Pan American 32A Vocal Cornet

Pan American 32A Vocal Cornet ~1929

Date: Circa 1929, owned by Ron Redding

The "Pan American" line of band instruments are Conn's "B" line, and were made by Conn in Elkhart, Indiana. This model can be tuned to C, Bb and A. The standard tuning slide in front of the instrument is for C. The tuning slide installed on the instrument is for Bb and A. Apparently the valve slides have marks for C, Bb and A. The bore size is probably a #1, which is 0.438".

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 1925:
The practical design of the "Vocal" cornet, with the years of satisfaction it has been giving, prompted many to imitate its construction, but so far none have succeeded in producing its quality. The Pan Aemrican "Vocal" model is conceded to be the most practical B, B flat and A cornet for all-round use with piano without transpositing because of the easy use of the extra tuning slide. By using the tuning slide and lengthening the respective valve slides to the marked positions, it is in proper tune in both B flat and A. The regular Pan American construction, such as nickel silver valves, enclosed valve springs, pearl inlaid finger tips, and careful workmanship are evidenced in the "Vocal" model. Length 17¾ inches, 4¾ inch bell and weight 34 ounces when played in C.