Olds Recording vs Super Recording

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Adrianbyrne, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Adrianbyrne

    Adrianbyrne Pianissimo User

    Aug 18, 2010
    Oakville, Ontario
    Hi everyone

    I would like to get everyone input, I have the chance to buy either an Old Recording or an Old Super Recording. Which one and why?

    Thanks everyone.
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    "The diff between a Recording and Super Recording is just the "tone ring" around the end of the bell. I don't think it makes much of a difference, actually. It is just a little more rare."

    OK, ....

    This is one difference between the two, but far from the only
    difference. They are truly not the same horn. I have two of
    each, and *of* each model, I have both an original unaltered
    condition version and a restored version. They all play

    I have over a dozen Olds trumpets, from a near-mint original
    condition 1930 "The Olds" to Ambassadors, a Special, and a
    Studio.. Seven of the horns are Supers, Recordings, and
    Super Recordings.

    I have a restored 1956 Recording and an original 1962
    Recording. Also there's a '54 Super (restored), '56 Super
    (original), and a 1940 Super (original). And I have two 1946
    Super Recordings which were, in all likelihood, made directly
    in succession, one right after the other, as far as Super
    Recordings go. The serial numbers would indicate this,
    supported by the fact that ALL Olds trumpets AND cornets (AND
    flugels?) of each and every model were stamped in the same
    single serial number sequence. That there would be another
    Super Recording with a serial number between these two seems
    unlikely. Just an interesting tidbit. I got 'em on two
    completely different occasions from two completely different
    parts of the country.

    The grandaddy of all these models is the INCREDIBLY underrated
    Olds Super.

    The Supers, since the beginning, have had the extra metal
    engraved tone ring just behind the rim of the bell, about 1/2"
    wide. I believe that, from the 40's onward, these rings were
    made of, or plated with, nickel. The very early Super tone
    rings (or at least a great number of them) were brass, just
    like the rest of the bell. The font, style and wording of the
    engraving was identical from the late forties through the late
    fifties, stating that it was a "Super Olds" made in "Los
    Angeles" even years after the plant moved to Fullerton.

    ALL other Olds horns from Fullerton on were engraved
    "Fullerton, Calif" except the Supers which still said "Los
    Angeles" until the late 50's or 60's. Guess they had a major
    surplus of those tone rings when they moved down near Disney.
    The style of engraving on my 1940 satin silver Super, though,
    is sort of block lettering, but the font on the tone rings of
    my two 50's Supers (again, one original '56 and one restored
    '54) was the more recognizable scripted font that remained on
    the tone rings of the Supers for the last 30 years of its

    The "Super Recordings" all had the tone ring that the Supers
    had (They are listed in some of the earlier catalogs as a
    "Recording," WITHIN the SUPER line of Olds horns- that's the
    confusion. There were actually no "Recordings" per se built
    prior to 1950, and no Super Recordings built after 1950). The
    departure from the Super design was the forward placement of
    the valves and the offset second valve. When the Super
    Recording gave way to the Recording, the tone ring was
    dropped, and the bell section (along with the leadpipe) was
    made with rose brass.

    But there's more to it than that. The Super Recordings were
    built with apparently the best level of craftsmanship and
    attention to detail that those guys could muster, and I'll
    tell you why I think that aspect of the Super Recording is a
    notch above all other Olds horns later in this post.

    First I gotta say a little more about the Super, itself.

    The playing characteristic of an Olds Super, particularly from
    the 50's and 60's is really unique: they play like a fireman's
    hose on full as opposed to a car wash jet spray- the tone is
    the densest I've ever heard on any model of any make of horn
    I've played to date. But I say fireman's hose as opposed to
    garden hose because it IS a big, hugely projecting sound. The
    ONLY reason this unbelievable model of horn is not revered far
    and wide TODAY like the Recording is, in my opinion, because
    the horn doesn't produce a very "wide" or "fat" sound. But
    hear me good, brothers and sisters, it aint no small sound
    that the Super produces. In fact it's bigger than the sound of
    the average trumpet, but it stands far apart from the new ones
    in that it's tone is as thick and dense as iron. If you were
    painting a wall with the sound of a 50's or 60's Super versus
    most trumpets, you would only need one coat. The other aspect
    of this incredible horn is that it plays solid as a rock all
    over the scale, particularly on up past high C, with NO
    indication that you're entering the "next zone". Not to say it
    plays all by itself; I have to be in good shape to take the
    Supers up there, but when I do, they are dead center, tuning
    wise and tonewise. Moreso than any other horn I've played to
    date. John Lynch, developer of the Asymmetric mouthpiece, has
    said that the Super plays more centered above high C than
    perhaps any other horn ever made. It's like the road gets
    steeper up there, but it's the same exact road in every aspect
    of its pavement. That's the 50's and 60's Super. It is an
    absolute solid powerhouse.

    My 1940 Super has a darker sound to it with more warmth and
    doesn't seem to play quite as densely as the 56 and 54 when
    the volume is poured on (the early Supers are also noticeably
    lighter in weight), but it is a SWEET as HELL horn when
    playing jazz rides. No wonder Jonah Jones swore by the Olds
    Super to the end. The Olds Super is truly the Rock of
    Gibraltar among trumpets.

    Here's the difference I notice between my Recordings and my
    Super Recordings.

    The Recordings, no question about it, have a "bigger" and
    "fatter" tone to them than the Supers or Super Recordings.
    Maybe even potentially a more searing edge. They seem to push
    the envelope just that one notch farther in the paint peeling
    department and seem to have an endless capacity for more
    volume and huge sound, limited only by the player. Since, in
    THESE days, "big" and "fat" seems to be the vogue sought-out
    sound in a trumpet (and unfortunately, too many new, modern
    top-line horns have just that, at the expense of a great deal
    of tone core density and richness), it's no surprise that the
    Recording is experiencing a major revival. But the revival is
    indeed justified: these babies STILL have a WAY more *dense*
    tone quality in their *fatness* (a difficult feat in trumpet
    design) than new modern horns have, HANDS DOWN.

    Just make no mistake about it- the Supers do produce even a
    denser core to *their* sound than the Recordings- they just
    don't have that big wide aspect that the tone of the
    Recordings have.

    Now- the SUPER-Recordings.


    These horns are pure magic. I think some sort of elven fairies
    fluttered their way into the Olds L.A. plant in the middle of
    the night back in those days and whispered magic spells onto
    the Super Recordings that were sitting on the workbench. It's
    very hard to put their playing characteristics into words, but
    I'll try to put it into down-to-earth terms. Thes horns play
    masterfully. They play with unrivaled precision and evenness
    of response throughout the range of the horn. Compared to the
    Recordings, my Super Recordings have a much more sensitive and
    quick response. When going through a high-speed run, there is
    a slightly higher degree of solidity in the "footfall" and
    slotting of each note, but it also has a more fine-tuned
    ultra-precision responsiveness in its playing that is found
    only on the very very VERY best hand-crafted horns in the
    world. The tone, though denser and thicker than the tone of
    the Recording, is noticeably warmer and broader than that of
    the Super.

    And it really IS an amalgam of the Recording and the Super,
    but that amalgam delivers a tone resultant that ONLY belongs
    to the Super Recording, not either of the other two- a
    diamond-dense core with a warmth and richness, coupled with
    the ability to soar at full throttle in a combination that is
    hard to find on any other horn. It's no wonder that this model
    stole the heart of Raphael Mendez and sold him on the Olds
    line. God only knows why he then specified an
    Olds-manufactured Besson copy as the Olds model that would
    carry his name. And Who KNOWS why they cancelled the Super
    Recording in 1950, other than the probability, in my
    suspicion, that they simply could not afford to spend so much
    time handmaking Super Recordings and keep the price affordable
    for even the most discriminating trumpet-buyers. If only they
    could've held out until THESE times, when folks are apparently
    willing to fork out more than $5,000 for certain models made
    by Leblanc-Courtois, for example, that are, forgive me,
    absolute pieces of metal ****.

    The verdict? A tie perhaps? The way my Recordings, and Super
    Recordings play:

    As for my two Super Recordings, the one in all-original but
    used condition plays with a gorgeous rich, dark, warm tone and
    an excellence in its response that I would stack up against
    ANY new trumpet made. Vintage One, Monette, whatever. The
    Super Recording I have that was restored to new condition has
    practically as good a response, but with a slightly bigger,
    fatter (though less dark), edgier, more modern tone. Both
    Super Recordings have the best valve action of any trumpet
    I've ever played. Probably a tribute to the painstaking
    handwork of that model.

    The two Recordings are like this: my original but very-used
    condition '62 Recording has a dark but fat tone with an edge
    that will hurt the listener if they're not careful- I'm
    serious- this baby can peel. As for my Recording that was
    restored to new condition (the '56 Recording), this model,
    though maybe not as exquisite as the Super Recording in its
    perfection of response, and though maybe not quite as dark as
    its brother (the original '62 Recording), this '56 Recording
    has the biggest and most powerful tone with this level of
    density of any horn I've ever A-B'd it with, topped with an
    edge that is an absolute danger to society. And I've A-B'd it
    in countless instrument stores in front of store staff who
    invariably say- "Wow- that one's got a much bigger sound!"
    This has happened with Schilkes, Yamahas, Bachs, Kanstuls,
    Vintage Ones, Getzens, Benges, Callichios, on and on and on.
    I've yet to find any new horn anywhere that can top it in that
    respect. It's just huge and monstrous. A product of both its
    marque AND the fact that it was overhauled? Yes, I think so.
    When you overhaul a trumpet, you're changing it. But in this
    case, if it was a compromise in its sound, I'd give anythng to
    hear how big she sounded originally.

    The Recordings, like the Super Recordings, and seemingly much
    moreso than the Supers, are capable of a much wider range of
    timbres, limited only by the player. Under this heading, the
    Recording probably has a wider range of sounds and may be
    where Olds wanted to go with this whole thing.

    So, an oversimplification:

    EARLY Olds Supers - dark yet very focused, rich sound

    50's and 60's Supers - densest tone in all of trumpetdom, big
    (but not a wide or fat) sound, rock solid response with thick,
    solid tone up above high C that matches an octave lower in
    terms of response (though not ease, of course)

    50's and 60's Recordings - Big, Wide, Fat tone that is uncanny
    in its density by today's standards, with an edge that will
    slice through tungsten steel, and an ability to produce a wide
    variety of tones and timbres

    40's Super Recordings - maybe in some respects the finest made
    trumpets in history, uncanny precision of response and warm
    purity of tone that doesn't weaken when pushed into the
    fortississimo range of intensity. I consider myself very
    fortunate to have two of these models- they are absolutely



    Super - Workhorse
    Recording - Showhorse
    Super Recording - Unicorn

    This is a post from somewhere, A.N.A. Mendez usually posts this, but I beat him. :evil:
    GijsVis likes this.
  3. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Yea...what he said.
  4. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    That post was made in 2002 by Parrish dAndrea. He is an active pro in the San Francisco area

    Did I get Da Trump Tromped?

  5. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
  6. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    Brilliant explanation, I have played the Super and the Recording, and I think this is confirmable. I'ld love to play a Super Recording once, just to compare it. and I'ld love to own one of the mentioned three, I'm on constant lookout for one, preferably on the 'other continent'
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I have two Olds Recordings, but lust for a Super Recording (just to say I have one). My recommendation is to go for the Super Recording only because they are hard to find and you should get it while you have the chance. If by chance you decide to go with the Recording, PM me to let me know where you were going to get the Super Recording so that I may finally complete my [lead]pipe dream to own one.

    With all of this said, I really really do love my Martin Committee, and this horn has become my incentive to play every day, kind of like eating candy every day before the main meal. Then after playing a bit I convert back to my Recordings... because they were my first love, and they do have the brass sound that wins the hearts of trumpet players.
  8. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    Can you buy both of them, and sell me one? :lol:
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    No fair... I asked first!!!
  10. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    No I did, look above your first post; 'I'm on constant lookout for them' ;).

    And you already have a Recording, and I don't mind taking over the OP's possible Recording for a fair price if he takes the Super, and you're only satisfied with the Super :lol:.

    Something in me remembers that you have two Recordings, Doc.. Any chance of letting one go? :)

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