Conn 18M stretched soprano saxophone

  • Posted on: 11 May 2023
  • By: Mark

One of the rarest Conn saxophones is undoubtedly the 18M stretched soprano.  Some general information : 
Every soprano sax is a challenge to play in tune. In 1928 Conn introduced the "stretched" model 18M straight soprano - a totally new design, with greater projection and improved intonation.  The bore was smaller, so the length of the saxophone had to be extended. It required a special shorter mouthpiece to play in tune. The Conn stretched soprano starts around series M220xxx, up to M236xxx, though by no means all the sopranos in this series are stretched sopranos! The normal straight soprano was also still produced. Because of the depression, not many of these stretched sopranos survived. These are the last straight soprano saxophones built by Conn. There is no reliable info how many were built, but definitely not that many.....
American instrument makers sold very few soprano saxophones after the 1929 depression, when the instrument virtually disappeared from popular music. Most of the instruments sold in the previous decade were straight sopranos, which were a common double for dance band saxophonists in the mid-1920s. Like a clarinet, the straight soprano could rest on a pin stand, much more convenient than the curved saxophone, which needed its own stand and a separate neckband. Sidney Bechet and Don Redman, the two main sopranos of early jazz, both played on straight sopranos.

The sax was completely overhauled by its previous owner in 2022. It was not polished, so it has a very nice and unique vintage look. The saxophone is in almost perfect condition, with no damage, dents or repairs. The body is straight, the tone holes are original and there is no wear.