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Discussion Starter #1
You'd think they'd still have the machinery in mothballs somewhere. With vintage 10M necks selling for up to $1000 you'd think they'd be interested in supplying the market.
 

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In principle they could, but I doubt the tooling still exists and I doubt that a good business case could be made for it.
 

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Not enough money in it. Hell, Conn can't even make a professional quality sax that sells these days, let alone parts for 80 year old horns.
 

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Well, I think that reproduction necks from the people who do that work run at least $500. There's no reason to expect that Conn-Selmer would have any higher volume than the people who are currently making reproduction necks, so the price wouldn't be much lower. If Gloger and Music Medic and a couple others sell 500 Conn tenor reproduction necks a year I would be surprised. So let's say Conn-Selmer could steal some of that business and maybe sell a few more. Let's say, then, that they could sell 500 necks a year at a cost of $500 each. Right off the bat, that's a maximum total sales value of $250k, and if they could turn a net profit of 25% (pretty good for an extremely low volume manufactured product), then all the work and tooling cost would result in a net profit of $62,500 per year, and since there are only a finite and slowly declining number of Conn tenors that need necks, the production volume will only go down over time. I suspect they have a large number of initiatives that they can't get to yet, that have better ROI.
 

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With all the ownership changes for Conn since the 60s, that tooling is LOOOONG gone. The machines that made the parts still had value for other industries and was sold off. The mandrels, dies, etc. were just scrapped. I am sure by 1970 it was all history.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
With all the ownership changes for Conn since the 60s, that tooling is LOOOONG gone. The machines that made the parts still had value for other industries and was sold off. The mandrels, dies, etc. were just scrapped. I am sure by 1970 it was all history.
The specialized parts wouldn't have any value except for making those specific parts. I can't imagine they'd just be sold for scrap. I would think someone would want to buy them just to crank out spare parts. But maybe I'm dreaming.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I think that reproduction necks from the people who do that work run at least $500. There's no reason to expect that Conn-Selmer would have any higher volume than the people who are currently making reproduction necks, so the price wouldn't be much lower. If Gloger and Music Medic and a couple others sell 500 Conn tenor reproduction necks a year I would be surprised. So let's say Conn-Selmer could steal some of that business and maybe sell a few more. Let's say, then, that they could sell 500 necks a year at a cost of $500 each. Right off the bat, that's a maximum total sales value of $250k, and if they could turn a net profit of 25% (pretty good for an extremely low volume manufactured product), then all the work and tooling cost would result in a net profit of $62,500 per year, and since there are only a finite and slowly declining number of Conn tenors that need necks, the production volume will only go down over time. I suspect they have a large number of initiatives that they can't get to yet, that have better ROI.
I haven't found any reproduction 10M necks, only specialized necks that work for 10M. If you know of anyone making actual reproduction 10M necks, as in, they look and sound like a 10M neck and fit a 10M, let me know. I don't want some modern looking abomination on my 75 year old horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In principle they could, but I doubt the tooling still exists and I doubt that a good business case could be made for it.
Conn used to do overhauls in their factory, of all brands and models. Seemed like there was a market for that. I guess I was just thinking that in the modern age of CNC tech and the fact that there are way too many 10M bodies without necks, someone would want to fill niche markets. But I guess they are more of a mass-market industry now.
 

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Well, I think that reproduction necks from the people who do that work run at least $500. There's no reason to expect that Conn-Selmer would have any higher volume than the people who are currently making reproduction necks, so the price wouldn't be much lower. If Gloger and Music Medic and a couple others sell 500 Conn tenor reproduction necks a year I would be surprised. So let's say Conn-Selmer could steal some of that business and maybe sell a few more. Let's say, then, that they could sell 500 necks a year at a cost of $500 each. Right off the bat, that's a maximum total sales value of $250k, and if they could turn a net profit of 25% (pretty good for an extremely low volume manufactured product), then all the work and tooling cost would result in a net profit of $62,500 per year, and since there are only a finite and slowly declining number of Conn tenors that need necks, the production volume will only go down over time. I suspect they have a large number of initiatives that they can't get to yet, that have better ROI.
Exactly this ^^^. I think it was Alfred Sloan who famously told an audience (board members? shareholders? dealers?) that if they thought General Motors was in the business of making cars they were sorely deceived, and that GM was rather in the business of making MONEY.

I worked for Detroit Diesel (formerly GM Diesel) when the famed and much loved (/hated:) 2-strokes were going out of production. Hundreds of thousands of them were (and still are) in operation, many of them 60 years old or more. Yet the business case for producing many parts, which had significant volume sales potential numbers, was simply not there... and is even less viable for many "legacy" manufactured goods now, with the advent of reverse-engineering technology, to include 3D printing, and the presence of many independent aftermarket suppliers.
 

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Conn used to do overhauls in their factory, of all brands and models. Seemed like there was a market for that. I guess I was just thinking that in the modern age of CNC tech and the fact that there are way too many 10M bodies without necks, someone would want to fill niche markets. But I guess they are more of a mass-market industry now.
I assure you that if money is to be made, people will rush in to fill niche markets. When there is not money to be made, those niche markets will not be filled.

If you believe there's an actual sustainable business case to be made for reproduction 10M necks (I accept your assessment that no one's making a lookalike, workalike reproduction, only "fits and works but looks different" versions), then write it up with actual numbers and go to your bank. Personally I would be astonished if the business people at Conn-Selmer have not already reviewed the business case for making various reproduction instruments and replacements parts thereof multiple times already.
 

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There are quite a few of the vintage Conn saxes around in poor to fair condition that can be used as "parts horns". A lot of techs also have the ability to fabricate keys and parts when necessary. Necks are in a different class. Music Medic has gotten into making necks. It may be possible to convince Curt that reproducing 10M necks could be a viable business opportunity.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are quite a few of the vintage Conn saxes around in poor to fair condition that can be used as "parts horns". A lot of techs also have the ability to fabricate keys and parts when necessary. Necks are in a different class. Music Medic has gotten into making necks. It may be possible to convince Curt that reproducing 10M necks could be a viable business opportunity.
Well I guess I'm asking because I bought a silver 10M with a Buescher TT neck, and I don't want to pay $800 for a vintage 10M neck that doesn't even match, then have to pay another $400 to have it stripped and silver plated. I'd like to buy a replacement neck from the factory, but I don't have a time machine.
 

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Well I guess I'm asking because I bought a silver 10M with a Buescher TT neck...
Have you considered just putting up “Wanted: Conn 10M neck (silverplate)” ad? That would be a much more straightforward solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Have you considered just putting up “Wanted: Conn 10M neck (silverplate)” ad? That would be a much more straightforward solution.
Somehow I think I'd have better luck with an ad looking for Jimmy Hoffa. There weren't that many silverplated 10m's made. Chance of a stray silver 10M neck out there seems like slim to none, and slim just left town.
 

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There weren't that many silverplated 10m's made. Chance of a stray silver 10M neck out there seems like slim to none, and slim just left town.
If only 5% of the 689,464 were made in silver. That leaves roughly 34,500 chances of finding one. Dr.G has 30,300+ posts over 16 years. That accounts to having some wisdom/experience here on SOTW. You and Slim will never find what you’re not looking for.
Find a decent one in brass and have it plated.
 

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Well, let's run that pop fly out.

You've got a horn with a completely mismatched neck. As such it takes a huge hit in value and you presumably paid a correspondingly adjusted price.

Does it play well? In which case, I would suggest declaring victory.

Does it not play well? In that case, you have some options (assuming that you can localize the issue(s) to the mismatched neck). These are organized in ascending order of difficulty, but I think they'll all pretty much work.

1) Get a Conn tenor neck from any time between the first New Wonder till the end of Mexi-Conn production. As far as I can tell from what I've read, they will all fit and work. Leave it in its mismatched finish, declare victory, and play the horn.
2) Get a Conn tenor neck from an actual 10M, New Wonder 1 or 2, leave it as is and declare victory.
3) Get a Conn tenor neck from and actual 10M, NW 1 or 2, and a can of acetone from the hardware store, strip it, take it to someone who can silver plate it, and declare victory.

99,999) Convince Conn-Selmer that there's a viable business case for diverting the resources they are currently spending on their current projects, to making reproduction parts for a saxophone they quit making 40+ years ago and which already is better regarded than their current products.
 

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Well I guess I'm asking because I bought a silver 10M with a Buescher TT neck, and I don't want to pay $800 for a vintage 10M neck that doesn't even match, then have to pay another $400 to have it stripped and silver plated. I'd like to buy a replacement neck from the factory, but I don't have a time machine.
Buy a 16M USA, pre-'70's...or Pan Am project horn for around $300-ish...the neck specs are identical to a 10M except for the neck braces and the octave pip shape. Sell me the unused body. YOu will then have an Elkhart-produced Conn neck of exact same spec.

Then sell the Buescher neck for $250....have the 16M/PanAm neck stripped & plated. (strip it yourself, or have your tech do a 'strip and make plate-ready' job on it, then find a local silver plating place, ask a trophy or jewelry shop; it should only cost around $200 for that whole process, less if you strip yourself). At the end of it all, including the proceeds from the re-selling of the project horn body...you would probably have invested around $150 out of pocket on the whole effort.

(NW and NWII necks are not the same specification as 10M/PanAm/16M necks, FWIW. Slightly different taper/length, actually does alter the tone although they do intone 10M's well....)

Does it play well? In which case, I would suggest declaring victory.
This should not be forgotten. Actually, in my experiences of matching necks, oftentimes Buescher necks work quite well on Conns and vice-versa. Not certain about TT tubes, though.

Fact is, at end of day even IF you get a replacement neck, non-original factory (whether new or from a 16M, etc), the 'value' of your 10M will take a market hit as you have to declare it unoriginal neck. So if the Boosh neck works well on your 10M, then just save yourself the hassle and keep that neck.

(Philip at Secondhandsaxes in AU has some original brass 10M necks available, FWIW....exchange rate puts 'em at around $475 plus ship....)

 

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Oh, BTW...although I understand completely why a corporation would NOT bother going down the road of producing replacement necks for a model the company never actually produced themselves (we are talking Conn-Selmer here, which is NOT Conn, Elkhart or even Conn UMI)...and for sure I would never expect them to do it or even employ a SINGLE individual who would think it is a good idea ....I actually believe IF any company actually did this, it would pay off dividends.

I can see many a 10M owner buying a more reasonably priced, quasi-mass-produced replica even IF their horns have their original necks.

But again, corporate thinking is far from creative thinking....
 
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