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***SOLD***1959 Conn Connstellation 28A Long Cornet

Placed: Mar. 19 '22: 2:50 pm   Views: 388 
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Beautiful, Well Maintained 1959 Conn Connstellation 28A Long Cornet.

This little gem I placed this under 'trumpets' because it sounds closer to a trumpet than a cornet. It does, however, have a mellower sound than a trumpet, making it perfect for your ballad renditions in the style of Miles or Chet. (It is said that Chet had a preference for the Constellation 38B, but it seems to me that the 28A is even more suited to his style.)

Given its proclivity to the cornet side of the spectrum, it can be very mouthpiece dependent from a reasonably bright trumpet to a dusky cornet. In fact, it may be one of the most versatile horns ever manufactured. With the right mouthpiece, you might look upon this as a poor man's heavy horn.

In the images you will find an album cover from the legendary Don Jacoby, the legendary Conn clinician who regularly packed two Connstellations: a 38B and a 28A for his appearances.

The serial number is 8018xx, making it a 1959 model. The bell material is the mellow, yet resilient Conn-specific Coprion copper alloy. Not all Connstellations were manufactured thus, and this feature makes this a more desirable horn. The finish is mirror-like clear with none of the crazing that you often find on the less well cared for examples of the Connstellation. There is one small area of wear-through where the left had meets the bell. No dings, mainly because as a Connstellation, it is built like a tank!

Ron Partch, who does the work for the Canadian Brass has gone over the horn, complete with a valve alignment, and the replacement of the felts on the valve caps with neoprene to assure the continued alignment of the valves.

Also included is the requisite Conn 4 mouthpiece and as an added value feature, a very nice Conn double case.

This is the perfect chance to get your Chet thing going!!

Here's what Conn thought:

"The unique 28A, designed to look like a trumpet, is accepted by professionals as the best long model cornet on the market. Every detail of construction reflects an elegance of craftsmanship which has made this model the leader in its field. This cornet has a tonal "edge" which adds a beauty of brilliance for solo or ensemble playing. The 28A will serve a dual purpose, for many professionals use it as a trumpet or a cornet. By using a shallower and narrower cornet mouthpiece, this cornet could be made to sound like a trumpet. On the other hand, by using a deeper cup and a wider rim mouthpiece, the 28A would have a true cornet sound. This unusual versatility is aptly demonstrated by the serious student who uses this model in concert band as a cornet and also for stage band or dance band work as a trumpet!" -1960's Conn Product Manual

The Coprion Bell
In this article I would like to talk a bit about Conn's "Coprion" bell. Quite a few Conn trumpets, cornets and some trombones came with a Coprion bell. But what is "Coprion", and how does it affect the playing qualities of the instrument?

What is Coprion?
The process necessary for producing the Coprion bell was developed by Conn in 1938. It consists of electrolytically depositing COPper IONns (hence the name Coprion) onto a stainless steel precision form accurate to millionths of an inch (so Conn said in its 1959 catalog), creating a seamless bell. Coprion isn't the same as a "rose brass" or "red brass" bell; these are brass bells with a higher copper content. Coprion is 100% pure copper.
In its advertising for the Coprion bell, Conn showed diagrams of the structure of "ordinary" brass bells compared to the Coprion bell. The brass bell showed an "irregular and hodge podge" crystal structure with comparatively large crystals, while the Coprion bell showed "ions of pure copper side by side in regular, close knit conformation and at right angles to the surface of the metal".

What does Coprion do to the sound and the way the instrument plays?
It is said that on an instrument with a Coprion bell "you can't overblow or 'crack' a note." Also, according to Conn, "Coprion has a special characteristic which permits great dynamic range without change in tone color."
It is generally accepted that high(er) copper content bells make the sound "darker" and have better projection. Jeff Stockham puts it well describing his 1959 10B Victor: "The copper bell also adds projection. This has been borne out by acoustical experiments done by Walter Lawson on french horn bells and by Cliff Blackburn on trumpet bells. Simply put, the high-copper-content bells direct a greater percentage of the energy expended by the player towards the audience, as measured in decibels. The sound of the instrument is less full behind the horn, to the player's ear, but it is richer and louder in front of the horn -- there is significantly increased directional projection. What this means to the player is this: 1) you need to exert less effort to produce a given perceived volume at any point in the performance hall, and 2) the sound remains darker and fuller without becoming shrill or breaking up at high volume levels. So with this 10B I can peel paint off the back wall of the hall if I feel like it, or blow a soaring solo line WITHOUT A MICROPHONE over the top of a screaming big band and still be heard."
The limited experience I have myself with Coprion bell instruments confirms this: it projects like nothing else, the sound doesn't break up or become shrill at high volumes and you can really produce a lot of sound, and the tone color stays more or less the same no matter how loud you play.

Which instruments have a Coprion bell?
Cornets: 12A Coprion, 10A Victor, 28A Connstellation (through serial number 9xx,xxx), 38A Connstellation short model (through serial number 9xx,xxx; beware that there was a 37A Connstellation short model with brass bell), 18A Director and 17A Director.
Trumpets: 12B Coprion, 10B Victor, 38B Connstellation (through serial number 9xx,xxx) 18B Director, 17B Director.
Trombones: 12H Coprion, 10H Victor, 18H Director. Probably the 48H Connstellation (through serial number 9xx,xxx).

So, there you have it!

In my later playing days, my idea of an original instruments performance consisted of the featuring of some of the more historical instruments you find on eBay on short selections or quick solos with a local dance band. Great Fun!!
I am ageing out of my brass playing years and, with both love and gratitude, and sending my collection of originals on to their future adventures. I will be posting further items each Friday.
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Category: Bb Trumpets
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