Conn Prototype Pan American 58M Alto (1953)

The Story

Neville Bonner is a professional saxophonist working around Sussex on the South Coast of England. I’m really grateful to him for allowing his horn ‘Connie’ to be reviewed here at Saximus Maximus.

He decided to respond to an advert from Ron, an American eBay seller, some years ago for ‘brand new 1953 Conn altos’. Ron owned around 2,000 prototype saxophones from all eras he had retrieved from the Conn factory in Elkhart, Indiana in 1977 – a collection he described as ‘his pension’.

Neville believes his horn is a prototype, probably a Pan American ‘stencil’ for a student line. It is possible that the acquisition of Conn by the Best Manufacturing Company of Nogales in 1960 (according to Sax Gourmet) and subsequent shift in student horn production to Arizona put paid to the potential production of this earlier design. Continue reading

Conn Pan-American Alto (1920)

The Story

My friend Chris Ingle was travelling on business in San José and gave me a call on a Saturday afternoon. He was in one of my favourite ‘savings and loan’ shops and ran through the saxophones they had. He mentioned the Pan-American alto, so I asked him about the condition. He bought it and brought it back from the States and into work on the following Monday. It was a truly great find – a classic horn, made by Conn in 1920. Continue reading