Olds Ambassador cornet

Discussion in 'Horns' started by kctrumpeteer, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

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    Dec 23, 2009
    A bit of a generalized question. I see prices all over the place on Olds ambassador cornets. In my case I bought one reasonably inexpensive a couple of years ago off craigslist and cleaned it up (eg. took it to a shop to get any stuck slides, unstuck, replated the mouthpiece which was original with it and just made sure it was in good order.)

    The other day at my private lesson my instructor borrowed a cornet from a friend, and the short of it is that my local pro that I take lessons with got really super excited to think about buying my Olds ambassador although it is not something that he would probably typically gig with, but he was a bit way too excited to get it. (When he was young he had a couple and got rid of them and now like many trumpet players wish they had "THAT" horn whatever that translates into that they sold or got rid of growing up.)

    Some questions:
    1. What is a reasonable price to ask? (I've thought about maybe trying to trade for some more lessons. or just cash or cash / lessons combo ;-) )

    2. What is the background / difference between the various makes/years of the Olds? E.g. with bach some people may say you really want to buy them between years x-y but stay away from models produced in xxxx years.

    Of course I'm already having sellers remorse because it isn't worth a lot of money but it is a nice novelty to have and my only cornet so if I get a 'new' cornet at some point may need to figure out what to put on the wish list. Ideas?
     
  2. Happy Canuck

    Happy Canuck Piano User

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Toronto, ON Canada
    First, was it the A5 1977 Olds Catalog or the A6 1977 Olds Catalog

    It it is an A5, then it is nostalgia for him, if you have an A6 it is a great horn for him! (and you)

    Post a picture if you can.
     
  3. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

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    Dec 23, 2009
    I looked at a photo I had from Facebook and see it was one that was built in Fullerton California. Not sure if that helps. I will look at your links and see what the difference between the A5 and A6 are. So are you saying that the A6 are the "Nice" ones and the A5's are just fun to have?
     
  4. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

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    Dec 23, 2009
    I just looked and it doesn't have the shephards' crook so if I base it off that assumption then it is the A5 version. My instructor who has everything from a MT. Vernon Bach, a Schilke, a Harrelson, etc. seemed way too excited for this horn, although he was like yeah they aren't worth much which is true, but it made me feel like "Hmmmm maybe I should keep this horn, but I don't really need it and rarely play it." we shall see. I may be a horn hoarder and not want to give up any or sell any after I have acquired them.
     
  5. Consordino

    Consordino Pianissimo User

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    Mar 5, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mmm....I prefer the term, "Collector". We don't hoard, we collect! Dan :-)
     
  6. mickvanflugel

    mickvanflugel Forte User

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    Yes, that sounds more... reasonable :-)

    Anyway, an Olds Ambassador cornet in really good shape is worth something.
    As always, it depends on the willingness of the buyer. Given the current financial climate though, things look tough.

    FYI I once bought an L.A. Olds cornet for a price Americans might frown on, but the horn had
    like-new valves, slides in perfect working order and an extremely good response, so
    I invested quite a lot of €€, as it is pretty hard to find a model in decent shape in Europe for a low price.
     
  7. Consordino

    Consordino Pianissimo User

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    Mar 5, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    My Olds is an Ambassador made in LA about 1954. It looks to be in great shape. I paid $175.00 USD for it at a pawn shop. Play great, too! But I think it had been hanging on that peg in the store for quite a while. The finish is no longer a brilliant yellow, but more the color of honey or amber. What would that be in Euros, abt 87.50?
     
  8. mickvanflugel

    mickvanflugel Forte User

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    Well, in fact that would be almost 145 Euros - still a good price for us in Europe.
     
  9. Osren

    Osren Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 17, 2010
    Mesa, Az
    hmmm Old Ambassador Cornets are not that uncommon.

    Depending upon production year and playable condition, I have seen the go for anywhere between $50 - $300 if they are made in Fullerton and between $80 and $500 if they are made in LA. The high end price would be near perfect finish, no dents, perhaps refinished lacquer - the low end price would be a playable instrument with poor lacquer and maybe a few dents and dings. The OLDER the cornet and the better the condition fetches a higher price with most of the OLDS brand.
     
  10. Sidekick

    Sidekick Mezzo Piano User

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    Apr 14, 2011
    London UK
    Well I have just recently purchased 2 Ambassador Cornets via Ebay. The first a 1955 model for $28 plus postage and the second 1959 for $26 plus postage. Even with postage over to the UK they are still absolute bargains.
    Both needed a couple of dents removed but nothing major and both play very nicely. As I had the "accidentally" bought 2, I opted to change the "unusual" sized received on the '55 model to accept a trumpet mouthpiece (up to 189,611 they take a large diameter shank cornet mouthopiece which limits mouthpiece choice unless you go for something specifically made by Curry's or similar) . Yes it does make it sound even more trumpety, but it is really rich and makes an excellent "travel trumpet". The restorer I go to has apparently just done the same for a trumpet player with the London Symphony Orchestra, so it can't be that bad an idea.
    Having said all that you do see restored / relaquered Ambassador cornets up for several hundred $'s so presumably someone is buying them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

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