Saxophone/Conn tuneable mouthpieces
Hi, My name is Germán Marquez from Buenos Aires Argentina. recently I bought a Italian Saxophone, a very rare tenor and came with an old Conn Mouthpiece. There aren't much information. Conn's tenor models had tuneable mouthpieces available from the factory, Conn began experimenting with different saxophone designs as early as 1928. I want to know the historic value of the mouthpiece and a estimated market price....maybe i'm thinkin of selling it.
Here is a link about the same mouthpiece (It's the first one):
I can send you photos if you want to see my mouthpiece.
Any information will be useful for me!
Mr. German Marquez,
The mouthpiece you are enquiring about is indeed a rare piece as Conn only made them for a very short time period. The fact they were manufactured for only a few years should tell you they didn't sell very well. At that time, as you said, Conn was experimenting and came out with a tunable neck on the 6M alto and 8M C-melody (straight neck). This lasted until the mid/late 1950's when they switched to a standard neck. The tunable mouthpiece was a variation of that design.
The problem with these mouthpiece is the same as the tunable neck. They became gummed up easily and stopped turning. So after a few weeks, you were back to the standard push and pull of the mouthpiece. They didn't play or sound any better than the standard Conn mouthpieces of the day which were still based on Adolf Sax's Original design. I don't know of anyone who is using this type of mouthpiece right now. The problem is these old mouthpieces are not really compatible with the modern saxophone. Their shank is short and sometimes this will make it difficult to get the horn in tune as you have to pull it out much more than what you may be accustom to. Sometimes they just barely hang on to the cork. However there are players who prefer the older Conn's and will pay a premium for the matching mouthpiece.
So it's value is hard to pin down and I don't want to give you false hope that you have something very rare and valuable. It is rare, but not necessarily valuable. They do come up on Ebay from time to time. I've seen them sell for as little as $30 and as much as $250. Just depends on it's condition and timing.