Conn Selmer has recently introduced the new Conn 88HNV trombone, designed in homage to the original Conn 88H. The 88HNV combines the classic sound and feel of the original 88H, blending modern-day features and design to create a breath-taking instrument of balance and beauty. In this blog post, we’re going to share the history of the Conn brand, before introducing this wonderful new addition to the range.
The story of the C.G. Conn brand began in 1873 with the vision and determination of Colonel Charles Gerard Conn. Following a brawl in a bar that resulted in a split lip, C.G. Conn developed a brass mouthpiece with a rubber rim, using an old sewing machine that he converted into a lathe. He set up a shop to build these mouthpieces. The French instrument maker, Dupont, began repairing instruments in this workshop several years later. Watching Dupont work inspired Conn to build what turned out to be the first American made cornet.
Operations were moved to larger quarters in 1879, then a fire in 1883 resulted in even larger premises being built to build Conn instruments. The company became the largest producer of trombones in the United States and earned the lasting reputation as “America’s trombone house”. In 1915, the company was purchased by Carl Greenleaf and renamed C.G. Con Ltd. The company flourished until it was retooled to manufacture compasses, altimeters, and other items related to the war effort in 1942. It was difficult for Conn to regain their position as America’s No.1 band instrument maker after this. This was because smaller manufacturers had been able to continue selling their own instruments throughout World War II.
Conn was sold to the publishing company, Crowell-Collier MacMillan in 1969, who spilt manufacturing between Arizona and Texas, selling the Elkhart factor to the Selmer Company in 1970. Over 10 years later, C.G. Conn Ltd. was combined with several other musical instrument manufacturers and distributors to form United Musical Instruments (UMI). It was in 2002 that UMI merged with the Selmer Company to form Conn-Selmer, Inc, with the manufacturing of Conn instruments returning back to Elkhart once again.
The Conn 88H
The Conn 88H is recognized for its unique tone colour and refusal to “break up” even at the most extreme dynamics. This makes it one of the most widely used professional symphonic trombones. It is well regarded by teachers and professionals across the world, having defined the modern symphonic sound with its characteristically rich tone. Click here to learn more about the 88H.
The Conn 88HNV
Designed as a homage to the vintage Conn 88H, Conn have combined the classic sound and feel of early Elkhart models with modern-day features and design. This instrument marks the first upgrade to the 88H line in almost 20 years, resulting in a stunning example of balance and beauty. The new 88HNV is equally at home in a soloist’s hands or in an ensemble setting.
“This horn plays with the ideal beauty and range of colour that you would expect from a Conn, but with added depth of sound and fantastic projection.”Jason Smith, Brass Catagory Manager, Conn Selmer
The Conn 88HNV trombone is made in Elkhart, Indiana, to the following specifications:
- 0.547″ large bore.
- 8.5″ rose brass bell with soldered bell rim, creating truly unique sound and feel.
- Vintage style lightweight bell thickness, based on detailed analysis of Emory Remington’s instrument.
- Newly designed open wrap F attachment.
- The unique valve wrap provides the balance and feel of traditional vintage models, whilst utilising a modern approach to the open wrap design. This helps to create an even balance throughout the entire range, enhancing feel and response.
- 0.562″ bore F attachment combined with standard 88H rotor. This allows the low register to speak very clearly, and for seamless transitions in and out of the valve register.
- Rose brass outer slide tubes provide a warm resonant sound.
- Chrome-plated inner slide tubes provide smooth action.
- Nickel handgrips & braces.
- Tapered rotor & bearings.
- Ergonomic rosewood lever paddle which is comfortable to use.
- New one-piece valve lever.
- Mechanical stainless ball linkage.
- Special stylized engraving weaving through four eras of Conn history. These are based on classic design elements from various periods of historic Conn engraving styles to create a hommage to both vintage and new.
New Case Design
This instrument comes presented in a lightweight, slim style case with rucksack style straps that conveniently stow away. The lightweight fibreglass case has a black cross-stitch design on the front, and a large logo on the end. The trombone also comes with a Conn 5G mouthpiece.
Stay tuned for another Conn Selmer launch this November…
To pre-order your Conn 88HNV trombone from the British Band Instrument Company, please contact us here.