Date: 1940. Owned by Steve Ward.
This is the cornet version of the 48B Connqueror Vocabell trumpet. The main difference between the 48A and 48B is the mouthpiece receiver. The 48A takes a cornet mouthpiece; a trumpet mouthpiece won't fit. Also, the mouthpiece receiver on the 48A doesn't come out as far as it does on the 48B; on the 48B is comes out beyond the bell crook, on the 48A it comes right to the bell crook. The 48A doesn't have a third slide finger ring, the 48B does.
The 48A had a #2 (0.467") bore, bottom spring valves and was produced from 1938 to 1951.
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.
As far as I can tell at this point, all Conn cornets built before 1958 take a short shank cornet mouthpiece as opposed to the 2¾" "Bach-style" long shank cornet mouthpiece. The long shank cornet mouthpieces won't properly fit a pre-1958 Conn cornet and won't give the proper intonation or playing characteristics of a short shank cornet mouthpiece. All of Conn's "Connstellation" cornet mouthpieces are long shank mouthpieces. The "Improved Precision" Conn mouthpieces such as the Conn 4 are long shank if there is a "ridge" halfway down the shank, and short shank if there is no ridge (in which case it is a "Precision" mouthpiece). All Conn cornet mouthpieces built before the "Improved Precision" series (ridge), such as the "Precision" series (no ridge) are short shank mouthpieces.
What Conn said in 1938:
New, shorter and wider model for better balance. Easier response, distinctively mellow, true cornet tone. Medium bore, Bb and A.