For some time now, I have been working on a big project: refurbishing and overhauling about 20 Conn Transitional alto saxophones (in all possible versions). I will also collect all possible data to finally get a clear overview of the various versions, including measuring tone holes and pads. A lot of work, but a very interesting and time-consuming project...
The Conn New Wonder Series II / ChuBerry was built between 1924 and 1929, and very well-known and sought-after among fans of the old Conn sound. These saxes sound warm and round, and are great for ballads and blues. Many jazz musicians still use this type of saxophone. They have a completely different sound to a Conn Ladyface.
In December 2023, I had 4 alto sax Conn ChuBerry on the workbench for maintenance and adjustment. These are available under MRO ID : AS116, AS117, AS118 and AS119.
If there is an alternative to the pre-war Conn 6M Ladyface alto saxophone, it is the King Zephyr Series III. The Zephyr is almost identical to the top-of-the-range Super 20 model: differences are in small details and engraving. Body and bore are identical, and these obviously largely determine the sound. This example (MRO ID : AS115) was built in early 1942 and built shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. The original lacquer is largely worn off, but the sax has no damage, dents or repairs. The original double-socket neck has the same serial number as the body.
A second tenor Conn 10M Ladyface from 1942, serial number 306380, was added to the collection in December 2023. All info under MRO ID: TS54. This is also a so-called war-horn (from WW2), from the time when Conn built very few musical instruments. However, the sax does not have additional US engraving on the bell, so it was not built for a US military music group. I suspect the sax was already largely built during the outbreak of war (Pearl harbour attack in December 1941) and left the factory in 1942 as one of the very last ´normal´ 10M saxes.
For a short period between early and mid-1932, some batches of saxophones (probably at most 500 pieces) were supplied without the Ladyface engraving but instead with the Conn logo on the bell. It is unknown why: Conn made quite a few changes and improvements during that period, especially with the alto saxophones.
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