Date: 1930. Owned by Dave Parker
The 4A "Small Bore Victor is essentially identical to the much more common 80A Victor, except that it is a smaller bore; the 80A is a #2½ (0.484"), while the 4A, I have been told, is a #2 (0.464"). The 4A was produced between at least 1926 and 1931. Read the booklet Conn included with these instruments, entitled What you should know about this instrument for more on the "mechansim", the micro-tuning mechanism (a.k.a. opera glass tuning slide) and the adjustable spring strength.
Apparently 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 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 about the "Victor" in 1927:
Victor cornets are setting the standard for the cornet world. Easy speaking, marvelously flexible, perfect in intonation and possessing unsurpassed beauty of tone. It is not strange they are being played by more world artists than any other cornet in the world. Now available in two bores - the 4A Small bore and the 80A Large bore. One of these two is the cornet you've been whishing you could sometime possess; it all depends upon what your engagement demands of you, which one you choose.