Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3  Send TopicPrint
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Conn 6E mellophone (Read 2488 times)
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Conn 6E mellophone
Aug 16th, 2022 at 2:51pm
Print Post  
Recently purchased a Conn mellophone, what I believe is a model 6E. I'd like some validation and/or correction on what I think I've figured out about the horn. Serial number 118,341 - overall very good condition, albeit tarnished and a solder job on the Eb leadpipe that came from the school of "The bigger the glob, the better the job!"! No case.

Depending on which serial number list one consults, it could have been made from 1909 to 1911 - 1911 by the one found here. I'm very inclined to go with the 1911 date as Conn Loyalist indicates that this model was introduced in 1911, which would make sense as the Conn factory burned to the ground in May of 1910, was rebuilt and reopened late that year so a plethora of new models were introduced after that.

Line drawings found here and on Conn Loyalist both show all four leadpipes (keys of F, Eb, D and C) as well as two tuning slides. From what I've been able to determine the only difference between the low pitch 6E and the high pitch 7E is that the 7E came with two tuning slides, a short and a long (as the line drawing shows), whereas the 6E only came with the long version.

Scouring the Internet for information and pictures of this model has come up fairly dry. I found another 6E from ca 1912 or so that was identical to mine, and even had the original pair of mouthpieces (1 for F/Eb, the other for C/D (???)) with it. Apparently sometime between 1912 and 1918, the quad leadpipe idea was abandoned in favor of a conventional fixed leadpipe and F/Eb slides but otherwise identical from pictures I've seen. With that said, Conn Loyalist indicates that the both the 6E and 7E were made up till 1926 - which doesn't make sense as they would have had to have provided four tuning slides for the 7E to cover both low and high pitch. Either Conn Loyalist is incorrect or more likely, I'm confused and/or missing something!

UPDATE: Just found an apparent 6E from 1922 which has four crooks (in lieu of leadpipes) for the various keys. This would suggest that either the 7E was no longer made (as above) -=OR=- the 7E became a dedicated high pitch instrument without low pitch ability as it apparently had earlier.

The horn arrived with a cornet mouthpiece - which resulted in horrid intonation and poor lower range. Finding a Mellophone mouthpiece was "interesting" due to the change of specifications of what a "Mellophone" is, as well as eBay sellers not knowing what they had. Ended up with a Bach 6 on the third try that was a significant improvement over the cornet MP, the latter of which is now in the hands of a happy cornetist via eBay. The MP cost me 50% of what I paid for the horn!

I'll email in a couple of good pictures for the site...

UPDATE: Pix emailed!
« Last Edit: Aug 16th, 2022 at 5:17pm by Zorba »  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
kenton
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline



Posts: 4678
Location: Punxsutawney, Pa
Joined: Jan 6th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #1 - Aug 16th, 2022 at 7:04pm
Print Post  
The 6E and 7e were both still shown in catalogs at least up through 1928.
  
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #2 - Aug 16th, 2022 at 7:15pm
Print Post  
That's good to know - and further research SEEMS to vindicate my 2nd hypothesis; later 7e horns didn't have low pitch capability at all - I've encountered pix with multiple crooks and the F crook looks "short" on some horns, yet not on others - according to my calibrated eyeball. Must be both 6E and 7E horns I'm looking at - since they didn't actually stamp the model indication on them (or certainly not on my early example), who knows?

I thought high pitch fell out of favor well before the late 20s... *shrug*
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
kenton
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline



Posts: 4678
Location: Punxsutawney, Pa
Joined: Jan 6th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #3 - Aug 16th, 2022 at 7:32pm
Print Post  
High pitch was retired rather slowly.  I think the reason for that was that though diminishing, there was still a market.  After all, if you have a band of instruments all playing high pitch, it is expensive to convert.  And some bands, like the Salvation Army stuck with high pitch.
  
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #4 - Aug 16th, 2022 at 9:57pm
Print Post  
kenton wrote on Aug 16th, 2022 at 7:32pm:
And some bands, like the Salvation Army stuck with high pitch.

For how long? But your point about converting is well taken!

UPDATE: Googled the high pitch question - apparently HP was still a thing as late as the 1960s!
« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2022 at 2:33am by Zorba »  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #5 - Aug 17th, 2022 at 7:00pm
Print Post  
Another interesting tidbit from the Conn history here at Horn-U-Copia: "1906 - [Conn] began to exclusively use Union labor and instruments made between 1906 and 1916 bear a union label."

Apparently, not *all* instruments were thus marked. My 1911 example has a "Screaming Chicken" stamped on the 2nd valve housing with "Trade Mark" verbiage; whereas a 1912 example I found had the Union label, but was otherwise identical to mine!
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
kenton
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline



Posts: 4678
Location: Punxsutawney, Pa
Joined: Jan 6th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #6 - Aug 18th, 2022 at 3:28pm
Print Post  
How long did high pitch last, it appears that the high pitch manufacturing of instruments lasted until 1964.

It is easy to mis-interpret some of the marking on instruments.  As enthusiasts, we sometimes ascribe significance  - most notably age of instruments to some rather marginal clues. 

Chronological lists are generally re-constructions and not derived from factory sources.  For the companies, the serial number was a way to keep track of the product and parts through the manufacturing process.  And, it was accomplished in variety of ways.  Some makers had one serial for the valve section and another for the balance of the instrument.  The relationship between the date of completion and the order of the serials is only approximate. 

Most companies had departments that did only a portion of the construction and assembly process.  Therefore, a valve section may have been made at a considerably different time from the bell section.  And, a valve section could be drawn from a stack of valve sections and matched up with a bell section randomly drawn from that stack. 

While it is likely that a union made valve section was made and marked as union, it is also quite probably that an older valve section that had languished in the bottom of a stack of valves was matched with a bell section that was union made.
  
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #7 - Aug 19th, 2022 at 3:03am
Print Post  
This too makes a lot of sense - much the same happened pretty frequently in gun making, in the same ( and later) period!

Did you get my email with the pictures?
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
kenton
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline



Posts: 4678
Location: Punxsutawney, Pa
Joined: Jan 6th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #8 - Aug 19th, 2022 at 2:26pm
Print Post  
nope
  
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #9 - Aug 20th, 2022 at 12:49am
Print Post  
kenton wrote on Aug 19th, 2022 at 2:26pm:
nope

I was afraid of that - should I retransmit? Anything I need to know to ensure the pix get through?
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
kenton
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline



Posts: 4678
Location: Punxsutawney, Pa
Joined: Jan 6th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #10 - Aug 20th, 2022 at 3:57am
Print Post  

I was trying to figure out the difference between the 4E and the 6E.  In a 1924 price list, it appears that the 6E was pitched in Eb, but the 4E was F, Eb, D, C. 

The 6E was supposed to Weigh 4.75 lbs, 16.5 in length, and 12.5 width, 12 in bell


The 4E was 5lbs, 15 length, 11.5 width, 12 in bell.
  
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #11 - Aug 20th, 2022 at 12:52pm
Print Post  
The deeper I dig into this, the more confused I become. The line drawing labeled "6E" *appears* to be wrong for one. I found a site with a pile of different Conn catalogs from the period - and they seem at first blush to contradict each other. I'm in the process of downloading the mellophone pages, and will try to make a chart detailing the differences so I can figure out what in tarnation is going on. I'm now not completely convinced that my horn is a 6E at all - it might be an early 4E. If it is, Conn changed the instrument sometime between 1912 and 1923. Won't say more right now as I'm digging deep and will report back when/if I figure anything out. I'll also try your measurements to see if they bring any clarity.

Very confusing...

Is 'kenton (at) horn-u-copia (dot) net' the correct address to send pix to? That's the one I used...
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
kenton
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline



Posts: 4678
Location: Punxsutawney, Pa
Joined: Jan 6th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #12 - Aug 20th, 2022 at 4:30pm
Print Post  
yes, that email should work.  (maybe the attachments were too large)
  
Back to top
IP Logged
 
kenton
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline



Posts: 4678
Location: Punxsutawney, Pa
Joined: Jan 6th, 2005
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #13 - Aug 20th, 2022 at 5:04pm
Print Post  
OK, your curiosity got me thinking about the Conn Mellophones with slant pistons I have stored away.  I find I have 4E's: 2 in good condition, 1 in playable condition, 1 in rough condition and 1 as a parts horn.   And one 6E in playable condition.

Until now, I didn't know exactly what was down there.

  
Back to top
IP Logged
 
Zorba
Sideman
**
Offline


The Veiled Male

Posts: 26
Location: Merritt Island, Florida
Joined: Jul 19th, 2022
Gender: Male
Re: Conn 6E mellophone
Reply #14 - Aug 20th, 2022 at 8:18pm
Print Post  
kenton wrote on Aug 20th, 2022 at 4:30pm:
yes, that email should work.  (maybe the attachments were too large)

Crud. I bet that was it. I sent two or three full rez pix. I'll try sending them one at a time...
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 
Send TopicPrint