Trumpet/Pan-American 34B Prom model trumpet
a few years ago I bought a trumpet from a dealer from the Brass Cellar in Vancouver, who told me that this trumpet was mostly used for display, and from a private collection. Here is a picture of the actual trumpet:
Basically it's almost like a time-capsule horn, in almost like-new condition, with only very minor thinning of the silver in a few spots. It has the original case and a vintage, funnel-shaped mouthpiece marked "Conn", and 1/4 of the circumferance down reads "-222". The horn is in the key of Bb/A.
Not much information seems to exist on this horn, and there are a few things that I would like to know. First what is your overall opinion on this horn, and is it a professional model? How rare and valuable is this horn, is it highly sought-after? What can you tell me about the mouthpiece?
Now the big question...as you can see from the pictures, this trumpet does not have a right-hand pinky hook, nor does it have a left-hand thumb hook. I was thinking of having these installed, but I wonder what that would do to the value of this trumpet. Or should I just leave the trumpet as it is?
Also there is no way to pull a slide out to make the horn less sharp for some of the notes, such as the low D, for instance. Would it be possible to have the slides pulled from the first or third valves to rectify this?
Thanks in advance.
What you've found on Christine's site is mostly what there is to know. The mouthpiece is a Conn BI-222 but there is no data on it.
Pan-American was the value-priced line from Conn. They're not valued as much as vintage Conn instruments, but they have fans. It is not especially valuable nor desirable.
You can add a finger hook if you think you need one, for example you're planning on playing this horn on pieces that have quick mute changes.
As for the first valve slide adjustment... in general, this horn doesn't need one.
The designers who created these older trumpets calculated the slide lengths such that most notes were very close to correct intonation and then designed the horn to slot wide so you can easily lip the notes into tune. The only note that is really bad is the low C#, and even that one can be lipped into tune with practice.
More modern horns with adjustable first and third slides were designed that many notes were much closer to correct but some needed correction with the first slide. For example, the middle D is less flat but other notes using the first slide required some extension.
Neither method is necessarily better or worse, just different. I learned to play on an older horn with no first slide adjustment and wide slots and I love it. Others do not.
Modifying your horn to use the more modern intonation is not worth the money, in my opinion, because the horn is unlikely to sell for more than $200 if you tried to sell it, and likely less than that. Best to appreciate it for what it is.