1930s

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  • Conn 10M Tenor Pre-War Original Lacquer Cleaned and Ready for Pads Very Good Condition Great Deal – just add an overhaul

    $ 3,650

    This is a BEAUTIFUL original lacquer Conn 10M that is totally ready to be overhauled by your favorite saxophone repair shop. Or get it overhauled through GetASax if you prefer. Way back in 2009 I was selling 10M’s this nice for more than this price, also with original pads, and they have gone up a LOT over the past 10 years. I am pricing this one low so that it sells quickly. Check out those photos. Go ahead – zoom in, make them full screen. The larger the image, the better this horn looks. It has had a few small dings removed, and the body side of the brace was carefully resoldered where it had popped off. (This happens sometimes on Conns.) You can hardly tell at all. That’s really about it! This is as clean as a 10M gets, even if you wait around for a year for the best one you can find.

    If you have been looking for a definitely great 10M, look no further. If you want to get this AND get it in with a Conn specialist like Matt Stohrer for overhaul, I am open to giving you one of my precious reserved overhaul spots with Matt. His work on Conns is really outstanding. I don’t make any money on that. You just work out your overhaul options with Matt.

    To give you a taste of what this horn can sound like, here’s a classic recording of Dexter Gordon putting his 10M through its paces. That’s a Hollywood Dukoff from the 40’s if you’re curious. The horn can take a ton of air, and just keep giving you more tone. Dex never sounded better than at this period on the 10M. It’s a natural fit. 

  • Sold Out

    Conn 10M Tenor Saxophone 1935 Fresh Overhaul Original Lacquer Great Deal!

    $ 3,850

    This is this kind of Conn 10M tenor saxophone that makes people ditch their Selmers and Yamahas. It’s also a great deal at this price! It is original lacquer, AND it has been recently overhauled before I got it, and is playing very nicely. The keywork is comfortable, intonation is excellent, and the tone is to die for. Wide, dark, but still punchy and with a good amount of focus. Palm key tone is gorgeous and full, not a bit thin. This tenor has been well cared-for over the years, and the only past repairs I see are some small dents removed from the back of the body tube and bow, and evidence of a slight pull down having been ‘pulled back up’ from the neck, which is a very common thing to see on vintage saxophones. This pull down (now fully corrected) was about a 2 on a scale of 1-10 in severity, so not a big deal.

    I have a lot of Conns, but not many of them that are both pre-war and that have a recent overhaul. That makes this one an excellent deal. Only one available. By the way, this is what original lacquer looks like on the early 10M’s from ’34-35. The engraving style is a little different from later 10M’s, on the early ones in the 260-270k range. This is what it looks like (and should look like).

    Just for fun, here’s Dexter Gordon putting a 10M from the same era through its paces. (The mouthpiece is a Hollywood Dukoff, which I also have for sale, if you are looking.) The sound mixing guy who recorded Dex always had to dial him back a lot. There really is no limit to the volume on  a Conn 30M tenor.

  • Conn 10M Tenor Saxophone Pre-War 1935 Relacquered Fresh Overhaul Plays Easily

    $ 2,850

    This is a fully restored Conn Pre-war 10M Tenor saxophone that looks like a new horn. If aesthetics are important to you, and you also want a saxophone that is already restored, this would be a great purchase! And you save money since it has a new coat of lacquer, compared to if the original lacquer were still there. This beautiful 10M is from the second year that the 10M was made, and it is in very good condition. It was refinished and completely overhauled by Wichita Band, who sold it only a few months ago on eBay for $3850. I’m pricing it lower, because I think $3850 is a bit high for it. So you can get a great deal, on a horn that has an expensive restoration already completed. The pads are reso-pads like Conns originally came with, so it has a vintage soft feel under the fingers. The horn plays really easily, with a big, warm tone like you would expect with a 10M.

    Just for fun, here’s Dexter Gordon putting a 10M from the same era through its paces. (The mouthpiece is a Hollywood Dukoff, which I also have for sale, if you are looking.) The sound mixing guy who recorded Dex always had to dial him back a lot. There really is no limit to the volume on  a Conn 30M tenor.

  • Sold Out

    Conn 30M Connqueror Tenor Saxophone 1936 Relacquered Plays Great! 275847

    The Conn 30M. If you’re reading this, you probably know what this is already. It’s the more deluxe version of the best vintage tenor by Conn, the Conn 10M. The 30M is a 10M plus lots of keywork upgrades including ‘permadjust’ screws throughout, rather than traditional adjustment materials between key linkages; solid silver key touches on spatula and side keys, and a newly designed pinky table and neck octave key. This is the saxophone geek’s dream horn. It is also one of the best sounding tenors ever produced, without any doubt.

    This particular example is refinished, obviously, and then it got a recent overhaul done by the good people at SaxAlley in Colorado. They used a wide, flat pad that looks like a Conn Reso-pad, but is solid throughout, so it feels snappy and positive instead of the soft, squishy feel of a normal reso-pad. This is an improvement. There is some kind of dark leather sealant on the pads that makes them look weird, but hey, they are sealing well, and the horn feels quite good under the fingers, so I’m not going to mess with success here. The response is quick, and the tone is saturated throughout. The low register is particularly nice. Subtone and ballad playing is very easy, and this Conn 30M can play softly while still sounding full and rich. There is really no upper limit to the volume. You’re the only limiting variable here.

    If you’re looking for a great player’s tenor that is much cheaper than a normal 30M even though it is in good playing condition, and that sounds great all-around, then this may be the horn for you. It came to me in a pretty worn old Conn case, so if you want to upgrade the case, I’m happy to cut you a good deal on a new case for it. I like the BAM Classic for Conns, as the foam is great quality, and the cut out in the interior allows the bell keys to fit without a whole lot of squishing necessary.

    Just for fun, here’s Dexter Gordon putting a 10M from the same era through its paces. (The mouthpiece is a Hollywood Dukoff, which I also have for sale, if you are looking.) The sound mixing guy who recorded Dex always had to dial him back a lot. There really is no limit to the volume on  a Conn 30M tenor.

     

  • Conn 4M Curved Soprano RARE Late Example 244750 Matt Stohrer Overhaul Exceptional!

    $ 6,950

    If you want the best, the most beautiful, the rarest, and the highest quality overhaul all in one soprano, then this is the one for you. You can get a ‘normal’ conn curved soprano for a lot less, but it will not be like this. This Conn curved soprano is for the connoisseur, the collector, and the discerning player.

    The general rules for buying these, in my view, is to get the latest curved soprano that you can find. I only know of a few individual instruments with later serial numbers than this. You could probably count the total number that were made after this one in the single digits. This is only the second one that I have seen in person, and it is by far the nicest one I have seen. Like every Conn curved soprano it had a couple of key guard feet resoldered, and that is it for past repairs. They look good, and are not at all glaring. The neck is particularly nice. The bell flare and body tube are undamaged.

    It just got a complete overhaul and gentle hand polish and cleaning done by Matt Stohrer, Conn enthusiast and my personal favorite repairman for Conn overhauls. Matt’s work needs no introduction, but you can find his website here, and his youtube channel here, complete with several Conn-specific repariman’s overview videos. I got the silver plate touched up in a couple of places where it was starting to show some wear, and I got the gold wash in the bell redone also, though there was still some gold in there to start with. The resonators are the nice, reusable, high-end TenorMadness set, flattened for an authentic look. They look great. An overhaul is a big job, and that’s now done, so this horn is back to factory fresh or better playing condition. Better, because Matt’s pad work feels better than the reso-pad job found on these originally. It’s tight, snappy, and positive under the fingers. Pad heights are just right, and all the little details that distinguish a really good overhaul from a mediocre one are present and correct on this horn.

    Playing wise, this soprano is a monster. It’s warm, round, broad, and room-filling, even at low volumes. When pushed, it is almost too loud. It wants to project over a band. The tone is completely different from modern sopranos. Much more warm and medium-dark, almost like a larger saxophone voice squeezed into the small soprano body. The intonation is quite good, and this works well with a wider range of mouthpieces than many sopranos. I used my Bilger Morgan, and it sounds great. But a modern Yanagisawa HR or even a vintage Buescher will all work, so there’s a good range. This is easily one of my favorite vintage sopranos that I have ever played. If you are looking for a new dimension to add to your playing, a curved soprano like this is interesting and stimulating. A whole fresh world to explore. It also looks great on stage, and catches eyes if you’re a full time performer.

    This beautiful instrument comes in its original case, also in good condition.

    Just for fun, here’s a clip Dave Koz playing his silver Conn curved soprano with postmodern jukebox. Also, be sure to check out Keenan McKenzie’s curved Conn soprano playing in a 30’s swing setting. So great, and tons of fun!

  • Conn 6M Transitional Art Deco Alto Saxophone 247105 Great Shape 1931

    $ 1,600

    I love Conn altos in the 230-260k range, and especially the ones near 250k serial. This 247k is a transitional Conn between the New Wonder II (‘Chu Berry’) and the 6M (‘Artist’) models. It is a true transitional in every sense, and is almost half NWII and half 6M. These special alto saxophones have a tone and set of features found nowhere else, and that makes them especially great in several ways. The bore still feels more like a NWII to play, so the tone is wider and wilder than the later 6M’s (which are also great, but are more focused and a bit less wild). The neck is like a 6M, so you get the improved intonation that ‘slots in’ better – NWII’s have good intonation as well, but it is more flexible than the 6M versions. The bell keys have moved around to the left, but the left hand spatula keys retain their NWII shape, but with improved mechanics. No saxophone has an easier or more direct feel on the low B and Bb that this version of Conn. It’s nice and light and fast, though you don’t have anything like modern ergonomics on those keys, of course. The regular main stack keywork is already mostly updated to the fast and comfortable 6M design. That is very good keywork, and is hardly improved upon in modern horns, so this is a very comfortable horn to play.

    It came with special ‘art deco’ engraving on the bell that you only see for a short time around 245-249k serial with Conn altos. This example is original or ‘first’ lacquer, and has not been refinished. It has original pads and even comes with the original warranty and care booklet in the original case.

    Tonally, these late transitional 6M’s are an ideal choice for big band or jazz band lead alto. They have almost unlimited projection or ‘carrying power’ as the old advertizements put it. And the tone stays strong and cohesive no matter how much you push it. It’s just a joy to hear one of these in full song. Marhsall Royale and the Basie band all played Conns like this, as did Charlie Parker for a while (among many other horns). You see them commonly in clubs in NYC and all over Europe these days. Nothing sounds like a Conn. This one is priced low for what it is. Superb original condition. Add a good overhaul, and you will have one of the best built alto saxophones ever, that will be dependable and fantastic to own and play for many many years to come. If you like this version in silver, I also have a silver 249k that I just got completely overhauled that is also for sale.

    Only one available!

     

  • Conn 6m Transitional Art Deco Alto Saxophone 249081 Overhauled!

    $ 3,250

    Just completely overhauled! Price includes the full restoration. Take how it looks in the photos, and make everything perfect and shiny with all new everything and that’s what you’d be getting.

    The Conn 6M transitional takes many forms, and this particular original silver plated example is from 1932.  It features art deco engraving (a style which only appears for a few years), left hand bell keys, 6M style keywork everywhere except the left hand pinky table, which is New Wonder II style.  This is the last iteration before the transitional becomes nearly identical to the 6M, and to my ears these have a bit more of the big tone of the New Wonder II than the transitionals just after it- and in fact around this serial range is my favorite of the transitionals, playing-wise.  

    This horn plays a bit on some very old pads, but it will need a repad.  Physically it is in extremely good condition, with no dents or dings or evidence of past repairs that I can see.  The neck is undamaged and shows no signs of past pulldown, and the microtuner is free and functional. The silver plate is thick and unworn, and will shine up unbelievably well, if my past experience is any guide (see Matt Stohrer’s guide on polishing silver saxophones to see what I mean).  It comes with its original case in good condition and its original warranty card. These are great altos, built by the finest American saxophone craftsmen in their heyday, and a super clean one like this is a great place to start if you are looking for a fantastic vintage horn that will last you a lifetime for less of an overall investment than most any new horn of even middling quality that you can buy today.

  • Conn 6M New Wonder II Transitional Alto Saxophone

    Conn 6M Transitional Art Deco Burnished Gold Plate Alto Saxophone The Best!

    $ 3,950

    Price just lowered!!

    This is one of those super-rare Conn alto saxophones from when Conn was at the height of it’s manufacturing expertise. Conn had the most advanced saxophone manufacturing facility in the world, and it set the standard for quality for all other manufacturers. This alto would have been a special, top-of-the-line model. It has the most elaborate thick burnished finish that is also by far the most time consuming to apply. (Ever burnished anything by hand?) This is original (real, actual) gold plate. (People often think this can’t be real gold, but hey, welcome to the 1930’s where both gold and labor were cheap, and American craftspeople were the best in the world! And there’s the most desirable engraving pattern here also, or at least one of them. For just about a year and a half, Conn did this deluxe ‘art-deco’ geometrical engraving style on its nicer instruments. There’s a lot to see here – it’s a masterpiece of hand engraving that is no longer done at this level by any manufacturer today.

    Conns from the early 1930’s are my absolute favorite There was a short burst of gold plate examples mixed in with other horns between 238k-252k, and they are the best of the best in my book.

  • Conn 6M VIII Alto Saxophone 1937 Pre-War Original Lacquer Excellent Condition 282496

    $ 3,250

    This is a beautiful Conn 6M VIII alto with great original lacquer. It comes with a full high end overhaul. If you are relatively new to vintage saxophones, almost all saxophones older than 1990 or so that have been played with any frequency are in need of a labor-intensive process of restoration called an ‘overhaul.’ This does not touch the finish, but it completely replaces everything that needs to be replaced to put the saxophone back to factory fresh mechanical and playing condition. If you do it right, (which is a big if) then the horn can even be better than new mechanically and playing wise. That’s what this horn is getting right now. It costs about $1000+ to have done right, because it involves at least 25-30 hours of skilled labor.

    This Conn 6M VII is really the one you want. It is in excellent condition, original lacquer, no resolders, no serious past repairs at all (a few small dings removed). As soon as it comes back from overhaul in a week or two, it is going to be AMAZING! Conns are very consistent from horn to horn once you fix everything mechanically. This one will be no exception. Even on original pads when I got it from a collector, it played really big. It is medium-focused, and very free blowing. Intonation is excellent. Keywork is fast. It comes with a BAM Classic alto case or similar, (we can discuss) to keep it safe when you are not playing it (which won’t be that much of the time, based on how these play!)

    Only one available!

  • Conn 6M VIII Alto Saxophone 1942 Original Lacquer Pre-war Excellent Condition!

    $ 2,250

    This Conn 6M is the most desirable version, with the VIII stamp on the neck, and the entire saxophone is in excellent condition. It is all original – including neck, pads, original lacquer, and original case. The pads are completely done and you’ll have to overhaul this to play your first note on it. It would be hard to find a better overhaul candidate. Usually there’s at least one resolder, but the only thing I can see that has ever happened to this alto is a small dent removed from the back of the bow which is now nearly invisible.

    The neck is gorgeous, body tube, bow, and bell are all dent free and beautiful. The engraving really pops on this horn, and the lacquer has a luster that you don’t always see. The reason this Conn 6M alto is in such great condition, is that the original owner bought it in early 1942, (just before Conn stopped producing saxophones to start making alitmeters for the war effort), and then he enlisted and went off to war. When he came back, he bought a Conn 10M tenor saxophone  and played that instead. The 10M is in nearly as good condition, though it’s not original lacquer like this alto is.

    Conn 6M altos are amazingly consistent from horn to horn. Just get it properly overhauled, and it will be a really lively, projecting, room-filling lead alto that sails over a band with ease. There’s nothing like a Conn in full song. Plus, as you may know, the keywork layout on the 6M is very comfortable and fast under the fingers. In an alternate universe where Conn kept making saxophones during WWII and Selmer stopped making saxophones to fight the Nazis, Conn’s keywork design would have become what you see on all modern saxophones. It’s that good. I prefer Conns to Selmers on alto, generally speaking, and my favorites are these pre-war 6M’s. They’re just so fun to play. The horn comes alive in your hands, the body tube vibrates in response to the sound, and there really is no limit to the amount of sound you can get out when pushed. People come in the shop and play the Conns, and they are regularly blown away.

    I have some other, very similar altos right now that also come with the full overhaul / restoration included in the price. You can see the selection of Conns available here. There are also some in other finishes like silver plate or even gold plate.

    Just for fun, here’s Marshal Royal and the Basie Band (all of whom used Conns) playing a ballad on his 6M. 

  • Conn 6M VIII Alto Saxophone Pre-War Original Lacquer Very Good Condition Plays Well 294775

    $ 1,950

    This pre-war (from the American perspective, meaning prior to the government order than restricted the manufacture of musical instruments along with anything else made out of brass) Conn 6M was built in 1941, and is the desirable “VIII” version, with the VIII stamp on both the body and neck.  

    It is in very good physical condition with original lacquer, no dents, and no major or minor past repairs or resolders, with the exception of a repaired dent on the bowguard, which is visible in the photos.  It has what appears to be a recent repad, or perhaps an old repad that wasn’t played much after it was done, and Conn Res-o-pads were used. It plays well with a big voice, and although to my professionally-obligated-to-be-picky tastes it is not quite as astoundingly slick under the fingers at these feel when they have been overhauled as the best repairers can do, it is definitely playable as-is and will beat the pants off of most any challenger, especially modern imports that cost a lot more and give you a lot less than this fine example of vintage American saxophone craftsmanship.  

    Oddly, the lacquer on the neck is more worn than the rest of the horn- although physically the neck is in immaculate condition with no dents or past pulldowns.  In the past when I have seen this the culprit is usually a homemade neck bag that was lacquer-unfriendly, or perhaps the owner had a habit during rests to hold the horn with the neck in his hand.  Given the lack of wear elsewhere on the horn, I’d guess a neck bag was the culprit here, although I can’t be certain. But again, though the lacquer itself is mostly gone from the neck (and the neck alone), the neck tube is flawless and there are no signs of past repairs of any kind.  

    The microtuner is free and functional, and all of the original rollers and present and moving freely.  The engraving is crisp and clear with no lacquer loss, and the pearls seems largely unworn. The keywork is tight and the body is straight.  This is a very clean example of the most desirable vintage of the most desirable variant of the Conn 6M, and it can be yours for less than a new Yamaha YAS-26.  

  • Conn New Wonder II Chu Berry Alto Saxophone Relacquer 1930 Good Pads Great Deal 236664

    $ 800

    This is a Conn New Wonder II Transitional alto saxophone from 1930. It is probably the best playing alto per dollar spent on the site, because it has good pads but has been refinished. The new coat of paint it got made the price go down, but didn’t hurt the playability. This horn came to me playing well on its current pads. It hasn’t been freshly overhauled, but it does play on the current setup. That makes it a great deal, because you get the beautiful big, warm Conn tone for under $1k, which is crazy. This horn is pre-war, if you’re looking for that, and it has rolled tone holes. By ‘transitional’ in the title, I mean that it was made very late in the New Wonder II (or ‘Chu Berry’) run, and it has some features that anticipate the 6M or ‘artist’ or ‘naked lady’ or ‘lady face’ (I could go on. Conn nomenclature is kind of convoluted.) It’s basically a New Wonder II, but it has the raised high E side key and a few other small changes like palm key shapes and possibly a different neck though I’m not sure about that.

    It includes the case in the photos as well.

    Only one available.

  • Martin Committee II Tenor Saxophone Excellent Condition Original Lacquer Overhauled 131115

    $ 3,500

    This is the best Martin Committee II tenor saxophone that I have seen. It is in phenomenal shape and just got a complete mechanical overhaul. It plays SO well – effortlessly throughout all registers with a beautiful, warm, balanced tone. Martins are known for their power, and this one has that, but it is also more focused and round than most other Martins, and has a nice dense core tone. The intonation is very good, and the keywork is also quite comfortable under the fingers. The thumb rest from the Comm II should be on more saxophones. It’s extremely well thought out.

    The overhaul on this horn is beautifully done, as you can see, and included meticulous polishing of all the nickel keys to a stunning mirror finish. The original lacquer is a beautiful dark honey color that is hard to match among modern horns, and of course, the lion and crown engraving is deluxe and distinctive among vintage saxophones. I particularly love the bell key guard design and the overall stylistic impression given by the Martin Committee II tenors.

    If you are looking for a great, already-overhauled, beautifully restored, original lacquer vintage tenor to play and enjoy that really does everything quite well, and that doesn’t sound just like everyone else, then you would be hard pressed to do better than this one. I should mention, the neck and body serials do not match – probably because the collector I got this tenor from wanted to put the best condition neck on this horn.

    Only one available!

  • Selmer Balanced Action Alto Saxophone Fresh Overhaul! Original Silver Plate Great Tone

    $ 5,150

    This is an amazing, fully restored Selmer Balanced Action alto. It just got a wonderful high-end overhaul, complete with some spot plating on some keys and along the back of the body tube where the silver had begun to wear. This is one gorgeous alto, with the rare British market two-tone finish, and gold wash bell. The spring tension is on the lighter side, like with most Balanced Actions. If you want stiffer spring tension, we could discuss replacing the springs, but right now, it has a light flute-like feel like these originally had.

    Tonally, If you want an alto that people are going to want to listen to, this is the one. It plays extremely well, with a warm, powerful voice that is effortlessly lyrical and makes you not want to put it down. It has high-end reusable domed brass resonators and sounds very good on them. Keywork is snappy, and ‘dry’ under the fingers, like it should be. This comes with a new BAM Softpack alto case, or you can swap that for a Cabine for +$100. These British market Balanced’s are my favorite finish on vintage Selmers, and they are few and far between.

    There’s only one available!

  • Selmer New Largebore Alto Saxophone Silver 13405

    $ 1,350

    Here’s a beautiful silver plated Selmer New Largebore alto saxophone. This alto needs a repad, and the silver has been replated. It’s nearly 100% present now. This will be an excellent alto if you want to adopt it and overhaul it. These New Largebore altos play like a half Selmer half Conn, with a wider, darker tone than other Selmers, but still definitely a Selmer, with a delicate, lyrical ‘French’ core to the sound. If you’ve been looking for a deal on a vintage Selmer, this one will be hard to beat for what you get!

  • Selmer ORIGINAL Gold Plate Tenor Sax 16164B Coleman Hawkins Al Cohn Sal Nistico

    $ 13,999

    This tenor is an exceptionally rare original gold-plated Selmer Super Sax in very good physical condition.  Sporting ornate engraving down to the bottom of the bow in a burnished background, the body of the sax is a matte gold plate finish while the keys and interior of the bell are burnished.  Factory gold-plated Selmers are not common, and this is one the few original gold-plated Selmer tenors from this early Super Sax era ever made, and likely one of the nicest still surviving, if there are indeed others still out there.  The keywork is tight and shows very little wear- although this horn shows signs of being used, it was well cared-for and well loved.

    This horn has recently been given a thorough check-up and plays well.  I am a big fan of these Super saxes, and this instrument is a good example of why.  It plays with what is arguably the biggest voice of any Selmer, and is one of the few instruments that can give a good Conn of the same period a run for its money in richness.  But the velvety Selmer tone is there along with the fatness, making for a uniquely broad and ballsy-sounding Selmer with a lot more power than most horns. The keywork is quite nice and although of an older style ergonomically, those that play these do not find them difficult or an impediment to technical facility.  

    The serial number is also interesting: although infrequently seen, the B at the end of the serial (sometimes it would actually say “bis”) is Selmer’s way of denoting that they struck the same serial twice on two different instruments!  So this is Selmer #16164… B. All in all, a uniquely beautiful and rare instrument with the bonus of a historical quirk. 

    The last 7 photos are of some of the tenor greats playing similar horns to this.