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Conn 16V

Discussion in 'Eb Contrabass Sarrusophone' started by pete, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    A couple weeks ago, I had an e-mail conversation with an owner of a 16V. I wish to share. Names and places changed to protect the guilty.

  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    My response:

    There was a single-reed mouthpiece available. Pictures are on my former website, saxpics.com.
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Serial number is 143. The model number's 16V. Conn had a habit (in the 1920's) of putting a letter before the serial number. "M" for professional saxophones, "V" for sarrusophones, etc.

    The "1119944" is a patent number. Specifically, William S. Haynes' patent for tonehole creation (formed toneholes).

    * Allegedly, the sarrusophone was available in ALL the same finishes as the Conn saxophones, so silver or nickel is definitely possible.
    * If you polish the horn -- and it's definitely silver -- a) NEVER use Brasso. Turns the finish black. b) Use a non-tarnishing, non abrasive polish. And be gentle.
    * If the horn has bad finish damage and you plan on selling it, do not relacquer it. Replate it, if you want, but relacquer can seriously impact both value and playability.

    Sarrusophone pics, from my old website: http://www.saxpics.com/cpg143/index.php?cat=628
    Sarrusophone catalogs and ads from my old website: http://www.saxpics.com/the_gallery/conn ... usophones/
    More Sarrusophone stuff from my old website: http://www.saxpics.com/conn/new_wonder1.htm#16v

    (The new owners of saxpics.com have some problems with their gallery pics, so these links will hopefully help.)
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    The rolled toneholes are not the innovation. It's having the toneholes drawn from the body using Haynes' process. The Buescher, for instance, used the same process but didn't have rolled tone holes.

    "New Wonder" would most likely be the model name, yes. Conn only used the "New Wonder" verbiage in a few of their catalogs and brochures. It was generally just called "16V".

    "USQMC" stands for "United States Quartermaster Corps". You can read about dating the horn at http://www.saxpics.com/conn/new_wonder1.htm#16v

    Replating is probably a very expensive option for an instrument that size. If I remember correctly, silver replating for an alto saxophone was about $1000 US about a year ago.

    Plating is usually done on a contract basis through the instrument repairman that you'd go to, however you could contact Anderson Silver Plating direct through http://www.andersonsilverplating.com/contact_us.html. Remember, you're probably going to want any junk on the horn chemically stripped. Mechanical stripping will remove metal. This may be an additional charge. I'm not a repairman, so I couldn't tell you.

    One would assume that a full repad and maintenance on a Sarrusophone would be somewhat more expensive than a contrabassoon pad job, as the pads would probably have to be custom cut. A contrabassoon pad job is $1200 US (http://www.foxproducts.com/pdfs/BassoonRepairForm.pdf).

    A sousaphone is a brasswind. A Sarrusophone is a double-reed instrument. I'm unsuprised that you didn't get a sound.

    Quinn recently sold one of his Sarrusophones for $6K on eBay a few months ago (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 300QQfviZ1). He sold a similar one a few months before that for $7.5K. Hey, he has a perfect condition, silver plated one, so he can afford to get rid of his bare-brass and/or lacquered ones. I'd say that a silver plated horn in perfect shape with the single reed mouthpiece and case would sell in excess of $10K.


    FWIW, there were more than 200 Sarrusophones that have been produced by Conn. How do I know? The highest [16V] serial number I've seen is 278 :).
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Well, I had already warned you against using Brasso.

    Here's a better question: are you going to try to get the horn setup for your own use or you're just trying to (re)sell it? If you're going to just sell it, I'd recommend leaving it as-is and putting it up for sale -- because if I was in the market for one of these, I would be undoing your relacquer job and then getting it replated. Which would also mean that I'm redoing your repad, etc.

    If you're trying to set it up for yourself, you can essentially do whatever you think is best. My opinion is that lacquer would be the last thing you'd want to do if you want "original", as lacquer wasn't an option.

    The finishes available for the Sarrusophones should be the same ones that were available for the saxophone and are listed at http://www.saxpics.com/conn/new_wonder1.htm. I've told you twice I have Sarrusophone catalogs and stuff there :)

    As far as your question regarding cork "limiters", I'm not exactly sure what what you're referring to. There are corks on the undersides of keys that you depress and there are some corks on key "stops" on the ends of rods. If you're referring to putting cork inside a keyguard, no, that wasn't done.

    Looking at the pics of SAXTEK's Sarrusophone bocal with the single-reed mouthpiece at http://www.saxpics.com/conn/new_wonder1.htm and comparing it to the picture you sent, I'm assuming that it's the same bocal. As to where you obtain either a Sarrusophone bocal or a Conn Sarrusophone single-reed mouthpiece, I'd recommend searching Google. The former shouldn't be too difficult to find, as there were and are several Sarrusophone manufacturers. The latter will be next to impossible, as Conn was the only manufacturer of single-reed mouthpieces for the Sarrusophone, as far as I'm aware. I do see them on eBay every year or so, so you could get lucky. Or you could try to convince a sax or clarinet custom mouthpiece manufacturer to make one for you.
  9. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Well, I never have any problems with people sending me money, but I don't have originals of the catalogs you're talking about. I only have the computer copies. What you see is what you get. Or, more rather, what I found is what you see. And on the web page, which I've quoted three times or more, I list the finish types for people who can't read the catalogs. I have a very, very good computer monitor.

    It should be closer to that $2000 mark for the replate and repair. $200 for buffing I can understand, because this is something you don't want done. If you want the "original" silver removed, you want it done chemically, not mechanically. Buffing removes metal. Removing metal is not a good thing.

    $250 for plating just doesn't sound right. I think they're missing a number in that.

    A GOOD saxophone repair "guy" may know how to restore a Sarrusophone, if he's done it before. My opinion is that you try to find a woodwind specialist or a double-reed specialist. A Sarrusophone is closer to a contrabasson than a saxophone.

    And, unless you have a single-reed mouthpiece with the thing, your baritone saxophonist, might have a problem. I'm a decent bari player and I'm not good with double-reeds.
  11. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    ... and that's the last e-mail.

    I might polish this thread a bit, later, but it gives you some good information about the restoration price of one of these beasties.

    As is quite probably evident, I'm not an expert on the 16V or Sarrusophones, in general. My "specialty" is knowing way too much about saxophone makes and models and I know about the 16V because it was Conn's alternative to the Eb contrabass saxophone.

    Continuing, IIRC, the Conn single-reed mouthpiece included with the 16V was a Bb soprano saxophone mouthpiece.
  12. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    I played one of Matt's (Quinn...) Sarrusophones with both the double reed and an original adapted mouthpiece. I decided it would take me a long time to master that instrument either way. But they are very exotic instruments and extremely rare. I kick myself for not buying one of Matt's that he showed me five or so years ago. But at that time I didn't buy anything that I didn't plan to play. I've got to say though that you really felt like you had a piece of history in your hands when you held one.
  13. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Actually got another E, today:
  14. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

  15. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    For that much money, I'd want a crook as well as the horn. It's something that's going to have to be fabricated, and whatever is done won't match the horn.

    How do vital parts get lost from old instruments? You see that with baritone saxes all of the time on eBay.
  16. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    That's a different horn, Jim. Nice to see one with the "lady" engraving, tho.

    303 = newest horn. A lot more than 200 made.

    A "crook" (bocal) might not be that difficult. A few manufacturers have them, including Orsi.

    Someone might get a decent deal on this and then turn around and sell it for a bunch.
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