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Saxophone/Conn 6M Elkhart, IND made in 1968


I was looking to buy this alto, and its serial number is L169XX. I was wondering what level this Conn would be considered and what the market value is for it. The particular alto I'm looking at has some wear on it--some of the finish is missing and there are some scratches, but everything seems to be in working order on it.

Hello Breanna, you have a Conn Artist alto ("Naked Lady") 6M model.
These are fantastic top of the line saxophones from Conn.

Here is some info for the web...

There was some experimentation with different keyguards for the tenor and different microtuner-neck and over-the-top neck octave key designs for the alto, but the design of the 6/10/12M remained essentially the same from 1935 to 1959.
I have at least one example of the 6M model VIII, featured in the Gallery. This is supposed to be the best version of the 6M, as are horns produced with an "x" before or after the serial number. The former is a horn with a moderately modified neck design and is generally accepted as the best model of the 6M. The latter is generally considered to be an eXperimental design (additional keywork, or vents, bore, etc.). There are also horns that feature the standard "over the top" octave key design -- referred to as a "New York Style" neck.
ALL the same pitches that were available during the age of the New Wonder were available through the Artist years, excepting the Sarrusophone, C soprano and straight soprano, it seems (the F instruments and C melody were available up until the start of WWII in 1941). However, horns other than the alto, tenor and baritone were essentially "factory original" New Wonder horns with different engraving and possibly keywork modifications -- and were special order, only. I have, at least, seen the bass in some 1960's catalogs and advertisements.
Please note that the "Naked Lady" model can be broken down into:
Rolled tone hole models (1935 to 1947 -- generally regarded as the best horns)
Straight tone hole models (1948 to 1959)
Redesigned model with wire keyguards (1960 to 1971)
Same as above, but with sheet metal keyguards and different bell-to-body brace (1963 to 1971)
See below for more details.
"Naked Lady" Time Line
1935: The 6M design was finalized toward the end of the Transitional period and the 12M design was finalized even earlier -- though both horns did have minor keywork changes -- but the tenor wasn't finalized until about s/n 263xxx, when its bell keys were switched to the RH side of the horn. This change announced the coming of Conn's most famous series of horns: the M series or "Naked Lady" model (so named for the engraving of a nude female portrait in a pentagon on the bell). According to later Conn catalogs (after 1959), these horns are officially called the "Artist" or "Standard" model, but "Naked Lady" is the most commonly used name people use.
1935/6 (around s/n 270xxx): Coinciding with the introduction of the 26M, the underslung octave key on the 6M alto is discontinued. It is brought back the next year. The "over-the-top" octave key ("New York Style Neck") appears to then remain a custom option throughout the life of the 6M.
1941/2 (around s/n 300xxx): Conn discontinues the 4M curved soprano and the 14M bass. The 4M and 14M are probably still available until Conn was bought by MacMillian in 1969, based on advertisements, but only as special order items -- and still based on the older New Wonder tooling.
1942 to 1945: Conn retools for the World War II war effort. Musical instrument manufacture slows to a crawl: appx. 6,000 during this entire period, down from almost 4,000 per year 1
Late 1946 to Early 1947: Union strike at Conn that lasts for 110 days. Appx. 3,800 horns are manufactured during this time1
1948: Conn stopped using rolled tone holes. There is ancedotal evidence that a shop worker accidentially broke the mold for the 10M, and the replacement was refabricated without rolled tone holes, and this design was propagated to the other Conn models2
1954: Microtuner necks vanish from the 6M2
1955 (approximately): Conn introduced the 16M tenor and 14M alto Director models (with the "Shooting Star" engraving) and ushered in two new plating choices that were probably available on all the Conn line: lacquer body with nickel-plated keys (finish 25) and silver body with nickel-plated keys (finish 56)2. It is probable that all other finish choices were considered "custom order" after this date. Please do NOT confuse these horns with the 50M student model!
Speaking of student models, which were introduced in the late 1950's or early 1960's (no later than 1961), Conn's student instruments generally have a four or five-digit number followed by a letter, like 1338V. These serial numbers bear no relation to Conn's pro line.
1959/60: Conn acquired the Best Manufacturing Company of Nogales, Arizona and moved most student/intermediate saxophone production there3. The "Naked Lady" engraving is discontinued, and while "Artist" models (6/10/11/12M) are still produced in Elkhart, they have different engraving. (Please note that some 12M's still have the "Naked Lady" engraving.)
1959/60: 10M's feature a redesigned double-socket neck with an underslung octave key.
1963: Conn introduces sheet-metal keyguards and a different bell-to-body brace on all models, although horns with wire keyguards and the "original" bell-to-body brace are still available until at least 1969 (possibly 1971), as Conn seems to be "clearing inventory" and producing models with the "new" design when they run low on the "old" design. (Please note that Conn horns with sheet-metal keyguards are GENERALLY considered to be relatively low-quality horns, with the exception of the 92/94/108/110M, as those horns are Keilwerth-made. This may not be the case with 6/10M's of this vintage, but watch out. Also note that the 12M was probably never available with SMK.)
1968: Conn introduces the 11M low A baritone. This is essentially a 12M with an extension, different engraving and Finish 25.
1969: Sale of the Conn company to the Crowell-Collier MacMillan Company4 production starts to be completely transitioned to Nogales.
1971: The last saxophone is produced in Elkhart and the Conn-made "pro" horns are discontinued5. The model numbers, however, are NOT retired.
Models, Finishes and Engravings
20M Straight Eb Sopranino (they called it an "Eb Soprano") -- "New Wonder" Style
4M Bb Soprano, Curved -- "New Wonder" Style
6M Eb Alto
10M Bb Tenor
11M Eb Baritone, low A
12M Eb Baritone, low Bb
14M Bb Bass -- "New Wonder" Style
Plating choices:
Finish 10: Lacquer (bare brass is discontinued as an option; discontinued around 1955)
Finish 25: Lacquer body with nickel-plated keywork (after 1955 or so)
Finish 61: Nickel plate (rare)
Finish 31: Silver plate (until 1955 or so)
Finish 51: Silver plate, gold-wash bells (until 1955 or so)
Finish 56: Silver plate with nickel-plated keywork (after 1955 or so)
Finish 00: Gold plate (special order)
While the "Lady-in-a-Pentagon" engraving is the standard for most examples, it was not the only available engraving. For instance, gold plated examples featured custom engraving and some lacquer horns just featured, "Conn, Ltd.".
Your sax is worth in perfect condition $1200 to $1500  and add 25 percent if it's is silver plated...
Merry Christmas!
Grant Koeller  


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Grant R. Koeller


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.


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.

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,

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

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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