Saxophone/Conn Bari Sax 82MA

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Question
Hello,  I see a Conn Bari Sax 82MA on ebay but I can't find anything about it on the net.  Have you heard of a Conn Bari Sax 82MA?  If so, what is your impression of the sax?

I know very little about sax's but my son has played one for a couple of years and I would like to buy something that will play beyond a school band but within a reasonable cost.  Should I buy something used or something like a Orpheo Signature bari new?  It's pretty confusing to me.  I do know that he wants it to have a Low A.

Thanks, Keith.

Answer
Hello Keith,
This is a good solid Bari made in the UMI factory in Elkhart Indiana,and they produced pretty darn respectable instruments under the Conn, King, and Armstrong label from 1984-2003, when Selmer bought them out.
Under UMI, all production was returned to US soil and most saxes were made at the Armstrong facility, which had tooling and fabrication based off of the JK models which Herb Couf had subcontracted in the '70's. Some horns still show the stylistic connection to the Elkhart-made Conns of earlier days; whether this tooling was moved to Armstrong or whether Henkin or UMI had these more Conn-esque older models made elsewhere, it is hard to say.

King 660, 665 Altos and the 662 Tenor, and Conn very late 16M, then 22M & 9M & 34M Tenors and 5M, 24M & 25M Altos were all produced at this time and they are surprisingly decent. No, not pro-grade nor of the echelon of the Classic Conns or the '20's thru '60's....but pretty darn well-made, good sounding horns which competed quite successfully with the Japanese all thru the 90's.

Now the Baritones, of which there are far less around; they kept 2 styles going. One was basically an updated Conn 12M/11M which still maintained the exact same body specs as the Elkhart-made ones; these show up fairly often on eFlay, sometimes with the Conn name and sometimes with the Armstrong name....
The other was a more JK-influenced model, a Low A mode (CONN 82MA) which UMI produced pretty darn respectable instruments under the Conn, King, and Armstrong label from 1984-2003, when Selmer bought them out.

Under UMI, all production was returned to US soil and most saxes were made at the Armstrong facility, which had tooling and fabrication based off of the JK models which Herb Couf had subcontracted in the '70's. Some horns still show the stylistic connection to the Elkhart-made Conns of earlier days; whether this tooling was moved to Armstrong or whether Henkin or UMI had these more Conn-esque older models made elsewhere, it is hard to say.

King 660, 665 Altos and the 662 Tenor, and Conn very late 16M, then 22M & 9M & 34M Tenors and 5M, 24M & 25M Altos were all produced at this time and they are surprisingly decent. No, not pro-grade nor of the echelon of the Classic Conns or the '20's thru '60's....but pretty darn well-made, good sounding horns which competed quite successfully with the Japanese all thru the 90's.
The price is right, and this would be a fine bari for marching band, bug band, or concert band...
Thanks!
Grant Koeller  

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Grant R. Koeller

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I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.

Experience

Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

Organizations
USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Publications
Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

Education/Credentials
North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

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