Conn Connstellations

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by bigaggietrumpet, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    801
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    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Ok, so I read somewhere that basically, the only vintage Conn trumpets that are really worth playing are the Connstellations. Does anyone have an argument defending or opposing this? Also, does anyone who is just smart about such things know anything about a Conn Doc Severinsen horn that came with a rose brass bell?
     
  2. TangneyK

    TangneyK Pianissimo User

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    Nov 10, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think Tom Harrell plays a Conn Constellation... But I might be wrong. He would sound good playing anything though.

    --Kevin
     
  3. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    In a word----garbage! Conn was on the cutting edge of trumpet development for years. The Symphonys' from the 20's, the Vocabells from the 40's, the Conn Wonder cornets, ----well, you get the idea. These were very good instruments that are still fun to play and many of these models (such as the Vocabells) still bring top dollar in the E-Bay auctions.

    The Constellation was merely the last, and most modern horn from a distinguished old company that was sold to a conglomerate. That conglomerate didn't do much of interest for almost thirty years until the Conn V1 came out. But that's another story.....................

    Bill
     
  4. Andy Cooper

    Andy Cooper New Friend

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    Dec 31, 2003
    Indiana
    Who ever wrote that statement never played on an Art Deco 40B from the 30's or even a 70's 8B . I will say that a friend brought his completely restored .438 bore '57 Connstellation to practice a few weeks ago - rich full dark sound - even in all registers. It had the "good valves" before the change made in the 60's. It played well, even with the mouthpiece setup I was using for a .464 bore trumpet. Switching to a larger backbore made it a true joy to play. You would have to spend "super horn" money to beat it.
     
  5. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Yep, rich and full about describes it. Dark, if you aren't on it and are playing below the staff. Get on it, and the horn gets very bright, sweet and pours out the sound! Mine dates to 1964, so it must have the newer style valves, but they are still fast with a solid feel to them.

    I played mine for the first time this last week with my community band. Five of the horns are Bachs' or Bach copies. The Connstellation does NOT blend with the Bachs'---it complements them and has a sound very distinct from them. It works well in my band where I'm often playing the harmony or descants and it needs to stand out.

    The old 22b Symphonys are a very rich, very dark sounding horn that are still superb horns for playing in orchestras or bands. The Coprion bell horns have a very rich sound as well and play beautifully.

    You really should try to find an Old Conn in good shape to play. You just might find that you don't want to put it down! :lol:
     
  6. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Conn's had many leading edge trumpets and cornets since the late 1800s. In my opinion, they and Selmer Paris the leaders until Bach joined the fray. The Conn Vintage One brings Conn back into contention and Selmer Paris never left, but neglected the USA market for many decades.

    I'm not trying to discount contributions from the likes of Martin, Schilke, Benge, Besson, King, Getzen, etc. ALL are great names that have at least one very influential horn to their credit and some had (have) whole series of wonderful trumpets.

    Anyway, back to Conn, they've been influential for many decades and it's great to see them back in the hunt again. BTW, the Connstellation and I never hit it off well, BUT I think it's a great horn for many people.

    Dave
     
  7. heavyharmonies

    heavyharmonies New Friend

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    Apr 11, 2004
    I can't speak about Connstellation trumpets, but I have a 1972 Connstellation Cornet that absolutely roars. At some point in the past the bell had been damaged and replaced with a copper bell. So what you end up with is a horn that can wail in the upper register, but can bark or be smokey in the mid- and lower registers, almost flugel-like.

    Cornets rule.

    -Dan
     
  8. cornetmike

    cornetmike New Friend

    Age:
    62
    14
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    Nov 12, 2004
    Hemet, California
    I own a '66 Connstellation which my wife picked up for me at a yard sale. $100. The woman who sold it said her son played it in high school then promptly forgot it after graduation.

    It's hard to play! It feels stuffy and lip slurs are dangerous. I thought there may be some obstruction. I bathed it and snaked it to no effect. I pulled the slides and checked the valve alignment under a STRONG light. Holes line up perfectly, at least to my eyes. I'm shopping for another trumpet.

    I don't like this horn. My beginner shepherd's crook cornet is MUCH easier to play. ...Just my two cents on this Connstellation.

    warm regards, cornetmike

    p.s. I agree, cornets rule! :)
     
  9. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    What's wrong with the lip slurs? Slotting? As for stuffy---do you mean 'hard to blow'? Compared to what horn?


    I've got a '64 Connie and it isn't hard to blow. I had a tough time with slotting until I had the valves redone and precision aligned. Did you run the snake down the bell? Just a thought......
     
  10. cornetmike

    cornetmike New Friend

    Age:
    62
    14
    0
    Nov 12, 2004
    Hemet, California
    Connstellation

    Yep, I ran the snake everywhere it would fit! :) By lip slurs being dangerous I meant that the transitions either up or down are not smooth, usually. Slotting is good as long as I tongue the note. It probably is a valve problem. I'm no expert so my visual inspection probably isn't worth much. :lol:

    warm regards, cornetmike
     

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