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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all you Conn Artists -

This area is too quiet lately, so I thought I'd post a rarity for you all to see - a Conn 6M alto with "VIII National" neck.

I've known for years there were "M" (Metro) and "N" (National) necks on various Transitional 6Ms. What I don't know (and neither does anybody else) is what the names meant in terms of different neck designs, sound appeal, etc.

My best guess is that they were neck tapers (VIII necks don't fit on older 6Ms). "Metro" was probably intended for players in some big city market (surely New York?) - and this may be the source of the nickname "New York neck" for a topside octave key 6M. But this has zero to do with the M/N/VIII marks, just with the look of the neck.

I've also seen a 6M Metro (no VIII!) on ebay in the past few years, as well as 26M Metro and National Connquerors. All were from the 1935-36 era.

After 1937 (#278xxx) all 6Ms and 26Ms are just marked "VIII." That concludes the Transitional era. Seeing the Nat'l and VIII together makes me suspect that the one neck style "became" the other. But at this point there's probably no way to know for sure unless somebody gets a bunch of horns together and does caliper readings and play tests.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2515019435

The horn is in -of all unlikely places - Bulgaria!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've also seen a 6M Metro (no VIII!) on ebay in the past few years, as well as 26M Metro and National Connquerors. All were from the 1935-36 era.
What I meant here was that "Metro" and "Nat'l" are stamped right on the horn - near the serial. Many previous 6Ms have M or N necks, but no marking on the horn.

CONNfusion reigns...[/i]
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2009
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Just bought a 6M VIII National today, 1936, serial number 277K. Body and neck both bear the "VIII" and "Nat'l" stamps.

In the 2.5 years since this thread came up have we learned anything about the significance of the "Nat'l" designation?

I also have a '37 6M VIII. I'll see how the necks compare and report back.
 

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Just compared the neck of this 1936 6M VIII Nat'l (277K) with my 1937 6M VIII (282K). They seem identical and would be interchangeable but for the octave key mechanisms being out of adjustment for each other. They both sound great, though. National is in a little more worn condition and sounds a bit darker and fuzzier. They make a nice pair.
 

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A little bump here. Would still like to know about the "National" engraving. Maybe I'll take some pics and post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Please do - you might also find calipers and take measurements.

My guess is there is not nearly such specialist interest in Conn altos for one reason – they are not widely popular in classical music. The Buescher alto neck discussion that's been going on for so long is due mostly to interest from classical players.
 

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jonnysax said:
I also have a 277K 6M, but it is only marked as "6M Metro" on the body and "Metro" on the neck. Mine is from early in the 277k series. I'm not sure if this adds anything to the transitional period puzzle, but maybe as more 6M owners of horns from this time period post it will become clearer?
Is your "Metro" also marked "VIII"? Is it a top-slung or under-slung octave key?

Sorry not to have posted pics or caliper measurements yet. Sorta forgot about all this until now. Plus, I no longer have the '37 282K VIII, but at some point will post info on the "Nat'l". Sure would like to find an original case for this sucker!
 

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I have a 6M "Naked Lady", been in my family for years, myself having played it for 20 yrs. I'm looking to have it restored, and I'm trying to make sense of all the numbers and markings. The neck has "NAT'L VIII" on it, and the serial # on the back is: "VIII, 6M NAT'L, A, 277410, L". (top to bottom on both).

Is there anywhere online that I could look this up? I'm pretty sure from what I've read that's it's either '30s or '40s.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
John
 

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Thanks! I was talking to my mom earlier, and it turns out that it blonged to my Aunt's father, who played professionally in a Big Band in the 30's/40's. I'm going to do some more digging around to find out more. Pretty cool piece of family history, and all these years I had no idea what I was playing! Looking forward to bringing the old gal back to life!
 
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