Conn C-Melody, 1921, with micro-tuner

This is a very playable old sax from the 1920’s, which comes in handy if you don’t want to bother with transposing on sight. Serial number¬†798XX, which puts its date of manufacture in 1921.¬†Straight neck, split bell keys, rolled tome holes. I’ve never found a proper C-melody mouthpiece that I like, they’re all too closed, but this horn plays well with an open tenor mouth piece like a Berg or a Link, and then you get a much more modern sound, without intonation being too much of an issue, it needs some adjusting but it’s not too bad. With a bit of work it can be played perfectly in tune. Alto pieces can also work well, but not all of them work. I’ve got a metal Berg that plays really well on the c-mel for a killer, well-projecting sound, a bit rounder than your typical alto, but more cutting than a tenor. As far as I’m concerned these are very underrated littele gems, they sound great with the right mouthpiece, and the craftmanship is fantastic, a lot of the modern horns cannot come close to it when build quality and complexity of sound is concerned. The ergonomics may take some getting used to, but that’s not a big thing, and when you’ve gotten used to it these play as nice and fast as anything.

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