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Conn 88H Vintage Elkhart Tenor Trombone Used


Item Details

This is a Conn 88H tenor trombone built about 1968 in Elkhart, Indiana, USA.  It is in immaculate shape for a 54 year old instrument. (I/Steve am also a 54 year old instrument.)  This trombone is nearly the Holy Grail: a pinnacle of mid-20th century trombone design and fabrication.

Generations of LA Philharmonic members used the 88H, as well as the Cleveland Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and many other orchestras.  The Conn trombone is the one smuggled by Denis Wick into England from Belgium in a paper bag.  Also played by Emory Remington, Ralph Sauer and many others to this day.  The 88H is the model for many B&S, Blessing, Getzen, Kanstul, Shires, and Yamaha designs.  But this Conn 88H is the original Emory Remington design, whose production began in 1954.

This One

The Conn 88H hand slide is all nickel with bronze outer tubes, .547" bore, Brown & Sharp taper mouthpiece receiver.  The slide has A+ smooth silent action and 100% chrome, no dents in the end crook, a few marks from handling and age and lyre attachment.*  Traditional cork barrel springs are installed.  Felt replacements available by request.

The F-attachment is all brass and nickel, a traditional closed wrap with pull to E.  The joint between the connector and rotor has been resoldered, quality looks satisfactory.  String linkage is quiet with a short throw, soft feel and new string.  This wrap is compact and well braced, to ensure good projection and lessen the risk of crook damage in opera pits and choir lofts.

The tuning slide is the reverse style to reduce gaps in the airway.  It has marks from handling and use, some small dings, and some evidence of repair of other dents.  The repair marks weren't quite burnished out, but it's nearly satisfactory.

The red brass 8-1/2" bell is brazed from two pieces of sheet brass and the rim bead is rolled without filling with solder.  The clean bell work is evident in the brass seam across the red metal.  It's a classic style that is not often made anymore.  The bell has some minor lacquer blemishes and marks from handling but no damage and it looks great.  The color of the metal with age-darkened lacquer is stunning.  The bell is ornately hand engraved.

The mouthpiece is a fairly rare Mt. Vernon Bach 6-1/2AL with a special Conn 88H shank to fit this trombone.  The mouthpiece is lightly gold plated.  The shank is in good shape, though the tarnish is more obvious in the photos.  If you'd like a different size mouthpiece that fits properly in this receiver, Bach, Schilke and others offer custom Brown & Sharp style long shanks.

Traditional Conn hard case is included, good condition.

This entire 88H ensemble is a looker and a great player.  The previous owner is a good trombonist and collector and historian who is retiring.  He's had several 88H trombones and said, "This is the one that feels good down in the low range too." 


*Book of Slides 3.88: Let he who has not marched with an 88H cast the first stone.

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