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Saxophones Conn 10M

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Hi all. I`d like to hear from anyone with info. about my newest acquisition from an old friend....an old 10M. Griff is doing a biggish job on it....tube straightening, few pads, dents, setup etc. He seems confident it`ll be a blower. It`s a genuine `naked lady` model dating from 1952/3, and this means it has the straight rather than the rolled tone holes. It dates from well before production was shifted to Mexico, so I hope it won`t disappoint me. Any comments?:):):)
 

Filton

Member
Messages
243
Sounds like a good sort of acquisition to have :) Can't really comment much, other than to say that for some reason in recent weeks I have developed a lust for a vintage horn of some sort so must beware the GAS !

Happy honkin' :)
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
I've got a 10m dating from 1947, rolled tone holes, great playing and sounding sax, although the neck is a bit of a funky shape making it more suited for playing sitting down rather than standing.
I had the strap ring moved to roughly the same possition as a Selmer making it a bit more user freindly as well...
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,020
Well I`d start by saying that our host PT was" up until a few days back":) a very keen 10m player. I myself have owned and played a 1935 10m for almost 30 years.

For what it`s worth I believe the 10m to be a very well made instrument made at a time where craftsmanship and the choice of materials was not compromised as much as today.
you will often hear this kind of statement, but I can give you exact proof of the difference in many of the Vintage brands compared to modern.

If you ever visit DIY stores or wood yards to buy skirting or facing you might notice that compared to wood even as recent as 20 years ago, there is a definate tendancy towards size and weight reduction. this is all about cutting cost.

When you get your 10m back you will notice that the action is solid, smooth and also quite fast. You might also notice that it is relatively quiet and un-clunky compared to newer models. I have removed long rods a few times over the last few years to do odd jobs and have always been impressed how heavy the rods are. the brass tubing is a thicker walled varient than what is used on modern horns as is a lot of the keywork. I think this helps the action a lot.

I have to confess that I find the 10m action to be a bit hard going. I often get sore mitts after a sesh but I put this down now mainly to a lack of practice. A very good tech like Griff or Stephen H would probably be able to replace springs etc in order to get things happening a bit easier.

I love the tone I can get from this Tenor Sax. You can be tempted just to blow long low noted ballads and Harlem Nocturne type Film Noir thingys all day long.:mrcool
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
A lot of the 10Ms from that period are great horns. Great sound, fast action, built like a tank. Shame about the ergonomics but some people manage to play the just fine.
 

ATG

Member
Messages
36
the 10M is one of the most sought after and most desireable of the conns, a vinatge horn with a big sound. congrats & enjoy.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,619
Be a bit careful with moutpheice choice- I found my old Conn was a bit awkward to play in tune with certain 'pieces.... great sounding horns BTW..
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
I played a battered 1957 10M (just pre-Mexico I think) for about 5 years and loved the old beast - felt like it was put together by tractor-builders on a quiet day in the factory; solid, meaty, clunky and unbreakable. Hardly touched it again after I bought my Cannonball which seemed to do everything it could with about a tenth of the effort though.

I would endorse Jools point about mouthpiece choice and settled on a Lawton. Despite it's gnarly, macho credentials, I also found it very sensitive to temperature - any outdoor gigs were a nightmare as it would play a consistent semitone flat at anything less than about 12 degrees!
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,619
any outdoor gigs were a nightmare as it would play a consistent semitone flat at anything less than about 12 degrees!
Mine used to go wildly out of tune at very hot outdoor gigs too!
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Judging by the number of responses already this is, as I expected, a very popular horn, so I`m looking forward to getting it back from Griff. Over recent years I have mostly played bari and alto, and only fairly recently re-entered tenor territory with a `purple logo`YTS 62, a very comfortable and responsive horn. I use a Yanagisawa 7 ebonite m/p on this horn. On my old Selmers I preferred Otto Link metal M/P`s, but have recently moved over to ebonite on all except my soprano ( a metal Lawton). I really like a `dark`, `smoky` sort of sound with a bit of `edge` available when required.
Having developed Rheumatoid Arthritis (mainly hand focussed- regretfully), I am very concerned about action and a couple of the above comments are a bit worrying. If the ergonomics don`t suit then I might have to move it on. We`ll see.....whatever, I`m keen to see how it plays. Any specific advice about m/p`s would be welcome.
 

ATG

Member
Messages
36
mouthpieces work differently for each person, it's hard to recommend a piece just based on what did the trick for me as it might not for you or anyone else. I suggest you try a few on your own & make up your own mind about what sounds & works best for you. personally I like metal links on tenors, but then I've always played Buescher tenors except for a yamaha 61 once & I used a link on it too. the RPC pieces are good & Ron can custom make you one to what you want in sound, but they're a tad bit pricey. however, you get what you pay for. sorry about your arthritis, I have it in my right foot & it's not fun. old vintage horns have vintage keywork & it will be different than your 62, the older Bueschers I had were different from my Selmer & the Y61, but it's just a matter of practicing & getting use to it which you can. I did & so have many others. it won't be that weird, just a bit different, especially the table keys, to me they're always the hardest to learn to manipulate or for you it might be the palm keys, who knows, and then again you may have no difficulty at all.

best of luck with the 10M. it's a great horn.
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Thanks for that ATG. Looking forward to the Conn, even if it is likely to be very different. You never know!
 

saxismyaxe

Honored SOTW Ambassador
Messages
556
FYI,

Conn never moved production of their pro line of horns (I.E. "Artist/Naked Lady") to Nogales, AZ or Mexico, only the student lines ("Director"). A handful of 12M baritones were assembled at the ex Best Manufacturing plant in AZ around 1970, but these were from spare parts from the Elkhart IN plant immediately after it closed.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,797
FYI,

Conn never moved production of their pro line of horns (I.E. "Artist/Naked Lady") to Nogales, AZ or Mexico, only the student lines ("Director"). A handful of 12M baritones were assembled at the ex Best Manufacturing plant in AZ around 1970, but these were from spare parts from the Elkhart IN plant immediately after it closed.
Didn't Conn manufactor the 11 M (low A) in Elkhart? I been looking for an American low A bari. Since the Martin low A bari seems to be too hard to find and expensive as well I have found a 11 M from -68-70, Need a complete overhaul but I think after a renovation it will be the same money as a new low price bari. Maybe I buy it. Sorry, of topic.

Paul, good luck with the Conn 10 M . Nice sax. I had a -47 10M with straight toneholes.

Thomas
 

ATG

Member
Messages
36
I have never heard of an 11M low A bari by Conn, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one. the sax pics site doesn't list one, and actually Pete's old site says the factory was moved to Abilene, Texas in the early 70's, but I had always heard it was Nogales, and I think it was. sorry, but I have no info on an 11M low A bari by Conn. maybe someone else will.....
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,797
I have never heard of an 11M low A bari by Conn, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one. the sax pics site doesn't list one, and actually Pete's old site says the factory was moved to Abilene, Texas in the early 70's, but I had always heard it was Nogales, and I think it was. sorry, but I have no info on an 11M low A bari by Conn. maybe someone else will.....
Yes, Conn did a low A baritone. No doubt about that. My question is; was it manufactoried in Elkhart or AZ/Mexico. According to Dr Paul Cohen, I think Paul Cohen is a good source, it was made in Elkhart. I bought and had some contact with Paul Cohen in the early mid 80's. He knows a lot about saxes.

Pete Thomas owned a Conn low A bari. And now one is for sale in Sweden as well. If it's made in Elkhart I think it's a real milestone. AZ/Mexico, well I don't know ... . Maybe there are some other saxophone historians that have some other information?

Here is some information about the Conn low A written by Dr Paul Cohen, Saxophone Journal, vol 21, # 2, Sept/Oct 1996.

http://s297.photobucket.com/albums/mm201/thomsax/?action=view&current=lowaett.jpg
http://s297.photobucket.com/albums/mm201/thomsax/?action=view&current=lowatva.jpg

Thomas
 

saxismyaxe

Honored SOTW Ambassador
Messages
556
Paul Cohen is a member of our forum over at SOTW if you would like to get in touch with him personally.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Conn did not manufacture any of it's pro line of horns outside of Elkhart IN, save for a very few baritone horns from parts C. 1970. These are very few in numbers however.
 
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ATG

Member
Messages
36
well, the Elkhart factory closed around 1970 so if the horn was made in 1968 it should have been in Elkhart. thanks for those links, they were very informative. I had not known about the 11M.
 
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