Conn Pan American Trumpet?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by musicallychallenged, May 28, 2009.

  1. musicallychallenged

    musicallychallenged New Friend

    May 12, 2009
    I'm thinking of buying a used one from the 1930s. It looks nice but needs work. Anybody know if these were decent horns in their day? And were they silver or silver-plated?

  2. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Pan American was a subsidiary of Conn. Most of the horns were similar to Conn designs, so they would be considered good horns. However, I don't know that they are especially collectable, so you may not want to plow any money into a restoration project. You can read about Pan American on the Conn Loyalist site:

    The Conn Loyalist
  3. Ursa

    Ursa Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Most Pan Americans were student-line instruments and as such are considered a less valuable, less desirable sub-brand of Conn. But, I find some of the Pan Am brassswinds to be visually quite pleasing with elegant bracing details and nice engraving. I've bid, unsuccessfully, on more than one nice Pan Am cornet on eBay. If the horn appeals to you and is priced right relative to the work needed, why not take a chance? Almost certainly a Pan Am is going to be silverplate, rather than solid silver.

    Pan American didn't market just student-line instruments. For example, when the metal clarinet began to decline in popularity, the semi-pro and pro-line Conn metal clarinets were discontiued as Conns and reintroduced as Pan American models. My wonderful 884N Pan American clarinet is an example of this; pro-line all the way, yet dismissed as "just a cheap old Pan American" by those who don't know the whole story.

    I wonder if any high-end Conn brasswinds similarly ended up being phased out as Conns and reintroduced as Pan Americans...:-)
    True Tone likes this.
  4. Indian

    Indian Piano User

    Jul 30, 2006
    South East
    Pan American did make higher quality trumpets similar to your clarinet. I have seen a few, they were called Super Pan Americans and usually were silver plated with a higher level of engraving, double ferruled slides and the better valves. Definately not student level horns and they were priced higher than the student Pan Ams were. I have seen a couple on eBay recently and I think one was on the GoodWill site. If I recall correctly, they sold on eBay for $200-400 in decent shape. Probably worth it but for that why not just go with a Conn for the same price?
    True Tone likes this.
  5. KLM

    KLM New Friend

    Mar 25, 2011
    I have a Pan American trumpet that I would like to get appraised to sell. It is silverplated. I used to play it as a chld, but haven't played it since. It is in excellent condition. The original mouthpiece is a little beat up but still works. I also have another mouthpiece for it that is also older but in better shape. I have the original case that shows a little bit of wear and tear just on the corners. Can someone tell me how to get it appraised and where. I am in Eastern PA. Thank You in advance Karen.
  6. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Welcome to the forum! pan american trumpet items - Get great deals on Brass, american trumpet items on!

    Here is a representative list of Pan American's that have sold, in green, or not, in red on ebay. You can see that the highest value for one that sold was just over $100. The ones listed for high Buy it Now prices didn't sell.
    Realistically, they are not that valuable in a monetary sense, anyway.
    You could list it on ebay also for a low starting price, put on good photos with a good description and provenance of your connection with it and you never know what might happen. Hopes this helps.
  7. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    I've bought and played a few Pan Americans because they are cheap in price. I had a 1927 PA that sounded very professional....I sold it for $125. I just sold another on Ebay a few months ago ( 1950 I believe that was no match for the 1927...I sold it for $55 ). I would play it first...duh. But if it's an auction...I would take a chance on mid 20's through 30's Pan Americans. I play The Martin Committee myself.
  8. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    My 1928 Pan-American 34B

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
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  9. Silversorcerer

    Silversorcerer Forte User

    Jun 9, 2010
    Wow, that is a gorgeous trumpet!
  10. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    I originally bought it for parts, but when I got a closer look at it I realized it was in too good a shape to tear apart. With 32 CONNs in an 8' x 8' room I just didn't have room for it. It had to go. I kept it for a year and once used it on a gig for a solo feature. It plays really nicely with a unique tone thanks to its .425 bore. It's still posted on the Conn Loyalist as mine,

    The Conn Loyalist

    but it now belongs to a guy in Vancouver.

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