Saxophone Forum


by Groover
(8 posts)
8 months ago

Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

I recently acquired a Conn Shooting Star Alto with the serial number
Made in the USA V-33xx

The bell is stenciled Conn USA
It has sheet metal guards.

My research so far is contradictory, to say the least. 

My guess is that it's an M50 made in Nogales, AZ in the early 60s.   
It might also have been made in Elkhart before the move and it might be a Vito Kenosha 38 made of French parts in either location.   
The 'V' might stand for Vito and it might stand for factory 2nd. 

There is so much lore surrounding Conn of this period. 
Any help would appreciated.  

 

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  1. by mijderf
    (280 posts)

    8 months ago

    Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

    I am not familiar with Conn using the V in front of the serial number.  I think it could help if you could attach some photos of:
    1.  Serial Number
    2.  Bell engravings and the mentioned Conn USA markings
    3.  Key Guards
    4.  Left hand table keys
    5.  Overall layout showing key shapes. 

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  2. by Groover
    (8 posts)

    8 months ago

    Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

    hey mijderf, 
    thanks for the reply.  my post was a real hail mary pass in the dark and i'm thrilled that you answered. 

    you are, of course, absolutely right that I should have included photos.  and i would love to do that... but, at the moment, the horn is in the very able hands of Musicare in Ottawa, ON

    i can tell you this:  Andrew spotted that the neck brace has a Vito logo on it.  this points very strongly to the horn being made of Vito branded Beauginer parts.  as does the four digit serial#  again you are correct, no one else reports a four digit serial # starting with any letter. 

    i will gladly provide pics when i have them but that may not be for a couple of weeks. 

    Thanks again. 

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    1. by Groover
      (8 posts)

      8 months ago

      Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

      Here's a link to a Vito Beauginer with the same neck as my Conn. 
      https://www.saxontheweb.net/threads/thrift-store-find-beauginer-vito-alto.381956/



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    2. by GFC
      (840 posts)

      8 months ago

      Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

      The Conn facility in Nogales Arizona was originally owned by the Art Best Manufacturing Company and made the parts for the Vito-Kenosha line of instruments.  After the acquisition of Best Manufacturing by Conn in 1960, the Vito models continued to be produced and were marketed as the Conn 50M alto and 60M tenor.  Those instruments had a short production run, until Conn started producing the 14M alto and 16M tenor in Nogales in 1963.

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      1. by Groover
        (8 posts)

        8 months ago

        Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

        Thanks GFC, 
        I read that some of the Vito/Conns were made of left over Beauginer parts. Is there any way to tell if that's the case?

        Do you have any thoughts on the 'V' in front of the  four digit serial # ?

        Thanks, people.  I'm really enjoying the diversion in these Covid times.  Be safe.  

        Pics to follow, I promise. 
           

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        1. by GFC
          (840 posts)

          8 months ago

          Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

          The USA Vitos are different from the Beaugnier Vitos, although they were derived from the Beaugnier designs that preceded them.  When the Nogales facility was acquired by Conn, there were parts with Vito serial numbers in stock that were used for the early 50Ms and 60Ms.  

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        2. by Groover
          (8 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

          Thanks to everyone.  Here are some promised pics.
          I have it back from Musicare.  It's strikingly heavy and it's a really nice playing horn. 
          Andrew points out that the join between the neck and the body is not flush which suggests two different manufacturers.

          Please let me know if there's anything else I can provide. 
          Thanks again. 

          PS sorry about the blank posts, I can't seem to delete them.

          Reply To Post


        3. by GFC
          (840 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

          It's entirely possible that a Vito-Beaugnier neck was swapped in for a Vito-Kenosha type neck on a Vito-design Conn.  

          Congratulations.  You've got yourself a solid horn with an interesting and somewhat under-the-radar story behind it.  

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        4. by Groover
          (8 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

          Hey thanks for getting back to me.

          That's all I was hoping for, a good player with an quirky backstory.  

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        5. by Groover
          (8 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

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        6. by Groover
          (8 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Conn Shooting Star Alto four digit serial # starting with V

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