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The Beauty of Saxophones: Conn 10M (early vintage) edition

2830 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Jazz House
Hey all, just finished up an overhaul on a horn of mine to put up for sale on my site, and thought I'd share a few pictures. Hope you've got a big screen.

IMHO, the Conn M-series horns are some of the most beautiful saxophones ever made. The shape of the pearls, the engraving, the mechanism, the horn itself- its just so gorgeous. While its hard to pick favorites, a few parts of the M series horns stand out to me.

The engraving. What a design. These horns are famous for their engraving, and with good reason. The design is clean, stylistic, memorable, and beautiful.

The left hand stack keywork. The shapes here just light up my reward centers. The pearls, when in good shape, are thick and super comfortable and the spacing is among the most comfortable found on any saxophone.

The left hand pinky table. When properly spaced and set up correctly, this design is comfortable, light, slick, and incredibly facile. If you think Conn M series pinky tables are hard to use, you've never used one that was set up right.
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That's not necessarily a good thing. The 6M suffers from a reputation that it is all power and no refinement. But my experience has been mostly the other way. (Note: I am primarily a tenor player, so YMMV!)

The Transitionals, especially, are capable of a highly refined tone and reliable intonation when you drop things down a notch. Yes, I always do hear a delicate edge to what is basically a round and limpid sound. It is never quite the primal, woody quality of a 1930s Buescher. But what is?

Conn's goal with the 6M, as they put it in their 1938 sax catalog, was a horn with "'sock' and reserve power, which responds with little effort when big volume is called for, or which can be throttled down to a whisper without losing its rich quality of tone."

Opinions 80 years out are going to differ on the success of any product or design. But I wonder how many criticizing 6Ms ever seriously played one.

They're pretty damn good looking, too.
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