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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok Conn fans and experts. This should be an easy question for you guys. What is the difference between a Conn Shooting Star tenor and a 16M tenor? I know the shooting star is mainly a student model (I think). Sorry for the dumb question but somebody has to ask them. Thanks for the help.
 

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Shooting Star is only the common name ( not an official designation) of a 16M Director model , based on the fact that they ( some) were engraved this way

There is PLENTY of info on these "Director" student grade horns in the Conn section. Do a search for "16M", "Director", and "Shooting Star".

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/search.php?searchid=2820396
This weren't meant to be their professional line, they can be good horns. The market doesn't like them much and prices are very low just get one that you like they will play nicely .

Based on their value is best to find one which needs nothing since overhauling one can cost more than they are worth. Some sellers wo also repair manage to sell these in for few hundreds after they have worked on it.

 

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This thread appears somehow like some posts got deleted, but the Director model, offered as a "student" instrument, is designated 16M, and its engraving has a "starburst" pattern, thus the common nickname "Shooting Star". So these are all the same thing.

My understanding is that the tube/acoustic design is basically the same as the 10M of the time (the "professional" model, although the quality of assembly and materials decreased through the years) and the keywork is basically the same as the old New Wonder II (often referred to as "Chu Berry"). I believe the Conn name for the 10M as well as the earlier New Wonder II and NWI was "Artist".

I have a 10M (my third; silver plated 1949 model) and a 16M (my second; 1970-ish Mexico-made) and to me, the 16M feels more clunky under the fingers, but acoustically I can't see a dime's worth of difference.
 

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I played a '70s Mexican shooting star tenor for a few months around 1989 while my Selmer was in an overhaul in Elkhart - I bought it from my sound man of the time who had played a little sax in school. The thing was in perfect, beautiful condition. My mouthpiece at the time was a Brilhart Level Air 9*. I used to have a short tape of when I went to a 'jam' at a home recording studio and only a guitar player and myself showed up. So we did 'Moonlight in Vermont' and it wasn't too bad. As far as the horn, well, it wasn't a Selmer but I worked those months on it without a problem and nobody was ever offended by its less-than-perfect sound. When I got the MK VI back, I sold it for what I had in it, I think $375.
I think we forget sometimes that 'Its not the arrow, its the archer.' Or, its not the sax, its the player. If I ever find that cassette, I'll put it on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, thanks guys. That was pretty much as I suspected. I ran across a 16M on Ebay that was described as a "professional" horn.
 

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I've got a 70's 16M. It's the only tenor I own as I am an alto player. I got it for $300 in solid playing shape. Not a bad horn at all. The ergonomics are a little tricky for my smaller hands, but I adjusted pretty well. If I ever decide to play more tenor, I will probably upgrade, but the Conn is doing its job nicely.
 

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OK, thanks guys. That was pretty much as I suspected. I ran across a 16M on Ebay that was described as a "professional" horn.
I know professionals (by definition) who play Shooting Stars horns.

If you are asking "did Conn market this as a 'professional' model ?" then, no, that was the 10M.

Not all 16M's are Shooting Star tenors, but all Shooting Star tenors are 16M's. '57-59 16M's didn't have the stars engraving. Post-1980 16M's also did not (the model existed into the 90's).

If you ARE looking at a 16M...on eFlay no less....would it be fair to intimate your budget lies in and around what a 16M would cost ? Because, let's face it....there's little point in getting mired in 'is this horn a pro or student horn ????' thing, if so.

Because with that limited a price point....you are better to just suss out 'is this a reputable model or not' ?

16M's... aka "Directors"....are. Usually a lot of horn for the $$$.

(BTW - don't buy anything which is not specifically noted to be in good playing condition - unless you are OK with investing several hundred dollars of servicing work once you receive it).
 

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These were sold as student horns, then they went through the period from about 1970-1990 when a large number of people believed Conns were junk. So be very careful, a 16M on Ebay is very likely to have suffered a litany of abuse: marching band in the rain, shooting Roman candles out of the bell, lousy repair done by the lowest bidder, etc. The number of these that have been owned by responsible people and maintained by good technicians for their entire existence is pretty low.
 

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Not all 16M's are Shooting Star tenors, but all Shooting Star tenors are 16M's. '57-59 16M's didn't have the stars engraving. Post-1980 16M's also did not (the model existed into the 90's).
There's also the 60M Shooting Star? My 16M was a Mexi, and was loud and throaty, with lighter action, matching gold keys, it was a backup for a while. And I think there was a 66M that survived in some features that made it into the 16M's? There are some threads here that discuss the lineage of both/all three versions of non-10M Conn tenors after WW2.
 
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