1962 Cleveland Superior Cornet #113282
After acquiring the Mellophone, I ran across a 1962 King "Cleveland Superior" Cornet that nobody seemed interested in buying as it looked fairly rough. I ended up acquiring it for $3.25!
Ok, so compared to the fairly pristine mellophone that is twice the age of this thing, this one looks like it was rode hard and put away wet - and it probably was. The Cleveland line was King's mid-range instruments which were very often sold to schools. This Cornet seems to be fairly well regarded - my research came back with either "Spectacular, built like a tank", or "Mediocre, but built like a tank". They certainly seem to have made a metric butt ton of them, eBay and other online sites are full of "Cleveland" cornets - as well as trumpets and other instruments.
Instrument under discussion: Cleveland "Superior"
Cornet model 601B or maybe 602 - see text.
eBay pic. Not much lacquer and has a few dings...
eBay pic. Even has a case, unlike the Mellophone.
eBay pic. Leadpipe spit valve looks suspicious...
eBay pic. Very common place for trumpets and cornets to get dented.
eBay pic. Actually some remaining lacquer inside the bell.
eBay pic. Yet another minor ding.
eBay pic. Engraving on the lacquerless bell.
eBay pic. Showing the serial number.
eBay pic. Valves look good, slides look OK, 2nd valve slide disclosed as stuck.
No need to relate the entire history of "King" band instruments here. Just a note about "Cleveland". "Cleveland" was a short lived, but apparently well regarded instrument maker that started ca 1919, and was absorbed into "King" in 1925. The relationship between the two companies was apparently cordial, its reported that "King" built some instruments for "Cleveland" at some point when the latter was overwhelmed with orders. I guess "Cleveland" finally threw in the towel, so they became "King's" second line. "Cleveland" had their own second line, "American Standard", which became "King's" third line. Eventually, "American Standard" was renamed to "Tempo" - probably to avoid confusion with toilets and other plumbing fixtures.
As for which model number it is, I'm not sure. Its either the above mentioned 601B (NOT to be confused with 601 which is considerably different!) or its a 602. There seems to be a bit of confusion between the two, it may be further exacerbated by "King" vs. "Cleveland" (and even vs. "American Standard/Tempo"). There may very well be exactly zero difference between all of them for all that I know! Comparing pictures of "King", "Cleveland", and "American Standard/Tempo" 602 Cornets shows no discernible differences other than some later version Kings have a thumb hook on top of the 1st valve slide which I haven't seen on Clevelands or Tempos.
I read someplace that the 601B was produced up until 1965, and the 602 was produced from about 1966 - after the White family sold the company - up until about 2016. Perhaps/probably just a new model number for an existing (601B) design.
And yet, according to a 1962 King Catalog (The year this cornet was made), it was called a Cleveland 602. The 601B appears in the next oldest catalog I was able to find, a 1953 edition. I cannot tell any difference between the two "from here". It still seems apparent that the one morphed into the other - apparently in the late 1950s, as I'm far more inclined to believe a primary source such as a catalog vs what I read on the Internet someplace.
Its gonna take some work, some of it by a professional. At the very least, both spit valves need attention, the 2nd valve slide's nib needs to be soldered back on, the leadpipe brace needs to be resoldered, and the dent in the rear bow needs to be ironed out. While the guy has it, he might as well iron out the minor dings in the leadpipe and bell. Some of the felts on the valves need replacing, I might throw a "valve rebuild" kit at it - and the missing finger ring with set screw are on order - each of which exceeded the purchase price of the horn!
First thing! Give it a bath! The nib on the 2nd valve slide came off while pulling the slide.
Dawn dishwashing liquid plus baking soda.
Dive, dive, dive!
Let it soak for 24 hours.
Pulled out and cleaned.
Reassembled. Tried it with the Bach mellophone mouthpiece. Not
particularly good. Brace needs to be resoldered to the leadpipe.
A knockoff of a Bach 7C cornet mouthpiece was somewhat more playable!
Side view - interesting dings on the upper bell area.
The most intact lacquer on the entire instrument!
Overall left side view.
Overall right side view - leadpipe needs help. Nib from 2nd valve slide taped thereon.
Ferrule missing from leadpipe spit valve. Someone made it work anyway!
1st valve slide spit valve all there, but doesn't line up with its ferrule.
Its actually bent!
Will need a new cork too...
I first tried playing it with my mellophone mouthpiece as it fits. As expected, not a particularly good experience. I actually had had a Bach 7C cornet mouthpiece in my possession that had come with the mellophone, where it didn't give particularly good results. I sold it about 2 weeks before I encountered this cornet - obviously should have kept it. So I bought a brand new "Legend" 7C mouthpiece - a knockoff of the Bach - for about $3 more than I cleared in the sale of the genuine Bach. I'm no cornet player for sure, but it was much better than a mellophone mouthpiece as you'd expect - and it was new, pretty, and smooth. So by buying this mouthpiece, I doubled the amount of money I have in this horn!
Silly video I made...
"Valve rebuild" kit has arrived.
New plastic valve guide, new spring, new cork and felt. Note new felt on
the button bottom, left. New valve guide is upside down in this picture!
New felts on the top valve caps - old ones were really thrashed. Note new spit valve corks, foreground.
Replacement thumb screw for the still on order finger ring.
Old springs were recycled, old felts and corks were discarded, old brass valve guides were kept.