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New student brings in an old PanAmerican alto

2098 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  kelp55
So, I had my first lesson with a new student the other day. He had been renting a nice P. Mauriat but had to move and couldn't keep renting! Before going out and renting something else, they decided to raid grandmas closet and dug out her old PanAmerican alto, which she played when she was in high school. PanAmerican was a subsidiary of Conn (stencil is a more direct term) and they marketed instruments to beginners. The horn is in great shape, no dents and original lacquer. It has octave key issues due to a previous shoddy repair job and does not play. Pads looked surprisingly intact. Serial numbers are unreliable with stenciled instruments, but best I can tell it's 1945-1950 vintage based on grandma's age (75). For anyone interested, the serial is 140914.

So, I guess my question is: has anyone played one of these before? I wouldn't recommend this horn to a beginner, but I personally think they should fix it up and keep it around for later (jazz band/marching band). Thoughts?

I should add: the best part of the horn was the vintage Brilhart Ebolin 3* that was in the case with it. Lucky kid! It still had grandma's lipstick on it.....added bonus.
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These are basically a decontented Conn. It morphed into the 14M Director in 1955 when production stopped at P-A. I would put that serial number in the early 50s. I would say to have the octave key fixed and any obvious problems attended to. Then play it and you can get a feel for what it is. Then if needed, have the whole horn repadded if the pads seem to be mostly bad. I could play on one of these as my main alto if needed. Great bargain horns and free is even better than wholesale. Nice find.
Actually if this one is from the 50s, the only thing lacking may be the microtuner and Conn lost that around 1953, lost the RTH around 1947, etc.
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