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This is the
CONN ACOUSTIC (Steel String) GUITARS
Unofficial Web Site®2007-2014
 
RECENT UPDATEs:
8-24-2014
   ~ ADDED SOME CLARIFICATION TO SERIAL NUMBER SECTION
1-26-2014
   ~ ADDED SEVERAL PHOTOS
1-24-2014 
   ~ SPLITTING OFF CLASSICAL GUITARS ONTO A SEPARATE PAGE (IN PROGRESS).

I DO NOT PROVIDE ESTIMATES OF VALUE FOR GUITARS. PLEASE READ WHY (CLICK HERE).Content from any area on this site is free to download except if otherwise specified, and as long as acknowledging this site as the source. HOWEVER, no information can be redistributed or sold, or placed on a web site that charges a fee for accessing it the data or links.

 


FIND US ON FACEBOOK:

ABOUT THIS SITE

Information on this site is constructed from research using published verifiable information or input from third parties--which is also verified. The site owner has built several resources, such as spreadsheets, etc. THE SITE IS UPDATED WHEN NEW VERIFIABLE INFORMATION IS DISCOVERED or DISCLOSED. All information is presented free of charge. None of the information may be copied or reprinted for personal use without written permission from the site owner, unless otherwise stated.

HERE YOU WILL FIND:
- DOWNLOADABLE ADS AND CATALOGS OF CONN GUITARS (catalogs added 12/26/2013)
- KNOWN MODELS OF CONN GUITARS
- THE LARGEST COLLECTION ANYWHERE OF OWNERS' PHOTOS OF CONN GUITAR MODELS
- HISTORY & FACTS ABOUT CONN GUITARS
- LABELLING OF CONN MODELS
- SERIAL NUMBERING USED IN CONN GUITARS
- STATISTICS and MATERIALS (Major Update 12/26/2013)
- LINKS TO CONN GUITARS FOR SALE

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS PROVIDED FREE OF CHARGE. NO FEES ARE CHARGED FOR VIEWING ANY OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THE SITE OR ITS LINKS.

DOWNLOADS:
HERE YOU WILL FIND DOWNLOADS OF INTEREST.
ALL DOWNLOADS ARE PUBLIC DOMAIN. YOU ARE WELCOMED TO DOWNLOAD AND SAVE THESE TO YOUR OWN COMPUTER, PRINT THEM, OR WHATEVER YOU WISH TO DO WITH THEM. CLICK ON THE PICTURES OF THE ADS BELOW, AND YOU'LL BE GIVEN AN OPTION TO OPEN OR SAVE.

1974 Conn Features

1976 Conn Features














1978 Conn Magazine Ad

1974 CATALOG PAGE

Conn F-15 and F-21

1976 CATALOG PAGE

Conn F-1512 and F-2712

1976 CATALOG PAGE

Conn F-27SB (Sunburst)

SALES BROCHURE

CATALOG

CATALOG

CATALOG

MORE TO COMEMORE TO COME


KNOWN MODELS OF CONN ACOUSTIC GUITARS
Several models were produced--most in Japan and some in Korea, but a few prototype models were made in the USA. Those prototypes are considered the rarest and most feature all solid woods. These are models known to date. Scroll down to see the STATS sheet below for any information on these.


Dreadnought & Grand Concert

F-5

F-7

F-9

F-10

F-11

F-12

F-15

F-15M

F-18

F-20

F-21

F-21SB

F-23

F-25

F-27

F-27CH

F-28

F-29

F-31

F-33

F-35

F-60***

F-70***

F-100

F-200

 

 

 

*** - RARE, less than 100 made in Harptone Guitar shop in New Jersey

Acoustic-Electric
(1978 or later)
F-2A F-2BE F-2SB 
See wiring diagram for the F-2SB and F-2BE>>> CLICK HERE
(Not appearing in any catalogs)

12-String

F-30

F-312

F-1212 

F-1512

F-2112

F-2712

F-65***

F-75***

 

*** - RARE, less than 100 made in Harptone Guitar shop in New Jersey
Known Prototypes

B-70



PHOTOS
HERE YOU WILL FIND THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF PHOTOS OF CONN GUITARS ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET.
ALL PHOTOS SHOWN BELOW ARE PROVIDED FOR THE CONN OWNER OR ENTHUSIAST TO USE FOR COMPARING THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS OR FOR RESEARCHING PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES OF VARIOUS CONN GUITAR MODELS. ALL PHOTOS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY OWNERS, OR WERE OBTAINED VIA PUBLIC DOMAIN, AND ARE NON-COPYRIGHT.
USING THE PHOTO LIBRARY:
You may see the entire photo library by clicking on the "FULL CONN PHOTO LIBRARY" or you can see individual owners' albums by clicking on the underlined individuals' name links.
FULL CONN PHOTO LIBRARY << CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIBRARY

INDIVIDUAL OWNER'S PHOTOS (CATEGORIZED BY GUITAR TYPE):
Thank you to the following individuals for providing information for the following models that are not found in any of the available Conn catalogs, brochures, or ads:
 
Denny Michael, F-2A - Stan Palmer, F-2BE - Mel & James Davis, F-23 - Joel Stuart

ACOUSTIC STEEL-STRING

B70 - Prototype
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-5
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-7 (Korea)
 
 
F-9
Waylon Bosworth - Utah USA
eBay 260557339890 - USA
Brock Schardin - Deleware USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-10
Rev. Christopher Scrivens (BEFORE CUSTOMIZING) - New Jersey USA
Rev. Christopher Scrivens (AFTER CUSTOMIZING) - New Jersey USA
Goodwill - Kansas
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-100
Steve Belko - Ohio USA
Steve Schwartz - New York USA
 
 
F-11
Michael Jenson - California USA
Jerry Guerrero - "Jumpin' Jack Flash" - USA
Wayne Cockrell- Pennsylvania USA
Mark Nelson - Wisconsin USA
Cory Irwin - USA
eBay 150462451944 - Public Domain
eBay170501584256 - Public Domain
eBay220608191616 - Public Domain
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-12
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-1212 (12-String)
Ray Schreiner - USA - NOTE: Ray's F-1212 notably is marked "F-12/12" (note the " / " slash).
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-15
Joseph Brock- Indiana USA (Site Owner/Webmaster)
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-15M (Mahogany Stained Top)
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-1512(12-String)
Joe Simon - Pennsylvania USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-18
Edward Ferguson - Alabama USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-2A Acoustic-Electric
 
 
F-2BE Acoustic-Electric
Mel and James Davis (Father and Son) - New Jersey USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-20
Bruce Lamont - Oregon USA
Jerry Guerrero - "Jumpin' Jack Flash" - USA
Ellis Kilgore - Georgia USA
Donald Mrdjenovic III - North Carolina USA
Jeremiah O'Leary- South Carolina USA
eBay- Public Domain 350344241465
Don Johnson- Tennessee USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-200
Michael Jenson - California USA
Rhea Jones- Virginia USA
eBay110523335445
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-21
Michael Jenson - California USA
Troy Kallister- Illinois USA
eBay 230412883965- Public Domain
eBay 260620775116 - Public Domain
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 

F-21-SB (SB=sunburst)

Myles Graham- Japan

Guy Smallridge - Texas USA

(YOUR NAME HERE)

 

 

F-2112 (12-String)

eBay 120562547064 - Public Domain
(YOUR NAME HERE)

 

 

F-23 (1978 Only)

Joel Stuart - Minnesota USA

 

F-25

Donald Mrdjenovic III- North Carolina USA

John Spigle - Alabama USA (Submitted by son Nick)

Jonathan Rucks - USA

Phil Moorman - USA

Wade Williams - Iowa USA

(YOUR NAME HERE)

 

 

F-27

Dan Gillis - Saskatoon, Canada
David Cauthorn - North Carolina USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-27CH

Scott Wolthuis - USA

Richard Petersen - USA

(YOUR NAME HERE)

 

 

F-2712 (12-String)

Jody Plog- Oklahoma USA
Donald Mrdjenovic III- North Carolina USA
eBay120562547064 - Public Domain
eBay300435793731 -Public Domain
Mike Tevere - California USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-28
Jerry Guerrero"Jumpin' Jack Flash" - USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-30 (12-String)
John Shutic - Ohio USA
Dennis Skinner - Delaware USA

William Evans - USA

eBay 280485347437 - Public Domain
Sam Nitzberg - Maryland USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-31
Phil Fragale - New York USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
F-33
Greg Hansen - Colorado USA

(YOUR NAME HERE)

 
 
F-35 (1978)
Terrance Fisher - Minnesota USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-312 (12-String--PREDECESSOR TO THE LATER F-30)
Joseph Brock - Indiana USA (Site Owner/Webmaster)
Michael Jenson- California USA
eBay 140392084190 - Public Domain
Dennis Beagley - Utah USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-60- LIMITED NUMBER MADE
Ron McCormick- Texas USA
John Ross - Oregon USA
(YOUR NAME HERE)
 
 
F-65 - LIMITED NUMBER MADE

Anna Lancaster- Oregon USA

David Iverson - Maine USA

 

 

F-70- LIMITED NUMBER MADE

(YOUR NAME HERE)


F-75 - LIMITED NUMBER MADE

(YOUR NAME HERE)

HISTORY AND FACTS
CONN ACOUSTIC GUITARS--A BRIEF HISTORY

Conn acoustic guitars were made between 1971 and 1978. After MacMillan & Co bought the G. C. Conn Company in 1969 Conn's corporate offices were moved from Elkhart, Indiana to Oakbrook, Illinois. Shown below is a current-day photo of the building at the Oakbrook location.
 
To view a map of the Oakbrook location where Conn's Guitar business was based, simply click on the logo picture at right (IT WILL OPEN A SEPARATE WINDOW) >
 
 
 
Administrative offices and operations for the guitar line were set up in late 1970. The first employee of the official Conn Guitar division was Jerry Ackley. Jerry, who was a guitar player himself, was hired in August of 1970 and was tasked with setting up and building the Conn guitar business--with an emphasis on building upon the relationship that Conn already had with schools in the brass and woodwind market. Conn was a well-known and established brand, and wanted to enter the booming guitar market. No guitars were actually made in Oakbrook. Instead they were built to Conn's design standards by contract manufacturers in Japan. Mr. Ackley was responsible for helping to design the first models, and for setting up contracts with overseas manufacturers, and overseeing production. He chose an established factory in Hamamatsu, Japan about an hour from Tokyo (see map below),
 
 
Tokai-Gakki was the factory who was the first to build the first Conn guitars. Tokai already had their own line of instruments--known mostly for their classical instruments. All initial production guitars were made there until at least 1972--and probably afterward as well (history after 1972 is vague). Concurrently with setting up production contracts with Tokai-Gakki, Mr. Ackley also wrote a book for school instruction called "The Conn Method". This blue-vinyl binder with its comprehensive teaching method (and accompanying 33-1/3 LP, and later cassette) was written to bridge the only real gap that existed in the school market by providing a comprehensive teaching method for music teachers--most of whom were only knowledgeable of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Tokai actually built a prototype classical guitar for Mr. Ackley before actual production began, as he was developing the materials for schools. It was a prototype C-60--which he still has today.  Below are photos of Jerry's original prototype C-60. Classical instruments were the primary focus when the business began.

ABOVE: Jerry Ackley's Conn C-60 Prototype. Front side shown. Solid spruce top.

ABOVE: Jerry Ackley's Conn C-60 Prototype, from rear (solid rosewood).

ABOVE: In this photo you can see the headstock of Jerry's prototype. The final design for the headstock looked much different.

After Jerry established the business, he left Conn in 1972 to pursue other ventures. But during his tenure with Conn, several guitar manufacturers including builder Tad Adachi, and the famed Matsumoku and Aria factories sent prototypes to Mr. Ackley in an effort to show their wares for the purpose of gaining some of the Conn business. Jerry gave several of the prototypes to associates, and some to family members, budding musicians, or even professional musicians, and many are still around--and probably do not match any of the current catalog data. These were all high quality solid wood instruments, most of which had no branding shown on them.  It was a time of competitiveness in the guitar industry, and manufacturers--Japan especially--raced to make their capabilities known and to gain market share in the booming guitar business. Conn was seen as a lucrative customer, given their their huge distribution network, their reputation, their readiness to spend the cash, and their long-established relationships.
After 1972, Aria factories (who also produced Yamaha guitars under contract to Yamaha) may have succeeded in gaining some of the Conn business, and may have made several models under contract to Conn (Conn branded). Some sources state that Matsumoku built almost all Conn acoustic guitars after 1972--but this is unsubstantiated. There are few records that exist about Conn's history before 1981 because, according to the Conn-Selmer company, all records of that era "were destroyed". Any and all remaining information, including catalogs and brochures about the former company are in the hands of private individuals. Research into 9-year Conn guitar history is somewhat inhibited by these limiting factors, and information becomes increasingly difficult to obtain as former employees of that era are aging, and others are either no longer alive, or may not remember. Additional information may be included in various books that are for sale in the open market--many of which have been consulted (but probably not all).
MADE IN KOREA
In the mid 70's it appears that Conn explored manufacturing in Korea--perhaps to lower their costs as Japanese-made instruments gained a deserved reputation as some of the most well-made and desired instruments to own--and costs likely increased and probably drove Conn--just like other importers from the USA--to seek cheaper sources. Korea had been making guitars for export since at least the early to mid-60's, but the country had a stigma attached--brought about largely by their massive export of cheaply-made, almost toy-like instruments. This was in spite of their impressive guitar-manufacturing capability which coulld turn out quality instruments as well as the cheaper ones. Conn apparently did utilize Korean companies to make some of their instruments, using both some unique model numbers, and some models that were already in their existing lineup. For example, the basic Conn lineup did not include a model C-8, yet that model can be found with the Conn logo and labelling--exactly like the Japan-made guitars, but with "Made in Korea" instead of "Made in Japan". It is also a fact that at least the F-2712--which was an established higher-end guitar made in Japan, was also made in Korea--at least for a short time. The public's negative perception of Korean-made guitars may have diminished interest in the Conn line. Though they do exist, it is somewhat more rare to find Conn-branded instruments that carry a "Made in Korea" label. These Korean-made guitars were never advertised in Conn catalogs. It is likely that Conn wanted to maintain the Korean relationship, because the prices were lucrative, but pasting "Korea" on an instrument that carried the brand of a reputable company like Conn may have hurt their sales.
 
DRIFTER - CONTINENTAL BRANDS
So Japan manufacturing continued, and Conn continued the Korean connection by marketing the Korean made guitars under the Continental, and Drifter brands. The Continental brand existed some years prior to the Conn version, but was not related. The Continental and Drifter contracting activity was not managed by the Oakbrook IL facility but was managed instead by the Conn Organ division, located in another Chicago suburb--Downers Grove. Some of these guitars displayed the Conn logo on the headstock. Later ones had a variety of headstock labelling including "Continental by Conn", etc. Most of the labels used for Continental were the familiar gold or silver foil labels similar to those used on Conn brand guitars--sometimes carrying the Conn brand name in addition to the Continental name, and the "Oakbrook, Illinois" printing.. The Continental brand name existed after the demise of the Conn guitar business--but again was not related to Conn  The Drifter line continued on into the early 80's using their own unique paper label--oval in shape (similar to the oval Conn labels of 1978/79). Continental and Drifter brands are not the subject of this site and therefore will not be discussed further.
Conn acoustic guitar manufacturing was discontinued after the 1978 model year, and Conn electric guitars were introduced in 1979 but were only made and sold for a short time. Catalog info for electrics is only available for 1980, and that may in fact be the only year they were made, distributed, and sold.
Like most guitar makers, Conn had their own unique patented acoustic headstock. Mr. Ackley, mentioned above, devised the first design that was used from 1971 through 1977. The only notable difference between some models was the Conn rosette emblem below the CONN name on the some headstocks, while not present on others. It has been undetermined if there is some specific reason why certain models have the rosette and others do not. See these pictures of Conn's acoustic headstock design without rosette, and with rosette. In 1978, the entire lineup of Conn acoustics was re-designed--including the new headstock design and logo.

RARE CONN GUITARS THAT DON'T FIT THE NORMAL MODEL SCHEME
It has been stated by unconfirmed sources that Conn occasionally did some market testing by distributing limited runs of new models, some of which never made it into full-blown production, and never made it into their catalogs (in Japan and other countries). Factual data to support that claim has been provided by former employees Jerry Ackley and Fred Evans. One limited production model is the F-60 one of which one is owned by Ron McCormick. Only 100 or less of the F-60's were built according to Jerry Ackley. Unlike other Conns, the F-60's were built by luthier Sam Koontz of the Harptone Guitar shop of Newark, New Jersey, under the ownership of Sonny Brooks. It was one of only four steel-string Conn guitar models that featured all solid woods. Another model, the F-65, was also built there, and thus far only a few are known to still exist--one owned by Anna Lancaster of Portland, Oregon. Another was owned by Fred Evans--a former Conn employee in the Nevada warehouse. Tragically, that guitar was destroyed in an automobile accident in 1976. Other models made by Harptone for Conn were the F-70 and F-75.  The F-60 and F-65 had spruce tops, and solid maple backs and sides. The F-70 and F-75 had solid spruce tops and solid rosewood sides and backs. Again, for each of these four models only 100 of each were built. Other luthiers built limited runs in an effort to gain some of the business from Conn--including luthier Tad Adachi of Japan.  Some of these one-of-a-kind models can be seen in the photos section.

CONN GUITAR LABELLING
Jerry Ackley devised the first labelling scheme for Conn. And for the first 3 years of production, that original labelling scheme was consistently followed. Mr. Ackley's labelling methodology went like this: Every Conn classical model carried a gold label, and every steel string model carried a silver label. Serialization for these first guitars was actually devised by the Tokai Gakki factory in Japan, and followed a specific type of pattern that is described below, See further explanation below in the serial number discussion (bold print: "The serial numbers of 1971-1977..."). See also various departures from the explained schemes.
 
Nearly every Conn acoustic guitar made from 1971 through 1977 bore an adhesive-backed gold or silver label (either very thin foil or thicker aluminum plate laminated to a thin plastic film backing material) mounted to the inside back--visible inside the soundhole. Higher-end Conns that have inside graft strips (2-piece and 3-piece backs) have either (a) a heavier label of thicker aluminum--more like the thickness of a credit card or hotel key card, or (b) model number stamped into the wood heel block (inside where the neck is mounted to the body).  Almost all other models have a label similar to foil. Those 1971 thru 1977 Japan-made guitars that have the labels, on which model numbers and serial numbers appear, seem to have been hand written with a ball-point pen--and which most are legible. Conn labels are found both very neatly written, or barely legible, and everything in between! This legibility issue stands to reason--try writing with a ball point pen on a piece of aluminum foil.
 
Stamping of the heel block (inside the guitar) was used on some of the high-end Japan-made Conns (F-28, F-29, F-31, F-35, F-60, F-65, F-70, F-75)--while others in the same model range had labels.
 
LEGIBILITY OF LABELS
Workers who wrote the information were likely unaccustomed to writing English characters. Another problem with model identification using the foil/aluminum labels: many of the labels have fallen off over the years, likely due to use of inferior adhesives--making it difficult to identify some models (model identification is still possible in most cases using the STATS sheet--scroll down). The labels were made of a two-part laminate; a front part that is very thin gold or silver foil, and a backing that is some kind of adhesive-backed thin white thin plastic film. The front foil also seems to commonly separate from the white backing on the foil-type Conn labels. As mentioned, the labelling followed a consistent method for the first three years; gold labels were initially used only on the classical models, and silver labels were used on steel-string models. Evidence of a deviation from this original practice is seen in the variety of silver or gold labels used in later models (mid-1974 and beyond).
 
PAPER LABELS
A couple of owners have sent pictures of Conn guitars that bear a red paper label--not unlike the ones found on the much-sought-after and collectible Yamaha Nipppon Gakki "Red Label" guitars of the late 60's and early 70's. On the red label Conns the numbers are not hand written but are instead stamped or machine-printed. See more on this below under the subtitle "1978".
 
FOIL LABELS
The foil or aluminum labels on the 1971-1977 Conn guitars divulge both where they were made, revealing "Oak Brook, Illinois, Made in Japan", or "Made in Korea" (very few in Korea), and what year they were made. The 'Oakbrook/Japan' label indicates that the procurement and distribution centers were based in Oakbrook, but that the guitar was made in Japan or Korea. Guitars made in Japan during the 1970's were generally very well made due to the Japanese industry's ever-growing emphasis on defect prevention, consistency in quality and continuous improvement during that time period. A few owners are in possession of known models that carry a "Made In Korea" label. See above -- "A Brief History" for more on this.
SERIAL NUMBERS
The serial numbers of 1971-1977 Conn guitars all consisted of 8 digits--with exception of the limited series of USA-made guitars (made by Harptone). Simple and clean, the Conn F-60, F-65, F-70, and F-75 carried a 3- or 4-digit sequential serial number (if 4 numbers, the first is "0".. I have seen 0204, 0205, and 280 marked on current owners' guitars posted on this site. Since only about 100 of each were made (according to Jerry), I have concluded that the serialization started at 0200 and went to 0299. I have no reliable information on this, and Jerry doesn't remember the sequence. 
As mentioned, 1971 through part of 1974, Conn guitars carried the year of manufacture as the first and second digits, and the month of manufacture as the third and fourth digits. A couple of examples are shown here, that show the adherence to Mr. Ackley's color scheme, based on their model numbers. One owner, Charlie Evans, owns a model C-10 (purchased new by his father--photo not shown) which has serial number 71080304--indicating August 1971 manufacture, and the label is gold. To the right, a model F-10 guitar owned by Rev. Christopher Scrivens carries a silver label, and serial number 72032020...indicating manufacture in 1972, and the month manufactured was March. Still another example below shows a gold foil label on a C-10 guitar made in February of 1974.
Beginning some time in 1974 (about April or so), Conn made a change in the serialization structure. Coincidentally it appears that little to no guitars produced after 1974 had silver foil labels. It appears that about that time, Conn may have switched exclusively to gold foil labels. The serialization occurred, going forward, but it appears that they may have had some silver foil labels "left over" when they began using the gold ones. Some Conn Acoustics still have silver labels as late as 1976--indicating that the gold were probably "phased in" once the silver labels were depleted. Unfortunately, reliable history on this aspect of the labelling is not available at this time. The only evidence that bears out the above information is that which has been accumulated from Conn owners.
As seen in the third picture below right, the serialization change involved the use of the first two digits to indicate the week of manufacture (01 thru 52), and the 3rd and 4th digits as the year. In the example, 40770052 reveals that the guitar was made in the 40th week of 1977. The 0052 is thought to be the 52nd guitar made, but this is still being verified. This photo is from my own Conn F-15. As you can see, it is loosely secured, and coming off--as is characteristic of many Conn acoustic guitar labels.
Lyon & Healy first established the same type of serial numbering used by Conn in the late 19th century, and many manufacturers, including Japanese and Korean, adopted similar serial number schemes. Many, including Fender, Washburn, Takamine, Godin, and others still use this type of date-embedded serializing system today.
 
EXCEPTIONS FROM THE EXPLAINED SERIALIZATION
Some labels presented by Conn owners seem to deviate from the above explanation for post 1974 serialization. Ironically, and although this is not understood, the deviation or departure seems to be unique to some of the F-27 and
F-2712 series. At lease three separate owners of a model F-2712 and some who own F-27 models have shown labels that appeared to begin with an 8. In one or two cases, high-resolution close-up photos of these labels were studied and found to be other numbers. For example, on label thought initially to be 87760561, and later found to be 51760561--indicating week 51 of 1976. In another case, a serial number that appeared to be 87760197 was determined to be 27760197. In another case, and owner submitted a rather unfocused photo that appeared to clearly be a 87750051, and that one (with the typical dark line at the lower left of the upper circle of the '8' could not be discerned from an actual number 8. It is odd how only the F-27 and F-2712 models have displayed these exceptions to the standard numbering. But at the same time, it is conceivable that an individual who was writing labels for a period of time had some difficulty with writing fully-legible characters. It would be no different than you or I trying to reconstruct Japanese characters without proper and thorough training. I spent some time in China, and took a year of Mandarin in college when I returned. I can relate first-hand to how difficult writing the proper character can be without instruction and without much practice. This issue remains one that I have spent countless hours studying, and have decided to abandon--given that I cannot speak firsthand to the individual who wrote these numbers, and thus am only able to speculate on this seeming departure from the normal serialization scheme. I have provided a visual rationale here (<< click) but beyond this I have no plausible information.
1978 LABELS
It appears that a new serialization system was put in place some time in 1978--coinciding with the redesigned headstock and what appeared initially to be a re-energized and revitalized effort to capture business. This effort was cut short by the decision to disassemble the acoustic guitar business after the 1978 model year. The serialization system for at least part of the 1978 models departed from the common prior system and no information is available at this time about the structure or meaning of the serial numbers for that model year. The label for 1978 models departed from the notorious "it fell off" label to a more reliable paper label that seems to stay on. An example is shown at right. Serialization etc. changed, and many model numbers changed.
Additional information on post 1977 labelling:
Some time after the 1978, some Conn acoustic electric guitars that were similar in construction to Ovation (a composite back) appeared, and had a red paper label--not unlike Yamaha's notorious Nippon-Gakki red label FG models that were used in the same time period (1970's).
The Conn red labels that have been seen contain similar information as the gold and silver foil labels, but instead of having model and serial numbers hand-written, the red labels were apparently applied with an ink stamp or machine, making them much more legible and less-susceptible to "mistaken identity" than prior labelling. Little is known about these "mystery" Conn guitars, but Thanks to Mel Davis of Parlin, NJ for providing photos and information that identified this later guitar and labelling.
 
 
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Labelling Contributors:
Public domain, Chrstopher Scrivens, Mel Davis (Red Label), William Coleman, Rick Duley, Don Hebert, Ray Schreiner (1978 Label) Phil Fragale - F-31 (Stamped in heel block--no label).

 


STATISTICS/MODELS (copyright 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
MODEL-SPECIFIC INFORMATION AND STATS SHEETInformation in the viewable or downloadable stats sheet is taken from actual 1974, 1976, and 1978 catalogs and from owners. I have no manufacturer's data earlier than 1974, nor later than 1978, but have attempted to put reliable data in place for other models and years not appearing in those catalogs.Feel free to download this file to your computer by clicking on the picture below. Doing so however carries with it a promise to not use or copy the data into any other web site or publication, and to not modify the data in any way without written permission from the webmaster of this site ("Contact Me").
LAST UPDATED 12/26/2013 (Revision L) -- Extensively Revised
INCLUDES STREET PRICES (This is in Excel 1997-2003 Format)
<<< CLICK TO OPEN (VIEW) OR SAVE (DOWNLOAD)
THE STATS SHEET IS A "LIVING DOCUMENT" (BEING UPDATED REGULARLY). IT WILL BE REVISED FROM TIME TO TIME AS NEW DATA IS ACQUIRED. PRICING ON THE "STREET PRICES" SECTION ARE FROM ACTUAL CRAIGSLIST, EBAY, AND OTHER SOURCES AND ARE ACTUAL VALUES PAID BY BUYERS FOR CONN GUITARS. AS NEW PRICING IS ACQUIRED THE DOCUMENT WILL BE UPDATED.

THE WOOD CALLED SAPHERE (USED ON C-21, F-21, and F-2112).
QUESTION: Many have asked "What is saphere?" Actually, I may have asked this more than you! You won't find it searching the internet--unless it points your right back here. GOOD NEWS! There is an answer!
THE SHORT ANSWER: The short answer is...SAPHERE IS ONE OF THE MANY SPECIES OF MAHOGANY.
THE LONG ANSWER: When Conn contracted guitars to Japanese factories, those factories were responsible for providing the woods needed to manufacture guitars. The back and sides of specific guitars are identified in Conn catalogs as saphere. Jerry Ackley--the original designer of the Conn guitar has stated that Japan both imported and harvested wood that was essentially asian mahogany. The catalog in 1978 called it "Saphere Mahogany". Michael Jenson's F-21 in the photo section has a good photo of the wood back. That particular model is one whose sides and back are advertised as Saphere. The photos show the characteristic grain, and "prism" appearance that is characteristic of mahogany.


CONN GUITARS FOR SALE (LINKS)
(SCROLL DOWN FOR CONN GUITAR PARTS LINKS)
DISCLAIMER: THIS SECTION IS PROVIDED AS A SERVICE TO THOSE WHO WISH TO FIND ORIGINAL JAPANESE-MADE CONN GUITARS, AND IS PROVIDED FREE OF CHARGE. THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST. BY CLICKING ANY OF THE BELOW LINKS, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR YOUR DECISION TO PURSUE A TRANSACTION WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL WHOSE LISTING LINKS I'VE PROVIDED HERE. PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN DEALING WITH PERSONS ON THE INTERNET, AND TO INSURE A SAFE EXPERIENCE, DEAL ONLY WITH LOCAL SELLERS AND DO NOT GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION OVER THE INTERNET.

SEE CONNS LISTED ON EBAY... (<<< CLICK LINK AT LEFT)
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CRAIGLIST:
(<<< CLICK THE UNDERLINED)
THIS SEARCH IS "ALL OF CRAIGSLIST"--WHICH WILL SEARCH FOR CONN GUITARS ANYWHERE THAT CRAIGSLIST HAS A LOCATION LISTED. RESULTS CAN BE FILTERED BY STATE/REGION.

PARTS FOR SALE or PARTS WANTED
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FOR SALE AND WANTED LISTINGS ARE NO LONGER LISTED ON THIS SITE
However...occasionally I run across parts for Conn (not often--they are rare). Or other owners may have parts for sale. Feel free to ask, by clicking far above left on the "Contact Me" link.


CONTENT CONTRIBUTIONS
IF YOU ARE VIEWING THIS PAGE AND HAVE INFORMATION THAT YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE FOR THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF CONN GUITAR OWNERS (verifiable history of Conn Guitars, pictures, model information, etc), PLEASE USE THE CONTACT ME LINK TO SEND YOUR INFORMATION. I WILL ACKNOWLEDGE SOURCES UNLESS ANONYMITY IS REQUESTED.
ALL INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY YOU WILL BECOME PUBLIC DOMAIN.
FORMER EMPLOYEES CONSULTED TO DATE:
JERRY ACKLEY - CONN GUITAR ORIGINATOR, OAKBROOK, ILLINOIS
FRED EVANS - WAREHOUSE QUALITY CONTROL, SPARKS, NEVADA

THIS SITE IS UPDATED FREQUENTLY, SO VISIT OFTEN

This site has recently been moved from another web hosting service, so some links may not be functional. Please feel free to contact me with comments or information about broken links, or photos that you may click that are not coming up.