Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Pictures of Silver Plated Tenor

Hello Everyone. I just recieved new pictures of my saxophone. Have a look for yourself!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Conn New Wonder Series I Alto Project

Hello, Here are some pictures of my Conn New Wonder Series I alto saxophone. I bought half of it, and my Mother, lovingly, paid for the other half. I was going to completely restore it myself, but I had only been able to replace a few pads, and then polish it.

Now I am extensively polishing it, and I am going to run a glass bead blast over the body, to restore the satin texture. This is a long, and frustrating process. But it is fun, once the final result is achieved.

When it was playing, it sounded amazing. I took it to a few Basketball games at the highschool, to play with the band, and I did some improvising during half time behind the bleachers, with my friend Melvin. He was playing bass. We were mostly playing Funk, and some Marcus Miller tunes, which excuse me, but kicked A**! The Principle even came up to tell us we sounded great, and we were not even playing for anyone. I loved the sound, it was perfect, it was darkish, and soprano like on the higher notes, and sounded fat, and perfect. I loved it. Now, I am mostly polishing it. It looks horrible at the moment, with the scratches, and I am currently getting rid of the gunk in hard places. I am going to have it the sam as my tenor, and Repad it with Roo Pads with airtight brass, Noyek Star, gold plated resonators. I don't know if I want to use shellac, or hot glue yet. I have had better results with hot glue, so far.

I am going to have to replate the gold inside of the bell. It is very faded, and barely noticeable. It is a great saxophone, but just needs restoration. I am hoping to buy a Glass Bead Blaster when I am done working on my car, or possibly during, so that I may use it for my car as well. I just need MONEY! But that requires work, and work is not always fun, but it is required, if you want to have things. I will be taking more orders, and flipping more hamburgers to pay for this, but I can do it. The sax was completely black when I purchased it off of ebay for only $220. What a frickin steal. Really, a sax that great, for $3000 less than a brand new Selmer? Even with paying someone else for the restoration, I would save a few thousand dollars. I am wanting to do the work on this horn, because my mother bought it for me, because I wanted to fix it, and play it. I really love her, and I will never sell this horn.

Here are some pictures below, of the polished areas. I have the majority of tarnish removed from the keys, but I have to go over it with jeweler's rouge, to remove the scratches. I will also need to do some minor replating, or I may have Doc do that to some of the keys. even though some of the wear is very unnoticeable, I want it to look like it came out of the Conn Factory.

I have a case for it, which I am also restoring, and my mother wants to redo it. It will look fantastic. The case, though, did not come with the sax, but came with a parts horn, and it is in good condition, on the exterior, but needs to be redone, as well as the interior of the case.

I am leaving the horn as original as possible, except for one thing, and that is the thumbrest. I am leaving it Conn, but I am replacing it with the thumbrest off of a Conn New Wonder Series II parts horn, and I am going to have it silver plated, and soldered on by Doc.

Here are the pics, please enjoy.

Farewell my friend.

Hello everyone.

Well, yesterday, I found out that my teacher is moving to Mississippi with his family. He has a new job down there. I am really going to miss him. He was my saxophone teacher, for three years, possibly more, I cannot really remember at the moment. He is a great guy, and extremely talented. He is mainly a classical player, but also a fantastic jazz player.

We used to have lessons every week. I have learned a great deal from him, and wish that I could continue to take lessons, but it is not possible, until we have teleportation. Joking. I would walk to his house every week, and take lessons. He only lived right down the street.

We are good friends, and will continue to talk to each other probably, until I die. David was the man who introduced me to Conn saxophones, and I am glad I met him. If it was not for him, I would be playing a Mark VI, and probably have no knowledge of Conn saxophones. I probably would not even be playing at all.

The first TRUE saxophone, I ever played, was his Conn Transitional Tenor. I came to my first lesson with a Bundy II Tenor, that was in horrible shape (I now know, Lol), and he pointed out all of the flaws, and I began to learn with what a real saxophone was. I could never afford a true Conn until recently because I had school horns, and my parents did not yet want to buy one.

When I played his Conn, (He only let me do it once when he was pointing out the damage on the bundy), it was the best sax I ever played. I still believe that, and I have played a lot of saxophones since then. I could not believe that someone could have something around eighty years old that looked, and sounded so beautiful. It was amazing, and since then, I wanted a Conn. He later sold me a Conn 25M Alto, which was my first sax, and I loved it. But when I moved to PA, I sold it out of stupidity wanting a tenor. I wish that I could have it back.

I would always love to listen to David play his Conns during a lesson, showing me how to play something the right way, or playing a duet.. I would love to look at them, and even more, the sound. I will forever more play a Conn, and I hope God lets me bring mine to heaven, (wink wink). I had a grand time getting lessons, and I have so much more knowledge thanks to him. I hope to play gigs with David in the future, and I am glad, I have had such a great friend.

Playing saxophone is fun, and enjoyable, and one of my great talents, that I hope to will continue to grow. Thanks a lot David for everything, and I wish you luck in your new job.

-Your Friend Ian

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Review of The Selmer La Voix Curved Soprano

Well, I play tested the La Voix Soprano Saxophone Today, and I liked it, would not say love, but, it had it's ups and downs. I drove back to Clarksburg West Virginia today, and I visited Dan, and the gang, down at Bandland, to talk about sax (Lol), and music directors, and other stuff. I played the La Voix Curved Soprano. An excellent intrument, but it hads it's ups and downs, like I said.

The sound was great, I loved it, it was, should I say, cute, and bright, on higher notes, but dark on the lower notes. When testing, afterwards, I also played the Selmer Student 600 Soprano, which is straight, and great, great, great, for the money.

The La Voix, I found, had a slightly longer neck than supposed to, which I found out is true on all of their saxes, according to what a Selmer representative informed Bandland. This makes it difficult for tuning, and gives a certain unsure feeling to how far the mouhpiece should be on. The sax was great, but the keys were all too close together, even though it was curved, it was hard to play fast, and know what I am thinking. To make it more difficult, the key touches were not pearl, and they were plastic, which is not comfortable, and my fingers slid a bit making it hard to play, (I gave up trying to play giant steps). New Pearls, actual, yes, actual pearl touches can be purchased from Music Medic, and be installed by either you, if you are experienced, or prefferrably a repair technician, who probably knows a lot more than you, (Wink).

The higher notes were hard to achieve-this was not due to leaks(there were none), or the fact it was a soprano, although part of it had to do with the closed opening C* mouthpiece, it was harder than it should have been, (it was easier on the student Selmer). The lower octave, was great, I mean, it took no effort whatsoever, nor did playing my table key notes. There is a high "F#" Key, which I actually don't like, but others may fancy it.

The bell, looks attractive, as it is adorned with a creative engraving, which is neat to have the pleasure of viewing up close, (as most saxes), but is not really visible, but adds to the quality appearance of this saxophone.

It had a, mostly dark, mellow, tone, but in the upper range of notes, becomes more bright, and, as I said.... cute. I enjoyed it, and I wish that more saxes were put together with this much quality today. I could play professionally with that sax, (only requiring minor modifications-as I explained), and I would have no regrets about it.

Thank you for reading.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Pictures of My Conn Tenor Restoration

I got my pictures! Note that these are not silver plated, (as obvious), but they are sandblasted, which comes before the silver plating. Then the bell will be gold plated. I almost want it to stay like this, looking so beautiful, but, I know what is coming. The bottom pics are the ones where the sax is sandblasted. The upper pics are the horn stripped and polished. I was so happy to get these pics from Doc. I can't wait to get the frickin horn! Lol! I can tell Doctor Frazier is very serious about his work, to take this much quality and time on a project. If you look closely at the pictures, the texture looks pretty original to that as it would have looked in 1929, when it was manufactured. Unbelievable! Usually when Conns are replated with satin silver, time is not usually spent masking up the engraving, to look original, but this has been done properly. The pads will be white (with kangaroo leather), as the possibly, could have been when first when manufactured (but some were lamb skin), or Conn Res-O-Pads (more than likely what was original), but if they were white, the only difference is going to be the gold plated resonators, which I believe have a better tone than the plain riveted ones. The dents, (although barely noticeable), that I thought would be impossible to remove because of the way they occured, are nonexistent. As Quinn-The-Eskimo says: "The Pictures tell the rest of the story."

--- Here is the front view of the horn, completely sripped and polished, along with one necessary solder, and minor dent removal. ---

--- Here is the rear view of the horn. ---

--- Pictured is the player's left side of the horn.---
--- The right side of the horn. ---
--- The bow. ---

--- The engraving, stripped of lacquer. ---

--- The masterpiece-THE engraving. (sandblasted). ---

--- The right side of THE engraving. (sandblasted). ---

--- The left side of THE engraving. (sandblasted). ---

I spent so much time at McDonalds, working, to buy the horn, and even more to pay for the work, but I did it, and it feels fantastic, and I cannot wait to get this Axe back. I am glad that I did not die during that accident, because I sure would be pissed off to miss something like this! ;-) Lol!

I just need a name for her.... Please leave a comment


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Review of The Pro-Tec Contoured Case

Hello again. I will be sharing my opinion on Pro-Tec Cases.
I recently purchased one from a great friend, who did not use it much, and she gave me an extraordinary deal on it. I love this case.

There are many Features on this case that are not found on a lot of other cases. It is in a way, a gig case, but not. It opens up like a regular case, and your saxophone is stored like a normal case, but it is shaped like a gig case, leaving you more room to store it, and also making it lighter. The case is equipped with a handle, and a back pack strap, making travel extremely easy. I believe I have a slightly earlier model than most, whereas it does not have a mouthpiece compartment, but that is what neck bags are for. I will not be using a neck bag, but instead I will be using a cedar mouthpiece box in which I am handcrafting for my Classical and Jazz Mouthpieces for my tenor. It will be made to fit in the front pocket in the case. There are two pockets on this case, both of which have a good bit of room in them. There is one large pocket on the front that has a place to store pens. In that pocket, it has a pocket inside for a cell phone, and some other supplies, and there is another pocket on the back that is empty and is a good place for my mini tool kit with my butane torch and screw drivers. This is a great case. The inside is completely felt. The body is strong, and impact resistant. The inside on my ase, like said, does not have the mouthpiece holder, but they do come with a place for your neck like a normal case, which is not found on gig cases. Putting a neck in the bell, is not always the most appropraite storage place, for your sax, or the neck.

This case is very safe, whereas there are two YKK Zippers on the exterior, and there is Velcro to reinforce keeping the case closed, which is also very rigid. There is also Velcro on the handles so that they may be held together for even more protection to keep the case closed. there is a nice Pro-Tec Badge on the outside, which I think adds to the style, and looks nice.

This case is very economical, and ergonomical, and is worth the money if you have it. It is reasonably priced, and will not let you down. It is a lot cheaper than many other cases, and is one of the most used cases in the world. It would be an appropriate investiment, and would in my opinion not leave any regrets, to you if you purchased it. There are many places that sell these, but if you are wanting to save money, purchase yours from the WoodWind & BrassWind.


Visit this website to learn all about their cases, and other products.
The WoodWind & BrassWind Website.

My Mouthpiece: The Runyon Metal Quantum #8

Hello. I play on a Runyon Quantum Metal #8, and I must say, it is the nicest mouthpiece that I have ever played in my .life for tenor saxophone.

The mouthpiece is composed of Bell Metal Brass, and on top of that, is plated completely with chrome for the sonic capabilities. The sound is unique, and my own. It plays amazing with my Conn Transitional. The mouthpiece was designed a little while ago, and consists of the same design of the Brilhart Levelaire, which I used to play. the mouhtpiece has a duck bill tip, and is made quite different from most modern mouthpieces by the shape, and sound. I play with a Medium Facing, and I enjoy, but I am consideruing having it refaced sometime in the near future, to reduce squeaking, although I may need to expiriment with new reeds.

I play Vandoren Java 4 Reeds, and sometimes 3 1/2's, depending on how loud I need to play usually. I play he Java reeds for Fusion, and Rock, and Modern Jazz, but I also Play La Voz, (rarely, but because of the hardness), and I mostly play Vandoren Jazz 3 1/2's, because with this mouthpiece, they offer a more vintage tone, and sound fatter than the Javas on my Conn.

The mouthpiece is very Flexible, and very dark, but is able to become bright, when you want it to, by manipulating your tone. I had been playing on he Brilhart Levelaire, before I played this mouthpiece, and I loved the brilhart, but it was too closed, and I did not want to have it refaced, and I was wanting something more modern, and I chose this mouthpiece, because of the similarities. Turns out I chose well, and I do not regret it at all. Although I could have returned it to the WoodWind & BrassWind, I did not, because I new this was the mouthpiece. The sound is just perfect. I will post some videos, and sound clips, when I get my conn Back from J & J Woodwinds. I cannot wait.

There are only few problems with this mouthpiece, those being, the slant of he reed, and finding the right ligature to fit. I tcomes with a ligature, and by all means I have had no problems with the ligature, but I know there is better, so I will soon be purchasing a Francois-Louie Ultimate Ligature, and I will have to trim some rubber to apply to the ligature so that it will fit firmly to the mouthpiece do to the slant. I like the F-L Ultimate ligatures, because they offer a very dark tone, which is wha tI am most appreciative of when it comes to tone. What it does, is it is composed of wire, and a miniscule amount of rubber, thus keeping much less contact with a mouthpiece, than a normal ligature, allowing for more vibration of the reed, and mouthpiece, and on top of that, there are pipes connecting to the wire, that inhibit the sound, slightly changing the tone, but offering more control, and a better tone, and intonation. Other than that, the mouthpiece is perfect. There are no problems that have effected my playing. I wish I would have purchased this mouthpiece sooner, because I would have completely mastered i, and know all of it's capabilities.

The altissimo of this mouthpiece is unbelievable. To achieve it, I can just simply finger the normal note, and apply a bit more air, and I barely have to adjust my embouchure. I can get higher than Bob Marly flying a Kite. (A crass comparison I know, but hey what the hell).

This mouthpiece is fantastic, and unbelieveable. Thanks Santy Runyon. You really knew what you were doing. Rest in Peace.


Monday, March 3, 2008

The Conn New Wonder Transitional, with Pics.

Hello. Here is some ingormation on the Conn Transitional Saxophone, and my Conn Transitional Saxophone tha was Restored by J & J Woodwinds. (
These all pictures of my Conn Tenor, disassembled, ready to be stripped, and ready to be replated. Above is a Picture of the exact same model tenor that I own from 1929. Also listed is a soprano of the same model.

Here is a Picture of he body awaiting Spring Measurements, and awaiting dent removal, and stripping, etc.

Here are the Keys Removed from the Saxophone, awaiting to hve the pads measured for new ones, and be stripped to be silver plated.

Here is a Picture of the Bow.

I worked at McDonalds for quite a while to be able to afford it, and it was well worh it. I love this thing to death, and I would kill for it. (Well, maybe not really, but instead metaphorically speaking, of course). here are pictures that I recieved from Sherry Huntley, who Re-Engraved the Pattern. (

The sound of this saxophone, if I could describe it in my own opinion, is absolutely Gorgeous-there are not enough words to describe the beauty of the sound, that comes from it.

This is a Rare Transitional Saxophone. It was originally Silver plated, and then stripped, and then Lacquered. This could have taken place anywhere between Ten years ago, and in the nineteen thirties, but jusdging by how the lacquer used to look, (note that is was recently silver plated like it was originally in the factory), I would say it was relacquered in the Fifties. The pads, which were originally Conn Res-O-Pads, were around fifty years old, which around that time, is when they stopped making the reso pads, which leads m eot believe it was probably the late 1940's, or early 1950's. I will be having ROO PADS, installed on it, which are sold and made, only by Music Medic, (, which will havve Gold plated Noyek Resonators, that are airtight. They do not stick (the pads), and reduce sound (when hitting the tonehole), when playing. This can often be heard during recordings, and does not sound nice.

Picture of a Conn Res-O-Pad

Here is a Picture of the a Roo Pads, which is the Kind tha t I am having overhauled on my Tenor.

This sax was made in 1929, which is when the Series II was given the Curved High "E" Side Key, and featured different engraving styles. Because my sax was relacquered, and the engraving was faded, I had Sherry Huntley Re-Engrave the original pattern, to look like it did in the Conn Factory, when it was first manufactured. This engraving style was also featured on some non transitional saxophones, butmainly the Conn Series II tenors. This engraving started around late 1928, and is very similar to the main engraving on the majority of that found on the Series II. During this time period, (Late 1928, and early 1929), not all of the saxophones had the Later designe engraving, whereas there are Transitionals, with the Type 1 Series II Engraving. After the 235,XXX Series, the Art Deco engraving was started. (See PicturesBelow).

*This is The First Series II engraving found on most Series II's. (compare with my engraving above, and there are a few noticeable differences, although they possess the same basis).*

*Here is the Art Deco engraving found on The Transitionals after 235,XXX)*

There have been rumors of minor changes in the Bore on the Transitional series (which is the technical name, note that all saxophones had there own letter and number name, ex: 10M tenor, 6M Alto), but because these Instruments were manufactured so long ago, the records have been lost. The reason this is said, is that many people believe the Transitionals possess a fatter and very-slightly darker tone. I believe this to be true in comparing the Transitional and the Series II, but hat is ownly my opinion, and no Two saxophones are exactly alike, and have exact measurements. There will always be very minor differences in sizes of the tone holes, and in the bow and bore on the same sax, even if they are one serial number apart.
Here are pictures of the Neck that is replated. I am awaiting more pictures, an I will keep it updated as often as possible. The satin silver looks absolutely fantastic, and is how it was originally manufactured. When it was manufactured, the body was Silver plated, leaving the trim shiny, but what I mean, by being left shiny, is the body was Sandblased for a satin Finish, that looked amazing, and still would, if left original. The keys were left Shiny Sivler, and the Bell was Gold burnished. There were different options availble for the finish, but mine was in Satin silver, and I know because if it was Satin goldplated [originally], or burnished gold plated, [originally], there would be a different engraving style. well ehre are the pictures of the Neck, and there are many more to be coming soon.

* The Images next to an Asterisk, are NOT MINE, and belong to