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New student brings in an old PanAmerican alto

2102 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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There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why the kid can't start out on this alto.
They are good solid horns. I have a Pan Am tenor that plays circles around many 'new' non-stenciled horns.
Don't forget that THOUSANDS of players have started out on similar horns.
Once that horn is put into GPC it will hold it's own against any horn out there.
I have an Indiana alto, Pan Am tenor and Buescher 400 bari. You wouldn't care to know about my clarinets...
Every one of them plays and sounds better than any of the 'new' horns brought in by my students.
Maybe because I'm old and have been playing longer than some of their parents have been alive, or, because they're just danged good old horns. :)
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