Conn 14M Bass (with rolled-tone-holes)

Conn 14M Bass 1934

Date: 1934. Owner unknown

This is a (rare) Bb Bass saxophone. It is gold plated. Apparently, this instrument sold for $15,000 on E-Bay. These instruments are sometimes called "Naked Lady" models or "M" models. The "Naked Lady" refers to the engraving often seen on the bell. There is a misconception that the presence of the Naked Lady engraving and how much of the Lady is visible is an indication of the quality of the individual instrument. Noted Conn researcher Dr. Margaret Downie-Banks says that there is no truth to this.

I understand from professional (bass) saxophone player Bert Brandsma, who plays among other saxophones a 1941 14M, that these don't work well at all with a modern Selmer bass saxophone mouthpiece. He found a 1950's Selmer mouthpiece with a round chamber that works much better. This seems to be in line with the 10M and 12M: they appear to need mouthpieces with large, round chambers.

What Conn said in 1938:
The bass saxophone furnishes a background, or foundation, not only for the saxophone family but for all the reeds. Its rich, full voice blends well also with the strings and is much used to support the string basses. Modern composers and arrangers are using the saxophone choir to blend the reeds and brasses together and the services of the bass are becoming indispensable in this work. The Conn bass is easy to play, in spite of its large size and deep, sonorous tone. The keys are necessarily large, the rods are long but so ingeniously has this model been designed for balance and smooth action that a minimum of effort is required to play it. Equipped with high E and F keys, articulated E and C keys for right hand, designed to save weight (U.S. Patent), hardened hollow hinges specially selected and tested long steels and springs, adjustable pivot screws, and many other features, most of them patented and exclusively on Conn. Used exclusively by Adrian Rollini, world famous for his unique performance on the bass saxophone; and by Frank Chase, star with Andre Kostelanetz. Built in Bb. Case extra. Has new, harder keys, new Res-O-Pads, new Steelay mouthpieces, at no extra cost.