Conn Abilene painful fact

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ConnDirectorFan, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    Supposedly only eight craftsmen moved to Abilene in 1971...then they mention the same when production transferred to Eastlake, but also the [completely true] fact that the craftsmen there were already building great horns...

    Quality of 1990 Conn 88Hs

    Plus, I finally found out who one of the [few] who moved to Abilene from Elkhart was - Charlie Rogers. The article preview is horrendously written, but the bit that Rogers was one of the few Conn veterans who helped with the transition is discernible.

    Abilene Reporter-News from Abilene, Texas · Page 2
  2. chef8489

    chef8489 Piano User

    Aug 8, 2011
    Asheville nc
    I would like an Abilene horn just because i was born there. What years were they made there?
  3. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    Good thing you weren't born in India....

    Nothing against Indians, but their horns stink and that's a weird reason to buy a horn.

    Regarding the Abeline horns, I've worked on many of them. I haven't seen big quality issues on trumpets or trombones. I have seen the issues on French horns. I've worked on many conn 8ds, horns which I generally love. I've seen two Abeline horns with poor, sloppy rotor valves and just like with trumpets, poor valves kills the whole horn.
  4. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    Cool fact - the horns to look for were made between 1972 and 1986.

    R-prefix serial numbers [1972]
    two-letter prefix serials, usually Gx...... and Hx....... [mid 1970s-early 1980s]
    S-prefix serials [~1981-1986]
    and some six-digit numbers in large font [not the small font used on Elkhart six-digit serials]

    Connstellations in this era say "USA" on the bell, and the 1980s ones have Amado keys and six-digit serials like I mentioned above
    the very earliest ones said Abilene, Texas U. S. A. but they are rare
    [the UMI Eastlake Connstellations have USA on the 2nd valve case]

    Models exclusive to Abilene era:
    16A/B [Director] student cornets/trumpets
    61B Super Connstellation pro trumpets
    Severinsen Series SS1-4 pro trumpets
    Century trumpets/cornets 78A/78B
    brass 18A/B Director student cornets/trumpets [not the Coprion Elkhart horns]
    and several models continued from Elkhart and several models made into Eastlake

    Fair warning - the quality control during the Abilene period wasn't always the best, so two examples of a given model may be dissimilar. However, I have played some great Abilene horns, too.

    If you find any you are interested in purchasing, just tell me the info/send photos and I'll confirm it [don't worry, I won't try to buy it myself; I have too many horns]

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