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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Conn Connstellation 48H comments/questions
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Bob Riddle

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« on: May 11, 2005, 07:53AM »

I recently became the proud owner of a vintage(1959Elkhart)Connstellation.After about a month of playing on it.Alot,I might add,very busy month.I have some observatonsand some questions.This hornworks absolutelygreat for me.The soundi seem to be getting on most of my playing sounds to me like a smoother more musical King 3b sound.Blows much larger than the bore of the horn would indicate.Seems to have the ability to play warm or cut like a lazerdepending onhow the air/embouchure are used.I absolutley love theupper register on this horn centers very easily up to the altissimo Bb,havent'pushed much further than that yet.I've never had this muchlow register volume onth is size horn.Seems to be aslight bit harder flexibility-wise on the medium-fast tempo ranges.I'm working on that to see if i can smooth it out.My questions concerningthis instrument are:
     1. Is it possible that the reputation this horn has for being tight,hard to be accurate onand so-forth,possiblyhave to do with either the particular players not adjusting their own airstreams properly,or is it the buzzes aren't matching the instrument,or a combination of those factors.
    2. Is there paoosibly a huge differencebetween the way different horns of the same model blow and respond.Even if they were made during the hayday of good wuality Conns(this could very well apply to all brands)
    3. I also notice on this hornmore than onany other I've ever owned that the more relaxed you play it,the better it seems to work with/for you.
    4. Were these instruments manufactured with different weight slides?
Mine seems to very lightweight.(seems to have a reddish color brass)more than I've seen on newer horns.I only remember this color brasson the 6H bell/5H slide combination my college teacher,Matty Shiner seemed to like.
                   Bob
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denny seifried

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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2005, 09:00AM »

Glad to see that you got your hands on an old Elkhart 48H. I remember when I was a youngster, in high school, back in the late 1950's; I would go out and hear all of the traveling big bands of the day. I always talked to the trombone players and the slide off a 48H was a real "hot" item, as quite a few players used the 48H slide on their 6H bell section.

According to them, the 48H slide was lighter than a stock 6H slide section, with a lighter hand brace, among the things they liked about the slide.

BTW, does the 48H slide use nickel silver outer slide tubes? It has been many years since I have seen a 48H, so I can't remember.  

When I first came into this area of Ohio, I played on a local big-band (not a very good one-either) and the lead player in that bone section used a 48H Conn. That was probably the last one I have seen in a section I played in!
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Denny Seifried
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Bob Riddle

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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2005, 09:13AM »

Thats one of the things I'm a little confused about.My slide is very lightweight witha definte reddish color.
     Bob
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Brisko

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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2005, 09:19AM »

The 48h I have has brass outers.  But it is very light.
Quote from: "Bob Riddle"
3. I also notice on this horn more than on any other I've ever owned that the more relaxed you play it,the better it seems to work with/for you.


I have to "let" the horn play.  If I force it-- no good.  But if I let it play, look out!
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2005, 11:04AM »

You lucky man, Bob  Pant

Here's athought about your '59 vintage 48H. According to Christine Derksen's "Conn Loyalist" web-site(www.xs4all.nl-cderksen/) your 48H might have a Coprion bell and that might explain why it sounds and feels different.
Also, I suspect that even the revered Elkhart craftsmen had their off-days so there may be some fluctuation in the end products. Does this mean that machines are better?  Don't know

If ever you decide to sell the 'bone, put it on e-bay in the section marked "hen's teeth"

Cheers
Stewbones
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denny seifried

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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2005, 11:18AM »

Quote from: "Stewbones43"
You lucky man, Bob  Pant

Here's athought about your '59 vintage 48H. According to Christine Derksen's "Conn Loyalist" web-site(www.xs4all.nl-cderksen/) your 48H might have a Coprion bell and that might explain why it sounds and feels different.
Also, I suspect that even the revered Elkhart craftsmen had their off-days so there may be some fluctuation in the end products. Does this mean that machines are better?  Don't know

If ever you decide to sell the 'bone, put it on e-bay in the section marked "hen's teeth"

Cheers
Stewbones


Hey Stewbone,

Every Conn Connie (trumpet, cornet & trombone) I have ever seen always had those nickle silver bells on them. The Conn 8D Connie horn also was all nickle plated.

What gives with the Coprion bells on some of the 48H's? Don't know

D.J. where are you, when we really need you?????
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Denny Seifried
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2005, 11:31AM »

Quote from: "denny seifried"
What gives with the Coprion bells on some of the 48H's?


According to the Conn Loyalist site, no one's really sure when Conn quit using coprion on the 48h.

I have a '58 vintage 48h and it has yellow brass under the plating.
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2005, 11:36AM »

Denny
The Conn Loyalist pages suggest that Connstellations made between 1956 and 1962 had coprion bells under the nickel plating and this applied to the trumpets, cornets and possibly the trombones; I'm not sure about the 8D french horns.

What I was putting forward was a possible explanation for the different feel of the 'bone if Christine Derksen's information is correct. I don't know either way and the only way I know of finding out is to saw someones 48H bell in half to see what's inside-any volounteers? Horrors!

Cheers
Stewbones
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2005, 11:41AM »

Stew,

You are so very correct, as some of those Connie bells were probably grown by electrolysis (Coprion). I think Conn had some promotional "buzz-word" for the process, that appeared in their ads, during that time period.

Thanks for jogging my memory, concerning the Coprion bells.

I am sure if we sawed one apart, there would be a Coprion bell down underneath that nickel plate. Good!
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Denny Seifried
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Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Central Big Band, Mojo Brass & Springfield (OH) Symphony
BBb Tuba Ohio Valley British Brass Band (OVBBB) & Western Ohio Tuba Quartet
Adjunct Trombone-Wittenberg Univ. Dept. of Music
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2005, 12:23PM »

Quote from: "Stewbones43"
Denny
The Conn Loyalist pages suggest that Connstellations made between 1956 and 1962 had coprion bells under the nickel plating and this applied to the trumpets, cornets and possibly the trombones; I'm not sure about the 8D french horns.

What I was putting forward was a possible explanation for the different feel of the 'bone if Christine Derksen's information is correct. I don't know either way and the only way I know of finding out is to saw someones 48H bell in half to see what's inside-any volounteers? Horrors!

Cheers
Stewbones


Like I said before, I have a 1958 that doesn't have a coprion bell.  The plating has worn off on the inside of the bell in one spot, and it's definitely brass.  However, the horn still plays different from a 6H, for instance.
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2005, 08:17PM »

I owned a 12H from the late 40's (.485 bore-coprion bell 4H). Exquisite high register, and locked the partials dead on. It too had an extremely lite brass (red brass???) slide with a very thin nickel hand brace. Upon the advice of Sam Burtis, I tinkered with the mouthpiece shank and tried it at different depths & tahdah.... everything fell into place. Only bad points were it would get buried easily and was too small and would back up on me trying to get volume.
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2005, 05:37AM »

Bob, can you tell if the lacquer has been removed from your slide?  Or if it has clear lacquer on it?  Conn used a special formula brass alloy for their slides which was almost rose brass in color.  Many of the older, 40's 50's pro horns, like the 4H, 6H, 8H used this alloy.  It was then sprayed with a gold/yellow lacquer, along with the bell, so that the horn was all one color.  You might have one of those outer slides.  

Uncledan
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Erling

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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2005, 08:24AM »

the 6h's of 50-60 were three color horns, Bell brass, goldbrass (slide), and nickel or chrome(?) trimmings.
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2005, 08:32AM »

Erling's right:
My '58 Constellation is the same way.  It has a gold/red brass hand slide.  The tuning slide is yellow brass, and the bell is yellow brass (under the nickel plate).  The trimmings are nickel too.
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2005, 06:46PM »

Quote from: "Bob Riddle"
My questions concerningthis instrument are:
     1. Is it possible that the reputation this horn has for being tight,hard to be accurate onand so-forth,possiblyhave to do with either the particular players not adjusting their own airstreams properly,or is it the buzzes aren't matching the instrument,or a combination of those factors.



Maybe, some people do not care for a nickel silver bell.
Same as not everyone likes a gold plated, or copper or red brass, etc. bell



    2. Is there paoosibly a huge differencebetween the way different horns of the same model blow and respond.Even if they were made during the hayday of good wuality Conns(this could very well apply to all brands)



Yes, at one time I owned several Conn Connstellations of different vintages.
They all played different.
There were 2 that played really well (one was a 1960 vintage and the other a late 1960's vintage), then another that played well but not as good as the other 2.
I used the 2 really good ones for around 12 years.


    3. I also notice on this hornmore than onany other I've ever owned that the more relaxed you play it,the better it seems to work with/for you.

I used my Connstellations on Ringling Brothers Circus and on the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Not very relaxed playing in either situation.  The horns played well under those conditions.


    4. Were these instruments manufactured with different weight slides?


All the Conn Connstellations I have seen had a 2 piece lightweight slide.
( which is a heavy slide by todays standards)
The 6H was manufactured with a regular weight slide and had an option of a lightweight slide as a special order.


Mine seems to very lightweight.(seems to have a reddish color brass)more than I've seen on newer horns.I only remember this color brasson the 6H bell/5H slide combination my college teacher,Matty Shiner seemed to like.
                   Bob




Hope this information helps,
WEG
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William E. Gibson
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2005, 07:26PM »

i heard  you  got a  48h  bell for sale
  zzzzzzzat  true ???????????????????????
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2005, 09:34PM »

Just out of curiosity, is this member with the name "DDDJJJ Kennedy"  DJ or is it somebody trying to appear like DJ in order to run a scam?  It seems his posts are all hinting at doing some transactions.
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2005, 09:37PM »

Quote from: "actikid"
Just out of curiosity, is this member with the name "DDDJJJ Kennedy"  DJ or is it somebody trying to appear like DJ in order to run a scam?  It seems his posts are all hinting at doing some transactions.


http://forum.trombone.org/viewtopic.php?t=14986
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2005, 07:59AM »

bruce  has  a  connie  ---and  it has the smoothest slide ever
 the  outers  might be   the  bronze alloy  conn  mentions  /////later  outers  are  more  yellowish
 and   later  horns [48h] lack the elegant  sculpted
braces  
  i  had  an elkhart  model  --it seemed to be  yello  under the  nickle
===========
the 8D  is  solid  nickle silver [white  brass]
----------------------
switching  e mail address  //old  acct  inactive
link  to reactivate  didnt work
still  a few  bugs  w  dsl  //new e address//new  computer[g4]
   so  using both  dial up  and dsl for a   transition
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2005, 05:05AM »

About the Coprion on Connstellations: With the nickel plating it's so hard to be sure of anything. The other day I came into information which suggests that Connstellation bells were NOT coprion, as the owner of the '58 48H says. This guy owns a 1956 38B Connstellation (trumpet, yes, yes, I know ;-) ). The previous owner apparently had very acidic sweat, because the hand holds are worn down through the nickel plating (not nickel silver, mark you). The bell on this '56 38B was brass, but oddly the leadpipe appeared to be Coprion judging by the color. Go figure. I at least hadn't expected that.

Bottom line: A lot more research needs to be done on this subject. There is of course also a distinct possibility that Conn changed things around from time to time.

One last thought: Connstellations were advertised as having an "Electro-D" bell. That would seem to stand for "Electrolytically Deposited", which describes the Coprion process to a T (electrolytic deposition of Copper on a steel mold). But why wouldn't Conn advertise the Connstellation as having a (well advertised) Coprion bell under the nickel plating?

Questions, questions. I am planning to start a log/database of Connstellation bell/leadpipe materials soon. Maybe that will bring some clarity eventually.

Regards, Christine
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