What do I have here?

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  1. #1
    mpjbiker's Avatar
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    Default What do I have here?

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    Hi all, just picked up this old tenor-think it's 1930's Pan American, looks very Conn-ish. I think it has potential to be a great horn-it plays top to bottom on mixture of pads, bit of an effort low down, but they're all there, and importantly the sound is full and warm. I'll sugru a bigger right hand thumb rest and palm key risers, then maybe get my tech to tweek, adjust as necessary. I don't mind throwing a bit of money at it, cos it cost mouthpiece money (and came with a Yamaha 7c).
    What d'ya think?

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  3. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    Pan American was a brand owned by CONN.


    They produced generally second line saxophones, yours, has no rolled toneholes.

    Your horn has a Pan American patent number.



    Here is how to recognize them

    https://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/ConnArticle43.html

    https://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/ConnSerialsPanAmWW.html
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  4. #3
    StuartSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    Milandro is, of course, correct. But, I think the neck is from a Buescher.
    Robert Steinberg
    Piano, Saxophone, MidiOpera.com

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  6. #4
    mpjbiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    The neck looks just the same as my Pan Am alto, although it is a bit battered! What is it that makes you think Buescher? You may be right, of course, I don't know!

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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    The neck brace looks like a later aristocrat.
    Robert Steinberg
    Piano, Saxophone, MidiOpera.com

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    I understand where StuartSax is coming from (and the brace might indeed look like an aristocrat and might have been modified later on in life adding a brace).

    But I think the neck looks pretty much the same as this although the brace appears to be shorter that usual.

    In any case, it might only marginally affect the value of a Pan American , which, nice though it is, is not going to set the world on fire value wise.


    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

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    Forum Contributor 2017 mijderf's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpjbiker View Post
    I think you probably did very well. These Pan Am's can give a lot of nice sound for the money!

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    yes, they are good horns and are generally cheap
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  11. #9
    mpjbiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

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    Thanks for all replies! I've attached some more pics for your perusal! The right hand thumb rest is very close to the tone hole-has it been moved? It is excruciatingly uncomfortable, so I'll have to sort it out somehow. What's going on with the neck? It seems to have some sort of deposits on it-it seems to seal o.k, but the neck is pretty battered and may benefit from further work. I think generally it's well used but well maintained-there is no play in keys or rods anywhere on the horn, which would point to work done on a seventy year old horn. Having blown it for a bit, I'm really pleased-I think it's going to be a great player, the action is fast and light, sound is great, but that thumb rest.....!

  12. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    The thumb rest and all the rest (pun) can be sorted by a goo tech, but the question is how much will it all cost.


    I suppose that sorting all these issues out (and other ones which the horn will probably also have) will considerably add the the buying price.

    If you spend more than a total €1000 for this horn it is probably too expensive
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  13. #11
    mpjbiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    Thanks, Milandro-I don't think it needs loads spending on it. Believe me, it won't cost anything like 1000 euros, probably not even close to half that! I don't care what it looks like, as long as it plays great, and I think it will. I take a perverse pleasure in playing shonky old horns that sound fantastic-if I have to unsolder the thumb rest and sugru a modern plastic one on, then I will. I'm an average player, but I love it when other players come up and ask what I'm playing. As an aside, is it coincidence that the old horns without high F# don't seem to suffer from stuffy middle D syndrome, and generally seem to play with better clarity throughout the range? I have expensive modern horns (Selmer series 111, for example) that all suffer from stuffy middle D!

  14. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    The €1000 figure was a total of buying price + the repair.

    This horn, once repaired, is not going to be worth more than this so if you spend more( Buying and repairs) you are overspending

    I have encountered stuffy D also in old horns without high F#, my King Super 20 ( and Grups too) had that prior to the overhaul which got rid of it.
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  15. #13
    Fan Of Pan Am badenia's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    This is a Pan American model 66M, vintage 1937.

    Pan American was more than just a brand owned by CG Conn Ltd. It was a relatively independent manufacturing subsidiary with it's own designs, patents, trademarked brands, serial systems, distribution etc. It is from Pan American models that stencils come. The brand and its separation from the parent started in 1917, with the Pan American subsidiary incorporation in July 1919 and separate factory opening in Nov 1919. After WWII, the history is a bit cloudy, but it looks like the separation continued until 1955 when the serial numbers for all Conn Ltd and subsidiary band instrument production was combined into 1 system.

    In a sense the history of Conn Ltd was similar to General Motors with its GM, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Delco etc subsidiaries.

  16. #14
    mpjbiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    Thanks for all replies! I can't imagine how much music has been played on this old horn! It's going to my tech soon for a bit of work-if I end up with a fine playing vintage tenor with that great sound for the price of a boutique mouthpiece, I'll be well pleased! Anything I should be aware of or look out for? I'm not going to spend a fortune, but it seems these old horns are well regarded generally?

  17. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do I have here?

    yes, but not very expensive so really mind you your investment

    I don’t think that they are realistically worth more than €1000 overhauled, do your math thinking of this
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

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