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Saxophones Help Me I have developed a 6M Underslung fetish


Senior Member
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
Oh Dear. I`ve fallen for this model again. I was almost left one in a will that had been play tested by Coleman Hawkins when he was in the UK in the 40`s. But I ended up with a Besson Clarinet instead. I don`t know where the Alto went. that was 30 years ago.

Anyway I`ve just been following a few on ebay and I need to be either persuaded or dissuaded by someone with a bit of experience. Ideally I would like one that kinda matches my 10m. in age .between 1935 to 1947 or whenever it was that they got rid of the rolled tone holes It`s all a bit sad but that's the way these things happen.

Oh if any of you guys want to sell me yours at a fair price i would like to hear from you:w00t:
Err, one thing disturbs me about these saxes. I know they're very well regarded, but doesnt your spit end up dribbling out of the octave hole?

I think the spit issue is already solved by a tube that travels up from the the octave pip. YUK

I don`t think I`m being overly rational about my " pang" to own this model. I just kind of want one. I think Stephen Howards review . has probably been fanning the flames of desire.

The market for old Conns seems to be returning to a buoyant mood with the majority of the 6m`s being sold in the US for well over a grand. The Chu`s and older horns are a bit cheaper Maybee that`s what I should get 1st.

I think the spit issue is already solved by a tube that travels up from the the octave pip. YUK

Good point. I feel reassured.

No need to be rational in deciding what you want, any sax buy is part heart, part head. However, as you say there are cheaper options. I have owned a Conn New Wonder, and still have a Conn C Mel. Both have a great tone and come in quite a bit cheaper than than a 6m. If you want even cheaper, with just as good if not better tone, think about a Buescher True Tone. I have sop and alto of these, and they're great, and still really cheap. Ergonomics are a bit awkward, but nothing you won't get used to.
the underslungs are temperamental. You really need to stay on top of the octave mech to keep everything right. If you get one with rolled tones holes and from your note that appears to be what you are looking for you will be ok. Modern key work feels nicer and intonation is better on modern horns. I actually like the mid 20s altos better but that is not the group that has the big following I suppose.

My best advise is that if you can it before you buy. Not easy to done ebay though.

best of luck.
I think you should judge a sax from playabilty (intonation, ergonomics and possibility to play modern music, saxsections...), technology/construction (how the sax is built, material, taper and bore, ... ) and your own personality (feeling, what kind of music you're playing ... ). IMO: To buy an old sax is a compromise. And the techs is charhing you the same if you're on an old sax or a modern one. The new/modern saxes cut hours at the techs.

The American manufactors had different peaks:

Conn: The 6M,10M and 12M from the 30's are the best. (rolled toneholes) With or without underslung octavekey. After WWII the started to built the saxes with straight toneholes as well. The pro-saxes faded out during the 50's (or as long as the old inventory lasted?). A medium wall sax.

Beuescher: The 400 models from the 40's are the right Bueschers. The underslung octavekey is differnt compared to Conns. They say Bueschers are thin walled saxes. I don't know about the the 400 when it comes to this?

King: A Super 20 from late 40's or mid 50's is the peak when it comes to King. Double socket neck and hardsoldered tonholes. Underslung octave key like Bueschers. A medium wall sax.

Martin: "The Martin ...."(Comm III) saxes are my favourite and the peak in Martins production. More contemporary than Comm I and Comm II. Also quite easy to find mouthpieces to a "The Martin". Soft soldered tonholes (not as good as hard ditto!!), "broad toneholes seat", thick wall .... built like a tank!

If you like Conn you can look at the German built saxes as well. Keilwerth (Julius/Joseph: New King, The New King ... + stencils, Max: Hohner ...), Kohlert (Winnenden). I think they have much in common with old Conns. Strong players.

Again, my own opinions!

i have a late model 10m "underslung" it plays well with that conn sound ! but i feel strange playing it. simply because i can.t see a octave lever !
it must be me

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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