Just bought an older Olds Ambassador trumpet

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by NickJ, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. NickJ

    NickJ New Friend

    9
    2
    Jun 23, 2008
    Nampa, Idaho
    I just picked up the Ambassador trumpet I posted about in the trumpet discussion section. The owner told me over the phone that it was about 20-30 yrs old. Turns out it is serial number 361093, which I think dates it to 1961 or so. Everything works. I pulled the valves, and other than being dry, they look good That’s the good news I was hoping for. The bad part is a couple of small dents on the horn and a LOT of missing lacquer, scratches, etc. Needs a good cleaning, and the spring is weak on one of the spit valves. As far as playing, I could barely make a note since it’s been 30 yrs, but he is a retired music teacher and plays baritone and sax in a band. He played a few tunes for me and it sounded fine. Wound up paying $100 for it. Can anyone tell me what it would cost to get a couple of small dents pressed out? I may get a dowel and do it myself. I don’t suppose it is worth putting too much more into.
    Now the fun begins.
    Thanks for the help.
    Nick
     
  2. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    Nick,
    For $100, a good deal. Whatever you do, don't try any dent work yourself. Take it to a tech, get $40 worth of repairs done...dents, spit valve springs, etc.
    An Olds Ambassador for $100 seems like a pretty decent deal to me.
    Good Luck
     
  3. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

    3,247
    91
    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Sounds like a good deal. I agree with the previous post. Nothing very expensive to fix. Bad lacquer is common among Olds horns. If it were mine, I would strip the rest and polish the raw brass. That's what I did to my Czech and Besson trumpets. Have fun playing:-)
     
  4. NickJ

    NickJ New Friend

    9
    2
    Jun 23, 2008
    Nampa, Idaho
    Thanks for the advice. I think I'l take it in one of these days for a fix up then. I managed to play the scales and toot out Mary had a little lamb, so all hope is not lost. The horn is very dirty with all kinds of crud in the valves and some verdigres in the tubes. Is it safe to clean myself? What is the best way to do that? Also, does anyone know if this case is correct for the Olds from that time period?

    Thanks
    Nick
     

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  5. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

    3,247
    91
    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    It is definitely safe to clean it yourself. There are many archived threads here and on trumpetherald you could reference. Many different methods. Many prefer soaking the horn in a tub of warm, not super hot water, with dish soap. Take the slides out and also the pistons. I clean the pistons by puting them in a glass filled up to the top piston only. don't get the felts wet. A ittle CLR or The Works in the glass w/ water and soak for 15 min. With real dirty horns, I use CLR instead of soap and soak for 15 min. loosens a lot of crud. Rinse very thorougly with water and use a snake brush to swab out the pipings and allow to dry thoroughly. Using a twist of paper towel can clean out and dry the valve casings. Grease the slides and oil the valves. That should make a dent in the dirt and you can tell what it really should sound like.:-) I am not an expert on cases, but it does look right to me for the early sixties. There may be some on ebay Olds ads you could compare it to.
     
  6. Sturmbill

    Sturmbill Pianissimo User

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    Feb 11, 2004
    Virginia
    Nick, your case looks to be in the right time period for the horn. I bought a late '50s Ambassador and it came in the same case (it also came with a powerful stench, which is why it has been sitting in the garage instead of being used!).

    The other guys gave you some good info about cleaning. Once you have gotten your initial cleaning done you can use white vinegar and warm water for maintenance cleaning. It works like a poor man's chemical cleaning. Just be sure that you do as MFfan says and rinse well after the bath.

    You might be careful about using paper towels to dry the valve casings as sometimes small bits of paper come off and will hang up the vavles. Use something that is lint free or just let it air-dry.

    Good luck with your new toy! I have a "fleet" of Ambassadors and they're great horns. I enjoy modifying them to suit a particular type of playing.

    Regadrs,

    Bill
     
  7. Happy Canuck

    Happy Canuck Piano User

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Toronto, ON Canada
    I cleaned some of the Ambassadors our band wanted to get rid of, they hadn't been played for a number of years and they were 1960's heritage.

    As you've seen already CLR does a great job. Pull the valves and put them in a glass of soapy water. Using a small tub or a laundry sink mix water and CLR in a 6-8:1 mixture (6 water to 1 CLR) let the horn soak for 15 - 45 minutes depending on how dirty you think it is. The snake, and rinse, rinse, rinse.. You will be astounded what gunk comes out!

    Let everything dry overnight, oil and grease and you have a great horn!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  8. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

    3,247
    91
    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    How are they getting rid of the horns. I'd like an Ambassador trumpet at some point, but haven't pulled the trigger yet! Thanks.
     
  9. Happy Canuck

    Happy Canuck Piano User

    271
    26
    Oct 31, 2003
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Sorry Dave, it was 4 years ago and they all went quickly!
     
  10. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    Dave,
    I used to have an '72 Ambassador for sale, but it sold. I do have a vintage Conn 18B Director for sale. It has got to be the best playing 'student" horn ever. Outplays the Ambassadors. I'd play it more, but I've got many many others. Really a full tone, very open, awesome all-around horn.
    Let me know if you'd be at all interested, I could direct you to photos/an ad for it.

    ~Cheers
    p.s.-Bill, I checked with Clay, he sold the Custom C a few years back. He spoke very highly of you. I'm still looking,though!!:-)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008

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