Saxophone Forum


by Caroline Z
(2 posts)
3 weeks ago

Help? Conn Soprano Saxophones

I'm planning on buying a soprano saxophone and I found 2 different listings that might have potential. Both used, one is listed as a "Conn USA sold by Hawkes & Son" at $550. The other is a Soprano that says Royal Artist Bruno NY on it's engraving, but the seller doesn't really know anything about saxophones and believes it was made by Conn between 1915-1924 priced at $800.

I just want to make sure if any of these saxes would be in good playing condition and if they're good deals.

I can send any photos through email. Thank you!

 

 

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  1. by mijderf
    (97 posts)

    3 weeks ago

    Re: Help? Conn Soprano Saxophones

    It would help quite a bit if you stated your current proficiency, i.e. beginner, intermediate or advanced.  I will assume for now that you are beginner or intermediate, and I apologize if I assumed wrong.
    You are looking at used saxophones, so condition is very important.  You should assume that even if they play well, they may need some adjustment or even a full pad job at your local technician.  So to be safe, you really need to have an additional $500 set aside to cover surprise expenses.

    A Conn USA generally means Conn after the Selmer buyout.  These are OK horns at best, and construction was not too rugged.  If you can get the serial number for this horn, it might help tell exactly how old this horn is.  Unless the conditon is great, this is not a particularly good deal.

    The Royal Artist Bruno NY I would avoid because of the seller's statement.  First he says he doesn't really know anything about saxophones, but then he states that he believes it was made by Conn and gives a very small production date window.  It can be really challenging to identify the true manufacturer of a stencilled horn like this, certainly something that someone who "knows nothing about saxophones" cannot do.  This doesn't sound right to me, so I would avoid this one.

    If you are a beginner or intermediate player who has never played a soprano, I would recommend something that I generally do not recommend.  That is look at purchasing a new horn that has a decent reputation.   Consider Kessler and Sons: 
    https://www.kesslerandsons.com/soprano-saxophones/
    or Crescent:
    http://www.justsaxes.net/crescent-pricing/
    If you are careful with the handling and cleaning of the new horns, they should be playable for a number of years withold needing any major (expensive) repair.

    Unless you can inspect and play the used horns and know what to look for, I would recommend the new horns in the above sources.

     

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    1. by Caroline Z
      (2 posts)

      3 weeks ago

      Re: Help? Conn Soprano Saxophones

      I've also been thinking of Kessler, but I've never heard of these Crescent saxes. Thank you!

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      1. by mijderf
        (97 posts)

        3 weeks ago

        Re: Help? Conn Soprano Saxophones

        I think I just saw these two horns on Ebay.  I would definitely avoid them.  The Royal Artist has the old left hand table keys that do not have rollers, so it will be difficult to play, and the few pads that I could see looked pretty old.
        The Conn USA is a high pitched instrument.  That means it is tuned to a higher frequency than any of the horns made in the last 70 or so years.  You would not be able to play it in tune with any other modern instrument.
        There are many good horns on Ebay, but also many bad horns.   So unless you are very familiar with saxophones, I would avoid Ebay.  

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