Friday, December 24, 2010

Conn 40K Sousaphone

Conn 40K Sousaphone Cluster

(There are more photos at the end of the post)

My shop has come across this excellent and rare gem: A Conn 40K Sousaphone. It is already sold, so keep saving for the next excellent vintage 4 valve Sousaphone that turns up.

The serial number puts the manufacture of this horn in 1924. A Conn catalog from the 1920's has this to say about their Sousaphones:

"The New Wonder Model Sousaphone Grand Basses listed on this page are the largest members of the Sousaphone family. Built in BBb, with either three or four valves, they add a deep and sonorous voice to any ensemble in which they may be used. The splendid impression made by these instruments in point of appearance is a matter of remark everywhere.

Due to the hydraulic expansion of manufacture, these instruments are perfectly proportioned, and accurate intonation is therefore invariably obtained. The inside of all the tubing is smooth as glass, having been 'ironed out' by pressure or 10,000 pounds or more, and as a result the softest pianissimo passages, encountering little resistance, can be played with great effect. This is proof of the easy blowing quality of the Conn Sousaphone Grand Bass.

The adjustable bell has a two-fold advantage. It permits saving of space in packing, with corresponding decrease in liability to damage and also permits the tone of the instrument to be thrown in any desired direction." Page 38. 1926 Conn Catalog.

I love the last line of the description.

The Conn 40K is basically the same design as the 20K or 38K. They all have the same body and bell, that is until the mid 1950's when Conn changed the bell from 24" to 26" and dropped the four valve model. The design is the same with the exception of the fourth valve. Notice that the tubing from the fourth valve leaves the cluster and mirrors the 5th branch. It is a beautiful design.

The specs are:

Bell Diameter: 24"
Weight         : 30 3/4 lbs.
Bore size     : .734"

Why did I post these pictures? Because I am fascinated by 4 valve Sousaphones and their design. I think that other people can appreciate the build of this cluster as much as I do.

1 comment:

  1. I am looking for a #2 valve for a vintage conn 4-valve sousaphone. Can you help?