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Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:00 am
by lost
For anyone into vintage horns like me, the Baltimore brass store i was in today has a few! My yearly pilgrimage. Here are my reviews...

Theres a fantastic Conn "new york" 4 valve 4/4 tuba that will knock your socks off. From around 1900 and it is an awesome playing horn.

The conn 4 valve rotary 6/4 is different and rare and well damn cool to look at. Noticeable is the body looks larger than their standard conn orch grands. It needs some adjustments but man is it cool.

Martin Wilk's custom helicon is on the wall and looks awesome. I was too scared to ask to play it because it is a beauty. I can only imagine how well it plays with it being made by Martin.

A great deal on a 4 valve conn 40k sousa for 595. No case neck or bits and im guessing at that price the valves need attention but who knows. It has a big guard on the bottom so i am imagining the brass under it is weak too.

A york monster sousaphone for 650. No neck but at that price it was tough to walk away! Great condition.

A conn BBb helicon and raincatcher as well.

Hope that helps anyone interested!

A lot of used tuba cases/bags too!

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:30 am
by YORK-aholic
I would really like to visit there. If only they could move Baltimore a little closer to southern California...

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:22 am
by kontrabasstuba
Cool story. It is allthought very far from germany... i take a look on the homepage from Baltimore brass. Some of this fantastic instruments are listet. Some not. Did you make some photos? I'm interested to see this vintage beautys...

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:19 pm
by Tabor
What type of 4/4 was that New York? Did it look like the conn monster/Eb giant bell, or was it different? Did you get any photos while you were there? Sounds like they have some neat things that aren't up on the website.

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:13 pm
by lost
Apparently conn had a new york store...so this conn appears to be stenciled for sale in that premier store. Exceptional condition and just wow. Priced high, but after playing it you would see why. No pictures as i didn't want any ethical problems with that comes with, but it appears to be similar size to an eb giant except it is a 4 valve front action BBb.

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:21 pm
by bisontuba
I believe the Conn Company had a shop in NYC c. 1897-1902....

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:35 pm
by Heavy_Metal
YORK-aholic wrote:I would really like to visit there. If only they could move Baltimore a little closer to southern California...


Southwest has some nonstop flights between LAX and BWI..............

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:09 am
by Uncle Markie
Conn did have a New York Store, and at one it was managed by no less than William Paris Chambers - renowned cornet soloist and composer ("Chicago Tribune" "Boys of the Old Brigade" and others). One of Chambers' tricks was demonstrating cornets in Conn's NYC store by holding the instrument upside down and playing the last variation of the Arban Carnival of Venice by raising his fingers...

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:36 am
by eupher61
I'd be interested in seeing that rotary valve Conn. I had one that Steve Dillon opined was a Custom Jumbo, possibly (and purely speculating) had a connection to Fred Geib. It ended up with a collector, in exchange for an Eb Conn that I wish I'd never sold.
That tuba was huge, a throat like a Chicago York, had a gorgeous tone and was about as horrible pitch-wise as could be. Every harmonic was dramatically different from the others, beyond the natural tendencies. But it was a sound that made me think of an Alex. Apparently Matt had the thing and went over it but found nothing obvious. It would take a lot of cutting and reworking to fix pitch, and that would likely ruin the look and sound.

The valves were possibly made by Schmidt, and were front loading. The wrap was so tight on the back that there was no room to access a back cap.

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:27 pm
by Rev Rob
One of the pitfalls to be aware of when visiting Baltimore Brass Works is the purchasing of a vintage tuba.

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:04 am
by Heavy_Metal
Lost, I played that rotary Conn a while back, if this is the same one. The valves were noisy enough that you wouldn't need a percussion section. I think they were string-action, like my Marzan. But the sound was quite powerful.

Rev Rob, my Alex and I would agree!

When I go to BBC, I have to avoid taking a mouthpiece with me if I have to get in and out quickly. Otherwise I'll want to try all the tubas in the place.

Re: Trip to Baltimore to see vintage horns

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:54 pm
by lost
HeavyMetal...It think someone told me it needs a piston overhaul. Interesting conn experimentation horn of putting rotary valves on an american style 6/4 bugle.