Conn 22B Victor "Late Model"

Conn 22B Victor 1961

Date: 1961, Owned by Richard Garza, picture by Paul Ayick

In 1955 Conn redesigned the 22B New York Symphony, bringing its design in line with the other trumpets of the day. The result was the 22B Victor. The 1955 22B Victor closely resembles a 22B New York Symphony Special, with the added nickel plating in the same places: a band of nickel plating around the valve casing, and some nickel plating around the leadpipe and the slides. This 1955 22B Victor retained the fixed 3rd slide finger ring. In 1956 and 1957 the 22B Victor had an entirely nickel plated valve casing, but was otherwise the same as the 1955 model. From approximately 1958 the 22B Victor was modified again. The nickel plating on the valve casing and slides remained, but the nickel plating on the leadpipe disappeared. This version also had an adjustable 3rd slide finger ring. On all versions the 22B Victor had bottom spring valves, like it predecessor the 22B New York Symphony.

Although strictly speaking the 1953 and 1954 models 22B were still "New York Symphony" (as far as I know), instruments produced in these two years had (I assume nickel-) plated slide ends. I suppose these were transitional models.

The 22B New York Symphony was produced between 1922 and 1954. The 22B Victor took over when the New York Symphony was discontinued in 1955, and was still in production in 1971. It has a #1 Bore (0.438"). Don't confuse the 22B New York Symphony/Victor with the current 22B Director. That is an entirely different instrument, a student model. The vintage 22B was a top class instrument.

In October 2006 I had the opportunity to try a 1963 22B Victor. Let me start by saying I played a 1964 15B Director for 25 years, and the last few years have been playing a 1948 22B New York Symphony, so I am very familiar with both the 15B Director and the classic 1930's ~ 1940's 22B. Holding this 1963 22B Victor in your hands feels very similar to the 15B, very familiar and comfortable. It isn't as heavy as I had expected it might be, considering the weight of Conn's other trumpets from that period. It was interesting to note that eventhough the valve caps are in the style used from 1958 into the 1970's, the valve guides and corks on the valves were still exactly like the valves used in the 1930's and 1940's. While playing this 22B Victor I felt it plays and sounds somewhere between my 1964 15B and the 1948 22B I own. In other words, it is a very nice trumpet, definitely better than a Director or a Connquest (77B), but.... perhaps not quite as good as the 1930's ~ 1940's 22B (in my humble opinion). Then again, some more time with it might make me change my mind.

What Conn said in 1963:
Smallest in feel of the Conn trumpets, the 22B has extra trumpet brightness. A favorite with Hollywood recording artists and other professionals. Length 21", bell 4 5/8". Brass with nickel trim. Complete with new Victor case.

What Conn said in 1966:
The 22B has for years maintained it position as a "standard" of the industry. Smallest bore feel of any Conn professional line trumpet. Brass with nickel trim. Length 21". Bell 4 5/8".