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There are two tenors I'm looking at as backup for my 1967 Selmer Mark VI, as the Mark is becoming too valuable to drag out to bars for open mics and jams. One is a 1955 Conn 16m, the other is (I believe) a 1961 10m, both purported to be in nice shape, ready to play. The 10m is almost twice as much. I know the 16 m's have a good reputation, but I wonder if the 10m is more likely to hold it's value, and I wanted to solicit your opinions. Thanks, and looking forward to your replies.
 

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There are two tenors I'm looking at as backup for my 1967 Selmer Mark VI, as the Mark is becoming too valuable to drag out to bars for open mics and jams. One is a 1955 Conn 16m, the other is (I believe) a 1961 10m, both purported to be in nice shape, ready to play. The 10m is almost twice as much. I know the 16 m's have a good reputation, but I wonder if the 10m is more likely to hold it's value...
Whether it holds its value depends on how much you pay for it, and how much it brings when you sell it. The best way to ensure that it “retains value” is to not pay too much.

Do your home work regarding current prices and be able to gage its play condition. If you buy low, and it needs a lot of work, you’ll still end up having the money in it. FWIW, most people are not going to reimburse you the full cost of an overhaul if that’s what it needs to play well for you.

G’luck. Vintage horns are a gamble if you don’t know the market - especially if you need to flip them.

You’ll get more valuable feedback if you can include pictures and price, but that still won’t indicate condition and mechanism wear.
 

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There are two tenors I'm looking at as backup for my 1967 Selmer Mark VI, as the Mark is becoming too valuable to drag out to bars for open mics and jams. One is a 1955 Conn 16m, the other is (I believe) a 1961 10m, both purported to be in nice shape, ready to play. The 10m is almost twice as much. I know the 16 m's have a good reputation, but I wonder if the 10m is more likely to hold it's value, and I wanted to solicit your opinions. Thanks, and looking forward to your replies.
Well, neither of these has much collector value anyway, so I wouldn't worry about that. What I've read is that they are identical acoustically (at a minimum, they're darn similar) but the 16M keywork is basically that of a New Wonder II. The major differences are going to be the shape of the LH little finger keys, the high E touch is curved on a 10M and straight on a 16M, and the front high F is much further away on the 16M. The octave mechanism is different too but you won't notice that when playing once it's adjusted.

I own and have played both, extensively over the last 40 years, and there's really not much difference between them when playing. A good 10M (say before 1950) is more refined feeling in the keywork, but by 1961 cost cutting had probably started to have its adverse effects. Frankly I would say if there's another kind of "vintage sax market collapse" that the market value of a 1961 10M will lose more and look more like the market value of a 1955 16M (which doesn't have very much market value to lose, right now, anyway).

Now if you've been playing Selmer for a long time, you will have to adapt to the Conn keywork design. It is not inferior (despite all the advertising) but it is quite different. You might be happier with a low cost Selmer-copy horn like a low end Yamaha, early Yanagisawa (marked "Martin" or "Vito") or one of the current far Eastern imports.
 

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...Forget the shooting star or 16M, unless it's under 300 bucks. As for reputation, they were always considered junk until very recently. Now I see them advertised as being quasi-10Ms. They are like the 10M the same as a Selmer TS711 is like a Mark VI. I've owned two of them; everybody makes mistakes...
I used to agree with this, but I recently acquired a Mexi-Conn 16M and once I cleaned lubed adjusted and re-padded it, I honestly don't think it gives THAT much up to my 10M. Yeah, the action is less refined, but that doesn't seem to hinder my ability to get around on it.

Now all of that said, I think that if the OP has been playing on Selmer style horns for a long time, he's very likely not to be satisfied with the Conn layout and is very likely to define it as "inferior" due to its different layout and feel. The direct acting, stiff springing, fingers "on top" of the keys, and very different LH layout are likely to be a bit of a shock to a long time Selmer player who's gotten accustomed to the spongy soft Selmer action, the disappearing low Bb key, and the "fingers down inside the mechanism" feeling. Plus the Conns blow differently than Selmers and Selmer copies. So I would consider as I noted above some of the Selmer copy horns that have been made through the last 30 years or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate all the excellent, knowledgeable responses. While I've had my VI forever, I also have a 12m, so Conns are not unfamiliar territory. The nice thing about these two horns is that they're close enough to drive there and play them. Now to decide... Thanks.
 

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I remember when the reputation of the shooting star model was just below the 10m underslung neck models.

...you could hardly give them away. Of course it used to be hard to sell a silver plated VI tenor because "They are all stuffy"

Im not suggesting that the reputation is deserved since I have owned neither. Im just suggesting trends and opinions change.
 

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...Maybe I'm a bit harsh on the 16M. I only know that I still run across them, pick them up, and they feel like junk to me. Maybe I need to be blind-folded beforehand; could be a prejudice. ....
I gotta ask, have you ever spent any time with a New Wonder Conn tenor (I have not.) The mechanism design (though not necessarily the execution) is darn near identical between NW II and 16M. Do you find the NW II to feel the same way as 16M, in which case we can say 10M mechanism design was much advanced from NW II. Or, does NW II feel a lot better, in which case we can say 16M execution left a lot to be desired.

Since to my knowledge I've never played a New Wonder Conn tenor I can't comment one way or the other.
 

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There are two tenors I'm looking at as backup for my 1967 Selmer Mark VI, as the Mark is becoming too valuable to drag out to bars for open mics and jams. One is a 1955 Conn 16m, the other is (I believe) a 1961 10m, both purported to be in nice shape, ready to play. The 10m is almost twice as much. I know the 16 m's have a good reputation, but I wonder if the 10m is more likely to hold it's value, and I wanted to solicit your opinions. Thanks, and looking forward to your replies.
I am curious as to why you would want to go from comfortable (my opinion) Selmer keywork to awkward (my opinion) Conn keywork? There are many other horns to play with modern keywork. Just wondering.
 

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I remember when the reputation of the shooting star model was just below the 10m underslung neck models.

...you could hardly give them away. Of course it used to be hard to sell a silver plated VI tenor because "They are all stuffy"

Im not suggesting that the reputation is deserved since I have owned neither. Im just suggesting trends and opinions change.
I would suggest that the recent increase in prices and reputation of off-line horns, so that suddenly 16Ms, Pan Americans, Martin Indianas, and so on, are considered just the tiniest step below the top-line horns - is a result of the bubble in prices of the top-line vintage horns. When good prewar 10Ms, pearl-side-key Super 20s, and so on, become almost unaffordable, then people will investigate the Cleveland, 16M, and so on. Finding that they are at least adequate, if you are willing to ignore the more clunky and unrefined mechanisms, their reputations start to be inflated; and with reputation so goes the price.

Those of us over 50 can well remember when a pearl-side-key Super 20 tenor, or a silver Conn 12M, or a 6M, or a Buescher 400 with the top hat and cane, were all derided as "trash saxes" and sold for darn near nothing. When I bought my 6M, next to it was a pearl-key Super 20 tenor for $400 (a top-quality professional saxophone of the highest standard, in great condition), and next to it was an "Evette" tenor for maybe $250 (a cheap and cheerful clunky lowish quality student horn). So the King wasn't really considered much more valuable than a crummy student horn (1.6:1 price ratio), when today the price ratio would be more like 10:1.

Now I think there's a reaction in the other direction where pretty much anything made before the Yamaha YTS21 took over, is considered "vintage and worth money".

I'm not slagging on my Mexi-Conn 16M, but I call it my $100 horn (what I paid for the horn plus new case plus a couple mouthpieces is about what the case and MPs are worth, then I put $100 worth of pads and corks (maybe less) into it. At that price it's a great choice. I sure wouldn't pay half the price of my 1949 silver 10M for it, though.
 

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I am curious as to why you would want to go from comfortable (my opinion) Selmer keywork to awkward (my opinion) Conn keywork? There are many other horns to play with modern keywork. Just wondering.
I gotta ask, why would you want to go from simple direct acting solid keywork (Conn) to uncomfortable spongy keywork with a low Bb key that falls away just when you need it, and a left hand table designed according to a theory rather than how the actual human hand works, so that your little finger ends up having to grow and shrink in length to use it (Selmer M6 and later)?

Any such question of "de gustibus" can be flipped on its head, you know.
 

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I gotta ask, why would you want to go from simple direct acting solid keywork (Conn) to uncomfortable spongy keywork with a low Bb key that falls away just when you need it, and a left hand table designed according to a theory rather than how the actual human hand works, so that your little finger ends up having to grow and shrink in length to use it (Selmer M6 and later)?

Any such question of "de gustibus" can be flipped on its head, you know.
The question wasn't directed at you, you know. I asking the guy who plays the Selmer now and is looking at Conns. Perhaps the OP hasn't played a Conn 10M or 16M or 100000M. I want his response, not yours.
 

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The question wasn't directed at you, you know. I asking the guy who plays the Selmer now and is looking at Conns. Perhaps the OP hasn't played a Conn 10M or 16M or 100000M. I want his response, not yours.
I was challenging your implicit (well, OK, explicit) bias.

If you look at my first post, you'll see I pointed out this exact thing except without the bias. And then a little further down the OP indicates he's familiar with the Conn action from playing 12M, so he answered the question. So his response is already on record.

Now some of us know that the LH action of the 12M is different from that of the 10M which is different from that of the 16M, so there's still a smaller degree of open question there, but the three kinds of Conns are more similar to each other than any of them is to the Selmer action.

As noted, I also suggested that OP might be more comfortable on a Selmer copy than on a Conn, to keep as much as possible similar to his main Mark 6,
 

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I was challenging your implicit (well, OK, explicit) bias.

If you look at my first post, you'll see I pointed out this exact thing except without the bias. And then a little further down the OP indicates he's familiar with the Conn action from playing 12M, so he answered the question. So his response is already on record.

Now some of us know that the LH action of the 12M is different from that of the 10M which is different from that of the 16M, so there's still a smaller degree of open question there, but the three kinds of Conns are more similar to each other than any of them is to the Selmer action.

As noted, I also suggested that OP might be more comfortable on a Selmer copy than on a Conn, to keep as much as possible similar to his main Mark 6,
Oops, this is what happens when I scan a thread and not read carefully. Apologies for snarkiness. For the record, I simply like the Selmer keywork.
 

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I have a '55 16M and a '32 Conn New Wonder II Art Deco engraved(not that that really matters too much ) .

I think 16M is a good sounding and playing instrument actually . I use a late 20's Pan American neck on it and that seems
to open it up more and it blows even more similiarly to the '32 NW II .

I've owned my share of 10Ms in the past from the mid 30's to the mid 50's and even a 30M .. all gone now .

Anyway I bought it out of curiousity and it does play well if you're used to and like vintage American and don't want to pay a lot.
 

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I have a '55 16M and a '32 Conn New Wonder II Art Deco engraved(not that that really matters too much ) .

I think 16M is a good sounding and playing instrument actually . I use a late 20's Pan American neck on it and that seems
to open it up more and it blows even more similiarly to the '32 NW II .

I've owned my share of 10Ms in the past from the mid 30's to the mid 50's and even a 30M .. all gone now .

Anyway I bought it out of curiousity and it does play well if you're used to and like vintage American and don't want to pay a lot.
How about the mechanism? Since the 16M mechanism is basically the NW II mechanism, do you find the NW II plays "slicker" and more precisely (mechanically, I mean) than the later 16M, or about the same? Does the 16M feel like it's generally a lower quality piece of equipment, or about the same as the NW?
 

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How about the mechanism? Since the 16M mechanism is basically the NW II mechanism, do you find the NW II plays "slicker" and more precisely (mechanically, I mean) than the later 16M, or about the same? Does the 16M feel like it's generally a lower quality piece of equipment, or about the same as the NW?
Hallo, yes; this particular '55 16M is very much mechanically like the NWII . It doesn't have the shooting stars
engraving - just the simple C.G. Conn LTD etching on the bell . I don't know how the later ones differ, if at all .

Of course the stock 16M neck is shorter than the late 20's Pan Am neck I like to use in its place which is of a more
identical length to the NWII neck. It lacks the romance and mystique of the early 30's instrument but it responds
very much the same . :)
 

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I recently picked up a 48 10m as a backup to my MKVI,, and quickly fell in love with it. The ergonomics were a challenge for a couple of months, and I had a couple of pearls and the strap-hook moved. The guy I bought it from had just purchased a 10,000.00 Balanced action. I asked him to play them both for me so I could hear the difference, and I told him that the 10m sounded better, richer, fatter, especially in the low register, and he agreed, saying that he wanted the SBA for it's ability to blend with other horns in his section. I have not had the MKVI in my mouth since I got the Conn, and everytime I play I like it more. I has no idea what I was missing on my VI. If you get the right 10m, you may be in for a change of life!
 
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