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FS: 1969 Conn Constellation Euphonium

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  • davewerden
    Administrator
    • Nov 2005
    • 11142

    FS: 1969 Conn Constellation Euphonium

    This horn is in good condition, with lots of lacquer wear/scratches, but relatively little denting of any substance. It looks like most of the trigger is there, but I don't see the actual thumb-ring piece (which might be easy enough for a shop to fabricate). Buy-it-now price is $695 and there is a make-offer button.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1969...-/132206687563

    Click image for larger version

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    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium
  • jimdd
    Member
    • Feb 2015
    • 44

    #2
    I know Conns 24i are very special in the hearts of many, but to me, it would be difficult spending $695 plus shipping for this 4 valve non compensating front valve Conn when you could have new Wessex in choice of finish for $1000. My guess is, the Wessex would at least equal the Conn in performance. Thoughts?

    Jim

    Comment

    • davewerden
      Administrator
      • Nov 2005
      • 11142

      #3
      It's not for everyone, that's for sure, and it's not mainstream. But for concert band players it could be a very good choice, particularly for traditional music. Most of it was written with a horn like this in mind. The Conn would be easier to manage for long concerts and also for people who don't have a lot of lung power and/or capacity.

      Also, the front-valve configuration can be easier on joints that are weak or troubled with arthritis. That has been discussed here a bit lately.

      My friend Denis Winter was playing a Constellation when he first came into the CG Band. I played it and noticed it did not have the same sound as my Besson, but it had a very attractive tone nevertheless. And it was easier to control on some passages.
      Dave Werden (ASCAP)
      Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
      Adams Artist (Adams E3)
      Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
      YouTube: dwerden
      Facebook: davewerden
      Twitter: davewerden
      Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

      Comment

      • BDeisinger
        Senior Member
        • Jan 2015
        • 233

        #4
        I have a 24I and has a great sound for community band. I'm considering the 25I because I like the straight bell up. Dave is absolutely correct about the front-valve configuration. Also it is easier on the lungs but I've found it's the heart instead of the lungs causing the problem. The 24I got me through college. The new Wessex Festivo might fit the bill, but is a bit more money. I'm also not sold on the valve position but I haven't played it and waiting for a good evaluation of one who owns one and has some time on the instrument.
        B&S 3046 Baritone/Euphonium
        Wessex Festivo
        B&S PT37-S
        Schilke ST20 Tenor Trombone
        Jupiter XO Double valve bass trombone

        Comment

        • jimdd
          Member
          • Feb 2015
          • 44

          #5
          I was thinking in terms of value of an older Conn compared to a new Wessex Non Compensating valve front, bell front baritone they are selling for under $1000.

          Now that we are having good quality non compensating valve front baritones under $1000 being offered by Wessex and others, I think it drives down the value of older Conns like this one.

          Comment

          • davewerden
            Administrator
            • Nov 2005
            • 11142

            #6
            I'm not sure Wessex changes the value proposition for old Conn, King, etc. Similarly, all the great new horns out today do not seem to lessen the price/value of older, classic Bessons. To come extent it's emotional - a respect for these classic horns that brought us to where we are today. But in other ways these horns are still unique. There is no horn today that has the magic of the old Besson sound, even though modern horns sound great. And the older horns like this Conn have a smaller bore, which will be easier to handle for some people.
            Dave Werden (ASCAP)
            Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
            Adams Artist (Adams E3)
            Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
            YouTube: dwerden
            Facebook: davewerden
            Twitter: davewerden
            Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

            Comment

            • jimdd
              Member
              • Feb 2015
              • 44

              #7
              I certainly relate to the emotional ties to an older instrument, and I have difficulty attaching a price.

              Comment

              • daruby
                Moderator
                • Apr 2006
                • 2217

                #8
                I still use my 1968 Conn Connstellation (I have both the 25I and 24I bells and cases) for some outdoor concerts and all parades. My particular horn has near 100% original lacquer and minimal dents (just one small one and some nicks couple on the back side of the bell). The case is in very good condition and the valves have been worked over so that they are 100% and have delrin guides to quiet them down. After having downsized the rest of my collection, I keep the horn specifically because I played this exact kind of horn from my freshman year in HS through my sophomore year in college. Nostalgia, plus a fabulous playing horn.

                Doug
                Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
                Concord Band
                Winchendon Winds
                Townsend Military Band

                Comment

                • BDeisinger
                  Senior Member
                  • Jan 2015
                  • 233

                  #9
                  Doug has seen my 1963 24 I and it's in pretty good condition. It has seen me through college along with 5 years of marching band. A reminder, jimdd, the 24I is not a baritone but an American euphonium with a larger bore than a baritone. It has withstood the test of time and in today's world, still a good instrument. And plays well in tune and you can pull the two tuning slides on the 4th valve to cover the low range. I have nothing against the Wessex, but history will prove if it has value as compared to the older Conns.
                  Last edited by BDeisinger; 05-29-2017, 12:21 PM.
                  B&S 3046 Baritone/Euphonium
                  Wessex Festivo
                  B&S PT37-S
                  Schilke ST20 Tenor Trombone
                  Jupiter XO Double valve bass trombone

                  Comment

                  • jimdd
                    Member
                    • Feb 2015
                    • 44

                    #10
                    Originally posted by BDeisinger View Post
                    Doug has seen my 1963 24 I and it's in pretty good condition. It has seen me through college along with 5 years of marching band. A reminder, jimdd, the 24I is not a baritone but an American euphonium with a larger bore than a baritone. It has withstood the test of time and in today's world, still a good instrument. And plays well in tune and you can pull the two tuning slides on the 4th valve to cover the low range. I have nothing against the Wessex, but history will prove if it has value as compared to the older Conns.
                    I did not know about the larger bore, I had played a 20i for a while and enjoyed it. How does a constellation differ from a 20i besides simply a 4th valve?

                    Jim

                    Comment

                    • Pat
                      Senior Member
                      • Dec 2008
                      • 399

                      #11
                      I got my Conn because it's cool, and because I've always wanted to play a Connstellation. I'm happy to acknowledge that Wessex may be a better VALUE proposition, but I wasn't looking for value. It's a neat horn with its own unique sound, at least in my hands.
                      Sterling Virtuoso Euphonium, Denis Wick 4AL

                      Comment

                      • daruby
                        Moderator
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 2217

                        #12
                        Originally posted by jimdd View Post
                        I did not know about the larger bore, I had played a 20i for a while and enjoyed it. How does a constellation differ from a 20i besides simply a 4th valve?

                        Jim
                        Larger bore is a bit of a misnomer for the Connstellation. The receiver is larger, using a Remington shank that is near but not quite the same as euro shank. The leadpipe is a "floating design" much like modern Bessons. But once you get to the valve section and beyond, the bore of the horn is the same as the Conn 14i and 20i. The big deal with the Connsteallation is that it was a 4-valve using standard full stroke valves as opposed to the 20i Artist which was 3 valve with short stroke valves. The Connstellation also had a spring loaded "trigger" assembly for the tuning slide. The bells on 20i and 24i are interchangeable. The 14i had a fixed bell and straight cut tubing ends (as opposed to reinforced rolled ends). The 14i also had less bracing and simple designs on the braces and finger buttons compared with the 20i and 24i.

                        Doug
                        Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
                        Concord Band
                        Winchendon Winds
                        Townsend Military Band

                        Comment

                        • Pat
                          Senior Member
                          • Dec 2008
                          • 399

                          #13
                          Many thanks for the additional background on the Connstellation... that sort of info is why this forum is so useful!!
                          Sterling Virtuoso Euphonium, Denis Wick 4AL

                          Comment

                          • jimdd
                            Member
                            • Feb 2015
                            • 44

                            #14
                            I know this is an old thread but I have a question.

                            I just purchased a Conn 4i 4 valve Euph, bell front. Serial numbers indicate manufactured November of 1978. Standard valves, not short stroke. It came with MP adapter for small shank but when adapter is removed, small MP is too small and large shank MP only goes in 3/8”.

                            The horn looks very original and no obvious signs of receiver being change or soldering repairs anywhere.

                            I’ll have to borrow a Euro MP to test, but I also read that Conn did use Remington shanks on some trombones in the 70s. Is it possible that this euphonium, also has Remington shank?

                            I’m guessing this was manufactured in Abilene TX?

                            Thank you

                            Comment

                            • daruby
                              Moderator
                              • Apr 2006
                              • 2217

                              #15
                              Post a picture of your horn. The 4i was a "triggerless" 4 valve horn built by Conn-Selmer in Abilene in the 70s (the Elkhart built 24i disappeared in 1968-70). The valve block and 1-2-3 tuning slides of the 4i are actually based on the King bell front design (AFAIK). The bell and leadpipe are Conn. The 4i and 5i were not around for long and kind of rare.

                              As regards mouthpiece, the receiver is just a bit larger than a standard euro-shank so a euro mouthpiece will "bottom out" in the receiver. You can get the euro shank mouthpiece to fit this receiver by filing or cutting off about 1/8" from the end of the mouthpiece. I always just used the adapter and a small shank mouthpiece. My preferred mouthpiece for the 24i was either a Bach 6 1/2 AL, 5G, or Wick 6BM.

                              Doug
                              Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
                              Concord Band
                              Winchendon Winds
                              Townsend Military Band

                              Comment

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