Conn Elkhart 71H bass trombone What can you tell me about it


mark fellows:
I just bought an Elkhart 71H Single valve bass trombone and cannot find it on the Conn Website. It has a yellow brass bell and seems to be about a .562 bore. Tuning is in the bell. Plays pretty well - now at the shop for some minor dentwork. What is the difference between the 71H and other Conn bass bones from that era? -  from the case it appears about mid 60's. Who played what in that era?

There is a lot of good info on the older Conn bass trombones in this thread:

Scroll down to the third post by Ed Solomon for a nice listing of the various Conn basses.

denny seifried:

The Conn bass bones of that era, which, unfortunately, didn't last very long, were:

The Conn in-slide tuning models

60H-red brass 9.5 inch bell-single valve
62H-red brass 9.5 inch bell-dependent valve-Flat E, Eb or D tuning of second valve

The Conn tuning slide models

71H-yellow brass-9.5 inch bell-single valve
73H-yellow brass-9.5 inch bell-dependent valve-Flat E, Eb, or D tuning

Conn only produced these instruments from the late 1960's into the early 1970's, especially the ones produced in Elkhart IN, as Conn changed ownership and production was, sadly, moved to Abilene TX.

I think the heaviest played bass trombone, out of the four of these instruments, was the 62H, as this horn still is a favorite of many bass trombonists, especially when modified into open wraps, removable pipes and split triggers. This was a favorite horn, along with the 60H, of Larry Minick, who modified many of these horns or converted some of the 60/62H's to independent valves. The 60H/62H had a very long goose neck, which worked fairly well, for an independent conversion. The 71H/72H/73H didn't work that well, as it, being a normal tuning slide instrument, didn't have the long goose neck area, for conversion to independent valves. For the single valve Conn's of that era or slightly earlier, the 70H and its successor, the 72H were very popular bass trombones, in the 50's for the 70H and into the pre-two valve 1960's, for the 72H. The Kenton band of the late 1950's usually had a pair of 72H's on the 4th/5th books.

I hope I have these facts correct, as I believe the single valve horns (60H & 71H) worked even better, for conversion to two valve horns, as they had a slightly longer hand slide, to take care of those long 7th low C's. I know my 62H has a very short hand slide and is almost impossible to play a low, long 7th C, without loosing the slide off the stockings.

Check the stockings on that 71H, as this was not a good "slide" period for Conn, as most horns of this vintage, had a lot of plating loss, on the stocking area, and required rotating the inners or replacing the inners, for good slide action.

Enjoy that "classic" Conn, as they don't make 'em like that anymore! :mad:

The Conn Loyalist website has info as well:

I found the site useful doing research recently prior to purchasing a 32H.  
Just waiting for the "too good to be true" deal on a 71H or 72H. :good:

All the basses from that era were .562". The 71H & 73H had a narrower bell throat than the 60H, 62H and 70H, giving the trombone a tighter, perhaps more nasal tone. They certainly projected well and are still used by some very good players even today. Hope this helps, W.


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