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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I am looking for some advice. I have this 30M. Based on its serial number, I believe it was made in 1941. It does have rolled tone holes. Cosmetically it is pretty rough. There are a few dents. Is it worth having it overhauled because it is a 30M or is it too far gone. My fiance is the one who plays and see likes the feel of it, I'm just tryinig to find out if it is worth fixing up and getting it to play properly.

Check out the pics:

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https://picasaweb.google.com/cody.toms/Conn30M#5590087236799130322
 

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I've seen far worse get restored and come back to life as a good horn, I'd say its definitely worth it to get it repadded and set up to play by a good tech!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any recommendations on a good tech? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't trust anyone that I know in my area with it. (I live in a smallish town)
 

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Where are you geographically? There are some top techs all across the country!
 

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They are very desirable horns. Though yours may not have "collector's value", as it appears refinished and has had some work, it could still be worth up to a couple grand and is easily worth restoring. They're basically Conn's top model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What would you recommend I have done cosmetically? Obviously I would have the dents taken out. Would it be best to leave the finish as is, have it stripped off so that it is a uniform look, or have it silver plated? We kind of really like the old look. It has character that way. Unfortunately the engraving isn't really visible in its current state.
 

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Keep the finish as is. Get a pad job and corks/felts. I'm not sure who is down there in PA/MD but there are probably some very good guys. If you want to come to MA I can throw out some recommendations.

Pads last forever on these horns (rolled tone holes cut far less than straight on the pads). But, whoever you get on this horn I would ask if they have ever worked with the conn 30M or 26M. Not all techs can handle dealing with the adjust ment screws (though it's no big deal, but when they try to shim the adjustment screws you know they are trying to hedge it. ;)

Anyway, I've had one of these for almost 20 years. It is a MOTHER of a player. And that's the last time I had a job on it. Haven't played it in the last 4 years much after I got my VI but these horns just kill.

And if you want a lot of power - get a set of oversized silver resonators (to match the key touches) from resotech.

In MA I would go to Emilio Lyons, Les Arbuckle, or Ernie Sola.
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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It could be a really great horn. If it was mine I'd either have it relacquered (except there are no good lacquers in this country) or get it silver or gold plated.

If you get it relacquered it must be done by someone good who won't buff away any of what's left of the engraving.
 

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I would definitely get it fixed up. After all, 80% of the time when you hear someone play a sax you don't see the horn. In the end its how it sounds that makes it a good or bad sax. 30Ms are some really nice horns, and have very nice action due to all of the lever mechanisms. Just be advised that it may cost a little more to get it overhauled....Those things are some very complex horns, but in the end you will have a horn that will make most Mark VI fanatics walk off the stage!!!!
 

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Gotta be careful of re-lacquering and plating when it comes to rolled toneholes sometimes. Just sayin. Gold plating will cost as much as the horn these days ;) silver is a good option in which case I would send it to Allied. If you have a good tech do the job and tell them to have it plated they wold send it there. You could also have it re-engraved. All that would run you close to 1500 or 2000. But you would have a sweet ride with the looks to boot. However, for 800 or so for a full pad and cork job, etc... you would have more than enough horn for anyone to play on at any level.
 

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You don't play the finish.

That being said I'm at the moment having a sax relacquered and repadded. Mine was far worse than yours visually, however. It wasn't missing lacquer so much as it randomly turned black and brown and got molded over really badly.

I take my horns to Kasprowicz Music, which is in the general area of Reading, PA. Reasonable prices and great work. They have seen many of these old Conns, my 26M being one of them. They also do relacquers, but if you want something plated they will send it out to Andersons. Word of warning on plating. Andersons holds stock until they have enough items to justify setting up a bath. I waited 2 full years for my keywork to get reverse nickelplated (have the nickel plating stripped). I doubt a silverplate will take that long, but just throwing it out there. Also, regardless of who lacquers your sax (if you go that route), the engraving is already fainter than it was originally, there's no way to fix that without having it recut. Even careful minimal buffing will still end up with a washed out appearance.

I'm on the side of leave the finish as is and repad it. It is definitely worth fixing up, that sax is among the most sought after models ever made, and may very well be a "rest of your life" saxophone for its player.

Or, if you decide to move on to other things, I'd love to have a match to my 26M...
 

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How much are you into the horn right now? (i.e. how much did you pay for it?) You don't have to answer, what I'm getting at is if you paid less than 1,000 or so for the horn and put 800 into a good job you could probably get your money back. That is rare with a horn of this quality. Lots of folks pay 2,000 for a horn that's worth 2,000 and have to pay extra for the repad and setup, etc... but then they have a 2,000 dollar horn that will play well for at least the next 5 or 6 years (or longer whcih can be very easily done with a horn like this if you take care of it).

It's like a car. As long as you have the maintenace done, it will keep going and run great. You could have the nicest ferrari and if it ain't runnin you gotta take the Honda out anyway.

So, that's the twist here. You my have to sink money into a horn like this to get it playing but it will play and be solid for a long time. A horn is only as good as it's setup when it comes to actually playing the dang thing.
 

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It is probably a $1,200 horn as is. The pads I can see don't look that bad. I would have a tech see if it only needs a few pads and an adjustment for a few hundred or less. I would leave the finish as is since the engraving seems a bit worn. If you want to refinish, you could have it really done well in silver plate (new gold plate is terrible and wears fast) with a re-engraving. Probably would set you back about $1,200 for the redo. Remember that unless the player really likes vintage tenors, it may not be a "wanted" horn after it is finished. the 30M is fantastic but not for everyone.
 

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I am in a similar situation with my 1935 6m. It has been relacquered at some point and needs an overhaul. It plays, but is pretty leaky. The neck tenon is also loose. Dropping $$$$ on it seems pointless, since even after an overhaul it won't be worth much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The horn was actually given to my fiance. She needed a practice instrument at the time because our high school didn't have enough tenors for everyone to take one home. No one knew anything about it when she got it. The only reason I started looking into it was because she would make comments about it being different from any other tenor she played. Once she decided that she liked the different feel, I started digging to see if it was worth fixing up. So to answer your question Swampcabbage, we don't have anything in it yet.

Since she enjoys the horn, I don't think it will be going anywhere but to a tech to get fixed up.

Another question: would a decision need to be made on the finish before we have it overhauled, or could we get it playing well and then decide on the finish? There's no need to waste money on having to redo work.
 
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