The 80A is an awesome cornet, and is popular with trad jazz players. There are a couple dents along the bell (on the valves side near the 1st and 3rd valves, as well as between the 1st valve and tuning mechanism), a very slight crease in the bell, and a fair amount of lacquer loss. The horn has no signs of red rot. This horn has a lot of style with the unique Conn bracing, the micro-tuning mechanism, and the engraved bell. Overall, this is a great vintage cornet from Conn!
This one is from the early 1950's and out of Trent's own collection.
Check out a clip of Trent playing an 80A (not this one for sale) below:
No case or mouthpiece included
Notice the micro-tuning mechanism or "opera glass" just forward of the first valve. This 80A being a later version doesn't have the mechanism that automatically adjusts all slides when the main tuning slide is pulled out to A. The older type 80A also had top spring valves with adjustable spring strength, this version has bottom spring valves. Another minor difference is the fact that on the older model the second slide is at a right angle to the instrument, while on this newer version it angles back towards the player. I am told the 80A has a duo bore or "expanding bore" main tuning slide: the top half is a #2 (0.468") bore, the bottom half is a #2½ (0.484") bore.
I have learned that the third slide without the finger ring to adjust the pitch of a low D and C# is slightly longer than it is on modern instruments. On modern instruments the low Eb is in tune, but the low D and C# are quite sharp. On these older cornets with the longer third slide no finger ring the Eb is a bit flat and the D and C# are slightly sharp, but not as sharp as they are on later instruments. It was thought that the flat Eb and slightly sharp D and C# were within the abilities of the player to lip into tune.
A member of the Trumpet Herald Forum with experience on the 80A has this to say about using the 80A with various style mouthpieces: "The 80-A's are very mouthpiece sensitive, in that the tonal characteristics change greatly with the mouthpiece choice. If you use a deep cup, such as a Wick or one of the various vintage cornet cups, it gets a very rich, velvety sound to the tone, but loses projection. Put in a fairly deep bowl cup, and the projection gets better, but tone brightens a bit. Put in a Bach C cup of your choice, and you can hang with the trumpets for brightness. Go to a shallow cup and tight backbore, and you can get a laser beam sound."
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 1941:
The 80-A model has made the Victor name famous. It is the favorite of many of the greatest cornet soloists, and a host if the younger artists have found it to be the ideal cornet for them. Year after year, dozens of the finest school champions in America win on the Victor. This model has won its popularity on exceptional merit. It is built in large bore and consequently has a big, mellow, rich tone, but it is so scientifically designed that it responds with great ease and can be played for long engagements without tiring the player. Its extremely accurate scale has stood the test of exacting critics for years, and its flexibility throughout the complete range has never been excelled by any other cornet. Has Clickless Crysteel valves, Victor tuning wheel. Built in Bb and A.
What Conn said in 1950:
Two generations of fine cornet players have sung the praises of the large bore, Bb-A 80A Victor. Improved year after year, today it's better than ever.
Please note that the weight listed is the shipping weight, not the actual weight of the horn.
Austin Custom Brass, ACB, Trent Austin, For sale, custom brass shop, custom trumpet, Kansas City, kc, kcmo, Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, Adams, Adams trumpet, Adamsfamily, mouthpiece, mouthpieces, custom mouthpiece, best trumpet, cheap trumpet, inexpensive trumpet, professional trumpet, vintage, pocket trumpet,