Saxophone Forum


by cmelody
(1 post)
4 months ago

C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

I was given a Conn C Melody pitch saxophone from 1907. It does not have an H or L by its serial number. Does that mean that it is for certain not a high or low pitch instrument? I took it into the shop to have some work done, and he advised me to research this before deciding whether or not to do repairs.

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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (235 posts)

    4 months ago

    Re: C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

    I think the older version horns during this time frame only marked an L for low pitch.

    No designation given would then be a high pitch.

    Check the museum examples here under conn.

    The older horns in your time frame, 1907, only showed when it was a low pitch.

    You can also probably play the horn into a tuner. If it needs work to play it, you still may be able to get a good middle C# out of it, playing open keyed, and check against a tuner.

    Good Luck

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  2. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (235 posts)

    4 months ago

    Re: C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

    I personally would love to see some pics of this horn.

    The C melody RAVE/CRAZE did not start till the early 20s, so this is a somewhat rare/oddity.

    I am a rare collector/enthusiast of Conn C m,elodys, which most players categorize as worthless has been horns.

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    1. by nevertoosafe
      (3 posts)

      4 months ago

      Re: C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

      I have a c melody low pitch horn, that was my mothers. According to the serial number it was produced in 1923. All parts are there, even some music and reeds. However, there is mold growing on the horn, it is repairable and do you have any idea what it might cost. Thanks for any info about this matter.

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      1. by bjroosevelt
        (47 posts)

        4 months ago

        Re: C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

        Mold - Normally mold can't grow on metal.  It needs cellulose or other fiber and moisture to grow..  Can definitely be fixed.  

        Likely you will have a good cleaning and replace all of the pads.  Not sure if the corks require replacement.....Pad and corks would be the source of food that allows the mold to grow.

        Saxquest would be able to give you a quote.  If you need more than the neck cleaned up, My guess is that you are looking at between $300 and $800....it really depends on how much work the horn needs in addition to mold abatement.

        If it were a Tenor or Alto I would guess that that pretty much any good sax shop should be able to fix this for you. For a C-Melody, make sure to go to someone who handles professional, vintage instruments....not just a repair shop that has a lot of second-hand student instruments on the shelves.

         

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        1. by nevertoosafe
          (3 posts)

          3 months ago

          Re: C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

          Thank you for replying, sorry I wasn't on this site for a while to see what people said. I afraid it will be a wall decoration piece, because of all the green stuff and mold smell on it. No one is going to pay what it would cost to clean it. I did try all the keys and they move freely. I see there was a small bottle of wax for the cork in a plastic bag in the case along with reeds, so that along with any grease on horn  must have caused the mold in the case on on whatever else it is on.  Lovely horn and my mother was so proud of it, but alas a total loss.  Thanks for your comments.
          One last note I am going to upload some pictures of it and the case label just for fun to see what people say about it.

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      2. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (235 posts)

        4 months ago

        Re: C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

        This situation is what I love to do and after a few hundred refurbishings it becomes pretty routine. Conn Straight neck C meodys are my preference to work on.

        1923 was a major C melody year for Conn. Most Conn horns produced in 1923 were C melodys.

        Today the market is full of these wonderful 1923 horns needing refurbishing.

        Since production ended around 1930, there simply were not made for very long.

        But, once they are finished, they play better than new. I am assuming yours is a Conn.

        I completely strip a horn down. Rollers must be removed and 50% of the time they have to be broken and then replaced. If all 5 of your rollers move freely, you are blessed going in.

        1923 is when Conn added the pivot lock screws. These also can be a major burden, so feel blessed your horn does not have them or blessed if they come out easily. There are 6 of these. The 1923 horns also do not have the cumbersume fingernail G# key. I find the Fingernail G# to be just too heavy, like moving a refrigerator if it is not set correctly in tension.

        The tuneable neck has to be dismantled. This also can be a major burden. I recently picked up a custom made tool for removing the lock ring. This custom tool makes the job much easier.

        After the horn is cleaned and polished and dents removed, cages are straightened and any resolders performed, the refurbishing begins. Each key must be properly fitted to its place on the horn and its relation to any and all keys in its assigned area. The proper Conn Reso pads are then installed. The correct pad will feel it is too big for its key cup. Properly installed it fits very tightly, completely into the cup, and no glue used. When the key is depressed, it closes perfectly to the rim of the rolled tone hole. After each pad is installed and checked to fit accurately to its tone hole, the cork teflon and felt is added.

        That is a very short version of what it takes to refurbish a Conn C melody.

        Expect 600 bucks or more  for the work. There are a lot of overpriced egos out there, so check around. Use someone with experience in them.

        The Catch 22 of the C melody is, most players feel they are worthless, so they sit unrepaired. The cost of the repair is higher than most players want to pay for one of them.

        But, if you have the ability to playtest a properly set up Conn Straight neck, you will become a Fan also...

        Good Luck from Cincinnati

         

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        1. by nevertoosafe
          (3 posts)

          3 months ago

          Re: C melody Conn-is it high or low pitch?

          Here are pictures of the horn with all it's mess!  I don't think it is Conn, you can tell me after looking at the pictures.

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