The sousaphone I'm speaking of in another question has "J 41" embossed near the screws that hold the bell. I'm wondering if this could be a model name. Does anyone know the brand ? Or the place where I can find the answer to that questions ?

I tried to google the answer but without success. The "J" made me think of Jupiter but their current model numbers to not look like J + 2 digit number.

I also found a serial number, which is 85937.

Per request, here are some photos. Please add a comment if you need a specific area.

The model number The serial number The valves seen from under The valves

  • 1
    I can't think of a case where the brand isn't easy to find. Are you sure you can't find one? It might be around the bell, on the valve cluster, or (in one case I can recall) on a support strut. Any recognizable logos?
    – NReilingh
    Sep 4, 2011 at 17:31
  • it's an old battered instrument, painted with a rather thick layer of white paint. I'll try and remove the paint, starting with the areas you mention. Sep 6, 2011 at 8:36
  • Do you know about how old it is? Where did you get it?
    – Luke_0
    Jan 8, 2012 at 21:32
  • @Luke no, I brought it on a garage sale and the seller had no information on this. All I could find is this J41 emboss and a serial number. Jan 9, 2012 at 9:17
  • 1
    What key is it in? E.g. BBb, EEb, Eb, F, etc.
    – Luke_0
    Feb 27, 2012 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


This site gives lists of various serial numbers for Conn wind instruments.

If it was made in 1987 or later:

From 1987 on, the two-digit prefix number plus 50 will give you the year of manufacture on all Conn products... Data for the years 1967 to March 1974 is rather sketchy, for it was around that period of time that the Conn Brasswinds were being manufactured in Abilene, TX. Instruments made during that period are not likely to be their best examples, as the workers were still relatively new at the manufacturing process.


This theory, unfortunately, does not account for the J.

If it was made between March 1974 and 1986:

In March of 1974 an alpha-numeric system was established, where the first character (letter) of a serial number indicated the decade; "G" for the 1970's, "H" for the 1980's, etc. The second character, also a letter, indicates the month of the year; "A" for January, "B" for February, "C" for March, "D" for April, "E" for May, "F" for June, "G" for July, "H" for August, "I" for September, "J" for October, "K" for November, and "L" for December.The third character (a number) indicates the number of year within the decade (indicated earlier by the first letter). The fourth character (number) indicates the specific type of instrument: "1" = Cornet, "2" = Trumpet, "3" = Alto Horn, "4" = French Horn, "5" = Mellophone, "6" = Valve Trombone, "7" = Slide Trombone, "8" = Baritone Horn & Euphonium, "9" = Tuba, and "10" = Sousaphone. The remaining four numbers of the serial number indicate the production number of the instrument on a monthly basis.

x -- either G for the 1970s or H for the 1980s.

J -- made in October

4 -- made in 1974 or 1984

1 -- first digit of "10" for sousaphone

x -- should be 0. second digit of "10" for sousaphone

x -- production number digit one

x -- production number digit two

x -- production number digit three

x -- production number digit four

This theory requires that there be six more letters, hidden under the paint.

This page about Jupiter instruments also gives serial numbers:

... The age of Jupiter instruments may be determined by adding one to the first digit of the serial number. The resulting number then would represent the year after 1984 that the instrument was manufactured. For example, if the serial number began with a number "4" you would then add "1" to this number and know that the instrument was manufactured in 1985. If the first number was a "0", would indicate that the instrument was manufactured in 1991.

The page also states all instruments made 1990 and later have a suffix of J.

Thus, if it is a Jupiter sousaphone, it would be a from 1995.

However, here there are also problems. This theory does not account for what the "1" means.

These are the only possible manufacturers that I have found. Conn is an American company, Jupiter is Taiwanese. It is likely your sousaphone was French (your profile says you're from France). Three characters isn't much to go on. If you find anything else on it, update me.

I hope it helps...

  • Hi, Thanks for the research. I've added the photos on the site (sorry for doing this so late). J41 is likely the model number, not the serial number. See question for the value of the serial no. Feb 27, 2012 at 12:11
  • It seems from looking at serial numbers of various companies, it is from the fifties or early sixties. (My guess is 1952)
    – Luke_0
    Feb 27, 2012 at 15:30

It comes from the former East Germany (GDR). The brand is Weltklang (and it does not have a good reputation).

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