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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I've been a longtime lurker here but don't post often. Played in college back in the 80s, jazz band etc., but set the horn aside while focusing on career and family. Picked up playing again 6 or 7 years ago in church. I have fun - I'm probably 80% of the player I was back in the day.

A while back, an older pastor who was attending our church asked if I'd like to play his horn some. He was pretty hard of hearing and really couldn't play anymore, so he brought it to me. I'd been too busy to look at it really, but my 35+ year old MkVII's original pads are leaking so bad that I figured I'd pull this out and see if I could use it some.

OK, I don't know much about C-Mel's, just what I've skimmed from this subforum over the past few days. I think this could be a pretty nice little horn. It's a Conn, and there's a date stamped above the serial number Dec 8, 1914. I think. Kinda hard for my old eyes to read it. I'll attach a zoomed photo of the serial number area. View attachment 245560

Rolled tone holes, pads seem in decent shape, has the funky tuner on the neck. Interesting 'nail file' texture on the G# key. The only bad spot on the finish is shown in one of the pictures, a spot a bit larger than a silver dollar where the silver finish has come off, but the rest of it looks very nice and it doesn't appear to have been replated.

So far, the pads *look* decent. Some of the keywork needs to be adjusted a bit, and there's a cork missing on one of the low register keys. I have not yet tried blowing on it - I don't have any tenor reeds ready to go. Ron had a few Vandoren softs still in the box, so I pulled one out and wet it some, then stuck it in my reed holder, when I finish this post up I'll give her a spin. I have a few mouthpieces I can try on it. ;)

Advice, tips/tricks and history welcomed. I'm not really concerned about how much the horn is worth. Ron sadly passed away a few months ago, so if anything I'll probably give his widow some money for it next time she comes to church. I'll post again after I work with it a bit and see how it plays. View attachment 245554 View attachment 245556 View attachment 245558
 

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Horn is worth several hundred bucks, certainly. But my advice would be not to waste time on it for yourself to keep and play. Help the widow find a buyer for it, or buy/sell it for her. Invest instead in getting your Mark VII into better playing condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually not a bad idea. My VII does OK for what I'm doing most of the time, so long as I don't have to play softly. About a year ago I dropped my C* and broke the tip, so I've been playing on an old Brilhart that I mainly used for marching band - really bright and open and *loud*. It works well on the VII in my opinion, but the leaky low register means that D's are an ... adventure, especially at anything under forte. ;) Trust me, that VII has been my pride and joy for almost 40 years, so I do plan to get it back in top shape. I just can't afford to drop $1500 on a full rebuild right now.

As for the C-Mel, it does need a bit of work. There are a couple of corks missing, like the one that holds down the G# key, so some of the lower notes sound really off because that key is not sealing. Tone is a bit closed, especially on the stock mouthpiece. I felt like adding more air velocity would just overpower it. I actually tried my Berg Larsen tenor mp on it for a minute, and it opened up somewhat. Honestly, it could be the reed as much as anything - brand new reed, and a 'soft' at that. But so far, it could be a decent player with a few minor adjustments and fixes.
 
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