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Thread: info on Conn tuba...

  1. #1

    info on Conn tuba...

    I bought an old Conn from a guy on Craigslist. I like the horn as I have recently taken up playing tuba again after many years. He said it is a Conn 15 J; however, I don't think it is. The horn is 35" tall and the bell is 16.5". It has 3 piston valves in front. The serial # is 759641. I have seen a serial # list, and if I'm reading it correctly, dates the horn to 1958/59. This can't be correct because engraved on the front of the bell is "Conn Abilene Texas USA" which would date the horn at least 15 years later. Need help. What may I have here and date? A pic is attached...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tuba pic.JPG  

  2. #2
    I can confirm the dating to 1958, but I have no explanation for the "Abilene" engraving. I would guess that it might have been something that happened after the horn's manufacture, perhaps to mark the location of the retailer that sold it.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, it's very odd. Everything that I've read says Conn began making instruments in Abilene in the early 1970's. Also, the specs don't fit those of a 15J. They are more inline, with what I've read, of an 11J, made in the late 50's.

  4. #4
    I'd say you have an 11J. I have a friend who has a 12J BBb and that looks the same, but I suspect his was made at a later date.

  5. #5
    Yeah the specs seem to fit an 11J and from what I can tell, 11J's were made in late 50's. I'm still confused about the "Conn Abilene Texas USA" part.

  6. Could the body of the tuba been made in the late 50s, but the bell damaged and replaced with one from twenty or so years later?

  7. #7
    Interesting. I guess that's a possibility. You can see in the pic though, that there are no visible repair marks. Also, I can't find any info about horns made in Abilene that would fit the specs of a 16.5" bell. I guess it's possible that it was fitted with an older bell not made in Abilene and then engraved with the Abilene logo.

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