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Author Topic: What is it with the Conn 6H?  (Read 5881 times)
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greg waits

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« on: Aug 14, 2010, 12:00PM »

Ahh, the classic Elkhart 6H  Good!

Maybe I am wrong on this, but I get the impression that, although a greatly respected and established pro model, it is not exactly that prevalent a horn among professionals. While there certainly are a handful of players of the 6H here and there, it seems that there aren't that many.    Don't know

Why is that?

Is it because basically the horn is very utilitarian in appearance? I saw so many rad looking horns at the tbn festival a couple of months ago. The 6H is decidedly not radical in design.

Functional yes, radical no.

Could it be because they aren't produced anymore, and in general, players prefer newer horns?

There are so many options out there these days!  Eeek!

I am glad I "rediscovered" the 6H (after a 35+ year Bach detour).

I just wonder......

Sam, if you want to pipe in on this topic, I would welcome your angle!  Good!
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ddickerson

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 14, 2010, 12:04PM »

Greg,
have you ever played a 2b/3b? if so, whats your take on the differences?

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greg waits

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 14, 2010, 02:21PM »

Dusty, I have honestly played King horns for no more than a few hours total in my lifetime! Nothing personal, but I never felt myself pulled towards playing one - 2B or 3B.

With me, it was a 6H to start out on, then 3 years later I "graduated" to a 42B. And that was the only horn I had till college. Then during a free lesson with Watrous (which was very nice of him) he pointed me in the direction of small bore Bachs. I played Conn.

I prefer the .500 bore size for commercial and jazz playing. I have always been afraid that I would be too bright on a 2B, and that the 3B would be too big for my preferences.

I know a lot of guys that swear by them. Tony Baker regularly plays an old 2B when he is on lead around town, and a lot of my friends now play the 2B+. But I even find that one too bright (for me).
« Last Edit: Aug 14, 2010, 10:35PM by greg waits » Logged

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connman93
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 14, 2010, 02:33PM »

While I am relatively new to the world of small bore trombones, I feel the urge to ad to this post.

About a year ago, I found my Great Grandfathers Conn 6H in my basement. I knew we had his old trombone, but I thought it would simply be some old piece of junk. Needless to say, I was VERY suprised! I looked up the serial number and the horn is dated around 1921. Well, I had it refurbished by my local repair man, and he did FABULOUS work. The satin silver looked fantastic. But when I got it home I began to fall in love with this horn. This thing can scream! I love playing this for almost all jazz/musicals that I play.

All in all, the Conn 6H has swiftly become my favorite horn that I own! Good!
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ddickerson

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« Reply #4 on: Aug 14, 2010, 03:01PM »

I always thought that the 6H would be good one to have, but since I have the 2b, I don't know if it would be justified in having both. :) I would be curious in knowing the differences in how they play.

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jmdhuse
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 14, 2010, 06:11PM »

I had a old 6H as one of my first horns back around '69 or '70... Then I replaced it with a "new" one made shortly after Conn was moved to Abilene (chalk it up to my poor judgement as a kid).  I recently obtained a 1958 model (thanks DJ!) and I couldn't be happier with it.  It has a physical liveliness to it that I haven't experienced in any of the Bach horns I've played (but do also experience with my 88HT-CL)...
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Chris Fidler

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« Reply #6 on: Aug 15, 2010, 02:28AM »

Hi Greg,
I don't know how it was when you lived over here in Germany but at the moment it seems everyone is playing either a 6H, 48H Constellation, Minick or 100H in the Jazz and big band world.
I have catered to this fact by owning and playing my 6H, Minick or Bach 12 depending who I'm working with and what the other players in the section are playing!!!

I'm loving the Minty 63 Elkie I picked up on the Bay....... Worth every $$$.
I'm glad to have found one in such amazing condition.

I guess the 6H is becoming increasingly harder to find in tip top condition with great slides etc. Hence folk looking elsewhere for new comparable gear!!!
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sabutin

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« Reply #7 on: Aug 15, 2010, 03:57AM »

6Hs and other 6H-like horns are a little...drier...sounding than equivalent Kings and Bachs. A little more austere. Strict. Rigorous. I mean that in a good way. Like wines, trombone sounds can have some amount of sweetness...I hear that in King sounds. They can also be very rich...Bach sounds.

Or...they can simply be there. Like Conns.

I went to a thesuarus and searched the words "austere", "strict" and "rigorous".

Here are some of the results that seem to fit:

ascetic, earnest, exacting, formal, hard, inexorable, serious, stringent, unrelenting, exacting, firm, no-nonsense, scrupulous, straight, stringent, tough, accurate, correct, definite, exacting, meticulous, precise, rugged, scrupulous, stern, uncompromising

Like dat.

6Hs do not give easily to the casual listener. No emotional "ooohs" and "aaahs" result from their basic timbre. (Unless of course one is a trombonist and is interested in sound of a certain kind.) Dorsey's "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" on a 6H rather than on a King? Maybe not quite so popular. Watrous's ballad and vibrato/mic approach on a 6H rather than on a Bach? Not quite so...gooey. J. J.'s basic (and gorgeous) sound on a 3B? Maybe not quite so pleasing in some respects.

Like dat, too.

I love 'em, myself. That hardcore Conn sound, through just about all sizes. All of my Shires horns? Just attempts at improving some aspects of great Conns.

But then, for me personally...that list of synonyms plus the words "austere", "strict" and "rigorous"?

ascetic, earnest, exacting, formal, hard, inexorable, serious, stringent, unrelenting, exacting, firm, no-nonsense, scrupulous, straight, stringent, tough, accurate, correct, definite, exacting, meticulous, precise, rugged, scrupulous, stern, uncompromising

Sounds suspiciously like a self-portrait.

On my good days.

Yup.

So it goes.

We are what we eat? (Or is it "We eat what we are?" Hmmmmmmm...)

Whatever.

We play what we are, too.

Yup.

Later...

S.

P.S. I wold like to add to this that Conn small bores seem much more ..."American" in sound to me. Old American. Gazebo bands American. Sousa American. Early Teagarden and Dorsey American. Swing era American. Great Depression American. Ahhhh...you know. When America was young and struggling upward? Yup. That "America." Dunno why...Kings have been around just as long. Something about the backbone of the sound, I guess.

I have been collecting William Gedney photos recently.

Here's one of his grandfather.



Looks like my grandfather.

That America.

Bet on it.
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sly fox
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 15, 2010, 05:06AM »

can you try to express yourself more explicitly ;-) ;-)

by the way, very nice to see and talk to you at ITF
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 15, 2010, 09:51AM »

I played the Kings for many years.  3B's, 2B's, and Silvertones.  The King was straightforward, uncomplicated, easy to resonate and understand, and very consistent in terms of tone, easy to blend with other horns, and a great do everything kind of axe (especially in terms of the 3-B).

But my ears went to a different place.  Maybe it was listening to so much early jazz, maybe it was maturity, maybe it was developing and affinity for tenor sax players with non-traditional sounds (like Donny McCaslin), maybe it was developing a taste for fine whiskey.  Either way, I found the timbrel quality of the King to become too restrictive.  I wanted warmth with brightness, and a sound I could notch up and down the bright/dark scale along with the warmth/edge slide too.

Conns, to me stride this very interesting third pole between Kings and Bachs.  Every Bach I have ever played (from good to bad) seems to be in this world of dark warmth (darmth?); not so many overtones, but a real focus on the fundamental fifth relationships..  Every King has this no-nonsense straight forward quality with very clearly defined upper overtones very in tune with each other. 

The Conn just seems to have more stuff going on in the sound.  More overtones in different places.  Its a wonderful unique sound, complimentary and contradictory at the same time.  You can also choose which ones you want to use and nudge the sound in many different directions.  As such, I feel there is a broader tonal palette available to the player.

It does not blend with other horns in the same way as a King does.  But then again, neither does a Bach.  I think of it as being a voice that supports but retains its own identity, unlike a King or Bach that seem to melt almost completely into other sounds.  Its a bit different to wrap your ears around if you aren't used to it, but it soon becomes second nature.  I find a Conn to be one of the best three horn section instruments, particularly a 6H or 48H supporting a strong lead trumpet player and the trombone playing either in octaves or like a second trumpet.

All of the horns I play regularly are either Conns or set up like a Conn, top to bottom: Shires T85G/2YLW 7.5 T7(Like a 7.5" belled 24H), 48H, 8H spec, 88H, 62Hi.

There IS a certain something special...

Enjoy,
-Ben
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 15, 2010, 10:20AM »

can you try to express yourself more explicitly ;-) ;-)

by the way, very nice to see and talk to you at ITF

I am trying!!!  :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0

Good to meet you, too.

S.
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 15, 2010, 02:26PM »

we   retubed this one 
  there are  some very subtle diffs  in  6hs
my first impressions   were they  are  junk 
 antiquated  or with  very long roots 
     bachs  seem  like conn based  designs  brace  design wise  but w  german influence
 ---------
earlier  6hs  and other conns  just have  a  flavor 
-----------
  my current  favorite  6h is  a 57    ---she   vibrates  is resonant
    feels like  a butterfly  --sing  dances  kisses  the  notes
---------
rodney /////////////////////////// Hi Hi Hi Hi   2b  continued       




I had a old 6H as one of my first horns back around '69 or '70... Then I replaced it with a "new" one made shortly after Conn was moved to Abilene (chalk it up to my poor judgement as a kid).  I recently obtained a 1958 model (thanks DJ!) and I couldn't be happier with it.  It has a physical liveliness to it that I haven't experienced in any of the Bach horns I've played (but do also experience with my 88HT-CL)...
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 16, 2010, 06:14AM »

rodney  lancaster  came over     and  picked out a nice  late  24h 
  unlike the  earlier version --the  late  24s have  no  reinforced  hand grip
  double drawn outer    and  feel lighter  all round
     anyway  after a week or 2  rodney comes bach   and   picks out  a  3b
            no surprize
-------------
 brent wallarab  liked the  little  24h  too  but  after  playing  bach  for many years  fell in love w  a  ny 6  in the  2500s
 that i  got  fro  a nj salsa player  mamed papo  friend of  marcoflex
     hey  brent try this   first version  lt  unsoldered rim  2b+   //////// 2  notes - Eeek! Eeek! Eeek! Amazed Amazed Amazed :-0 :-0//////// no  way  ////////////
-------------------
brent  also  picked   out the  crispest  bolero       ----he is thinking now about a  500  bore
--------------
   6hs  most everybody  thinks about the  8 in    modern version
 the  bell thickness  varies  a lot   -heavvier///heaviest  bells  are good w  the lighter slides  like   5h
  the  outerslides  on  most  are   goldish/reddish   ----
      the abilenes  started w  curvy  engraved  bells  and  standard braces   
        last versions  --victor  and round  brace lugs
the  abilene  inner plating is  more wear resistant  that  the  connwear prone   vinty  inner
   ---------------
  sometimes    the inners   are nearly perfect  xxxcept for tiny  pits  --
--------
sams   description of  tone character  is  interesting
     rossolinos   sound  is  like  this 
however   murry  mac eachern     also  played  a  6h
    and produced  a  very  rich thick sound   [well it was on a smaller bell usually  and short tuning]
------------
acme trombones   is  continuously  refurbing  6hs 
and  has  done   mods    esp  to  adding a heavy wall  williams-arch grip
     removing outer sleeves    //inners replaced as necessary   rolling outers 
         press fit  leadpipe     and  sometimes    slide  bow  w  single radius  profile
        as well  as  alternative  spit key
---------------
 if  you are thinking about a  6h  or have one  that  needs  help
    please feel  free to  contact me  and/or aaron  chandler [acme trombones '  here or on facebook
---------
  its  an  old  design   that has  changed over  time   -latest version --100h
     but is still relevant   and useful  to the  MODERN TROMBONIST 
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 16, 2010, 07:44AM »

For me I just found that a good 6H is freerblowing than a 3b also the partials are very good. It is an easy horn to get used to, however, some older ones do have heavy slides that need to get used.
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 19, 2010, 07:10AM »

Conn 6H are very versatile
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 20, 2010, 12:53AM »

I'm hooked on mine, though I'm thinking about some ACME treatment to make a good thing even better.
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Chip Tingle
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 20, 2010, 05:09AM »

I'm hooked on mine, though I'm thinking about some ACME treatment to make a good thing even better.
Does yours have regular weight or light weight slide? ACME do great work on 6H to make them even better.
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ctingle

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« Reply #17 on: Aug 22, 2010, 12:08AM »

Does yours have regular weight or light weight slide? ACME do great work on 6H to make them even better.

I like the sound of my regular weight slide when I've compared it with light weight slide 6H's, but I'd like to research lead pipes, crooks, and tuning slides more.  Having both a regular and light weight slide would be idea.  I've got a good 48H, so I mix and match sometimes, but no lightweight yet.
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Chip Tingle
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NorCal freelancer & educator
415.898.8381
http://soundcloud.com/musichub recent demos
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 22, 2010, 08:54AM »

I like the sound of my regular weight slide when I've compared it with light weight slide 6H's, but I'd like to research lead pipes, crooks, and tuning slides more.  Having both a regular and light weight slide would be idea.  I've got a good 48H, so I mix and match sometimes, but no lightweight yet.
I also prefer the regular weight, however, recently been playing a friends light weight slide and it really rocks. doesn't the 48H come with lw slide? Leadpipes are a different world that can open up sound if current leadpipe is not working.
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« Reply #19 on: Sep 02, 2010, 03:16PM »

the older, 50's and 60's bell really project in front however, have to be careful as behind the horn doesn't appear to be that loud. Currently playing a conn 6h bell from the late 50's early 60's with a lightweight custom slide and this setup really projects well. recently did a latin gig with one mike for two bones and was able to play lead the whole night with no problems.  Good!
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