Olds Super - is it worth sorting out?

Discussion in 'Horns' started by RichN, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    I've just spent a rehearsal playing a Super Olds instead of my normal Mach ML180-37 and I really liked it. Seemed to have a bit more life to it than the Bach and was a more open blow, which I like. Question is, is this sort of thing worth overhauling? It's pretty tired at the moment.

    There are only a couple of small dents, the only tricky one being in the bell rim. The lacquer is about 60% but in really poor condition, and there's a bit of acid-sweat corrosion on the 1st valve body. The valves a smooth(ish) and fast, but some of the plating on the valve pistons (particularly at the top) has worn off. The valves 'pop' but not as much as on my Bach. Other than that it seems to just need a really good clean.

    I've no idea what it's worth, either in this condition or in an overhauled condition, so what does anyone think? Would it be worth it?

  2. NMex

    NMex Pianissimo User

    Dec 23, 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    Olds Super

    I have a 1 year old Mariachi Premiere that I've been trying to sell. I had a guy offer a nice looking very early model Super Recording in trade. I contacted Rich Ita and sent the Super to him for inspection. The trade did not end up happening. Seems that there was not enough material left on the horn for it to survive being overhauled again. There was also a good amount of repairs made following the initial (or last) overhaul. Unless you have experience with these things, you'll have to send the horn to someone like Rich. Kanstul will do the same type of inspection as will Charles Melk and the others you've heard of here. You'll only be out shipping costs and might end up with a really nicely restored horn.
    Good luck,
  3. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    To put a value on the Super, in the condition you described, I'd say anywhere between 2-400 dollars (at least, that's what I'd pay, but nobody ever called me Bargain Basement Mike, either).

    Worth restoring? I dunno. I have an Olds Studio. A lot like the condition you described. Thing looks pretty tired and crappy. But the valves work, very well I might add, and the tone is simply marvelous. So, the real question is if you can stand looking at the horn. I'm kinda spartan myself, so the answer for me would be yes, provided the valves aren't too bad.
  4. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Decided against it in the end. The valves were a bit too slack, with work nickel plate, so it wouldn't have been worth it. Shame.
  5. nowave

    nowave New Friend

    Nov 16, 2003
    Keep on the lookout for another Super. They're remarkable horns, and you can score one in great shape for less than $500 -- sometimes a lot less. Don't think you need an "early" one either; I have a late '60s version that is fantastic. With a quick going-over by Charlie Melk (lacquer stripped, coupla dents removed, and gapped for my mouthpiece), it's a killer at a bargain price.

    Seems Olds kept the quality up on their pro horns til nearly the end.

    Steve Forrey

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