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Saxophones Two horns back from Connolly M.I.R

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I`ve just had my two horns back from Connolly Musical intrument repair so thought I`d comment here as we need more resources on repairers .......

I got a Fixer uppper Jupiter Semi-Pro 787 Tenor to replace the Corton as secondary tenor . Jupiters, all of them from cheap to full pro have soft bodies (it`s part of the sound apparently) and this one had taken a side drop pushing the upper stack pillar and RH pinkie pillar inwards, it had (thankfully smoothly) bent a couple of rods in the process too .

Second Horn was the 1959 Conn 14M "AmeriConn" which although in decent nick cosmetically fo the age had taken some hits resulting in dents all over the place, wildly bent wire-guards, one of which partially ripped from the body and the main tube was banana shaped .. a real mess but worth it as it`s an Elkhart made 14M with the decent keywork ..

As with the JP Sop I sent to them previously, they were very communicative throughout the process and did what I asked them to do, they advised that the Conn really would benefit new pads but would play well on the existing ones .. they quoted me and kept to the quote with no nasty suprises , both horns cost the same as the Jupe also needed 2 pads replacing, the Conn more bending back into shape ..

The work too One week for both , they don`t mess about ! , didn`t with the soprano months back either so a swift service and I had the courier pick them up ..........

Tried the Jupiter tenor first .... Charlie did the work and the report states removed the keywork & octave pip, repair the dents (inc the curved rods) , Check and cure leaks inc replacing 2 pads, lube reassemble and setup . £85 . this is a superb horn which really does have that lovely thick deep MkVII alike bell note sound if the thing is working properly and Charlie did a lovely job, those bell notes are thick and pure as they should be , he`s setup the keywork just right and it plays top to bottom like a dream ..

Then the Conn 14M Alto , remember that this horn may not have needed pads but was dentwise in quite a mess, Charlie again did the work - Remove numerous keys, Straighten body, remove numerous dents , starighten bell guards inc resoldering, replace cork and felt as required, check and cure leaks , setup . £85....
he`s got this old conn really singing and the keywork is most excellent, better than the YAS21 in fact, more like an artist series than a director, low, fast and nicely balanced especially on the upper stack Higher but balance on the lower , sound is soulful whilst having bags of power and not lacking clarity - I`d describe it as an iron fist in a velvet glove .......
given the dented and banananana shaped nature of this horn, Charlie has worked wonders . there are less and less of these horns still on the road as people deem them not worth spending out on (and Elkhart made ones aren`t common anyway) so they`ve helped another stay playing and for a very good price for the work done..

Connollys did both horns in record time - their dentwork is legendary anyway, but they setup the horns well too and got a 55yr old very abused Conn back on the road and singing ,, many would have passed this over as a write-off due to being a director series but I think these Elkhart-USA made Shooting stars horns are very underrated as are the Pan-Ams ......

I have no connection with Connollys past getting three horns serviced including these two .
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I didn`t know whether to make this an "Article" but didn`t without the go ahead from pete , there isn`t a servicing section in the articles anyway so posted it here
 

ProfJames

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Well done Ads and MIR. This is just the type of report we need on technical resources around the country. And the pricing is extremely competitive!
 
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DavidUK

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Yup, used Connolly-MIR three times now and rate their work very highly. Good to hear they're keeping up the good work.
 

ProfJames

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Yup, used Connolly-MIR three times now and rate their work very highly. Good to hear they're keeping up the good work.

These kind of reports will help our vintage sax seller Melissa and all of us here. Melissa - Peterborough to Brimingham is not that far is it?
 

Ads

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There`s Interparcel anyway - that Keilwerth would cost about £15 to send and it`d get there next day , probably cheaper than the fuel and a lot less hassle . they completely rebuilt an excellent Grassi horn from a dungheap for David

The Grassi looked like it had been dredged from the thames by the police when they were looking for a missing witness in a gangster case "can`t find the Witness' body but we found a Saxophone . Excellent , we`ll sell it to DavidUK for a Tenner so we can all have Fish and Chips on the Proceeds . Can I have peas as well , and in Newspaper ? . Not a chance you`re not a Geordie you know !! .. they fixed that up for £350. the Keilwerth ought to cost about half that from what you were saying it needs -
 

DavidUK

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... they completely rebuilt an excellent Grassi horn from a dungheap for David
Before and after photos here, if you haven't seen them: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/slideshow/24402452

Dip-strip and polish of the totally disassembled sax was done by Colin Molloy Firearms Restoration. The 17 return postage dents were completely removed without a trace (bar a tiny mark in the engraving) by Matt at Connollys for £30, then Charlie spent 2 1/2 days putting the box of bits back together, repadding, respringing, recorking, refelting, and "set it up like a MKVI" for the £350.

Played against a YTS-62 Pruple Logo, both Paul Carrington and my tutor, Dave Plummer, preferred the Grassi thanks no doubt to Charlie's skill.
 

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Could also be that Pruple Tenors can sound too harsh especially down the low end as can 61s and 21s and Paul isn`t a Yamaha fan to begin with .. I think the Pruple thing works better for Altos where excess clarity and sharpness can be a good thing as they need as much projection as they can get .....

Just my opinion of course, I`d not want my G1 necked YTS62 to be any brashet than it is (or can be made to be with a mouthpiece change) , it`d lose the warmth at the low end .
 

Melissa

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Before and after photos here, if you haven't seen them: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/slideshow/24402452

Dip-strip and polish of the totally disassembled sax was done by Colin Molloy Firearms Restoration. The 17 return postage dents were completely removed without a trace (bar a tiny mark in the engraving) by Matt at Connollys for £30, then Charlie spent 2 1/2 days putting the box of bits back together, repadding, respringing, recorking, refelting, and "set it up like a MKVI" for the £350.

Played against a YTS-62 Pruple Logo, both Paul Carrington and my tutor, Dave Plummer, preferred the Grassi thanks no doubt to Charlie's skill.

My word, that is bbb brilliant! Thank you very much for adding this!
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,021
Locality
Northamptonshire UK
I`ve just had my two horns back from Connolly Musical intrument repair so thought I`d comment here as we need more resources on repairers .......

I got a Fixer uppper Jupiter Semi-Pro 787 Tenor to replace the Corton as secondary tenor . Jupiters, all of them from cheap to full pro have soft bodies (it`s part of the sound apparently) and this one had taken a side drop pushing the upper stack pillar and RH pinkie pillar inwards, it had (thankfully smoothly) bent a couple of rods in the process too .

Second Horn was the 1959 Conn 14M "AmeriConn" which although in decent nick cosmetically fo the age had taken some hits resulting in dents all over the place, wildly bent wire-guards, one of which partially ripped from the body and the main tube was banana shaped .. a real mess but worth it as it`s an Elkhart made 14M with the decent keywork ..

As with the JP Sop I sent to them previously, they were very communicative throughout the process and did what I asked them to do, they advised that the Conn really would benefit new pads but would play well on the existing ones .. they quoted me and kept to the quote with no nasty suprises , both horns cost the same as the Jupe also needed 2 pads replacing, the Conn more bending back into shape ..

The work too One week for both , they don`t mess about ! , didn`t with the soprano months back either so a swift service and I had the courier pick them up ..........

Tried the Jupiter tenor first .... Charlie did the work and the report states removed the keywork & octave pip, repair the dents (inc the curved rods) , Check and cure leaks inc replacing 2 pads, lube reassemble and setup . £85 . this is a superb horn which really does have that lovely thick deep MkVII alike bell note sound if the thing is working properly and Charlie did a lovely job, those bell notes are thick and pure as they should be , he`s setup the keywork just right and it plays top to bottom like a dream ..

Then the Conn 14M Alto , remember that this horn may not have needed pads but was dentwise in quite a mess, Charlie again did the work - Remove numerous keys, Straighten body, remove numerous dents , starighten bell guards inc resoldering, replace cork and felt as required, check and cure leaks , setup . £85....
he`s got this old conn really singing and the keywork is most excellent, better than the YAS21 in fact, more like an artist series than a director, low, fast and nicely balanced especially on the upper stack Higher but balance on the lower , sound is soulful whilst having bags of power and not lacking clarity - I`d describe it as an iron fist in a velvet glove .......
given the dented and banananana shaped nature of this horn, Charlie has worked wonders . there are less and less of these horns still on the road as people deem them not worth spending out on (and Elkhart made ones aren`t common anyway) so they`ve helped another stay playing and for a very good price for the work done..

Connollys did both horns in record time - their dentwork is legendary anyway, but they setup the horns well too and got a 55yr old very abused Conn back on the road and singing ,, many would have passed this over as a write-off due to being a director series but I think these Elkhart-USA made Shooting stars horns are very underrated as are the Pan-Ams ......

I have no connection with Connollys past getting three horns serviced including these two .
Recommended


I didn`t know whether to make this an "Article" but didn`t without the go ahead from pete , there isn`t a servicing section in the articles anyway so posted it here

This is all really good news, Thank you for the post. :)
 

Melissa

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These kind of reports will help our vintage sax seller Melissa and all of us here. Melissa - Peterborough to Brimingham is not that far is it?

I already go to Birmingham-well, Walsall, with all my brass instruments!!:doh:.
 

Melissa

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Northamptonshire UK
Judging by their repairs on Brass instruments I would certainly recommend them- they have an incredible silver plating service!..top marque. I have not given them a sax as of yet but am likely to fairly soon.:)

Was Neil and Dave something to do with MIR once upon a time?
 
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Peter Lewis

New Member
Messages
7
I need to pop over and get my cannonball tenor serviced by them - was Charlie still leading the crew there ? I remember my first meeting with him and Dave Toy at 'Search Light House' in Halesowen - I think it was in 1978 !! and I had just scraped my first car and got a secondhand Ford Capri in mint green with a black vinyl roof well I was just 21 !! if only I had taken up playing a musical instrument then rather than waiting till I got to my 50's !!
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,021
Locality
Northamptonshire UK
Before and after photos here, if you haven't seen them: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/slideshow/24402452

Dip-strip and polish of the totally disassembled sax was done by Colin Molloy Firearms Restoration. The 17 return postage dents were completely removed without a trace (bar a tiny mark in the engraving) by Matt at Connollys for £30, then Charlie spent 2 1/2 days putting the box of bits back together, repadding, respringing, recorking, refelting, and "set it up like a MKVI" for the £350.

Played against a YTS-62 Pruple Logo, both Paul Carrington and my tutor, Dave Plummer, preferred the Grassi thanks no doubt to Charlie's skill.

How much was the dip strip and polish? and overall cost please?
 

Ads

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I seem to remember from your report that the gun repairer did as much harm as good, nice cleanup but adding dents and gouges - connollys had to pick up the pieces and sort those too .

BTW Connollys prefer to strip down the horns prior to working on them as part of the work is done with the action still on so they can see the lay of the land as much as anything and they don`t have to work out where stuff goes on less common horns like Grassis, and some of the stuff you get Mel, it probably cost David more sending it in kit form than if he`d sent it back reassembled (they probably had to at least partly reassemble it and then disassemble it) . I don`t know if they do full refurbs on saxes , maybe worth asking
 

jazzdoh

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West Midlands
I need to pop over and get my cannonball tenor serviced by them - was Charlie still leading the crew there ? I remember my first meeting with him and Dave Toy at 'Search Light House' in Halesowen - I think it was in 1978 !! and I had just scraped my first car and got a secondhand Ford Capri in mint green with a black vinyl roof well I was just 21 !! if only I had taken up playing a musical instrument then rather than waiting till I got to my 50's !!

Peter its no longer the same company,Charlie has a repair business based at West Bromwich,which is now Connolly-MIR.
MIR as a company ceased trading a number of years ago,it was a great shop for woodwind and is sorely missed by midland players.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,033
Locality
Berkshire, UK
My YTS 62 was bought from MIR originally. Melissa - best to speak with Connolly before sending any horn as they can quote and you can say at what stage of strip down it is in. They are very accommodating and I shall be using them.
 

Ads

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The fact they kicked my banana shaped and dented to hell Conn 14M back into shape and got it playing very sweet indeed on 25yr old pads (age estimated by Matt) for £85 is a testament , as I mentioned, their dent work is legendary (not suprising, they`ve been undenting Brass band instruments for years) but nice to see they can put a wreck back on the road without spending the earth . the Upshot being that more old saxes which would end up naled to pub walls or turned into lamps can be put in the hands of players . it`s even worth fixing knackered MexiConns and Buescher 200s at those prices.
 
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