French Horn/6D serial number
QUESTION: I just purchased a used Conn 6D french horn with the serial# 620957. It is also stamped in the same area 6D but did not assume it to be part of the serial number. If you were looking at it, it would perhaps be read as 6D 620957. I wonder if I'm not looing at this correctly. According to most sites, this would put the horn at around 1956 but some of the issues I have with the date is that the horn is merely labeled "CONN" with "USA" right under it and utilizes a string linkage and not mechanical linkage on the thumb valve which seems to run contrary to the Elkhart models of those time. If you have any ideas please provide at your convenience. Thank You.
ANSWER: Hi, answer is, that's not a 6, it's a G.... serial is GD 620957
1970's & 1980's Conn serials work like this:
First letter gives the decade, G = 1970s
Second letter the month of manufacture, D = April
First digit is the year, 6 = 1976
Second digit is the type of instrument - this should apparently be a 4, for french horn, 2 would mean a trumpet... so info may not be quite correct here. Does it definitely say 2?
Remaining 4 digits are the production number within the month - instrument no. 0957
So it looks like an instrument from Abilene, made in 1976, which ties in with the bell stamp of just Conn USA.
Hope this sheds some light...
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QUESTION: I've attached a few pics of the serial number including the bell flare to see if it makes it definitive. There is a discrepency on the digits if it is supposed to be a 4 for french horn. Hopefully this helps.
Looking at that picture I'd say there is no definitive answer, except that it's definitely a post 1971 Abilene instrument. Or at least the bell is... if it was an Elkhart one it would say C.G.Conn Elkhart Indiana on the bell.
But then the serial definitely says 6d not GD so there goes that theory. I haven't seen the model number on a Conn at all before.
The best guess is that it's from sometime in the early Abilene time, 1971 to 1974, when there is a fair amount of uncertainty about serials, some were used twice apparently, and there are no proper records either. So it's impossible to say exactly when.
Other possibility might be that some repairer/restorer took the valve bridge from a trashed old Elkhart instrument and put it on yours to try to sell it as an Elkhart instrument. Or it's some sort of composite... sounds unlikely to me though. You can probably whether the lacquer looks original or any soldering has been done.
Hope this helps