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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me preface this by saying I don’t know absolutely anything about C melody saxophones, Aside from the sound beautiful when/if played well. With that said I’m just gonna keep it short and show you a post I found online hopefully someone can chime in and let me know if this is a good deal, a bad deal, a great deal, or some thing I should never consider again lol. Thanks in advance friends 🎷😉

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That's a fair price considering the condition. The few pads in the pictures look new, so it would need little if any work to get playing.

I assume you realize that the C melody has no practical use these days in bands with written saxophone parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That’s a great point Lydian and I’m glad that you mentioned it because now to be honest I did not know that about the C Melody sax.

Forgive my ignorance here I just sort of assumed it was a Saxophone that is tuned to concert pitch am I stupid in assuming that lol?!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
However if I am correct and it is in concert pitch would I not be able to just pretty much play over whatever I want without having transpose it to Eflat or Bflat etc?
 

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I have a pair of 1923 Conn C Mels and am restoring one of those. I am not to the point of playing it yet. There isn't any pieces written for them today but they will play a piano melody which the way I understand it is why they were made in the first place. If you can pick up songs by ear then I can't image why it wouldn't work for you. I have never actually heard one play live so I can't judge the sound. The one that you are looking at is a 1921 I believe from what I found by its serial number. I did a quick search on sold Conn C Mels on Ebay and the price is in the ball park though I would try to dicker with the seller.
Anyways, here is my post about the pair I have.
Pair of painted Conn New Wonder C Melodies from two different Goodwills
 

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Speaking as a big fan of C-melodies . . . I wouldn't pay that kind of money for one. (But I'm a notorious Yankee skinflint.) The "Buy It Now" prices on eBay are entirely fanciful. Unfortunately eBay no longer lists the actual selling prices of "Make Offer" items; that's the only price of interest.

Also note that the eBay asking prices of period Conn C-mel mouthpieces is wildly inflated at the moment, apparently because one seller has a bunch listed for about $100 each. That's about three times the price at which decent specimens sold for before his listings, and his aren't in really sharp condition; doubtless why they aren't selling. At least he does seem to have identified them properly; most eBay sellers wouldn't know a C-mel MP from a bottle opener. Conn thoughtfully marked their C-mel bodies with a "C" stamped near the serial and patent numbers, but so far as I've seen did not mark MPs the same way.

I'm a bit puzzled as to how the seller plays this one with an alto mouthpiece. I have a nearly identical Conn with - when acquired - a seriously diggered up cork and microtuner because some goofball tried to jam a period alto mouthpiece on. Gorgeous Conn Eagle MP, best condition I've ever seen, but useless on a sax it just won't fit. Once I repaired the poor suffering neck, I was able to play it with a proper original C-mel MP which I usually use on my Martin. I know some people play C-mels with alto mouthpieces so it must be possible, I just can't get it to work; mine definitely don't fit if I size the cork properly for a real C-mel MP. Unfortunately C-mels played with alto mouthpieces sound pretty much like altos. That whole C-mel "vibe" just doesn't come through. If you want it to sound like a C-mel - for better or worse - I suggest that there's no substitute for a proper period MP.

Those '20s horns are beautiful instruments; I was surprised how easily I became attached to the sandblasted silver finish.
 

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I would not pay that for a C Melody. If it was recently overhauled or newer pads, maybe $300. I own a Conn C Melody NW I and got it for $200 with newer pads back in 2019. Mouthpiece? You can get Ron Caravan's or GetASax for less than $200 and both use tenor reeds. There is also the Morgan (more expensive).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would not pay that for a C Melody. If it was recently overhauled or newer pads, maybe $300. I own a Conn C Melody NW I and got it for $200 with newer pads back in 2019. Mouthpiece? You can get Ron Caravan's or GetASax for less than $200 and both use tenor reeds. There is also the Morgan (more expensive).
Hey Chip, thanks for chiming in and sharing this information with me. If you don’t mind I’m extremely interested in what you were talking about but I have a few questions if you don’t mind can you send me a PM so we can chat.? Thank you buddy. that would be fantastic
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Speaking as a big fan of C-melodies . . . I wouldn't pay that kind of money for one. (But I'm a notorious Yankee skinflint.) The "Buy It Now" prices on eBay are entirely fanciful. Unfortunately eBay no longer lists the actual selling prices of "Make Offer" items; that's the only price of interest.

Also note that the eBay asking prices of period Conn C-mel mouthpieces is wildly inflated at the moment, apparently because one seller has a bunch listed for about $100 each. That's about three times the price at which decent specimens sold for before his listings, and his aren't in really sharp condition; doubtless why they aren't selling. At least he does seem to have identified them properly; most eBay sellers wouldn't know a C-mel MP from a bottle opener. Conn thoughtfully marked their C-mel bodies with a "C" stamped near the serial and patent numbers, but so far as I've seen did not mark MPs the same way.

I'm a bit puzzled as to how the seller plays this one with an alto mouthpiece. I have a nearly identical Conn with - when acquired - a seriously diggered up cork and microtuner because some goofball tried to jam a period alto mouthpiece on. Gorgeous Conn Eagle MP, best condition I've ever seen, but useless on a sax it just won't fit. Once I repaired the poor suffering neck, I was able to play it with a proper original C-mel MP which I usually use on my Martin. I know some people play C-mels with alto mouthpieces so it must be possible, I just can't get it to work; mine definitely don't fit if I size the cork properly for a real C-mel MP. Unfortunately C-mels played with alto mouthpieces sound pretty much like altos. That whole C-mel "vibe" just doesn't come through. If you want it to sound like a C-mel - for better or worse - I suggest that there's no substitute for a proper period MP.

Those '20s horns are beautiful instruments; I was surprised how easily I became attached to the sandblasted silver finish.
Excuse my ignorance here i Just want to make sure that I completely understood your post here. Basically you’re saying in your opinion you would not get it correct? Like I said I don’t know anything about these horns at all so I’m just trying to learn so can I ask is it because it’s not a good quality horn? Or is it because it’s not a great price? Or is does it look as if it will need a ton more work? Or any other reason? I truly appreciate any insight that you can help me with so I can learn what’s good and what’s bad when it comes to this cool unicorn of our world.
 

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I'm in the camp that loves vintage Conn horns (I've got over 20) and would never in a million years pay that much for that horn. It's a pedestrian New Wonder 1 in need of restoration, so $300 would be a stretch in my book. The series 2 horns, especially post 200k, are great playable horns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm in the camp that loves vintage Conn horns (I've got over 20) and would never in a million years pay that much for that horn. It's a pedestrian New Wonder 1 in need of restoration, so $300 would be a stretch in my book. The series 2 horns, especially post 200k, are great playable horns.
thank you for sharing that with me Jaice I am very grateful for this wonderful website that we have here because like I said I don’t have the slightest clue about C Melody horns. in fact I don’t even have much if any knowledge regarding vintage horns in general. Anyways that’s why I asked and that’s why I am very grateful for everyone here who helped me realize that this is not anything special and apparently isn’t worth the money being asked for it. I just want to thank you all for helping me realizes this. If anyone knows of any decent horns that I could find used roughly in that same price category I would love to know what types of brands and models to search for? Thank you all so very much but like I said I serve so much to learn so if it’s OK with you all I would love to hear more about which brands are known to be relatively decent Horns in comparison to their price tags. I always thought it would be cool to on a C Melodyhorn. But I honestly don’t see myself using it very much so I would like to keep the cost as cheap as possible I even thought 500 was more than I would want to spend but if anyone knows of any decent horns that I should be looking for it be great to know the names of them thanks again guys and girls and well… Etc.
 

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@strimmed95 @ $599 it should be 100% perfectly clean with pads less than a year old. No damage and include a mouthpiece & case. I don’t see clean and new(ish) pads here. I’m a big C mel fan and own nine. All but two included a mouthpiece. One no case. Only one I paid over $200 delivered. Most averaged $150 or less. Rare and goldplated included.

What you’re looking at is a VERY common 1922ish. One of the two Conns i own is close at SN#81xxx. Same finish including the goldwash bell. It played right out of the case. Pads were less than a few years old. $160 delivered.
As a suggestion be open minded to a Buescher or Martin. I see these Listed often. A Martin stenciled as Wurlitzer can also be a very good unit.
 

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@strimmed95 Here’s what you will find.
Conn 1922 and newer
Couturier 1921-23
Buescher 1920-1929 There are three different bodies in that time span. All good.
Holton 1920- 1929
King 1916- 1928(? last)
Lyon & Healy 1923-1929 Coutirer Model
Martin 192?- 1931
Selmer Series 22 or Model 22 ($$$$)
Wurlitzer (Martin stencil)
York & Sons 1916-1930
 

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Like others, I paid $200 for a freshly overhauled Conn New Wonder II in excellent cosmetic condition. Paid $30 for a new C melody mouthpiece (alto doesn’t fit, and tenor is out of tune ).

But prices seem to have gone up in the past couple of years, and the pads on yours looked really good to me, and the owner actually plays it. So I say unless you have a time machine, it’s a fair price. Would I personally buy that one? No. I would hold out for better and cheaper. But I held out for 25 years before pulling the trigger on mine.

Why do you want one, and why now? Looks like you already have plenty of saxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Like others, I paid $200 for a freshly overhauled Conn New Wonder II in excellent cosmetic condition. Paid $30 for a new C melody mouthpiece (alto doesn’t fit, and tenor is out of tune ).

But prices seem to have gone up in the past couple of years, and the pads on yours looked really good to me, and the owner actually plays it. So I say unless you have a time machine, it’s a fair price. Would I personally buy that one? No. I would hold out for better and cheaper. But I held out for 25 years before pulling the trigger on mine.

Why do you want one, and why now? Looks like you already have plenty of saxes.
Why not sell me yours lol as if you haven’t already done enough for me buddy you know I’m kidding hey by the way not to get off track but I just want to say that thoracic outlet syndrome absolutely sucks As you know just as much as myself lol anyways long story short I honestly can’t put a dent in that steel it’s just too hard man but I’ll talk to you privately anyways thanks for all your help bud I really appreciate it
 

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My main horn is a 1923 Pan American C-melody that belonged to my mother. I'll share my experience for what it's worth to you. My favorite mouthpiece is a Runyon, but I also like my Ralph Morgan. They're both C-melody mouthpieces. The original mouthpiece is stuffy, but it's nice to have if I want to play softly. I played the horn with a Selmer C-star alto mp for a while when I was still searching for C-melody mouthpieces. The C-star worked pretty well. I've also played it with tenor mouthpieces. Some weren't bad. I use bass clarinet reeds with my C-mel mouthpieces. I play mostly with senior jammers who play country music by ear. The C-mel fits well in such a setting. When they say "This one's in Dog," then that's my key too. It's fun to play a C-melody because people can't figure out why it doesn't quite look like a tenor. I keep hearing the term "obsolete" when it comes to C-melodies. I use it myself when I tell people about my sax. I think C-melodies put a different twist on the word obsolete. Bottom line, they're saxophones. They play.
 
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