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Conn Connstellation Alto Saxophone 28M Very Good Condition Original Lacquer 335771$ 2,050
You could be forgiven for thinking that because there are two original lacquer, very good condition Conn 28M “Connstellation” saxophones on my website at the moment that these are somewhat common, but I assure you that is not the case! I will copy and paste the general statements about the 28M from the other description, with the unique description of this particular instrument’s physical and playing condition at the bottom.
The Conn 28M will always have a special place in my heart. It represents the last time one of the great American saxophone manufacturing companies tried something wholly new, and although the horn never really found a market and not many were made, they are fantastic instruments that besides being unique and historically interesting, play *really* well.
These saxophones were redesigned, utilizing many ideas from Allen Loomis (Conn’s resident saxophone visionary) and Hugh Loney, with input from Santy Runyon, with the aim of creating a saxophone that had extremely slick keywork and a very balanced scale. The keywork, although familiar under the fingers with regard to placement and layout, is mechanically quite different from any other saxophone and has been built from the ground up with the goal of reducing mechanical friction. There are no pivot screws anywhere on this saxophone, instead the long rods have a very long hinge rod with the middle machined down so only the ends touch. The G# has a very unique torsion mechanism to provide a G# feel that is smooth throughout the range. The side keys are designed so that the angle and distance of travel is the same for each key. There are adjustment screws on the upper and lower stacks as well as the left hand pinky table. The bell keys are on the left side, and the pantsguard/bell keyguard is a large acrylic plate that was designed with the idea in mind of allowing the horn to vent properly regardless of playing position or clothing choice. The octave mechanism has three pips (octave vents), one on the neck and two on the body, which has the end result of a very clear middle D and no hiss on the A or G#, as well as excellent intonation. The keywork in general is very light, and the pearls are larger than usual for Conn and a little flatter. The overall feeling is of a very light horn, extremely slick, easy to play, excellent intonation, and very even throughout.
The one downfall of this design is the pantsguard, which is fairly brittle and often broken. Although nowadays there are excellent replacements available, this one has its original guard in decent condition. There is one repaired crack (visible in the photos) and the common small cracks radiating from some of the screw holes. I would anticipate, absent any further damage, that this keyguard will last and should not present any problems- although I will furnish you with contact information for obtaining a well made (and somewhat more durable) replacement should you ever need it. And believe it or not, I have experience shipping these so you can rest easy knowing I will remove it for shipping, wrap it separately, and it will arrive to you in good condition.
This instrument plays quite decently on what appears to be an older repad with plastic domed resonators, with a strong, moderately bright, cheerful voice. The clarity of the tone is notable, and it is a lot of fun to play with a unique look and feel and timbre that would lend itself easily to classical, big band, or small group jazz. The lacquer is original and in good condition with some playing wear and a few stand scratches near the low C#, with no evidence of past repairs or dents or resolders of any kind. It is also a unique and interesting piece of saxophone history, in very good condition, and whoever owns this instrument next will have a lot of fun being its steward for the next generation.
Selmer Mark VI Alto 1955 Original Lacquer Recent Overhaul Excellent! 57457$ 8,750
This is a fantastic, two owner example of a Selmer Mark VI alto from the first year of production. It has a recent overhaul done through GetASax with Pisoni Italian leather pads and Tenormadness slightly domed metal resonators, which is a WONDERFUL combination for a VI alto like this. It has a powerful, projecting, focused voice, and it’s totally effortless to play. I bought this horn from the original owner, who studied in NYC with Joe Allard and played in all kinds of groups in the 50’s. The original lacquer was nearly 100% present when I bought it, but it was flaking off. We washed the horn and the flaking lacquer came off, leaving it in the present stage of elegant wear, with the bare brass darkening and the engraving set off by the contrast. It looks great, like an villa on the grand canal in Venice or something. You won’t find a nicer 5-digit to play. It’s got TONS of power and can really scream, but the core tone is medium dark, so it doesn’t get shrill even when pushed. Low register is effortless. There are no past repairs to speak of, and the overhaul is just getting settled in, so it has probably at least a decade or two of solid turn key playability in this overhaul. Whoever gets this is one lucky alto player! Only one available.
Selmer Mark VI Alto 59680 1955 Fresh High End Overhaul! Great Deal$ 6,350
Unengraved Euro-assembled Mark VI alto from 1955 that just got a full high-end overhaul. Is the lacquer original or not? I’m honestly not sure. It’s priced like a relacquer, but it may well be original. The lacquer is the correct color and style for an early 50’s Euro, and since there’s no engraving, and nowhere where you can see wear underneath lacquer, it’s a tough call. This just got a complete restoration, meaning the keywork is super snappy and tight feeling, and everything is clean and just how it should be for this horn’s next couple of decades of playing. The lacquer on the original neck was kind of ugly, so we went ahead and stripped the rest of that off and let it age to a natural patina. If you want a dark, focused, powerful Mark VI alto that is a 5-digit serial for the price of a much less desirable VI, then this is for you. It may well be original, but I’m not going to ask +$3000 for it just in case it isn’t. So it’s a great deal too, in my opinion. I threw in a new BAM Cabine alto case for good measure. This is a superb choice for a serious player, or for a student, or for a novice who wants a horn that will be reliable and sound great, to grow into. Only one available!
Selmer Mark VI Alto Original Lacquer Recent Overhaul Great! 70876$ 7,850