Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

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NorthernEuph
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Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:54 pm

I recently purchased a used 36H that I like very much.

However, the previous owner shortened the horn by about 3/4" on each side. For me to play this instrument in tune I have to pull the tuning slide out until it's almost ready to drop off and then play the positions a little long. Does anyone have suggestions on how to bring this instrument back to its original length, or is it possible to purchase just the sections on the neckpipe and bell where the tuning slide enters?

I can play the positions farther out, but would prefer not to. E natural is not an issue because of the trigger.

Your suggestions or comments are most appreciated.
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Matt K
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by Matt K » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:09 am

What mouthpiece? I had intonation issues with mine until I swapped the leadpipe out for a Shires and used one of Doug's alto pieces. (With the original leadpipe, Doug's alto "s" brought the intonation into a more reasonable location.)

I'd probably check into that first before doing more modifications. I also don't know how much time you've put in on alto, but it isn't unusual to have it be rather sharp at first until you get used to it.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:22 am

Are you sure it was shortened? 3/4" on each side? That would raise the pitch by so much it's hard to imagine why anybody would do that... Alto in E?

Have you physically compared it to another identical horn?
NorthernEuph
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:52 am

Thank you for all the responses.

I'm basing my estimate of the shortening based on pictures of other 36H's on the internet. I have tried a variety of mouthpieces and the issue persists, including a Hammond that was designed for alto.

Matt K - can you tell me what Shires lead pipe you used?

I have heard that these horns can play flat in the upper register. High Bb in first on this instrument, for example would probably be unusable at the original length.

In truth, I've only had the alto for a little over a week, but with each passing day of playing it, it does seem more comfortable and the longer positions compared to my previous instrument don't seem to be as much of an issue... I will try and post pictures later today of my instrument vs. another.
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Matt K
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by Matt K » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:59 am

I got a T85#2 from Newell Sheridan. The bore size on the alto is .491 so Newell took a mouthpiece and flared it out until it was flush with the inner tube. I was at ITF at the time and so it jostled me a little bit for sure when he just rammed the mouthpiece shank into the bottom of it before I had indicated that I would even purchase it lol But it was a GREAT improvement over the stock pipe for me.

I'm not sure if they make a specific alto leadpipe or if they just use the 'tenor' pipes in their altos to be honest. But you could also consider getting a .495 pipe from them and buffing it down to .491. It's really not much material either way.

Unfortunately, I didn't have anything to compare it against, so I can't say definitively if the #2 was the best pipe out of the lot since it was the only Shires 485 at the convention evidently! Another possibility might be the brassark alto pipe? I don't know what bore size it is but it's likely they could make it to .491.

In either case, I can definitely recommend doing the procedure as it made a huge difference for the positive at making the partials line up consistently.
bbocaner
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by bbocaner » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:30 pm

If that's really what's happened to your instrument, I'd work with a local repair person to order from the factory a new tuning slide and the two outer tuning slide tubes. It'd probably be somewhere in the $300-500 range.
NorthernEuph
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:04 pm

I'm having trouble loading pictures for some reason.

At any rate, I am meeting with a repairman tomorrow night to get his thoughts.

Thanks again for the responses.
Conn Alto.jpg
Conn Alto.jpg (44.36 KiB) Viewed 996 times
Matt K Edit: Placed inline to maintain aspect ratio of image
NorthernEuph
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:05 pm

Trying again with the pictures. Here's my instrument.
My alto.JPG
My alto.JPG (69.42 KiB) Viewed 995 times
hornbuilder
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by hornbuilder » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:49 pm

Yeah, that is not factory!!
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Matt K
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by Matt K » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:08 pm

Yeah wow that's crazy. What's the pitch all the way in? I think Doug's right... E seems like it wouldn't be the best option but maybe the intended for it to be in F? (Whether or not they succeeded in that regard...)
boneagain
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by boneagain » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:10 am

If looks matter to you, then new outer AND inner slide tubes are the order of the day, just as bbocaner wrote.

If looks don't matter so much, then just new inner slide tubes would get the length back. You would see as much of that inner as you do now, but it would end far enough into the outers to give a good seal.

I bet you'd find a big difference in behavior of that horn with the slide NOT hanging off the end of the inners!!
NorthernEuph
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:18 am

Just updating..

Contacted the repair department at Dillon's where I bought the instrument. Replacement tubes have been ordered and I will get them sent here and installed by a local tech.
NorthernEuph
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:43 am

Tubes arrived today after a wait of about six weeks. Total cost for both pieces - $19.00 USD
Alto Parts.JPG
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Jgittleson
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by Jgittleson » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:34 pm

NorthernEuph wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:43 am
Tubes arrived today after a wait of about six weeks. Total cost for both pieces - $19.00 USD

Alto Parts.JPG
Quick fix now!
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BrassedOn
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by BrassedOn » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:13 pm

Wow! I'm feeling this whole drama. I can't imagine such an alteration, but maybe someone wanted long positions to bring raise the pitch for particular notes or be able to slide vibrato in first position. I thought people cut the hand slide for that. Or maybe a manufacturing error?

I bought a euphonium years ago, a Bach stamp of a Yamaha YEP3212. Quite a bit cheaper, but clearly this was a Friday horn (made after the 3 sake lunch) that Yamaha would not let out of its factory as a Yamaha. Whoever put it together used 641 bottom bows on the 1st, 2nd, and third valve slides. So not only oversized for bore with solder to fill the gaps, but also wider so no way to move those slides. Ended up getting the correct parts and installed and saved the horn.
"Do less, better."
1973 King 3B Silver Sonic
1987 Bach 42BO
1994ish Getzen Eterna 1062 Dave Taylor (stacked)
NorthernEuph
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:58 pm

Final chapter in my alto story...

Instrument is back to its proper length and responds so much better in all respects. Even when the notes were "in tune" with lengthened positions, the instrument never quite felt like it locked in to where it should be. I'm trying to imagine why the previous owner shortened it that much - about 3/4 of an inch on each side of the bell section.

Played the Brahms Requiem last Friday night and was very happy with the instrument. To complete things, I will probably order the inners for the tuning slide as they were shortened as well, but I don't feel same sense of urgency. Perhaps the moral of the story is to be sure to enquire if an instrument has had any modifications before you purchase. Some changes may be pretty obvious, but something like a switched out lead pipe not as much so.
harrisonreed
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:58 pm

They probably wanted to play long on the slide.

That bottom pic looked way excessive, but I had mine cut by about 3/8" and wish it was more, actually.
havard
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by havard » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:30 am

was reinstalling tubes a complicated process? did you have to relaquer the horn ?
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Matt K
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by Matt K » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:17 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:58 pm
They probably wanted to play long on the slide.

That bottom pic looked way excessive, but I had mine cut by about 3/8" and wish it was more, actually.
Y'all should have just swapped tuning slides :pant:
NorthernEuph
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Re: Lengthening a Conn 36H Alto

Post by NorthernEuph » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:04 pm

Reinstalling the correct tubes was a pretty straightforward process for the repairman. He's pretty good with the torch and there was no need to relaquer.
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