This is a hard to find example of a very late ‘transitional’ Conn New Wonder II / 10M tenor saxophone. It has features of each model – mostly 10M keywork at this point, except for the bell keys still being split between left and right. Original lacquer!
Just back from a near-overhaul extremely comprehensive setup. It had new pads when I got it in, but a bad overhaul, so we re-overhauled it but reused the pads, which were fine. We disassembled, cleaned throughout, oiled, took out all the pads, and reseated them with extra adhesive, and replaced many of the tiny adjustment screws that Conns come with. This tenor also got the neck ‘fit’ to the tenon, which makes a big difference, and it got new rollers too, to match the originals. Now, it plays effortlessly, and feels and looks great. The pads are all sealing super well and should be setup for the long haul – unlikely to need more than minor adjustments for a long time! That’s great, because most people have never, I think, actually experienced a vintage saxophone like this when it was totally ‘right’. When it is, you see why these horns have such lasting value and popularity. They’re really just about the best sounding tenors ever. And it’s LOUD too, but without breaking up. The loudest Selmer is only about half as loud as a good Conn like this. And the body tube vibrates in your hands when you push it. It’s just the best.
You get it for less than these often go for, simply because it has been played a lot and has some keyguard resolders and general lacquer wear. It’s all fixed up though, and should play great for a long time with just minor regular maintenance.
Those Connoisseurs and Conngnoscenti (sorry, couldn’t resist) out there who know how great the late transitional tenors are can advise you on this one. It has the wideness and ‘wildness’ of a New Wonder II, but a little more focus, a little more slotted intonation, and the faster keywork of a 10M. If you want more focus, and even more slotted in intonation, then get a later 10M. If you want something a bit darker, and more spread, get an earlier NWII. If you want a little of both, get this! These tenors are only going up in value, so it’s also a solid buy as an instrument that will hold its value well when you go to sell it later.
Only one available!
Check out Emanuele Cisi playing his very similar Conn late transitional 10M tenor on this beautiful rendition of ‘Namely You.’