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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just bought a 10M on eBay, nervous but super excited about it!! :D

It's a straight tone hole 10m from 1947 and it looks gorgeous, obviously I'm nervous about it working out but it was pretty reasonably priced for a just-overhauled 10m with the naked lady engraving and I desperately wanted to get the hell away from my crappy store-brand horn of 8 years and I've wanted a vintage horn since I was 10 years old haha.... Fingers crossed!! :santa:

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Discussion Starter #3
That's part of why I bought it, it must've only been listed for about 16 hours and there were already a lot of watchers. Between the year and the overhaul and the fact that looking at it was like visual cocaine, I wasn't sure it'd be available come morning!
 

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Welcome to club Conn you’re going to love that horn. Congratulations on your achieving your dream. Looks great. Now the pace floor until it arrives lol....next year
:whistle:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ayup... Meanwhile, my current horn randomly chokes off the low E and D after about 35 minutes of playing like somebody started throttling it, which to be fair, I frequently want to throttle it. So this sax can't arrive soon enough.
 

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Worst case you pay for minor adjustment from a good tech, which you might want to meet your preferences anyway. Good luck, these have a HUGE tone!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Frankly I don't think I'm good enough to have much in the way of preferences yet, but I'll definitely be taking it to a good tech asap. Unless it's mind-blowing right out of the box, in which case I'll wait a couple weeks. The straight tone holes seem like a plus in that regard, on the off chance that there are more issues than originally described in the listing and more involved repair work is needed.
 

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Depending on what you're playing now, you may want to find the right type of mouthpiece to get the most of this horn's potential.
Hint: If you have a Dukoff Super Power Chamber, a Guardala King Curtis-type piece, etc., it may not be the ticket.
The mainstream-type, more round on the inside, rollover baffle kind of pieces seem to work best for most players, for tone and tuning.
e.g. some suggestions:
Link
Morgan
Couf Artist (not the "J" models)
Vandoren V16 or V5 "Jazz"
Phil Barone... Jazz, NY, Super NY... My "Jazz" model is SO super great on the 10M.
Phil-Tone's Mosaic was fantastic when I played on of those on my 10M. I think it's like a good OLD Dukoff. I think his Tribute and Equinox are more Link-like.
I think 10M Fan Robusto falls in here too.
Kessler makes very nice pieces of this type.
RPC also
etc....
just to name a few of a hundred or so other traditional designs.
Of course every mouthpiece, even of the same make/model, is different, and whatever you get has to have a good facing for you. That's the most important thing.
 

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You’ve been playing how long and don’t have a tech? Get a tech! Bay Area has some good ones. Get that old horn some TLC you may be surprised. After all those years it would be worth $70-$100 on a COA/ tuneup just to keep it. Did you get a tracking number? Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I mostly play on a stock-standard Link STM 7, which I believe has a decently large chamber and low baffle? Once the horn arrives I'll start looking around, but this one worked nicely with a Zephyr, a Marigaux, and a different 10M that a shop was kind enough to let me try so hopefully it's at least serviceable! I've always played on an STM so hopefully the music shops in the area will have a good mix to try. Of the mouthpieces you listed, do any stand out as particularly dark and warm?

And to PigSquealer, I've been to a couple techs but there's never been a need to find one that specializes in vintage saxes until now; I've already found all the highly regarded repairmen in the Bay Area though, I'll definitely be taking it to one of them! Hopefully one of them won't have much of a backlog of work orders coming out of the holidays. I do have a tracking number, and the tracking updates all set up despite those just making the wait more torturous haha
 

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It looks like a nice clean original lacquer horn. Good luck with it. I bought a late 1950s 10M ten years ago and it needed everything. The pads were dry and a lot of the key work was sloppy and had to be swedged. It looks like the neck was pulled down but was expertly repaired. The restoration cost more than the instrument did on ebay. Yours looks like an older model, maybe rolled toneholes? Good luck and enjoy. They make pretty music in the right hands.
 

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I mostly play on a stock-standard Link STM 7, which I believe has a decently large chamber and low baffle? Once the horn arrives I'll start looking around, but this one worked nicely with a Zephyr, a Marigaux, and a different 10M that a shop was kind enough to let me try so hopefully it's at least serviceable! I've always played on an STM so hopefully the music shops in the area will have a good mix to try. Of the mouthpieces you listed, do any stand out as particularly dark and warm?
It's a million threads on here (so about 999,991 too many) about what mouthpieces are good, bad, ugly, warm, cold, dark, light, smooth, rough... none of which are exactly objective terms. It all boils down to what responds, feels, blows, and sounds great to YOU and your lips, lungs, and ears. Any decent pro player will tell you that.
It sounds like you have a piece that is right for you, and, yes, nothing is better-suited to the 10M than a good Link STM (if Link STMs work for you - see above).
10Ms are boss horns man, so welcome to the new and better sax world you are about to enter!
PS: Ignore all the stuff about rolled or unrolled... That only affects the value to collectors, not players. I call unrolled tone holes "discounts".
 

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I mostly play on a stock-standard Link STM 7, which I believe has a decently large chamber and low baffle?
Exactly.
What you might want to avoid is the HUGE chamber, really old pieces, like the Conn mouthpieces from the 1930s and earlier. They were big and round inside with hardly any baffle, and typically a tiny tip opening like 0.065" or 0.070". Even with a big tip, they usually just plain suck. Dull, dead, tubby. Hardly objective terms but most here will agree and you get the point.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah it's a 1947 straight tone hole one... I know the tone hole thing itself only really affects the price, not the horn, but I figured given its year that it's probably safe from the changes Conn may or may not have made to the body in the early-ish 50s - I keep on reading conflicting things about what changes if any were made(?). SMLs and Kings were really calling to me but this was just too good to pass up. The looks alone... Other than mayyybe elaborately engraved silver-plating that's way too much for my budget, a horn with well-aged lacquer or a nice patina just blows me away every time I see it. And the 10M's ergonomics didn't give my hands any trouble, that was my major worry concerning getting a vintage horn.

Were those huge chamber mouthpieces ever particularly playable? It doesn't sound like they'd be much fun with most saxes of any era, but even less so with a NWII or similar.
 

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Even if you don't know what you want, a good tech will give you something better than you knew you needed. There are so many little things. I take mine in about every six months even if nothing is "wrong" and just ask for a couple hours of whatever he thinks is a good use of his time, asking what was done after. Of course you need to trust someone before an arrangement like that, for an instrument costing in the thousands, a couple hours of work every 6-12 months isn't that big a deal. You're in an area with a few good ones, which is an advantage!
 

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Yeah it's a 1947 straight tone hole one... I know the tone hole thing itself only really affects the price, not the horn, but I figured given its year that it's probably safe from the changes Conn may or may not have made to the body in the early-ish 50s - I keep on reading conflicting things about what changes if any were made(?). SMLs and Kings were really calling to me but this was just too good to pass up. The looks alone... Other than mayyybe elaborately engraved silver-plating that's way too much for my budget, a horn with well-aged lacquer or a nice patina just blows me away every time I see it. And the 10M's ergonomics didn't give my hands any trouble, that was my major worry concerning getting a vintage horn.

Were those huge chamber mouthpieces ever particularly playable? It doesn't sound like they'd be much fun with most saxes of any era, but even less so with a NWII or similar.
I think those old fat mouthpieces were the right thing to throw in with a sax at that time ('20s - '30s). Just as Selmer threw a piece in with their horns in the '50s - '60s that wasn't necessarily what most pros would want to play, but was a good piece "to start on" as a lot of 10Ms, MkVIs, etc. were actually purchased for students. Some pros (non-classical players) did use and get great sounds on that type of piece supplied with a horn.. The old fat tubby ones actually sounded fine to a lot of people listening to the dance bands of the '20s - '30s. Go watch some old black & white movies with night club scenes. Music and musical taste (or lack thereof) have simply changed. A lot.

By the way, if you have some reason to go to San Diego in the near future, take your horn to Les Arbuckle (Sax Oasis, and "les" here on SOTW). He is the 10M expert, and can also give you the real dope about how the 10M design changed, or didn't, over the years.
 

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By the way, if you have some reason to go to San Diego in the near future, take your horn to Les Arbuckle (Sax Oasis, and "les" here on SOTW). He is the 10M expert, and can also give you the real dope about how the 10M design changed, or didn't, over the years.
+1
 

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Congratulations on your choice of horn, saxtonic.

Rolled tone holes give a broader, softer contact with the pad and supposedly, they give a better seal. That's the theory, anyway, but the sceptics will tell you that they also give more chance of sticking pads and, if a tone hole is not level, the unevenness can be difficult to correct without filing the tone hole rim down to level it, and in the process destroying the rolled rim.

The fans of rolled tone holes will tell you that the unrolled rim of a straight tone hole can be sharp-edged and cut into the pad, which is theoretically possible, but I've yet to see it happen. I've a 1949 10M - it's a fine machine, and I don't miss the RTH.

The real importance of the change-over from rolled to straight tone holes — which happened in 1947, the year of manufacture for your tenor — is simply that it marks a convenient starter date for the long slow decline in quality that Conn saxophones suffered thereafter, so that by 1960 their quality of manufacture had deteriorated noticeably. (There's no point in going into the reasons for the decline here.)

Your horn is every bit as good as the RTH models which were still being produced earlier in the same year — and just as good as those with RTH that were being produced two years earlier, and the same as those with STH which were being produced two years later. And yet, simply because of the absence of rolled tone holes (which to me is really only a cosmetic difference), the price of your machine may well have been as much as 50% less than a late RTH model. My 1949 10M was, anyway — and I'm still laughing at my good luck.

Don't worry about mouthpieces, either — Link STMs are the best mouthpieces for a Conn 10M — your Link STM 7 is perfect.

Play it and enjoy it !
 

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Congratulations and welcome to the club!

Your horn's from 1947, Mike's from 1949, and mine's sandwiched in between. I was really lucky getting a properly set-up horn at a great price form an SOTW member, and I thank my lucky stars every time I play it. It's pretty mouthpiece friendly, and I use it with either a Tenney Link STM 8, Selmer Soloist H, or Metalite M7, almost always with a Fibracell Medium reed. There's a whole variation of sound colors within these 3 mouthpieces, but the 10M always sounds good, at least to my ears.

Enjoy your new/old horn and A Happy 2019,
Kenneth
 
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