First Class Brass Ambassador Restoration

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by rprinty, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. rprinty

    rprinty New Friend

    3
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    Jul 13, 2004
    Crestview, Florida
    Folks,

    Leigh and his dedicated crew at First Class Brass took my high school Olds Ambassador and worked their magic on it.

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    My parents bought this used horn for me in 1968 and I played it through high school (1973). After high school I put the horn away and didn't take it out until last year. It really was in bad shape. The finish was shot, all of the slides were frozen, and there were multiple dents from a trip down a flight of stairs. In addition, I never cleaned it when I put it away 30+ years ago.

    Leigh and his folks were up to the challenge as you can see. Leigh did the Eclipse tuning conversion, reversed the 1st and 3rd valve slides, added Amado water keys and finished the horn in scratch silver plate with gold highlights on the slides.

    In a word, it looks great. I haven't played it much but it also sounds great so far.

    Thanks again Leigh.
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Link is not working.
     
  3. dave_59

    dave_59 New Friend

    36
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    Jan 12, 2005
    Do you mind if i ask how much it set you back?
    Dave
     
  4. rprinty

    rprinty New Friend

    3
    0
    Jul 13, 2004
    Crestview, Florida
    Sorry Folks,

    Please try this link.

    http://photos.yahoo.com/rprinty

    As to the request for costs, I will do like the others here have done and only say that Leigh's work is very reasonable and please contact him for specifics on what you would like done. He is a gentleman and willing to take as much time as you need to get things right.

    Regards,

    Bob
     
  5. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I'll suggest that, given the quality of the final product, Leigh's prices are easily competitive with anything you'd ever find "here" in North America even WITH shipping costs added in. Especially if you are shipping out of the US where courier costs are far lower than in Canada.

    If you are going with Gold plate...note that he uses the best... 24 kt gold and his specs don't skimp on the thickness of the coating; he doesn't want it to wear off in a month or three!

    If you are going with lacquer or silver, ditto the above.

    Note that when he refinishes a horn he just doesn't give it a "buffing" and then off to the platers... he "deconstructs" the whole thing and works with the individual components and then puts them back together "stress free". If you can read the engraving before it goes, rest assured you'll be able to read it just as easily when it gets back.

    Bob, I hope you got him to send you pictures of your horn going through the process... it's really quite amazing how much detail he goes into.
     
  6. rprinty

    rprinty New Friend

    3
    0
    Jul 13, 2004
    Crestview, Florida
    Tootsall,

    Leigh mentioned that he had more pictures, but he hasn't sent me any as of yet. Did the second link I posted work? I did see the pictures that other people, including you have posted. You are right on about the way Leigh does things and the cost. If anybody is interested in having them work on your horns just email or call Leigh. For my abused horn the transformation is almost unbelieveable.

    Bob
     
  7. fatpauly

    fatpauly Pianissimo User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Ellicott City, Maryland
    Bob -

    The horn looks beautiful, and I am sure it is a fine playing and sounding instrument. Leigh and crew do top work.

    My only negative comment is why get rid of the distinctive Ambassador waterkeys? Amados are a dime a dozen, but there is only one horn in the world with those Ambassador waterkeys.

    Sorry, man, but I can only rate this 95/100! Get those waterkeys back and I'll regrade! ;-)

    - Paul Artola
    Ellicott City, Maryland
     
  8. eclipse trumpets

    eclipse trumpets Piano User

    390
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    Oct 24, 2003
    England
    Hi Paul

    I hear ya mate!

    But the thing with this particular horn was that one of the waterkey bridges was fractured, i didnt have a replacement so i decided 2 amados were better than one amado and one traditional.

    I did look about for something almost identical, but as you said, they are one of a kind almost.

    Also if the horn had been kept as a fully traditional set-up ie:- no eclipse conversion then i would fully agree that i would have gotten hold of one no matter what, but with the custom work and changes that have been done i don't think it has taken away from the horn too much.

    Best wishes to you Paul! great to have you on this site.

    Leigh
     
  9. JamesEarleStewartJr

    JamesEarleStewartJr New Friend

    4
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    Jan 27, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    A friend of mine has an Ambassador that's in pretty good shape but it could be in better and he took it to local instrument repair shop to have a simple chem clean done on it and the repair guy refused to take the horn saying that it was a student horn and that he didn't work on student horns. He actually turned around and walked away from my friend. I'm very glad to see that not everyone is so prejudiced.
     
  10. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I wouldn't go anywhere near that shop again! Insult my horn you are insulting me.

    :soap:

    The brass repair shop I use the guy will work on anything. He is a first class gentleman. He helps beginners by repairing older horns and getting them ready and selling them for cheap. He was selling $100 trumpets that he cleaned and rolled the dents out for students this fall. He didn't have any mouthpieces and some parents were shocked that the big local store was charging $55 for a standard Bach mouthpiece. I gave him a bunch of Kellys and a couple of FAXX mouthpieces at cost so he could continue to help the kids out.

    And he has more work than he can do. People love him and he takes his time and does wonderful work. He doesn't refinish horns, but it will get them ready and send them off to Anderson's.

    Repair people have to care about the horns and their owners. If not, shake the dust from your feet and go elsewhere.

    Jim
     

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