Reynolds Medalist Abilene vs Fullerton

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by DiaxII, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

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    E.Europe
    Hello, I'm new to this forum.

    Can you please help me solve the puzzle? I've been reeding through as many posts as I could find on the subject and only got more confused after reading them all.

    My question is: are Medalist cornets made after RMC bankruptcy in 1963 in Fullerton and Abilene essentially different level of quality instruments?
    Which are better and what makes them different?
    I got an impression that people favour the Fullerton made ones and are not so happy about the Abilene horns.
    If the serial is above 200000 is there any way to tell the Fullerton made cornet from the Abilene one?
    Are they equally good?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    Have you tried this site?
    Welcome to Contempora Corner!
    There are a lot here who know the history of Olds pretty well but not too many who know Reynolds. I have not read all of the threads nor too much about the history but the little that I have read makes it sound like all of the Reynolds models were good instruments within their market position (student, pro, etc). Most of what I have heard indicates that even the models made in Abilene used parts that were made in Fullerton so the instruments are essentially the same. But, that's just what I have heard. Every Reynolds that I have seen (I don't own one yet) appeared to be a good playing instrument and well made. I know the ones I have seen on ebay go for as much or more than equivalent Olds models.
     
  3. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

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    Yes, I read the info on that site but there's mostly only time line there: who bought who and when production went from one place to another.
    There's a piece of information regading the RMC years Reynolds Medalist quality and they say those were cheaply made.
    Thanks.
     
  4. joe1joey

    joe1joey Piano User

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    OLD post to comment on, but I had to comment; The Medalists that were made by E K Blessing during the transition years between the Roth years and the Abilene/Fullerton (OLDS) years were by far the best Medalists I have come across. (about '61-63) There is something to be said of the difference between SOME of the horns built during the latter/OLDS years...but even here, there is a question as to whether the trumpets were made in Abilene ever (the lesser shop), or if it was primarily French Horns and other low brass, with trumpets and cornets made in Fullerton. Almost the exact same horn as the Ambassador at that point, albeit with additional 'intermediate-like' elements such as the tuning slide rod.etc..
     
  5. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    My 72 Fullerton has a 3rd slide stop rod. Up for grabs.
     
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    So do a Reynolds Medalist and Olds Ambassador play about the same? Similar metal?
     
  7. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    Well, I had a 74 Ambassador cornet (sold to Jonterman) before the Reynolds. As far as I can tell, they were the same except for the stop rod and OLDLOU says they were built in the same plant as the Olds at that time. He feels the Medalists' are better.
     
  8. joe1joey

    joe1joey Piano User

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    The two L.A. Ambassador Cornets that I chose to hold onto play with a wonderfully rich and powerful core, sounding much like a 'refined' trumpet. Extremely well made with wonderful valves. An early Fullerton, about 1955 plays nearly identically (all within reason) Regular tanks. I've never held onto Ambassador cornets from the sixties although I've been told from different quarters that they were as good. Just not for me. In build, sound, nor finish. Ditto w/Ambassador trumpets, although I may be the exception. From '64 on the horns are quite similar , but the 61-63/64 Reynolds Medalist 'Blessing' trumpet with the .470 bore vs. the '64 on 'Olds' Medalist (.460) bore for me is apples and oranges. The 'Blessing' years a much better playing horn. Both are good horns.
    BTW, if you put the Ambassador side by side with the Reynolds Medalist, trumpet or cornet, you will see that the differences are in the design, its not just the stop rod, or the like. They were braced differently, different tubing/leadpipe design etc., etc. .What I'm trying to say is, they are far from clone horns. The only similarity is that they were touted as 'student' horns (slippery slope there), and from '64 on to their mutual demise, they were assembled in the same plant in Fullerton or some Medalists, Abilene. ('61-63/64, RMC years, in Elkhart Indiana Blessing facility).


    Update:My apologies, I am going overboard without addressing the initial question of which I can not answer from experience. Being; Which of the builds...Abilene or Fullerton is better/worse and how. I've never owned an Abilene horn. I have heard horror stories about the lesser build quality (not materials used) from the less qualified and/or experienced tech/artisans at the Texas plant, resulting in the eventual move of smaller instruments builds, such as the cornets and trumpets moving to Fullerton. Whatever the truth may be, my experience with both Olds and Reynolds is to appreciate the earlier builds of each.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  9. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    I have owned and played several Reynolds cornets and trumpets. All of them were of more than decent quality and playability. In my personal opinion all of the Medalists were more in line with the Olds Specials. The water valves are better and the valve spring and guide system is also much better than the Ambassadors. When a Conn 2B New World Symphony trumpet was my prime horn, a large bore Medalist rode in my trunk as my 'backup horn'. I now have a Reynolds Argenta trumpet as my primary instrument with my Conn as my backup.


    OLDLOU>>
     

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