Conn 36B Lightweight Connstellation
Top: Date: 1959. Owned by Rob Robson.
Bottom: Date: 1966. Owned by John Leito.
This is the "lightweight" version of the 38B Connstellation. The 36B was produced from 1961 to 1979. Which would make the above pictured 1959 instrument impossible, right? Well, my hypothesis is that it is either a pre-production model or a prototype. A similar situation exists for the 37A/38A Connstellation short model cornet.
Early models 36B such as the one in the top picture don't have a trigger on the first slide. I have been told by someone who owns a 1963 36B that her instrument does have a trigger. So the changeover probably happened at the start of the "letter" serial numbers, 1963. This also means that these later 36B's with trigger are somewhat difficult to distinguish from 38B's. As far as I can tell at this point, there are two visible differences between the 36B and the 38B. The obvious one is the size of the bell: the bell on the 36B is slightly smaller than on the 38B, 4 5/8" as opposed to 5 1/8". Judging the size of the bell from a picture is of course very difficult. The second difference is in the braces. The braces on the 36B are lighter than the ones on the 38B. To see this, compare the main tuning slide brace of these 36Bs with the main tuning slide brace of the 38B (see 38B).
Other than the difference in bell size and bracing, the 36B and 38B are identical. This includes the nickel plate with brass trim and the #1 (0.438" bore). 36B's produced from 1959 through 1962 have Tri-C valves, the same as 38B's produced during that period.
Here is an interesting article on the playing characteristics of the Connstellation: Conn Connstellation 38B and 36B
What Conn said in 1963:
A little easier to fill and lighter to hold than the 38B. Provides a little more to "blow against" in the upper register. Lower register, though big and full, is slightly less resonant than the 38B. Length 21¾", bell 4 5/8". Polished nickel plate with brass trim. Complete with Connstellation case.
What Conn said in 1966:
For those who like the 38B features but prefer an instrument a little easier to fill in all registers and lighter to hold. Medium large bore feel. Length 21½". Bell 4 5/8".