We recently overhauled a vintage Conn 6M alto sax here at Brooklyn Brass & Reed. These are wonderful sounding saxophones.
This was a vintage horn from 1937 with the micro-tuner neck. It was purchased at an estate sale. It even had the Conn owners manual in the case. The lacquer was dark and rich and the horn was in perfect condition. Pads were the old Conn redo pads but were dried and falling out. I Was amazed at how this horn sounded. A complete re-pad, re-cork and new felt made this horn feel and play great.
The only down side to these horns is the ergonomics, but once you get past that look out.
I play a Selmer MarkVI alto made in the 60’s and I love it but I couldn’t put this Conn 6M down. I used Pristine pads which are very good high quality (160 size).
The Conn 6M was the horn of choice before Selmer came into the picture. Charlie Parker played a Conn 6M at times ( he played many different saxes and was notorious for pawning them when he needed cash) But there are photos of him playing this exact horn.
On these horns the thumb rest is adjustable but it’s too small and the the pearls on the right hand keys feel too small also. The micro tuner neck is kind of useless, its an idea that never really caught on.
You can buy these horns for not a lot of money but it’s difficult to find one in as good a shape as the one we had here. They are usually banged up a bit or have some repair work done to them.
There is just something about these old saxes maybe its the brass they used. The older Conn are nice too, the “chu-Berry” and even the transitional horns they came out with. We were buying old Conns for a while and overhauling them. There are still a lot of them out there.You just got to look for them.