Conn Connstellation Mouthpieces
This page contains the information I have on Conn Connstellation mouthpieces. Tom Baker graciously loaned me his copy of "Conn's little blue booklet", more properly known as the 1963 Conn publication entitled "The Proper Selection of Cup Mouthpieces". It contains a wealth of information on the how and why of mouthpieces and a very interesting section on Connstellation mouthpieces. If you notice an omission or an error, please contact me. See main page for e-mail.
Connstellation mouthpieces apparently were first produced in 1962 and continued into at least the 1970's.
Instruments for which Connstellation mouthpieces were available:
Cornet, Trumpet, French horn, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Eb Bass horn, BBb Bass horn.
These mouthpieces are brass, silver plated and then partially gold plated. The last inch of the shank is not gold plated.
Available cup diameters: (3), 5, 7, 9
For trumpets and cornets, and trombones, there are three sizes: 5 (the largest), 7, and 9 (the smallest). For French horn there also is a size 3. The "feel" of these mouthpieces depends on the whether they have a "W" or "N" rim (see below); the "W" rims will feel larger than the "N" rims eventhough the mouthpiece diameter is the same. It has been suggested by more than one person that the size 7 was about the same as a Bach 7. The 5BN feels similar to a Bach 3, while the 5CW feels similar to a Bach 1½. Since the 5 and 7 sizes exist for both cornet/trumpet, trombone and French horn, it would appear the sizes are relative to size of the instrument. Click here to see Conn's depiction of the different sizes.
Connstellation Mouthpiece sizes
Cornet and Trumpet
|5BW, 5CW||0.660"||16.76 mm||1.075"||27.31 mm|
|5BN, 5CN||0.660"||16.76 mm||1.044"||26.51 mm|
|7BW, 7CW||0.646"||16.42 mm||1.076"||27.35 mm|
|7BN, 7CN||0.646"||16.42 mm||1.047"||26.60 mm|
|9BW, 9CW||0.625"||15.88 mm||-||-|
|9BN, 9CN||0.625"||15.88 mm||1.041"||26.44 mm|
Available cup volumes: B, C
The "B" cup is the smaller cup, the "C" cup is the larger cup. The difference is that in the "C" cup the lower portion of the cup has been enlarged. Click here to see a diagram of the differences in cup volume.
Available bites of inner rim: N, W
The "N" rim designates a smaller inner rim radius (sharper bite) and also a slightly narrower rim width. Hence "N" for "Narrow". The "W" rim designates a more rounded inner rim with a larger radius (less bite). The "W" rim is about the same width as a standard modern Bach rim, and so by today's standards isn't extra wide. Click here to see a diagram of the rim differences.
Based on the information in "Conn's little blue booklet", it is safe to assume that all combinations of at least cornet and
trumpet mouthpieces exist, eventhough I have not yet seen all of them. These are the combinations I have seen sofar:
Cornet: 5BN, 5CN, 5CW, 7BN, 7BW, 7CN, 7CW, 9BN, 9BW, 9CW
Trumpet: 5BN, 5BW, 5CN, 5CW, 7BN, 7BW, 7CN, 9BN, 9BW, 9CN, 9CW
French horn: 3BN, 3BW, 5BW, 7BN, 7BW
Trombone: 5BN, 5CN, 7BN, 7CN, 7CW, 9BN
A note on Conn mouthpiece shanks, particularly in relation to trombone mouthpieces. In the same 1963 Conn publication, Conn notes the following: "All Conn cup mouthpieces (except Bass Trombone) have a shank desgned according to the music industry standard of .050" per inch taper with an outer diameter at the small end of .339" for the cornet and .385" for the trumpet". This means that the shank of all Conn mouthpieces is a Morse taper, except the bass trombones which I am told has a Remington taper.
For the full text of "Conn's little blue booklet", see this PDF file (1.5MB): The Proper Selection of Cup Mouthpieces.
What Conn said:
Connstellation - the first cup mouthpiece design "break-through" in years. A mouthpiece manufactured with incredible precision, far in excess of all previous standards. One that, for the first time, scientifically matches critical dimensions of the rim, cup, orifice length and back bore taper. The result is a new degree of control and flexibility. Plus rigid uniformity from mouthpiece to mouthpiece.
Conn's precise dimensional matching also helps to balance tone in all registers, simplify phrasing, increase endurance and range. And the logical coding system greatly simplifies personal selection. Connstellation cup mouthpieces are double plated; heavy silver plate with pure gold overlay.
Performer can now attain a new height in tonal beauty... with the unique Connstellation Mouthpieces!