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HI, i was recently loaned a vintage conn soprano sax(17xxx) for a gig since i do not own a sop :'(. I feel in love with her and since the guy that loaned me one will not sell it i have been looking to bay one. i rembear the sax having two serial numbers, one on the back and one on the back of the G# key. And in looking for one to buy i have noticed most pople selling them say there is no #on the back of the G# key. so my ? am i crazy? or did the guy have that one put on later or do some have them and some do not on the back of the key? if some do and some don't waits the diff??
thanks
 

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I've owned a few Conn sopranos in my time . . . never thought to look for a serial number on the back of any lever. Some folks confuse the serial number with the Patent number that most Conns had stamped on the back of the tube. A five-digit number makes that saxophone really old. I wouldn't be too concerned about the presence or absence of any numbers stamped on the keywork.

If you are looking for one to buy, have you contaced Gayle Fredenburgh (vintagesax.com) in Florida? DAVE
 

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I have seen the serial number on the back of the G# and also some side keys. Also being that it is a very early model, make SURE it is not a High Pitch model (HP). Many of the time were and some were not marked. If it is HP, it is nearly worthless as it cannot be played with other instruments but I guess you would have figured that out playing it. Those early horns are OK but the later ones are much better. Look for a New Wonder from the 1920s. A straight one can be found in the $800-1,500 range and curved slightly higher.
 

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I would say you should really, really do a check on the intonation of a model that early. Just a suggestion. They sound gorgeous, and really any issues can be worked around for most players....but really give it a good run-thru if you find one.

I don't quite get your concern.

If there's a serial and perhaps patent date, etc. on the back....then not having a serial elsewhere on the horn isn't an issue, IMHO. The lack of wouldn't dis-authenticate it as a Conn to me.
 

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Those serial numbers on the early ones did not have the patent date (1914) and the numbers were down low on the main tube near the ring for the bow attachment. Often they get cleaned off when a resolder of the low Eb cage is done. Still watch that pitch. I had a 1913 curvie and it was not nearly as good as the later New Wonder horns.
 
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