elkhart" engraved on the bell, but with an L-Series serial number [as though it were a trumpet or a French horn or a trombone or similar]:

Vintage 1968 Original Conn 12m Baritone Saxophone Original Lacquer Warranty Card
https://www.ebay.com/itm/183805221960/

View attachment 234796

View attachment 234798

Christine does mention these 1960s-era serial numbers in her woodwind serial number list, although she doesn't give any indication as to Elkhart versus Nagoles:

https://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/ConnSerialsConnWW.html

So how rare are these Elkhart horns of the 1960s?

Is there any lore as to the craftsmen whom Conn had retained in Elkhart?

It's difficult for me to imagine one guy building an entire saxophone by himself - I should imagine that you'd need a team of eight to twelve different guys just to make all the different parts which go into a saxophone.

Unless maybe the Greenleafs had stockpiled a bunch of parts in the late 1950s, and kept only two or three guys on staff who knew how to weld the parts together & lacquer them & pad them.
 

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I had been under the impression that circa 1960, Conn ended all of their Elkhart woodwind operations - that they had shut down the clarinet line altogether [choosing instead to import stencils from Malerne], and that they had moved the saxophone manufacture to Nagoles, Arizona [and then across the border to Nagoles, Mexico].

Yet here's an eBay listing with a horn that appears to have "Elkhart" engraved on the bell, but with an L-Series serial number [as though it were a trumpet or a French horn or a trombone or similar]:

Vintage 1968 Original Conn 12m Baritone Saxophone Original Lacquer Warranty Card
https://www.ebay.com/itm/183805221960/

View attachment 234796

View attachment 234798

Christine does mention these 1960s-era serial numbers in her woodwind serial number list, although she doesn't give any indication as to Elkhart versus Nagoles:

https://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/ConnSerialsConnWW.html

So how rare are these Elkhart horns of the 1960s?

Is there any lore as to the craftsmen whom Conn had retained in Elkhart?

It's difficult for me to imagine one guy building an entire saxophone by himself - I should imagine that you'd need a team of eight to twelve different guys just to make all the different parts which go into a saxophone.

Unless maybe the Greenleafs had stockpiled a bunch of parts in the late 1950s, and kept only two or three guys on staff who knew how to weld the parts together & lacquer them & pad them.
I understood that it was more like 1970.
 

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The L is just part of the serial number series and is not like the M for saxes. I was at the plant in Elkhart in the summer of 1970 and they had just recently stopped production. Nice bari but pricey for that era.
Looks like one of the last from Elkhart.
 

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For $3400 with a fresh overhaul it doesn’t seem like crazy money, given the condition. Are these horns significantly different from horns made in the 50s? I’ve got one from earlier in the 60s and the things noticeable are the cruder engraving and nickel plated keys.
 

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For $3400 with a fresh overhaul it doesn’t seem like crazy money, given the condition. Are these horns significantly different from horns made in the 50s? I’ve got one from earlier in the 60s and the things noticeable are the cruder engraving and nickel plated keys.
Cruder finishing, sloppier assembly, maybe replacing the black needle springs with straight gauge stainless ones, a general feeling that the metal is thinner. That's what I experienced comparing my 1946 6M to a late 50s/early 60s one. The newer one felt unrefined. I don't know if the actual playing experience and tone would be any different, I suspect not.
 

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Picked up a sax in 2002 and here I am.
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In the 1960s, the only saxophones not built in Elkhart were all 50M altos (made in Nogales, AZ) and a few 16M tenors (assembled in Mexico, although likely from Elkhart-sourced parts). MacMillan was said to have shut the Elkhart plant down in April 1970, suggesting that some 1970 Elkhart saxes should exist, but I've never seen one.
 
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