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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently bought a Conn 12m (it’s from 65 and is Mexican, ik it’s not ideal but I needed to buy one before I go to college). I was wondering some of the notes are a little airy/not as much punch. Any tips for me to work on this? I tend to be very sharp on this bad boy as well any tips? Also it was recently repaired and plays pretty well still getting used to the different key lineup though!
 

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Welcome!

Should be a decent axe. Have you had it looked at by a good tech?
Maybe you know this already ... but saxes, especially bari, need some TLC from time to time.
That is where I would start.

12Ms can be mouthpiece fiddly too.
 

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So I recently bought a Conn 12m (it’s from 65 and is Mexican, ik it’s not ideal but I needed to buy one before I go to college). I was wondering some of the notes are a little airy/not as much punch. Any tips for me to work on this? I tend to be very sharp on this bad boy as well any tips? Also it was recently repaired and plays pretty well still getting used to the different key lineup though!
If it is 1965 it is NOT MX-made, Conns started being made in MX in 1970, when MacMillan moved all production to Nogales MX. I realize some un-revised Conn serial lists online still state MX production began in 1960...this was long ago disproven.

So...either.....it's Mexican and it is 1970 or later (denoted with a N prefix serial number), or you are correct in assessing its serial # as '65 in which case indeed, t'was made in good ol' Elkhart, Indiana.

Congrats on your acquisition.

I agree with Turf...generally 'airy' signifies a leak somewhere. Perhaps worth having your tech recheck it.

12M's can be mouthpiece finicky re intonation. What mouthpiece are you using ?
 

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I've got one about ten years older than yours. I'm new to Bari horns in general, but conventional wisdom for 12Ms seems to be that they like mouthpieces with medium to large chambers. Personally I've mostly been using an Otto Link Super Tone Master and a Tone Edge; intonation has been pretty solid using either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
if it is 1965 it is NOT MX-made, Conns started being made in MX in 1970, when MacMillan moved all production to Nogales MX. I realize some un-revised Conn serial lists online still state MX production began in 1960...this was long ago disproven.

So...either.....it's Mexican and it is 1970 or later (denoted with a N prefix serial number), or you are correct in assessing its serial # as '65 in which case indeed, t'was made in good ol' Elkhart, Indiana.

Congrats on your acquisition.

I agree with Turf...generally 'airy' signifies a leak somewhere. Perhaps worth having your tech recheck it.

12M's can be mouthpiece finicky re intonation. What mouthpiece are you using ?

[/QUOTE]

mine has the crossbar of the Mexican made ones but a serial no.of E82XXX any ideas? Also I was playing a V16 on this (super sharp on the horn). I prefer hard rubber maybe a Meyer what would be a good fit?

(also that’s pretty cool they were made in Elkhart! I literally live in Indianapolis!)
 

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I don't think a Meyer will do you any better than the V16. Tone Edge is a good start. If you can find an RPC you are golden. Large chamber is key. Old baritones play sharp because old bari mouthpieces/chambers were massive. Or maybe old baritone mouthpieces play flat because old baritones had slightly less volume. Chicken, egg, I don't know. Anywho, you can also get something like this to increase your chamber size: Shank extension
 

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mine has the crossbar of the Mexican made ones but a serial no.of E82XXX any ideas? Also I was playing a V16 on this (super sharp on the horn). I prefer hard rubber maybe a Meyer what would be a good fit?
As @JayeLID said, if it's 1965 (which it is) it's Elkhart-made. When you talk about the "crossbar" i assume you mean the bell-to-body brace; if so, it's nothing to do with Mexico: all 12Ms have these. My 1936 12M has one, as does my 1964 12M (E20XXX). Both of these were made in Elkhart, and both are great machines.

As JayeLid will tell you, the dimensions of the 12M body never changed throughout their history. Originally they were fitted with a large-chambered "pickle-barrel" mouthpiece; modern small-chambered mouthpieces cannot easily be played in tune on them. All the same, there are plenty of second-hand large-chambered mouthpieces on the market, if you just look for them.

Alternatively, you might find it worthwhile to fork out for a new mouthpiece. A few years ago, after going down the old mouthpiece road and trying out most of those available along the way (with mixed results, some good, some bad) I bought a PPT mouthpiece, produced by the British baritone player @Pete Thomas and manufactured by Ed Pillinger, one of the best mouthpiece technicians in the world. The quality is unbelievably high, and the price is very reasonable. (All profits go to charity, by the way.) Check them out here:


Belt & braces: Tell them it's for a 12M and ask for a long shank on the mouthpiece.

Oh and by the way: get your 12M checked out for leaks by an expert. Baris are big and spring leaks very easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As @JayeLID said, if it's 1965 (which it is) it's Elkhart-made. When you talk about the "crossbar" i assume you mean the bell-to-body brace; if so, it's nothing to do with Mexico: all 12Ms have these. My 1936 12M has one, as does my 1964 12M (E20XXX). Both of these were made in Elkhart, and both are great machines.

As JayeLid will tell you, the dimensions of the 12M body never changed throughout their history. Originally they were fitted with a large-chambered "pickle-barrel" mouthpiece; modern small-chambered mouthpieces cannot easily be played in tune on them. All the same, there are plenty of second-hand large-chambered mouthpieces on the market, if you just look for them.

Alternatively, you might find it worthwhile to fork out for a new mouthpiece. A few years ago, after going down the old mouthpiece road and trying out most of those available along the way (with mixed results, some good, some bad) I bought a PPT mouthpiece, produced by the British baritone player @Pete Thomas and manufactured by Ed Pillinger, one of the best mouthpiece technicians in the world. The quality is unbelievably high, and the price is very reasonable. (All profits go to charity, by the way.) Check them out here:


Belt & braces: Tell them it's for a 12M and ask for a long shank on the mouthpiece.

Oh and by the way: get your 12M checked out for leaks by an expert. Bartis are big and spring leaks very easily.
Awesome thanks man!
 

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There are several other threads here regarding appropriate mouthpieces for 12M's...you can do a quick search and see what is said. I have heard good things about the PPT's in this respect....
 

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I don't think a Meyer will do you any better than the V16. Tone Edge is a good start. If you can find an RPC you are golden. Large chamber is key. Old baritones play sharp because old bari mouthpieces/chambers were massive. Or maybe old baritone mouthpieces play flat because old baritones had slightly less volume. Chicken, egg, I don't know. Anywho, you can also get something like this to increase your chamber size: Shank extension
The current Meyer is a good choice for a 12M and will play in tune.
 

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Yes my experience has been a good ol' modern Meyer rubber M on a 12M usually works pretty well....it is one of my 'tester' pieces here for Baritones....
 

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Meyer-style or Link-style (chamber approx. the size of the cork bore, or a bit larger) will give you good results for intonation up and down the horn. Small chambered pieces will not work well on 12M.

You also have to learn to approach the baritone as a baritone, not as a big tenor or alto. This is necessary for any baritone player. As you gain experience your natural "input pitch" will probably drop, allowing you to push the MP on further. That's a side benefit; the real purpose is to gain projection and richness of tone without resorting to buzzy, reedy, duck-call high baffle grass-cutter pieces that seem loud but are really just annoying.

I don't have experience with a lot of 12Ms but I do have 36 years experience with one particular 12M and have never noted "airy" notes as an issue. I would guess you've got some leaks.

The best thing you can do with your 12M is to do some real serious tone exercises (long tones from pppp to ffff and back again) and interval exercises, OUTSIDE without walls bouncing your sound back to you.
 

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I have heard good things about the PPT's in this respect....
I can confirm that - works great (intonation, sound ...) with my zephyr bari.
 

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Larger chambers will give good results immediately but smaller/medium chambered pieces can be used if one is more aquatinted with the 12M.
They often require some lipping down of notes which becomes automatic after enough time working with a particular piece.
Personally I do t like to work too hard on intonation so I stick with medium and large chambers on mine.
PPT are a good choice as are Aizen and Mouthpiece Cafe Grande, all of which are based on the old Slant Link pieces.
A Vandoren B95 or B75 with some chamber work is also a good choice.
Older Bergs with a 2-3 chamber work we’ll also.
My favourite being the old Slant Bergs with no chamber designation.
Link STM’s and Tone Edge work well.
RPC (especially the Rollover type) are good choices and some were made with longer shanks by request to help with tuning.
I personally use an old Otto Link Masterlink piece that has been opened to .110.
With the right reed and enough air, you can make these bark plenty.
Lots of mouthpiece possibilities for 12M’s.
 
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