This horn is a beautiful example of Conn craftsmanship. There are only a couple of repairs that have been done over its 85 years of life. A couple of posts were resoldered around the side C and Bb keys, and the low Eb keycage legs. These are minor repairs. The keys also were also replated, with the correct color of gold plate to match the horn, and they look great.
These gold plated tenors are very special. Modern plating techniques just put a tiny fraction of the amount of gold on a horn that Conn did back in the day. This is THICK, gorgeous plating that would cost several thousand dollars to replicate today (and it still wouldn’t be this color). The price of just the plating today would be more than the price of the horn. Put that together with the fact that horns like this are awesome as instruments, and with how rare nice gold tenors are, and you have a very good investment type horn as well. It’s very uncommon in today’s world to be able to get all of your money back out of anything you buy. But this is actually going to go up in value while you own it.
Here is some info on the New Wonder II tenor as a player. These horns have a huge, warm, powerful tone and they are nearly impossible to really max out. The subtones are really lush and saturated, and the palm key tone stays nice and fat. The intonation is good-but-flexible, meaning that it plays nicely in tune, but you can also easily bend the pitch if you want to. Ergonomically, the keys are comfortably spaced for most hands. Like most vintage horns, the LH pinky keys are different from modern, and take a few weeks to get used to, but are not difficult after that. The raised high E key touch pops up at this serial as an ergonomic improvement on the right hand. The neck, bell, and bow look great, and the horn has just been tuned up on its existing pads, which are in the middle of their usable life. Comes with a nice Conn case from the early 40’s, but I would be happy to help you upgrade it to a nice, protective modern case for a good price, to protect the horn for shipping and gigging.
Conn saxophones from this golden age of American manufacturing are works of art as well as very good instruments. If you’re looking for a great example, this could be the horn for you. It is so fun to play – the body just resonates, and it makes you want to play and play.