Help with Olds Ambassador dating?

Discussion in 'Horns' started by LeeAnne, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne New Friend

    Nov 22, 2016

    I'm all new here, so I'm hoping no one will fuss at me for posting in the wrong thread. ^.^

    Can someone please help me determine the date of a trumpet that I have acquired, and possibly give me an estimated value? It's an older Olds Ambassador, the only number I found on it is #857652. I'll include some pictures so everyone can look for themselves. Thank you so very much for your time and patience. Hope everyone has a fantastic day.

    Attached Files:

  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
  3. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne New Friend

    Nov 22, 2016
    Hello Mike,
    Thank you for your response. It's very nice to meet you.

    I believe it has some type of corrosion on it from sitting boxed up so long. They said it was stored in an attic. I didn't want to try and clean it myself since I don't know how and I'd hurt it more than help it. Would a refurbish cost me more than the horn itself, you think?

    Thank you again.
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi LeeAnne,
    Welcome to TM.

    Do you intend to keep it and play it?
    If Yes... then learn to clean it, it is not difficult.

    If NO... then flip it on Ebay or Craigslist in an "As is Attic Find".
    It is worth about $100 to 200. Having the case will put it closer to 200. If there are keys in the case, then mention that in the add as well as the mouthpiece. Individually you may do better..

    Horn : $100 to 150
    Case : 50 to 100
    Mouthpiece : 20

    Take it to a shop, and a Tech will charge $50 an hour... it will not take long to lose money.

    If you want to learn to play, then keep it, clean it, play it, and keep it in working order.
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    It might. I purchased my 1957 Olds Ambassador for $80. I spent about $350 to refurbish it. But I doubt it's worth that much now.

    If you're thinking of selling it, you might do better selling it "as is". If you're thinking of keeping it, you can always take it to a reputable tech to see if really it needs any work. Also, if it's just a cosmetic issue, it might be something many people would leave alone.

  6. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    You have a student model horn that has achieved cult status. It is from the least desirable era of production (Nolin Era). I personally think you're looking at a $100 horn ($200 maybe on a local/Craigslist sale). Check eBay SOLD listing to get a good idea of what it will sell for. As far as taking it to a shop--to get a chem-clean will cost $75 or so and will likely not increase the value of the horn. Like trumpetMD said, a quick "as is" flip would probably be the most economically sound course of action if you're not going to keep it. If you do want to keep it you're talking $800+ for a complete restoration, $400+ to be stripped, buffed and re-lacquered, plus the cost of any necessary repairs. Not a bad investment if you're going to play it for many years--really bad investment if you're just trying to make a buck.
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    All good advice. As Amzi stated, it has obtained cult status so should be easy to sell. You might even want to post it here (there is a selling area). $100-200.
  8. Sol

    Sol Pianissimo User

    Jan 25, 2004
    Lee An, don't put any money into the horn, unless the horn needs a mechanical fix. Any money that you invest in the horn, could have been invested in a better trumpet. So, just play it as is, and sell it if you want a better horn.
  9. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    To give you an idea on the return you can expect from a student horn, I sold a Coprion Director on eBay. A superior horn to an Ambassador, in my opinion, but the demand is similar.

    I bought the horn for $17.50 at an estate sale. I think I paid the equivalent of $5 for a case at the same auction (I bought a literal PILE of cases). It needed a flush, the tuning slide pulled, a brace resoldered, and a ding in the bell tail repaired. The tech charged me $70. He quoted $100, but discounted it because he was not 100% happy with his work on the soft copper bell (I thought it was fine). I sold it for $153, with a Conn hard case and no mouthpiece.

    The margin is pretty tight on student horns. I wouldn't do them regularly unless you have something special that qualifies as a step-up (like the Coprion, Yamaha 4xxx, copper bell Collegiates, or maybe one of those 1980s Conn 100/1000Bs) AND can get them in working order yourself. I can get slides unstuck about 50% of the time, and unfortunately there's a stuck one nearly 100% of the time.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I dated and Olds Ambassador once. The damn thing made me pay for the check!

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