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1941 Conn 38A Victor Special Cornet


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Brand: Conn

Model: 38A Victor Special Cornet

Year: 1941

Key: Bb

Bore: ML .459 / #1-1/2

Finish: Lacquer

Case: Yes - Original Conn Case

From our friends at the Conn Loyalist:

This is the 38A Victor Special. The "Special" is in the nickel trim. It has bottom spring valves and has a #1½ (0.459") bore, which at the time was described as a "small" bore. The main tuning slide has an expanding bore: the top tube of the main tuning slide is 0.438" and the bottom tube is 0.458". The bell size is 4 5/8". It was produced between 1935 and 1941.

Patent for this instrument was applied for on October 4, 1937, U.S. Patent number 2,146,967. Part of the patent application reads as follows: "An object of the invention is to shorten the instrument, without sacrificing any of the tone quality, by arranging the tuning slide in a complete loop, the ends of which are arranged beside each other and facing in opposite directions, instead of the U-shaped section in which the tuning slide is usually arranged, thereby adding to the length of the air column in the instrument the full width of the loop, and consequently permitting shortening the the length of the instrument somewhat for any given total length of the air column. This involves offsetting the parts of the instrument body at the base of the loop, [as explained below,] to bring them along side each other." The patent application then goes on to state the second purpose of the patent: "Another object of the invention is to speed up the adjustment of the tuning slide by utilizing and adjustment member (...) having right-and-left threaded engagement with posts mounted to extend towards across the loop from the tuning slide and from the instrument body." The upshot of all this is that as well as shortening the length of the instrument by the width of the opera glass tuning slide, turning the knob of the tuning slide will extend it twice as fast as on, for example, the 80A.

I have learned that the third slide without the finger ring to adjust the pitch of a low D and C# is slightly longer than it is on modern instruments. On modern instruments the low Eb is in tune, but the low D and C# are quite sharp. On these older cornets with the longer third slide and no finger ring the Eb is a bit flat and the D and C# are slightly sharp, but not as sharp as they are on later instruments. It was thought that the flat Eb and slightly sharp D and C# were within the abilities of the player to lip into tune.

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