Author Topic: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet  (Read 1925 times)

Offline Tinker73

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(LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« on: November 04, 2017, 04:47:28 PM »
I really pains me to offer my Conn clarinets for sale, but Conn #2 out of my collection is now listed for sale. :(  This one probably hurts the most as it is one of the few pre-bridge mechanism 444N's that I have ever seen.  This one was completely gone through and is equipped with new Prestini leather pads.  I believe this was one of the last clarinets Conn produced without the patented bridge mechanism, as the wood on the lower joint under the ring keys is stamped "Patent Pending".  This is an absolutely wonderful clarinet that was going to be for my daughter, but since she has fallen in love with the Martel Freres, maybe it's best this one finds a new home.

Here is a link to the listing, and once again I would be more than happy to work with any forum members if they think this is a clarinet that would fit into their collection.  The Conn "Improved System" is still available if someone wants to make a package deal!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/232550537554?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649

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Offline Windsong

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 05:31:44 PM »
You sure do nice resto work, Tinker.  That horn looks brand new!
Gorgious.
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Offline Lisa

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 07:06:22 PM »
Really beautiful!  Iím getting a fondness for Connís now.  Iím really impressed with the one i have.  Iím Sure someone will give your Conn a good home.
Lisa  Upper Michigan

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Offline Tinker73

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 10:20:30 PM »
This one did clean up quite nice, probably why it will hurt so much when it leaves.  Currently it is sitting on the shelf next to a Noblet 4 and it's really tough to tell the Conn is 50 years older looking at them!  I don't think I have ever seen keys shine up as nicely as what the keys on this Conn did for that vintage of a clarinet.

I really debated selling the Noblet 4 instead but my 14 year old daughter really likes that one and uses it for her performance clarinet, she does not like the Conn as much as the Noblet no matter how much I have pressured her!  I think as she matures on the clarinet she may regret her choice, but in her defense neither one is a bad choice for her and I would rather she is confident in the clarinet she is playing.  Daughter #2 I don't think would ever talk to me again if I let the Martel Freres go, she has absolutely fallen in love with it.  The Martel might be the easiest playing clarinet I have ever worked on, and definitely has one of the mellowest sounds of any of the clarinets that they have played on.  Definitely the best integrated barrel clarinet I have, and was worth all of the time it took to get that one back into playing condition. 
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Offline modernicus

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 05:54:27 AM »
Well,  glad to hear the Martel Freres is such a hit...this is a nice instrument too,  but from the bros reputation, I can see how it "won"!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 05:57:53 AM by modernicus »
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 09:10:27 AM »
Your restoration is first class and the best reading listing Iíve seen in a while, completely accurate regarding the period and pedigree. Large bore clarinets donít get better than these and it would be difficult to prefer most of the smaller bore clarinets.

Some might regard your price as high, but should realize that the quality and rarity factors and present condition reflect that price, and it is still priced far below a good number of worse new instruments that are selling now.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original ďThe Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Tinker73

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 11:21:49 AM »
I agree most will see the price of this 444N as high, but I refuse to "give" an instrument of this quality away!  We all have plenty of clarinets in our possesion that are nice servicable clarinets, this one is one of the "special" ones.  When you consider it's vintage, you have to remember though Conn was probably selling more clarinets annually in the 1930's they still were not selling very many clarinets on the "Professional" level.  This vintage of the 400 Series was their "All in Moment" to be noticed by the professional player, and I truely belive the 1936 & 1937 400 Series were built just a little bit better to help win the professional player over.

I think there is a reason you don't see the pre-bridge mechanism 400 Series clarinets change hands very often, their owners would sooner sell their soul than give up one of these rarities.  Personally, I wanted the opening bid to be $ 950.00, but I was over-ruled by my better half, but even she knows this one's not just any clarinet.


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Offline Windsong

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 07:10:26 PM »
Compare your clarinet to any modern equivelant, and it's half, or less than half the cost, AND it has vintage appeal.  Yours, by comparison, seems like a very good deal to me.
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Offline Tinker73

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 07:43:24 PM »
I just couldn't do it, I ended the listing on the Conn 444N.  Sitting in a meeting this afternoon, I just kept thinking how stupid would it be of me to part with this clarinet and possibly never to be able to replace it with another of this caliber.

If anyone is looking for one, I think there will be a very nice Noblet 4 for sale very soon,  I will also have a few other Conn's and some others that I will be selling in the near future, but probably won't be until after Thanksgiving.
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Offline Lisa

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 08:58:42 PM »
I don't blame you one bit! 
My shipping all goes to my mom's house, as she's 88 and usually home, and I'm not.  She watches me open musty old cases and examine dusty old clarinets with glee, and can't understand why I needed another one.  I say I could be collecting tubas instead, or using the money to go sit in a bar.  That there's far worse hobbies than collecting fairly small musical instruments.  If the pads aren't too bad, I'll honk out Amazing Grace for her and she'll smile a little and say, "Well, if it makes you happy."
It does make me happy.  These instruments have their own histories, they've seen things and carry secrets we can only dream of.  They speak to us in their own unique voices, if we could only truly understand them and hear their stories of smoky jazz clubs, speakeasies, a wartime marching band, or even all the hands they've been passed through, helping people learn to have a love and appreciation for music.
Not everything I have is of great historical value, but some of it might be, and it does make me happy to know I found something special, and I'm now a custodian of a little bit of woodwind history.  Maybe it's only important to a small pocket of people like us, but that's good enough for me.
Lisa
Lisa  Upper Michigan

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Offline Windsong

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 09:03:14 PM »
Beautifully said, Lisa.  Sage words indeed, and astute insight.

Tinker--you made the right call.  You'll never see another.
 ;D
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Offline Tinker73

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 05:10:01 AM »
Lisa, beautifully said!  I feel that same way about my clarinets, but as my wife would say I also feel that way about the 40,000 + baseball cards that I own. Granted, roughly 39,000 of those cards are packing in storage and haven't seen the light of day in about 10 years now, the 1,000 in my active collection are seen quite often.  MY wife really doesn't care about either of my collections, though she has steered me towards more concentrated goals in my collecting.  She probably has a point, with her "guiding" I have amassed on of the top Billy Williams baseball card collections, and also I think one of the better Henry Gunckel clarinet collections that you will find.  The nice thing is they both have a long ways to go and may never be completely "finished". 

When I go on my buying kicks for either collection, I tend to buy quite a bit.  To the point about a year ago my 3 year old son thought the post office was where we went to get baseball cards, know I think he's confused, because that's where clarinets come from too! My wife does have a valid point, I was really starting to veer from the path with some of my clarinets, but darn it some of them are just too interesting to pass up even if they don't fit my collection!
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 01:58:59 PM »
I try not to give up examples that are not duplicated easily, particularly if these are superior players. Once itís gone ....

And I completely agree that something valuable comes from experiencing instruments from the past. Each one teaches me.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original ďThe Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline windydankoff

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Re: (LISTED) 1937 CONN 444N Pre-bridge mechanism Clarinet
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 08:06:48 AM »
Curious - WHAT is the patented bridge mechanism? Google only showed me drawbridges and the like. But the Conn is not a river.
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