Conn Cavalier questions

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by pangaea, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. pangaea

    pangaea Pianissimo User

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    Nov 10, 2003
    I just bought a Cavalier trumpet on Ebay for so few dollars it's almost criminal--or perhaps that's all it was worth! In any event, I'm looking for some info.

    I basically bought this horn so I could test out the whole "peashooter" feel...it's kind of an inexpensive dry run before I plunk down a bit more for a 40B vocabell or a New Era (horns I like admittedly JUST for the way they look).

    So: I know the Cavalier is a Conn stencil. What I don't know is: how does one tell the bore size? there are no marks to indicate whether it's the Conn #1, #1 1/2, etc. I know from the ConnLoyalist and other net resources that it's either a 90B, 92B, or a few other model numbers in the 90s. But how is this determined? Also, the serial number does not seem to be in agreement w/ the published Conn serial numbers--this one is around 50,000, but I also know it was made between about 1930 and 1936, so something doesn't add up.

    Finally, is this body essentially the same body used for the 40B and 58B? is my idea of trying out a Cavalier to see what these more expensive models feel like totally flawed?

    thank in advance.

    Scott
     
  2. splooie1990

    splooie1990 New Friend

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Tulsa, OK
    Does anyone know anything about the Conn Cavalier Trumpet line of trumpets? I've searched on line, but can't find any serial number listings, etc. Thanks!! Shane
     
  3. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 4, 2007
    The Cavalier might follow the Pan American serial number list at
    The Conn Loyalist
    since Pan American was the less expensive division of Conn that produced many stencils.

    A list of the Conn and Pan American and Cavalier models is at
    conntrump.html
    The Cavaliers are mentioned as 90B, 92B, 94B and 98B.
    And at
    The Conn Loyalist

    If you do not have a caliper for measuring the diameter of the bore at the 2nd valve slide, an easy way of determining bore size is to see if the tuning slide of a very common vintage Conn Director with #1 .438 bore fits your trumpet or is way too small / loose in your trumpet.
    If it fits, then your trumpet is also a .438 #1 bore.
    If it is too loose, then your trumpet is the .459 #1-1/2 bore.

    Some of the Pan American and stencils were decent quality although not of usual Conn standards, but other Pan American and other Conn stencils were of poor quality, as mentioned at
    The Conn Loyalist
    So you cannot judge a fancy Conn trumpet by trying out a cheap Conn stencil.
    That would be like trying out a Bach Bundy trumpet and using that experience to judge how a Bach Strad would probably feel / play / sound.
    You can't even play a pro-level Conn 22B and use that to judge how a pro-level Conn Connstellation would feel, because although they have the same bore size they feel / play / sound completely different.

    Even a 1920's Conn 22B is quite different from a 1940's Conn 22B is quite different from a 1960's Conn 22B.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  4. splooie1990

    splooie1990 New Friend

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks for the info. I just bought one on eBay for $75.00. They said the valves didn't work. When I got it, they were right, they didn't work. Apparently, the springs just needed a good stretching. Now they all work perfectly! Horn sounds great too. I'm also impressed with how well it slots. The serial number is 44861 (no P or - marks). I'm assuming 1927 is the year it was made. It was incredibly dirty. Upon spending about 3 hours cleaning it up inside & out today, it looks AWESOME! It has a few dents, but nothing that can't be taken out.

    The funny thing is I am an Alumni of the Cavaliers drum & bugle corps. We are putting an Alumni corps together for the 2008 drum corps semi-finals performance & have a rehearsal next weekend. I'm taking this horn to show the guys. They ought to get a real kick out of it!

    Thanks for all your help!!
     
  5. Indian

    Indian Piano User

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    Jul 30, 2006
    South East
    I have a Silver Cavalier and Conn 40A and 40B Vocabells. The Cavalier is fun easy to play peashooter horn of medium quality student level horn. The 40A Vocabell is a Pro level horn of extreme quality. It is heavy weighing nearly twice what the Cavalier does. It is not really fair to compare the two. I like playing the Cavalier for fun, enjoy it. try to get a chance to play a 40A or 40B for a real peashooter experience though. The 40A or 40B are truely unique in design, style and sound. The Cavalier may not be a Vocabell but it costs one tenth as much. Like I said enjoy playing the old Cavalier.
     
  6. splooie1990

    splooie1990 New Friend

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Tulsa, OK
    Is Vocabell just the name of it, or is there something special about it? In other words, what does Vocabell mean?

    I noticed on my Cavalier, the color inside the bell is somewhat yellow, not silver. I've thoroughly cleaned it, so I'm assuming that it is made out of a different type of metal or something. The finish on the horn is "flat" with some texture to it. I've also noticed that it is a pretty heavy horn for its size. Any significance to the heavy weight?
     
  7. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    1,305
    763
    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    A lot of horns of that era have a gold wash in the bell, so that's probably the "yellow" that you're seeing. Vocabells are special in that they have no bell bead, and the bell ends sharply at the end. they really do have that art deco look to them, which is gorgeous, but they play just as nicely! I've always said that's the horn I would play if I did nothing but jazz combo gigs - I really got that dark, velvety sound out of them. Wish I had one!
     
  8. Indian

    Indian Piano User

    421
    9
    Jul 30, 2006
    South East
    Vocabell is a model name from Conn, like Director, Connstellation, etc. The Vocabell trumpets have a light weight bell without a rim ring. Conn claimed that this made the bell ring free and adds up to 15 decibells of sound over a the same horn with a bell. The styling is different than any other trumpet of its era or since, true art deco at its best. These were pro level horns. I think Conn's claim of more sound and a free ringing bell are true. They are great lead horns but would stand out in a classic horn section.
     
  9. Toobz

    Toobz Mezzo Piano User

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    Feb 5, 2007
    $75.00 for a Cavalier peashooter is a pretty good price. I was trying to buy one cheap as I needed a case for my '32 New Era 10B peashooter. I never came across one that sold for under a $100. when I was looking, and I looked for several months. By the way, did you get a case too ? Cases for peashooters are a real pain to find, without breaking the bank.

    Congrats on the new horn !
     
  10. splooie1990

    splooie1990 New Friend

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Tulsa, OK
    No. I didn't get a case for it. Even though it's a student model horn (so I"m told) I'm pretty happy with it. Considering its age, it sounds wonderful!
     

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