My first Olds

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by FreshBrewed, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    520
    1
    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I just won an Olds Ambassador on E-bay and can't wait to get the horn. From everything that everyone here says about the Olds line I am sure it is a great horn so I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on it.
     
  2. fatpauly

    fatpauly Pianissimo User

    90
    0
    Nov 11, 2003
    Ellicott City, Maryland
    Mike -

    Congratulations! Which auction number? What vintage? LA or Fullerton? Stock or tricked out?

    I currently own 2 1/2 Ambassadors! Got a 1950 LA-vintage trumpet in raw brass. This beauty is a georgeous screamer with almost no dents, dings, or damage. Valves are pristeen and faster than anything else I own.

    A recent $50 ebay conquest was a 1955 LA-vintage (one of the last) cornet. The cornet looked like excrement but a quick visit to the sink removed most of the corrosion and old lacquer to reveal a sleeping beauty. Valves looked almost as the day they were made, and no significant damage noted anywhere. This horn plays like a dream and is built like a tank. Not sure if I will have it refinished or just keep it as the wolf in sheep's clothes of my collection. Even Monette can't make them look this bad and play this good!

    And the half-Ambassador? It is still getting refinished, but will be a scratch silver Fullerton Ambassador body mated with a plate silver Yamaha shepherds crook bell. Can't wait to finally get this horn in my hands.

    Finally, I also have a 1968 Recording. Stunning instrument. Can't recommend these beauties highly enough. Regularly show up on ebay in the $5-800 range. One in great condition is a true professional instrument.

    Enjoy your Olds. I suspect it won't be your last.

    - Paul Artola
    Ellicott City, Maryland
     
  3. Thevor

    Thevor Pianissimo User

    202
    0
    Oct 24, 2003
    Next to the Volcano
    FB,

    These things are not student instruments in terms of quality, craftmanship or sound for that matter.

    Now to make it perfect, just let Leigh spread his magic dust on it, you'll be amazed.

    Geo
     
  4. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    520
    1
    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Thevor,

    I have already been on the phone with Leigh today. After I give it a RAELLY good test drive I'll decide whether or not to send it to him. I'll let you know what happens.
     
  5. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    801
    1
    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    I have an Olds ambassador cornet. I can't tell you when it was made, only that my grandparents got it for my uncle (who turned out to be tonedeaf) back around 45-50 years ago, and it was used then, but supposedly not much. Since then, it has worked its way through my father, me, my brother, and I will more than likely let my kids learn on it, should they so desire (and that is a LOOONG ways off, college comes first 8) ). It's old, and looks like crap, but there's nothing more satisfying than sitting down on the floor in my room, and just playin some good ole Dixie. I seriously think the red rot, and rust, and just downright wornout lacquer finish give it that "po-boy from Louisiana" tone to it. The horn probably couldn't be sold for more than 50 bucks, but why would I sell the memories. Enjoy your Ambassador. I am considering one as well!
     
  6. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    520
    1
    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Well after playing my first Olds I have this to say about them. The sound is quite wonderful. I was really shocked at how "jazzy" this horn sounds. The leadpipe is tapered and definitely not the original one. The horn has some dings but the overall construction is like that of a tank.

    Intonation is really good. I only really needed to pull out the third slide for the low C#. Above high C the horn was right on every note and really had a brightness that would sing over the top of a big band. It is not as free blowing as my Eclipse but I expected that to be the case.

    The valves are totally amazing. They are quick to respond and the alignment is great. All of the slides are in excellent condition and with a little work they moved easily.

    The horn was built in Fullerton in 1969. I have a 1949 Ambassador made in L.A. on the way as I type this post. That is a horn I am really looking forward to playing. It needs a little work by looking at the pics but I plan on sending it to Leigh after I try it out.

    So that's my take on my first Ambassador for what it's worth.
     
  7. MagnumLungs

    MagnumLungs New Friend

    6
    0
    Nov 12, 2003
    Leigh weaved magic on an Ambassador for me last year, just left it with him and let him decide on what to do with it including the finish. The result was fantastic. I have now sold the horn on to swell my Eclipse savings!!
     
  8. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    684
    3
    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    I've got an old album cover somewhere with Louis Prima holding an Olds Ambassador. The album is from the '50s. I'll dig around to see if I can dredge it up again.

    Dave
     
  9. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

  10. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    520
    1
    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    DJM,

    That's a great read. Not because he favored his Ambassador but because he was such a great musician and person. Thanks for posting the link.
     

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