Old's or maybe not?Need an advice.

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by chukcha, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. chukcha

    chukcha New Friend

    Oct 18, 2004
    Hello guys.I'm on the beginer++ level for 2.5 years.I'd like to move to a half prof. instrument,using an ebay for saving money.I'm already 28 Y.O. (started late)
    I love trumpet mostly in Jazz ,the soft sizz sound in the modern styles like Erik Truffaz,Tim Hagans etc.I don't feel like i need an expencive horn for my level.
    Could be around 100-500$ I see that an Old's Ambassador is recommend and very cheep,but is it more classic horn?Now on ebay one in good shape,please take a look:
  2. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA

    In the heyday of the Ambassador, lots of working jazzers, including some very famous ones, used Ambassadors.

    They are considered the best beginner trumpet line of all time and were both sturdy and cheap . . . and thus perfect for the rough and tumble life of a jazzer playing the bars and clubs.

    The seller of this instrument has a good ebay rating, so you should be able to bid in confidence.

    The case appears to be an older Yamaha single trumpet case in good shape.

    Always, always, always contact the seller with any detailed questions you may have to avoid disappointment with flaws that may not show up on photos.


    Tom Turner

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Tom is right. Lots of very nice Ambassadors used by lots of people.

    The one in the eBay ad seems decent. The seller takes returns if not as described and takes PalPal and offers the PayPal $500 insurance. All of these are good things. (see my webpage on buying a horn on eBay at http://www.ibowtie.com/buyinghints.html )

    The price seems right. Probably give you some money left for some accessories if you need some.

  4. chukcha

    chukcha New Friend

    Oct 18, 2004
    Thank you Tom.
  5. chukcha

    chukcha New Friend

    Oct 18, 2004
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Chukcha, a couple of points.

    One is that 28 is not "late" to start trumpet. I started at 50. It can be done if you are prepared to work at it and don't expect miracles overnight.

    Two is that an Olds Ambassador is a "near-pro" horn, but not the only one! Kanstul makes some really nice horns that you might be able to pick up on Ebay "for cheap". One of these is the Besson "International". There is one of these on Ebay right now at ~ $200. I started on one of these (mumble) years ago and now my son is playing it. Expect to pay no more than $250 for one of these if you are patient and willing to "let one go".


    Kanstul also make a couple of lines called the "609" and "710" models. These are also "near-pro" horns. They are quite inexpensive too. The beauty of these Kanstul horns is that they will not be as old as an Olds and likely will not require the same amount of work (if any) to get them in good playing condition.

    If you are willing to spend a little more ($500 or less) then there are MANY more horns that start coming into your "field of view". But please, whatever you do... stay away from Sams, Costco, Walmart, etc. The horns they sell there are all made in China's new "music" industry and are advertised in most ingenious ways. Don't be fooled... they only LOOK like trumpets! Add a horn called the "Bessons" to that list to avoid. (note the extra "s" in the name). These are made in India and sold under false pretenses. Ebay is a strange place. :D

    Some more:




    This next would need some work but is most definitely "PRO" quality:

    Anyway, that's a just a short sampling of the first three or four pages on Ebay right now that seem to meet your requirements. There's lots more!

    You might also check around here in the "For Sale" forum. These are almost always put there by guys who have been members and are "known" to each other for some time (an added element of "trust" with the vendor). You can rely on the descriptions. Some folks who post in here are also dealers of horns and may have something kicking around that they can set you up with as well.

    Oh... and welcome to a whole new world!
  7. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    IMO, you age has very little to do with it, or anything else, for that matter, especially if you are, and keep yourself, in top shape. You are still very young.

    I'm 53 years old.
    So, forget the age thing...

    You can start the trumpet right now, and expect great results if you work at it, too.

    Anything worthwhile takes work and effort, and if you do it, you can become a good, maybe great, player...

    Work and effort are not "dirty words." They are what stands between many people and a better life... :D

    Whatever trumpet you buy, make sure it is a well known established brand name. As mentioned above, stay away from cheap, non-standard brand names, especially made in foreign countries...

    And remember, Ebay is buyer beware. Watch the feedback, and look for the opportunity to return and get your money back if not satisfied. I bought a great horn in a sight unseen, private transaction(NOT Ebay, however), but I knew exactly what I was buying and what to expect, had reason to trust the seller(very important), and had a return privilege. And, I got a very good deal.

    Best regards... 8)
  8. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN

    I own an Olds Ambassador that I had the luck of finding at a local antique store for $30. After $70 worth of dent work and a chem clean, it plays as good as a Kanstul 1503 and better than a strad that are both worth quite a bit more....

    Whats so good about the Ambassador is you can replace the leadpipe with a Blackburn, which would cost about $400 altogether (Parts and labor), and you would technically have a professional model horn that would still cost AT LEAST 1/3 the price of a new top-model trumpet! Just something to think about.

  9. chukcha

    chukcha New Friend

    Oct 18, 2004
    Thank you all so much! It's a great pleasure to be a member of such a nice family.
    I began playing at 26 and i pratice hard for 2 years .I play on Besson Stratford(England) model wich is in pretty poor condition.I like the compression and it's sound,but i feel like it harder to blow then other horns i tried, even the student horns.I'll probably go for Ambassador on the link i posted .Seems in thery shiny condition,but zero bids wich is strange 75$ starting bid.
    But who knows it's 5 days left.
    Thank you.
  10. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    In my opinion, you should go after Olds horns built before the 70s, and as close to the 50s or before as possible. Why? Well, as Olds got more and more popular, they started throwing quality out of the window for quality (An account of the Olds workplace during the 70s is http://rouses.net/trumpet/WorkingAtOlds62-72.html). The valves (Which are believed to be the best part of the Ambassador), seem to be a lot less responsive in the newer models, and I can say a 1960 Ambassador just plays a hell of a lot better than a 1970.

    The Ambassador that you looked at first, you should have bid on it. I can tell it was quite old (50s at least), by the leadpipe pinkey ring instead of hook.... Damn, and it seemed to be in fine shape. Sometimes, we can be tricked into thinking a horn is only good if it has pristine lacquer or plating, and that most definitely is not the case!

    And about that horn you are considering buying, notice the third valve slide ring is missing. That will cost extra to replace, if you can find the extra piece, or have to get a new one comparable in size. I personally would not get it, really. That particular price (80+ dollars) is for the older models (In good shape). That horn looks to me to be around the early 70s (You could ask the seller for the serial number, but I am confident in my assumption), and I wouldn't put anything over $30 for it.

    Don't ever be tempted to go just on looks, Mr. Chukcha. In that way, trumpets are like women.

    And BTW, MusicandCharacter has a nice horn if you just buy the case from him. IMO, that would definitely be a better buy, since cases normally go for less than an ebay horn (When you buy ebay, also consider costs for shipping and refurbishing). I wouldn't spend over $50 on a step up vintage UNLESS..

    A. You know the horn is good.
    B. You know the seller is good.

    The particular horn he is offering (A King Cleveland 600, I'm pretty sure) is right up your alley in what you are wanting, and M&C is a good ole' fella. Private message him, or e-mail him. The Van has spoken. :D


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