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Author Topic: Conn ID  (Read 6382 times)

Offline bbrandha

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Conn ID
« on: September 07, 2016, 08:39:47 PM »
My neighbor just bought a clarinet at a second and store. It is grenadilla. Nothing wrong other than the pads are getting old. It is a Conn with only one small Conn mark on the upper tenon. No gilt or fancy anything. The numbers stamped on the back are 424N22103V. I assume that makes it a 424N model, made 1937 to 1954, I think. The serial does not match anything reasonable. 22103 puts it at 1911. 22103? puts it at 1970. No serials end in letters.

I have some photos, but I am too tired to fight the phone and computer to let you see them at the moment. It has a very unusual middle tenon joint. It is built up to provide a "valley" for the bridge key to fit into and a clip on either side of the lower bridge. (A metal strip that turns around a screw at one end.)

Any ideas?

Offline Airflyte

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 08:53:11 PM »
Sounds like a legit big bore Conn. Not sure about the serial number - it could be an early one!

Would it be for sale per chance?  ???
 

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Offline Windsong

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 09:08:23 PM »
A 20/7 as early as 1919?  That's incredible.  I have to believe that Conn was the first company in the world to offer a full Boehm, then, and just 3 years after the standardisation to LP (A=440).  Impressive. 
I suppose it's time I added a nice Conn to my collection.  I'm sorry to say that I've never owned an American clarinet, other than a student model Resonite Bundy, (McIntyre, notwithstanding.)
I see one in my near future...
 ;)
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 10:58:11 PM »
In this case that serial puts it 1951-ish German made Conn 424N, if it is clearly marked 424N. The model had not been introduced in 1911.

The company in Germany, Schreiber made the high end Conns in only one or two years. I don't know if they also made other models. It's plausible. They also made 444N models and a few of the earliest Connstellation models which were successors of the 444N, later designated 280N. These are nearly indistinguishable from the USA made models, except by some odd marks and serials that don't fit. The key work has all of the trademarks and patented Conn features. It is obvious that Schreiber was building these to very tight Conn specifications. Production there apparently was a very short time. I don't know what the reasons were.

For a while I was perplexed by the serial on one of these also. Then I noticed there was a very small lightly stamped "Made in Germany" mark, almost worn away. So the serials would match only the Conn / Schreiber serial series, and these two do seem to fit into place. This is 424N #23056 that I have some photos of. It's just a few serials off from your neighbor's clarinet. Check for the curious "M" above the register key and the other marks. The late 424N was the early Victor, later designated the 80N.
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 11:16:35 PM »
The unusual tenon joint was standard on the 444N, 424N models. It was a patented feature and I like it. Later ones, the 280Ns and 80Ns don't have it. These looked ever so slightly different on German made models. The top photo is the German made one, the bottom photo USA made Conns with the same feature.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline bbrandha

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2016, 05:40:18 AM »
Thank you! She will be thrilled. The tenon joint is just like the one you pictured. I will get a better look at it later. She doesn't play, but wants to learn.

Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 09:53:04 AM »
Thank you! She will be thrilled. The tenon joint is just like the one you pictured. I will get a better look at it later. She doesn't play, but wants to learn.

A 424N set up and properly regulated is a tough clarinet to beat. I play one pretty regularly. The Steelay Standard that was the "standard" Conn mouthpiece at the time is a good companion although a G. M. Bundy #3 hard rubber also works really well for me.
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Offline rezzie

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 12:53:16 PM »
I just nabbed myself a 424N from 1941.  B303276L

I spent about fifteen minutes adjusting the bridge, and could see that the pads and corks looked good.  Very good actually, for the corks throughout - looked a fairly fresh job before it went into the closet.  Once I got things lined up and trued up so I had a good 1&1 Eb/Bb, this plays very nicely indeed. 

Mine has the C.G.Conn Elkhart oval stamp as a logo, but otherwise looks much like what you show above, the tenon fittings are similar while the bridge is not spread on the lower joint.  In '41, I suspect these were made in Elkhart.  Here's the bell. Just right click on the symbol and open in a new tab.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 01:02:04 PM by rezzie »
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Offline Silversorcerer

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 02:13:29 PM »
I just nabbed myself a 424N from 1941.  B303276L

I spent about fifteen minutes adjusting the bridge, and could see that the pads and corks looked good.  Very good actually, for the corks throughout - looked a fairly fresh job before it went into the closet.  Once I got things lined up and trued up so I had a good 1&1 Eb/Bb, this plays very nicely indeed. 

Mine has the C.G.Conn Elkhart oval stamp as a logo, but otherwise looks much like what you show above, the tenon fittings are similar while the bridge is not spread on the lower joint.  In '41, I suspect these were made in Elkhart.  Here's the bell. Just right click on the symbol and open in a new tab.




The one I play most often is also a 1941, B301543L, and just as you got one almost play ready, so did I in this case. The pads looked brand new on it and I've been playing it a couple of years now. Any of these that conform to the Conn serial chart at Conn Loyalist are USA made. I think the ones from Germany were limited to just a year or two making them quite rare. I know there was some kind of industry strike in the 1950s so that might have been why Conn sent production temporarily to Germany.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 03:49:37 PM »
I'd like to add to the discussion with one of my 424n's.  Serial # B332XXX L. Restored to playing condition by Jeremy Soule. Great sounding clarinet.

Usually, I pick up the plastic Bundy to practice on - well last night, I reached for the Conn and it was a nice treat to play it!

This has the "Oval" logo. My later copy that needs a spa treatment has the later typical CONN logo on the bell.
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Offline modernicus

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2016, 09:12:09 AM »
A 20/7 as early as 1919?  That's incredible.  I have to believe that Conn was the first company in the world to offer a full Boehm, then, and just 3 years after the standardisation to LP (A=440).  Impressive. 
I suppose it's time I added a nice Conn to my collection.  I'm sorry to say that I've never owned an American clarinet, other than a student model Resonite Bundy, (McIntyre, notwithstanding.)
I see one in my near future...
 ;)

I think Buffet Crampon developed the full Boehm clarinet in the 19th century.  They started making regular Boehm system in 1850 IIRC.  Auguste Buffet jeune was earlier, of course (as the co-inventor).
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Offline Windsong

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2016, 12:58:26 PM »
That's amazing.  I wonder why, if after the full Boehm was invented, makers wouldn't just stick with that, instead of the far more common 17/6.
Personally, I have never played a full Boehm, but I have to believe I'd like it.
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Conn ID
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2016, 01:46:02 AM »
That's amazing.  I wonder why, if after the full Boehm was invented, makers wouldn't just stick with that, instead of the far more common 17/6.
Personally, I have never played a full Boehm, but I have to believe I'd like it.

It's a bit funky, as it feels quite a bit longer and heavier than you're accustomed to.  You quickly get used to the awkwardness though, it's almost like the feeling you had when you first played an A clarinet after years of Bb.
Although the low Eb is barely used, it's kind of cool to have in your back pocket.
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