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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm probably picking up this old Conn C-Melody from an acquaintance. Help me check my research before I buy, please!! The asking price is $150 (plus the $60 in gas it'll cost me to get there and back). Totalled, I'd be in it for $210. Not sure how much work is needed, but it appears to have everything in tact.

Tire Automotive tire Tread Wheel Synthetic rubber

1119954 - Denotes patent for C- Melody
C - C Melody
89xxx - Serial #
L - Low Pitch

Here's what my research suggests:
Based on the serial number, rolled tone holes, obviously stenciled design (which gives me slight pause, but its very close to many examples ive seen) including the "LTD" after "CG Conn", and straight neck, I believe this to be a genuine CONN 8M New Wonder Series I.

Anyone agree, disagree, or have constructive comments on this horn or the price?
Thanks a bunch, folks!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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NOT a stencil as it is a Conn. Rolled tone holes and made in 1922. That patent is for drawn and rolled tone holes and not only for a C melody as it appears on all horns with those until about 1942. Priced about right if it has the case. It will need a complete repad so consider that you will put $350-600 into it.
BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bruce. I believe it has the case.

Do you feel these horns are worth the rehab?
 

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It will not be something to make money on or even break even. They are good horns but even with new pads, hard to get more than $700. I have a gold plated Artist Conn and a Virtuoso which are still not worth alto or tenor money. If you want to have it to play, then it will be worth redoing.
 

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Well, Bruce said it all really.

These horns are not terribly expensive and , since yours needs an overhaul, it will quickly reach a price that would buy you one already overhauled and that’s the conundrum.

If I were in that situation and would want a C melody I will be looking for one already overhauled and would choose the one that suits me best. Cash gives always a lot more choice.

I have bought one similar to yours for 250€ shipped to Europe (including customs) had it overhauled and later on sold it to a famous player over here and made a few bobs.

Would I do that agin? No. There are simply too few players interested in a C melody. Yes, CONNs get a little more money on the market but there are more horns out there than players.

A few years ago a local shop keeper who used to buy horns in pawnshops up and down the States in the ’80 (when there was a boom of saxophone playing in the Netherlands) , told me that they were buying C melodies for 5 to 10$......
 

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For practical purposes, the only way one can get ahead on many/most vintage saxes is to be able to do the overhaul yourself.

It may not be a super professional job but if you have basic mechanical skills, you're looking at about $100 in supplies and you'll learn a lot.
 
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