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QUESTION: Why is it so difficult to determine the manufacture year of a CG Conn 8D. The corporate office could not help me!! They archive 10 years. I have gone to every site that boasts tables of serial numbers, to no avail. The serial number is 5 670050. Could it have been manufactured in 1967?

ANSWER: Hi,

Collating the info here
http://www.musictrader.com/conn.html
and here
http://www.horn-u-copia.net/serial/Connlist.html
and here
http://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/ConnSerialsConnBrass.html

the only thing that fits is a post-2000 date.

There's a fair amount of uncertainty at the period of transfer of manufacture to Abilene in the early 70s, but everything before that was only 6 digits.

Following that there are two letter prefixes and only 5 digits, only one site has the info that newer ones have a 5 and then 6 digits like yours. Taking the system of adding 50 to the first 2 digits yours would be from 2006.

The other point is what it says on the bell - if it's from the 50s or 60s and manufactured in Elkhart it will say "C G Conn Elkhart Indiana" whereas later just the company name or C G Conn USA, or nothing at all...

AJ

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have been to all of the sites which you have provided. Maybe I am stupid, but I just don't get it. 56 + 50 = 106 Does that translate to 2006? If so, that cannot be correct because it was purchased used in 1999. It doesn't really matter much to me but I am trying to sell it and the buyer would like to know the year of manufacture. I've called the corporate office of Conn Selmer. They could not help me either because they did not recognize the serial number and said that they archive only ten years back. It does not have Elkhart Indiana on the bell, just CG Conn USA. What are the chances that I will ever discover the year of manufacture?

Answer
OK then, the short answer is zero. The serial doesn't fit with any of the known information.

But you can at least place it between 1970 and the early 1990s... as it would say Elkhart if it was made there. And that's probably what your buyer might wish to know, as Elkhart instruments are widely believed to be superior, in fact they're treated with an almost mystical reverence in some quarters and sell for silly prices. Personally I've never seen what all the fuss is about, but then the Conn I owned (a 28D) was a post-Elkhart one, I've never played an older one for any length of time.

Anyway, I think that's all you'll ever know about your horn, maybe someone (eg a restorer or collector) who has handled many 8Ds could look at it and make a closer estimate. But it's probably not really worth the bother...

AJ

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