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Buescher Big B Alto Saxophone Original Lacquer Good Condition 324407$ 1,650
This is a 1949 Buescher “Big B” Aristocrat, so named for the ornate engraving of a, well, a Big B on the bell. This horn is in very good condition, and the typical wear around the fine engraving of the B on the bell is not present, which indicates that this horn has led a life mostly in a closet somewhere. There are no resolders or past dentwork to speak of, and it plays *way* better than it should on some very old pads, but you would want to get this repadded to play like it can, which is very, very good!
These horns are undervalued in my opinion. I mean, you can get this one in such great shape with all of its original Snap-on resonators and overhaul it for not a whole lot more than a Yamaha student model in total- seems like a good buy to me! They combine excellent intonation, comfortable keywork, top notch build quality, and beautiful lacquer and engraving with a warm, centered tone. Johnny Hodges famously played one of these, and his tone is a very good example of the blend of sweetness and power these horns possess.
Conn 10M Tenor Saxophone Pre-War 1937 Excellent Condition Overhauled
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 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$ 950
This is a Conn New Wonder II Transitional alto saxophone from 1930. The new coat of paint it got made the price go down, but didn’t hurt the playability. This horn came to me playing pretty 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 $1k, which is crazy. Again, it’s not as good as a fresh overhaul, but it’s pretty good. This horn is pre-war, if you’re looking for that, and it has rolled tone holes. By ‘transitional’ in the title, I mean that it was made very late in the New Wonder II (or ‘Chu Berry’) run, and it has some features that anticipate the 6M or ‘artist’ or ‘naked lady’ or ‘lady face’ (I could go on. Conn nomenclature is kind of convoluted.) It’s basically a New Wonder II, but it has the raised high E side key and a few other small changes like palm key shapes and possibly a different neck though I’m not sure about that.
It includes the case in the photos as well.
Only one available.
Conn Standard Steelay 5 Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece D69$ 95
Complete your set with a Conn 10M tenor from the 30’s or 40’s. Deep scooped sidewalls, very large chamber, no baffle. Tip opening measures 0.058″. This tip opening is pretty limiting in terms of flexibility and projection. High resistance, very dark tone.