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As you may have guessed I'm a full out bari player and really like looking into the history of them. I know that one of the most popular baritone saxes of all time was and still is the Conn 12M New Wonder... but why? What makes this bari so special? Why have so many artists chosen Conn 12M's? And has anyone heard of Conn 12M's that play to low A? Are they any good? Were they even made during the same time period as the 12M Naked Lady's? If you play on a Conn 12M Naked Lady Baritone Sax (Low A or Low Bb) please post a sound clip.
 

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I don't know anything about Conns. I didn't get a bari until a couple of years ago, and I was partial to my Martin tenor so when I was trying out vintage baris and played a few, when I picked up the Martin it just felt like home. But the thing that makes a good bari is the sound, the tone. I've been at some jams with another member here on SOTW and when he hears the bari through the PA, he always smiles and says how good it sounds. That's the same experience I have playing it. I can just hang on a few notes, letting them ring. There's so much wonderful guts and power and fullness to the sound of those low notes, it's bari sax heaven. I assume that if the Conn 12Ms are popular, it's probably for the same reason -- the sound.
 

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"12M New Wonder" is a misnomer.....they are two separate models, eh ?

There was New Wonder, then New Wonder II (the "Chu"), then Tranny (a transitional between the Chu and 12M) then the 12M.

I would say that, as with most Conns, it's the tone. They just have something to their tone which is unparalleled.

An 11M is a "Low A 12M". I believe they only started production in around 1961. These are good horns, they have been very misrepresented online as MX-made posers....but a usa-made one is quite good. Again, like the 12M...just massive sounding.

The other thing 'bout the 12M is...Mulligan played one...so, right there that is gonna set the popularity of the horn above all others.

I like 12M's, BUT...they are quirky beasts. I would actually argue a nice old King, Holton, Martin, or JK is actually a superior instrument as far as consistency and user-friendliness. But, I will get flamed for that.

They take time regarding intonation regulation...mouthpiece selection and such. In some instances, they require extensions to either the neck or m'piece shank. Then ....woodshedding.

Yet, despite all of these quirks, they remain arguably the most popular BigHorn. They are great horns. Like the 10M and 6M, it's because of the sound.

A contemporary model, in sonic comparison, can do nothing but cower in the corner....and I am talking ANY brand.

I would imagine you can find 12M recordings online. 11M, a bit tougher but they are there. If I had either up and running now, I would pop out a quick one for you but none of my current stock of 'em is playable at the moment.
 

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A thick wall between the player and the listener?
I used to have an SBA bari that I really liked but I just hated dragging it around. Who wants to be known as a "Good bari player". That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
 

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Who wants to be known as a "Good bari player". That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
How about being known as the player of a good bari?
 

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"12M New Wonder" is a misnomer.....they are two separate models, eh ?

There was New Wonder, then New Wonder II (the "Chu"), then Tranny (a transitional between the Chu and 12M) then the 12M.

[]



OK, this is very "If I Recall Correctly", but I'm pretty sure Conn, at least for internal or sales / ordering / catalog purposes, used the "6M / 10M / 12M" distinction going way back.

The model number corresponded to whatever Conn's top model alto / tenor / bari of the day was. But, they didn't start stamping those numbers on the horns until they introduced the Ladyface horns.

Conn's official series name for what we call the Ladyface or Naked Lady horns was the "Artist" series. But they didn't engrave that on the horn just like they never engraved "New Wonder" on saxophones.

So, technically, a 12M could be a "New Wonder" horn or "Artist" (Ladyface) horn. Further, I'm pretty sure that as far as Conn was concerned there were "New Wonder" horns and then there were the "Artist" horns. Distinctions like "Chu" and "Tranny" are names applied by players trying to distinguish between model variations and transitions between models.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong so the whole world doesn't go away confused. :mrgreen:
 

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A thick wall between the player and the listener?
I used to have an SBA bari that I really liked but I just hated dragging it around. Who wants to be known as a "Good bari player". That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.
A solid Bari player around here is way more sought after than any S/A/T player......any day of the week.....they are never short on work.

OK, this is very "If I Recall Correctly", but I'm pretty sure Conn, at least for internal or sales / ordering / catalog purposes, used the "6M / 10M / 12M" distinction going way back.

The model number corresponded to whatever Conn's top model alto / tenor / bari of the day was. But, they didn't start stamping those numbers on the horns until they introduced the Ladyface horns.

Interesting...thing about the Chu is, that was a name adopted not by the company, but by the rabble who bought the horns....right ? So that's a little different....
Perusing the Loyalist site, it would seem to agree w/you (although the sax section of that site is just riddled with inaccuracies).

I don't think I have ever heard of a Chu or New Wonder I referred to as a 12M/10M/6M before....not contradicting you...have just never heard it....
Maybe just because this is how people refer to the horns nowadays, as a contemporary standard.....

Like you, the Conn super-oldies aren't my forte either, so I also am only recalling....

I wonder if there are some old catalog from the pre-Lady day showing those models actually referred to as 12/10/6M's....?
 

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Interesting...thing about the Chu is, that was a name adopted not by the company, but by the rabble who bought the horns....right ? So that's a little different....
Persuing the Loyalist site, it would seem to agree w/you (although the sax section of that site is just riddled with inaccuracies).

I don't think I have ever heard of a Chu or New Wonder I referred to as a 12M/10M/6M before....not contradicting you...have just never heard it....
Maybe just because this is how people refer to the horns nowadays, as a contemporary standard.....

Like you, the Conn super-oldies aren't my forte either, so I also am only recalling....

I wonder if there are some old catalog from the pre-Lady day showing those models actually referred to as 12/10/6M's....?
Well, by and large I don't think any players ever did or have referred to the older horns by 6M/12M etc. Back then it was probably a model distinction only Conn salesmen and music merchants used. And actually I'm pretty sure I've seen old Conn catalogs from the '20's displaying the full line of "New Wonder" saxophones, Bass to Soprano; and then where they break out the prices something like "Eb alto, catalog #6M, $100.00".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry for all the confusion everyone
When I typed this thread question out I was in a little bit of a hurry and didn't check it over. I didn't mean to say Conn 12M New Wonder. I meant Conn 12M Naked Lady.

Now, steering this thread in a different direction, what is the deal with the Crossbar? When people mention the Conn 12M Crossbar Bari what are they referring to?
 

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Jayesf,
+1 on the Conn 11M bari. I bought a late 1960's used refurbished one 5 years ago for the high school band in which I was teaching. It came from Taylor Music in Aberdeen, SD, and so I knew it would be in good playing condition, not just good cosmetic condition. I was NOT prepared for the "take no prisoners" tone. The instrument simply was a 12M with a bell extension and low A key. What a tone! I wish I had bought it for myself rather than for the school. I have never seen another one, before or after that. The horn was HEAVY, too!
Sax Magic
 

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I was NOT prepared for the "take no prisoners" tone. The instrument simply was a 12M with a bell extension and low A key. What a tone! I wish I had bought it for myself rather than for the school.
Yes, that's exactly what it is....a Low A 12M.....

... what is the deal with the Crossbar? When people mention the Conn 12M Crossbar Bari what are they referring to?
That's a bit of a misnomer, too...although I have heard it before. "Crossbrace" is the more typical moniker.

If I am not mistaken....it just refers to the bell brace design, which is an "X" oriented horizontally....
 

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The 12M has projection and a great tone. It's really hard to beat for pop, rock or other music where you want the bari to stick out and be heard.
 
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