Should I retire my old '67 Holton Collegiate?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ButchA, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. ButchA

    ButchA Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Richmond, Virginia
    As you all know, I am a returning player and still have my old 1967 Holton Collegiate, that I've had ever since 4th grade in elementary school. It has been cleaned and overhauled over the years, but it has a lot of mileage on it. Sadly, it has also sat in a closet for a few years and was never played either.

    I originally had an old Conn 4 mouthpiece that came with it back in '67 and got rid of it decades ago. I have always played on a Bach 3C (which I love) and also have a newer Schilke 14A4a but it is very bright and can almost peel the paint off the walls!

    Anyway, here's some facts:

    I am not a pro.
    I am not even a semi-pro.
    I don't play in an orchestra, concert band, jazz band, or anything.
    I enjoy playing common pop songs, basic standard songs out of a music book, etc...etc...
    I recently went through major dental work and now have a full upper denture plate, which after a period of adjustment, I can still play but can't hit the high C (above ledger line) anymore - it will take a little practice and determination.

    Long story short, should I look into getting a new trumpet and retire my old 1967 Holton Collegiate? Is there a trumpet in today's market that is perfect for a basic player that can do-it-all, is very common, and considered a workhorse type of trumpet, and most importantly - won't break the bank? What do you think?

    Here's some photos of my old '67 Holton Collegiate.

  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Tough call, ButchA! Like crows and racoons and lots of other critters, we tend to like bright shiny new things and want to possess them. It seems your Holton has been a faithful trumpet to you, and I don't get the sense that you are unhappy with it. I'd stick with it until you can find fault with it. If you want it to be shiny and new looking, consider getting it re-lacquered.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    My immediate thought is, "WHY?" Generally, what you now can't accomplish on your Holton won't readily be available to you on any other trumpet. Sure, your Holton is now not so eye appealing, but with a competent tech's service of tweaking and ultrasound cleaning etc. etc. it can still "sing". I'm 77 yo with only four teeth left that God gave me, now with a full upper denture and partial lower replacing what went bye bye ... and I've additional major health issues, still after a 40+ year lapse I've resumed playing and am enjoying the heck out of such much as you do. With exception of possibly 2, all the instruments I have are not more than student quality and all were pre-owned. I did purchase a Holton Collegiate cornet that Ivan (Trumpetsplus here on TM) has modified with a trumpet mouthpiece receiver as has become my go about "beater" to practice anywhere I can. I just didn't trust the latches on the Holton case and added a loop latch in the center of the case. Enjoy and "make do".
    Peter McNeill likes this.
  4. ButchA

    ButchA Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Richmond, Virginia
    Thanks guys... I love my '67 Holton Collegiate and have so many fond memories of it, going all the way back to 4th grade when it was brand new. It has served me faithfully for decades. I can't part with it, sell it, trade it, etc... IT'S MINE... I was just thinking of the idea of retiring it and getting something brand new.

    If I remember right, it has only been in the shop for a complete thorough cleaning only once in its lifetime. Although I did recently take it apart and soak it in the bathtub with soap & warm water - much to my wife's annoyance. The old horn has no issues at all and plays wonderful and sweet with my Bach 3C. But yet it plays really bright and piercing with the Schilke 14A4a. Two different MP's, two different sounds. ...interesting.
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    DUDE --- my question is this!!! --- "do you think the Old Holton (if it could talk) would say --- "GEE, I should try to ditch this old Geezer and find someone who can really play with me!!!"???? ------------------------------uhm, the Holton (if it could speak) would probably say it loves you and your lips, no matter how "ugly" and old Geezer you may appear to be!!!!! ----------------------------------------------------my advice!!! --- KEEP EACH OTHER, play and be happy!!!!
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I would get it restored. Sure it's $1200 on a $200 horn but you have all of that history.

    I'll bet with a valve refit (part of that $1200 cost) that it will play very well when you get it back.

    All of the horns I play have been restored. It's like buying a brand new horn, and costs the same. It's true that it's "not worth it" in strictly dollar terms but the satisfaction sure is. Besides, I'm keeping these the rest of my life.

  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    If it plays well for you, don't replace it.

    If you want to add a new friend, that's a different story.
  8. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I'm an old comebacker. Trumpet playing is my hobby. I am also curious about trumpet stuff. My first pro trumpet, when sold, financed a honeymoon over 40 years ago...which proved to be an excellent investment! After beginning my comeback, working through several trumpets, and settling on an old Blessing Super Artist as a "keeper", I became curious about Bach Strads. I got one, experimented with mouthpieces, and settled on a plain-Jane Bach 3C. Now I have two great trumpets. The Strad gets lots of face time. The Super Artist provides frequent doses of something different. Life is good.

  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Butch A,

    Like all have said, unless there is something specifically wrong with your horn, keep playing it. A good trumpet lasts a lifetime and beyond. Yours really doesn't look in bad shape. Some lacquer wear. Just starting to take on some character. Unless the valves are leaking, which you haven't given any indication that they are a problem, then your horn should last you for many years.

    Now, if you want to add a second horn, that is another story. First is to figure out what you want to spend and then see what falls in that range. If there are some stores around, try out as many horns as you can. Carry your mouthpiece!

    I would recommend used as you can often get "like new" for half the price of new. If you are hunting an "all round" horn, and can't try out horns, you might want to look at a used Bach Strad. Most consider them the standard by which most other pro horns are compared. They work in any setting- classical, jazz, small group, rock, etc. and hold their value well. If you buy used, chances are you will make money on the horn if you hold it for 5 years. Realize that a trumpet group like this is much like joining an auto speciality forum. Everyone is going to have their favorites where you will get dozens of recommendations from BMW M-6 to Audi SB. (Just check my signature). However, what I hear you say is you are looking for a Toyota Camry- a good, all round vehicle that can fit about anywhere. That vehicle in the instrument world is the Bach Strad. That is why so many college professors want their students to play one.

    Best of luck. Let us know what you decide.
  10. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Lots of good advice here.

    And I still see lacquer on it, and no patches or obvious repairs. It looks like You have done your part along the journey, so get playing with the old girl and enjoy it. Try a Bach 1.5C mouthpiece, and play Ballads to get back. The mpce is a cheaper change for the sound.

Share This Page