Sound advice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 9horn, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. 9horn

    9horn Pianissimo User

    192
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    Feb 25, 2009
    New York
    I have a question on sound quality differences. I have three Olds Ambassadors and an Olds Special all mid sixties and in good shape. All the Ambassadors can play with less air power to achive a quality tone and easy slotting. The Special seems to take more air and effort to get the same effect. I'm using the same mouthpiece. This always bugged me.:?: Is there any hardware differences that would do this ie bore ect. or maybe the fact that the Ambassador is closer to a student model. Does anyone out there with the two Olds models find the same differences between the two as pertaining to sound quality and effort to achive it? Thanks
     
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    68
    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    That's an interesting question. As you can see from my signature, I have several of each. The Special is the longest-running model that Olds made and went through several configuration changes. The one that you have is referred to as the "Tri Tone" due to the different materials in it. The LA models were all-brass. As I compare my LA Ambassador and my LA Special, the only construction difference that I can see is the braces and waterkeys. Yet they do play differently, so the braces and waterkeys seem to have an effect.

    All of the Olds horns (except the Opera and Custom Crafted) have the same bore and bell shape (made on the same mandrel). Certainly the Tri Tone Specials with the nickel bell pipe and the copper/brass bell flare have a different sound as do the Studio (all nickel-plate), and the Super (with the tone ring), but, I do not detect that the Tri Tone Specials are harder to blow.

    Yet, at the same time, I have several Ambassadors that are only a few serial numbers apart and they play slightly differently, too. I can only guess that changes that occur over the years as horns are used (and, abused) cause slight changes in the geometry that can change the sound. I thought at one time the Specials had a different leadpipe but according to Zig Kanstul, that is not true. One of my Tri Tone models has had the tuning slide and the lower slide pipe replaced - I am not sure if it is due to damage or a planned modification - and the replacement is larger than the original and it plays in a more open, free-blowing way than the others (very slightly). I suspect that your Special may have a valve alignment issue or else you are more accustomed to the sound of the Ambassador and just perceive it as more difficult as you try to attain the same sound.

    There are several possible explanations for a difference in output but it is difficult to narrow down without some analysis.
     
  3. 9horn

    9horn Pianissimo User

    192
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    Feb 25, 2009
    New York
    Thanks, comeback. Is there any other coments out there? .... Beuller.....
     
  4. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    493
    4
    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    If there is an appreciable difference in effort required, check the water-key corks in the Special -- it might be something as simple as the water-key corks no longer being completely air-tight.

    And check the up/down aligment of the pistons -- you might need some new corks/felts on the pistons.

    I've never found there to be much difference in playing ease between Olds models -- they're all wonderful in my opinion.
     
  5. 9horn

    9horn Pianissimo User

    192
    12
    Feb 25, 2009
    New York
    Thanks for your feedback on this issue, just to let you know, I did install new corks, springs (valve and water key), felts and checked lower alignment. I'm using ultra pure valve oil now and I have on order some Hetman#3 oil, which is supposed to help with vintage horns by filling air gaps in old valves, I hope that solves it:dontknow:.
     

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