Throughout the history of instrument manufacturing, instruments have been ‘stenciled’ – made by one company and sold to another with a different name on it. In many cases, the informed buyer can get a very good instrument at a lower price than a sometimes -identical instrument with the more sought-after branding affixed. Here is one such case.
The Conn Cavaliers were an ‘in-house’ stencil, that is they were sold by Conn without mention that they were in fact Conn products at the time. Their parts are similar to the New Wonder horns from the era, and they are well built, no-nonsense saxes. The primary difference between a Cavalier and a Conn of the same model-year is the lack of a high F key, which is a shortcoming easily overcome by means of altissimo fingering.
This horn is a silver-plated beauty with nickel keybork, giving it a very classy ‘silver-on-silver’ look. The bell is uncreased, and there are no major dents in the neck or body tube. The keywork is of course a vintage American design, and feels very comfortable, particularly for players with bigger hands. The intonation across the horn is very good, and the tone is even all the way up and down the range of the the instrument. It blows easily, overblows easily, and the subtone sound is very pleasant.
This Cavalier has been fully cleaned and repadded and is ready to play. This is a great horn for a player that likes a fat American tone and doesn’t want to lay down the bread for a Chu Berry.