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Vintage Trumpets / Cornets Discuss My Fathers 1920-something Conn in the Equipment forums; OK. There is a story associated with this horn that I'll share, but not vouch for its veracity - too ...
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    My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    OK. There is a story associated with this horn that I'll share, but not vouch for its veracity - too many old family stories turn out to be nothing more than a story. I will check the serial number when I get home (thought I had it written down), but I think this is a 1926 or 1927 Conn trumpet. It is in beautiful condition with no dents or dings- we all have been very careful with it over the close to 7 decades it has been in the family.

    The story is, my father and his parents were visiting Chicago back in the late 20's, maybe very early thirties and attended a performance of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The director announced that after the performance the lead trumpeter (or a guest performner, I don't know really) would be selling his personal horn. My grandfather hustled up after and bought it for my dad, who was a young budding player at the time. This much I beleive is largely true. Suppsedly the horn is gold plated - I don't know if that is true or not. It features heavy engraving as you can see, with an indian character. At one tme I guess you could tell who engraved horns by the motif and style, but I don't know if this is the case.

    Can you tell me what model this is? Could it really be gold plated? I had trouble with the third valve 20 years ago and one brace was loose so based on local recommendations I sent it off to a supposed expert in the Elkhart area whose name I cannot now remember. The resolder was not great, and the third valve never was as smooth as it had been and now it is just plain sticky. I suspect some child of mine was goofing with the horn recently because now the first valve only moves an inch or so, and I cannot get it out; something is catching internally that I cannot see. Sigh. And it appears one of the little 'knobs' has gotten detached from the first valve slide. So I need to send this out to a real expert to have the valves gone through again and the first valve slide repaired. Any recommendations there?

    Thanks!
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    Last edited by Artifex; 12-07-2016 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Adding pictures
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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    Quote Originally Posted by Artifex View Post
    OK. There is a story associated with this horn that I'll share, but not vouch for its veracity - too many old family stories turn out to be nothing more than a story. I will check the serial number when I get home (thought I had it written down), but I think this is a 1926 or 1927 Conn trumpet. It is in beautiful condition with no dents or dings- we all have been very careful with it over the close to 7 decades it has been in the family.

    The story is, my father and his parents were visiting Chicago back in the late 20's, maybe very early thirties and attended a performance of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The director announced that after the performance the lead trumpeter (or a guest performner, I don't know really) would be selling his personal horn. My grandfather hustled up after and bought it for my dad, who was a young budding player at the time. This much I beleive is largely true. Suppsedly the horn is gold plated - I don't know if that is true or not. It features heavy engraving as you can see, with an indian character. At one tme I guess you could tell who engraved horns by the motif and style, but I don't know if this is the case.

    Can you tell me what model this is? Could it really be gold plated? I had trouble with the third valve 20 years ago and one brace was loose so based on local recommendations I sent it off to a supposed expert in the Elkhart area whose name I cannot now remember. The resolder was not great, and the thrid valve never was as smooth as it had been and now it is just plain sticky. I suspect some child of mine was goofing with the horn recently because now the first valve only moves an inch or so, and I cannot get it out; something is catching internally that I cannot see. Sigh. So I need to send this out to a real expert to have the valves gone through again. Any recommendations there?

    Thanks!
    Looks to be from the 20s, as you say. 22B maybe? Looks a lot like the ones I've seen. (Link to a summary of a 20s 22B: The Conn Loyalist )
    Has a lot of nice unique engraving, so I believe that'd be Finish #00, gold plated with special engraving. And I'm 99% sure that's going to be gold plated.
    Your dad was lucky to get a horn like this.
    The user Bochawa can tell you a lot more about how this should play in good condition, I've not gotten to play any Conn Trumpets that old.
    I know Anderson's in Elkhart could replate the valves, though I'm not sure who could fix the problem with the 1st valve, if you have a local repairman you could probably ask them.
    (Also, I see you have the change valve tuning slide too- do you have the whole original set of accessories? That'd be very interesting to see.
    1950 Buescher model 217 Lightweight 400 Trumpet
    1910 Holton Couturier Model Cornet
    1950 Holton Model 28 Cornet
    1972 Holton Galaxy Trumpet
    1970 Conn 17A Cornet
    1948 Holton Model 79 Mellophone
    ...and a lot of woodwinds.

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    Forte User Clarkvinmazz's Avatar
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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    Yes, it is indeed gold plated. It is most likely a 22b, combs most popular trumpet at the time. Before sending it off and spending a lot of money, have got oiled the valves? Given the horn a good cleaning? I would take it to someone local who can examine it and tell you for sure what, if anything, is wrong.
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    Lots of old horns...some Bachs, Some conns, A Getzen or two...
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    Utimate User Dale Proctor's Avatar
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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    Pretty horn! Look at the bottom side of the mouthpiece receiver and see if the model number is stamped there. Yours may be too old to have it, but it's worth a look. I have a '29 model 22B and it's stamped on the receiver.
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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    Yes, that's a late 20s to 1930 example of the 22B New York Symphony model. Definitely gold plated (lighter gold is characteristic of the best of the period). My 1927 was in need of help, and played so well I decided to update it and use it as one of my two main horns (though the Xeno actually gets most of the use these days).
    Conn 1927 22B modified.JPG
    The same nib was gone from my first slide - though after adapting it with a saddle, replacing it didn't matter to me. (I also added a pinkie hook from a Selmer)The biggest issue you will have with any replacement part is that Andersen's modern 24K gold is dramatically darker than what is on the horn. I was looking to use it as a player, so I didn't worry about appearance (which was worn then)

    It is ideal for church work. This was definitely something a pro would have been using as described in the story and was among the very best of the period.

    You are in the middle of the country, so you have some options. I would go with Robb Stewart myself.
    Last edited by OldSchoolEuph; 12-07-2016 at 12:51 PM. Reason: typos
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    Trumpet: 1961 Mt. Vernon Bach 43, 2000 Xeno 8335RGS, 1927 Conn 22B NYS
    Euphonium: 1965 Besson baritone, 1975 Yamaha YEP-321, 1985 YEP-621
    Trombone: 1975 Olds Recording R-20
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    Piano User OldSchoolEuph's Avatar
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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    On re-reading your post, I thought of one more detail - the valve guides are similar to modern conn-selmer guides (I replaced mine with plastic to reduce wear on the slots, which are getting sloppy after so many decades of use), and when one gets knocked sideways in the slot, they are wide enough in the key to jet jambed in place. Try to remove the stem and spring and you should be able to see if the guide is in there crooked.

    Figuring out how to free it is a bit more of a challenge, but can often be done. just be VERY gentle - the spring box is very thin and fragile, and you don't want to damage anything in the casing.
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    Trumpet: 1961 Mt. Vernon Bach 43, 2000 Xeno 8335RGS, 1927 Conn 22B NYS
    Euphonium: 1965 Besson baritone, 1975 Yamaha YEP-321, 1985 YEP-621
    Trombone: 1975 Olds Recording R-20
    MP: Schilke 17d4d & 53

    www.trumpet-history.com

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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolEuph View Post
    On re-reading your post, I thought of one more detail - the valve guides are similar to modern conn-selmer guides (I replaced mine with plastic to reduce wear on the slots, which are getting sloppy after so many decades of use), and when one gets knocked sideways in the slot, they are wide enough in the key to jet jambed in place. Try to remove the stem and spring and you should be able to see if the guide is in there crooked.

    Figuring out how to free it is a bit more of a challenge, but can often be done. just be VERY gentle - the spring box is very thin and fragile, and you don't want to damage anything in the casing.
    Yeah, that valve is weird. It worked perfect last time I used it, then many months later I pull it out and the valve will only move 1/2 an inch. It 'clinks' at the bottom of its movement. I though "Aha! The valve guide!" just like you say, so I unscrewed the valve cap, stem and spring, and the brass valve guide came right out. Huh. It seems all that is left in there is the valve body itself, but there is a definite 'clink' still. I tried tapping it from the bottom very, very, very gently - it just kind of froze up. Tapping gently from the top freed it to it's 1/2 inch movement again. Took off the valve slide and I cannot see anything there. But something has to be there. I'll guess I'll take it to the local shop here in Omaha. I just hate to turn it over to a place that does mass work on inexpensive student horns without knowing there is an experienced tech there that knows & respects vintage stuff.
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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    Here's my shot in the dark: Something's bent and pressing against the valve. Banging on it, no matter how gently is creating friction, wear, and further damage. Don't bang on it any more; just get it to a competent tech.
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    Utimate User Dale Proctor's Avatar
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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    If you don't mind mailing your horn, there's a local instrument repair shop where I live that does great work at reasonable prices, and they can do just about anything other than plating. I bought a horn a few years ago with a bent 1st valve piston that would only go into the bore about an inch before it stuck badly, and they straightened it while I watched on a steel table with a plastic hammer. Worked fine after that. Yours sounds like a different sort of problem, maybe a deformed valve case. They restored and customized this old Conn cornet (pictured below) for me a few years ago. Anyway, here's a link to the business:

    Musical Instrument Repair, Restoration, Rental and Sales



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    Olde Towne Brass
    www.otbrass.com

    Brass Band of Huntsville
    www.brassbandofhuntsville.com

    Trumpet: 1976 Bach Stradivarius ML 43, Curry 3C.
    Cornet: 1993 Bach Stradivarius L 184G, Curry 3BBC.

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    Re: My Fathers 1920-something Conn

    Artifex,

    How about Thompson Music? They're up on the north side between Lincoln and Omaha. If nothing else call them for a referral.

    Rick
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