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Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Steve Inman » Tue May 20, 2008 2:40 pm

Sorry for posting a new topic that MUST have been discussed before. But when I try to search on this, the "2J" and "3J" search terms are ignored by the search engine. :cry:

These two horns seem very similar. May I assume they play just about the same, and SOUND just about the same, with the 3J having a slightly "broader" sound, and the 2J sounding slightly more focused? (as one would expect) Or are there any significant differences I should be aware of?

I'm thinking of quintet use, small church brass ensemble (4 to 8 players) -- considering changing from my YEB-381 to a CC "substitute" to have the same fingerings as my "bigger" CC . . . .

TIA,
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Bob1062 » Wed May 21, 2008 3:10 pm

My understanding is the bell size is the biggest difference (16 and 18?), as well as some little things (rounded or squared slide crooks).


Steve, would you then stop playing bass tuba or would you pick up a cheap rotary F for the sound without having to worry about the low range (there's a really cheap one here in Chicago if you're interested! :D)?
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby ASTuba » Wed May 21, 2008 3:32 pm

Steve Inman wrote:Sorry for posting a new topic that MUST have been discussed before. But when I try to search on this, the "2J" and "3J" search terms are ignored by the search engine. :cry:

These two horns seem very similar. May I assume they play just about the same, and SOUND just about the same, with the 3J having a slightly "broader" sound, and the 2J sounding slightly more focused? (as one would expect) Or are there any significant differences I should be aware of?

I'm thinking of quintet use, small church brass ensemble (4 to 8 players) -- considering changing from my YEB-381 to a CC "substitute" to have the same fingerings as my "bigger" CC . . . .

TIA,


Steve,

Since you already have one of my old tubas, let me give you my .02 worth.

I had a 3J for almost 2 years after I sold you the 56J. I know that it's not a big tuba, but that 3J was the best playing tuba I've ever owned. I'm kicking myself to this day for selling it. Several of my colleagues and I have a cult following of 2 and 3J's and we all agree that these things are really amazing.

If you had a 3J/2J, Steve, you'd be a really happy guy. Just make sure the thing isn't all beat up, and you'll probably have a real winner. If not, let me know and I'll probably snag it. :tuba:
Andy Smith, DMA
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Richard Murrow » Wed May 21, 2008 5:33 pm

I have been reading the posts about 2Js and now with this post about the differences between 2 and 3J's I have to insert my 2 cents worth.

1. Yes the obvious difference was the bell 16.5" 2J & 18" 3J bell size.
2. Valve bore was the same on both horns, .658 but somehow they made the action shorter on the 3Js and it wasn't the old oval ports.
3. 2 slides sections to pull on the 4th valve of the 3J and 1 on the 2J. However, some of the 2Js came with an extra long 4th valve slide that lowered the pitch an augmented 4th which allowed for some interesting alternate fingering possibilities.
4. Better bracing on the 3J, plus protective plates on the bottom bow and players left side of the horn on the 3J which added weight.
5. The 3J came with a heavy weight bottom valve caps. Don't know whose idea that was, but that was well before those became popular with brass players and I doubt that many people even noticed because that wasn't a fad in 1977 or 78 when the 3J was introduced.
6. The ends of all tubes on the 3Js had a rolled lip/end and the 2J was just cut. Not a big deal, but an indication of refinement and detail on the 3Js.

How were the alike? Both horns play very well in tune and were generally pretty consistent from one horn to the other. Both produced a large sound considering the overall size and physical appearance. Did the 3J sound larger than the 2J? I don't think there was a real significant difference. Was the 2J more focused? Read previous answer. I do notice a bit more resonance in the sound of the 3Js, but some of that could might have to do with some of the things mentioned earlier; weight, braces, protective plates, etc. All things considered, either model was a very efficient, user friendly horn, that played well in tune, however in our world of tuba desires for BIGGER horns I'm sure that a decline in demand for these horns influenced the end of production.

By the way: On a previous post there was some mention of the 2Js being made in California at the Olds factory. While this may have been true for some of the earlier 2Js, many were made in Abilene at the Reynolds factory. Since Olds and Reynolds were one in the same at that time it only made sense to move to Texas where there was probably potential for less expensive labor at that time. Some actually had Abilene stamped on the bell. Also, I believe that at that point Olds/Reynolds were not actually making the instruments, but Conn had bought the facility and had there own workers making the horns. The 3Js were also made there when the 2J was discontinued around '77/'78. Also most 2Js came without the nickel plated inner bell.

One other point; Frequently the 2Js show up as being made in 1958. No they were not. this is because of the Olds/Reynolds serial #s that DO NOT correspond with Conn's serial sequence.

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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby jonesbrass » Thu May 22, 2008 7:47 am

Richard Murrow wrote:I have been reading the posts about 2Js and now with this post about the differences between 2 and 3J's I have to insert my 2 cents worth.

1. Yes the obvious difference was the bell 16.5" 2J & 18" 3J bell size.
2. Valve bore was the same on both horns, .658 but somehow they made the action shorter on the 3Js and it wasn't the old oval ports.
3. 2 slides sections to pull on the 4th valve of the 3J and 1 on the 2J. However, some of the 2Js came with an extra long 4th valve slide that lowered the pitch an augmented 4th which allowed for some interesting alternate fingering possibilities.
4. Better bracing on the 3J, plus protective plates on the bottom bow and players left side of the horn on the 3J which added weight.
5. The 3J came with a heavy weight bottom valve caps. Don't know whose idea that was, but that was well before those became popular with brass players and I doubt that many people even noticed because that wasn't a fad in 1977 or 78 when the 3J was introduced.
6. The ends of all tubes on the 3Js had a rolled lip/end and the 2J was just cut. Not a big deal, but an indication of refinement and detail on the 3Js.

How were the alike? Both horns play very well in tune and were generally pretty consistent from one horn to the other. Both produced a large sound considering the overall size and physical appearance. Did the 3J sound larger than the 2J? I don't think there was a real significant difference. Was the 2J more focused? Read previous answer. I do notice a bit more resonance in the sound of the 3Js, but some of that could might have to do with some of the things mentioned earlier; weight, braces, protective plates, etc. All things considered, either model was a very efficient, user friendly horn, that played well in tune, however in our world of tuba desires for BIGGER horns I'm sure that a decline in demand for these horns influenced the end of production.

By the way: On a previous post there was some mention of the 2Js being made in California at the Olds factory. While this may have been true for some of the earlier 2Js, many were made in Abilene at the Reynolds factory. Since Olds and Reynolds were one in the same at that time it only made sense to move to Texas where there was probably potential for less expensive labor at that time. Some actually had Abilene stamped on the bell. Also, I believe that at that point Olds/Reynolds were not actually making the instruments, but Conn had bought the facility and had there own workers making the horns. The 3Js were also made there when the 2J was discontinued around '77/'78. Also most 2Js came without the nickel plated inner bell.

One other point; Frequently the 2Js show up as being made in 1958. No they were not. this is because of the Olds/Reynolds serial #s that DO NOT correspond with Conn's serial sequence.

Richard Murrow


Great post, Richard. Confirms most of what I learned in my previous thread about the 2J, plus the discontinuation year(s) of the 2J series. So it appears that the 2J's were made for about a decade and were then replaced by the 3J. When did they stop making the 3j? Really a shame that the market desires bigger and bigger horns, especially since such nice smaller american tubas like the 2J and 3J aren't made any more.
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Richard Murrow » Thu May 22, 2008 8:07 am

[Jonesbrass Said]
[color=#4040BF]When did they stop making the 3j? Really a shame that the market desires bigger and bigger horns, especially since such nice smaller american tubas like the 2J and 3J aren't made any more


I think that was mid-eighties. Certainly not much later.
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Phil Dawson » Thu May 22, 2008 12:04 pm

I bought my 3J brand new (still in the wrapping from the factory) form Kolasney Music in Denver in 1991 or there abouts. The story was that they bought the last 5 in silver from Conn (possibly Orpheus Music in Texas) after Harvey and Conn had some kind of dispute. The first few horns came with a gig bag but I bought the second to last or last one so I didn't get a bag. I believe that the price was $2000 - probably the best bang for the buck I've ever gotten out of a horn. I still see them for sale on occasion. They are great horns.
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Steve Inman » Thu May 22, 2008 12:50 pm

Bob1062 wrote: . . . Steve, would you then stop playing bass tuba or would you pick up a cheap rotary F for the sound without having to worry about the low range (there's a really cheap one here in Chicago if you're interested! :D)?


Hi Bob,

At present, I think I could get by with my 56J and a 2J/3J. I am also thinking of looking for something a little different from the 56J (my favorite choice right now is the 1292 -- but they are expensive).

In the future, I would probably investigate the Cerveny 653-5 F, from what I've learned on this board, if I ever "needed" a bass tuba.

Cheers,
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Richard Murrow » Thu May 22, 2008 2:46 pm

Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J
by Phil Dawson on Thu May 22, 2008 12:04 pm

I bought my 3J brand new (still in the wrapping from the factory) form Kolasney Music in Denver in 1991 or there abouts. The story was that they bought the last 5 in silver from Conn (possibly Orpheus Music in Texas) after Harvey and Conn had some kind of dispute. The first few horns came with a gig bag but I bought the second to last or last one so I didn't get a bag. I believe that the price was $2000 - probably the best bang for the buck I've ever gotten out of a horn. I still see them for sale on occasion. They are great horns.
Phil

Phil,

I bought a silver one in '88 or '89. At that time it was one of 9 silver and 1 lacquered 3Js that were sitting in Elkhart, IN. They had been out of production for 2-3 years at that point according to the Conn sales rep in Texas. I had to get mine through Brook Mays in Dallas. Shortly after that I worked for Conn for several years as a clinician before going to Miraphone. On a visit to the factory in Eastlake, OH during that period they also confirmed those dates. So, at one point our horns were probably sitting on the same shelf together. It would be interesting to compare serial #s sometime. Also, I don't think that any of this had to do with a dispute between Harvey and Conn. It was more possibly a decision made by the MBA/non-musician types who were making decisions based on the bottom line.
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby J.c. Sherman » Thu May 22, 2008 3:44 pm

I borrowed a 2J once from a friend; he asked me to fix it and then I played it a while...

What a fabulous instrument, so playable, so facile, and the nickle-plated bell and parts pleased my wife - she thought it was cool lookin' (how often do we hear THAT?). I had to give it back, but I miss it, and would love to get another one (or that one), but it's just not a priority right now. But my quintet thought it was no better than my Imperial, and no louder, so maybe it's just not needed at all. But it sure was fun!

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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby Phil Dawson » Thu May 22, 2008 5:05 pm

I'll try to remember to check serial #s this evening.
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby tubathig » Thu May 22, 2008 5:17 pm

if you get a good 2j or 3j they are hard to beat... Bob Jackson down in Decatur, Al had one a couple of years ago that he brought for me to play, it used to belong to one of Harvey Phillips old students, but anyway, that was the BEST tuba i have ever played and I have owned some good ones, I stilll kick my self for not buying that when I had the chance, just didn't have the bucks then
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Re: Conn 2J vs Conn 3J

Postby pat » Thu May 22, 2008 7:27 pm

Phil: I bought my 3J from Kolachny also, possibly the same batch of horns. Ever have any issues with the silver plating? Mine has a couple small spots where the horn DOES NOT tarnish. One member here suggested it was because of solder under the plating?
Anyway this horn is available, excellent condition, as good as anyone is likely to find, but would prefer a local (Colorado) sale. Dont want to risk shipping.
If the fellow from Longmont reads this, contact me, I lost your phone number. If I cant find a local buyer........
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