Conn 20A Connquest

Conn 20A Connquest 1954

Date: 1954, Owned by G. Scott Hansen.

I will be the first person to admit this instrument looks a lot like a 14A (late 1950's) or 15A (1960's) Director. However, this is definitely a 20A Connquest. It has Connquest on the leadpipe. My theory is this: Conn produced a model 26A Director in the 1930's, with this configuration. In the late 1940's, just after the war, Conn started producing the Pan American 58A cornet, which was essentially the same model. When Conn stopped producing instruments under the Pan American brand in the mid 1950's they wanted to continue the popular 58A model. At first they produced it as this model, the 20A Connquest starting in 1953. They changed their minds in 1954/1955 because from 1954 on you see the 14A Director. The 20A Connquest does still appear in the 1955 catalog, but not anymore in the 1956 catalog. Between the 20A Connquest and the 14A Director the bracing and nickel trim are slightly different but both instruments are very similar. Both have a #2½ bore (0.484"). Both have a tapered main tuning slide, meaning the top tube of the main tuning slide is narrower than the bottom tube. However, Scott tells me that while the bottom tube on both this 20A and the 15A (and presumably the 14A) Director is 0.480", the top tube on this 20A has a diameter of 0.437", while the top tube on the 15A (and presumably the 14A) 0.468".

What Conn said in 1955:
Here's the medium bore cornet, in Bb and A, that was designed to meet the demand for a moderately-priced instrument. Has a full cornet tone, easy response in all registers, and most accurate intonation. The 20A is easy to blow and has unusually large tone quality. Clickless "Crysteel" valves are fast, smooth, quiet. Length 17"; weight 2 pounds, 12 ounces; bell diameter 4 5/8". Comes with mouthpiece and music lyre in attractive, pyroxylin tweed covered, plush lined case. Highly polished brass, durably nickel trimmed, clear lacquered.