To refinish or not?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Dr. Nic, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Dr. Nic

    Dr. Nic New Friend

    Dec 22, 2009
    Georgia, USA

    11-21-2010 05:31 PM
    Dr. Nic
    Hi All,
    I'm thinking about having my OLDS recording refurbished. I've had this horn since 1962 or 63 and it plays wonderfully. I thought I could do better with a Bach Strad model 180S37 but I've found it's not as good and does not play as well in my hands.

    Can anyone help me decide whether to leave my Olds recording alone, (it plays well) or have it dedone, dings removed and refinished? It was originally done in lacquer. It was redone in the 1964 after a drunk busted it up at a fireman's ball I was playing at. This would be the second refinishing.
    I'm thinking about having it silver plated. I've heard that refinishing a horn will deter from it's sound. Is this true? Can anyone give me some advice? Can someone who is good at repairing and restoring make it even better?

    Dr. Nic
  2. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    A good overhaul can improve an instrument. Done correctly, the instrument is essentially "blueprinted," bringing the horn up to original specs. It will be disassembled and reassembled with regard for minimal tension in the braces. Refinishing includes buffing the instrument. A good tech will respect the instrument and not buff the bejesus out of it. Deep gouges or scratches will be left alone. It will be checked for excess solder in the bore and the mouthpiece reciever will be checked for proper gap. Additionally, a precision valve alignment will bring the horn to its full potential. Check Dr. Valve(Chicago), Charlie Melk(Milwaukee), Ken Larson(Michigan), Jim Beck at Osmun(Boston), Rich Ita(Atlanta), Dick Ackright(Oakland). I'm sure there are others as well.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  3. Dr. Nic

    Dr. Nic New Friend

    Dec 22, 2009
    Georgia, USA
    Hi Ed,
    Thanks for the reply. Rich Ita is fairly close to me. The horn was originally lacquer. I was considering silver plate. What do you think?

    Dr. Nic
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    If you like silver plate and plan on keeping the horn, go for it. If you think you will ever sell it, or want it to maintain maximum value, don't...most buyers don't like silver plated Recordings. Personally, I'd have someone with a good reputation take the dings out and relacquer it.
  5. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    +1 on the leave it in lacquer........:oops:
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Since it was redone once already, it's not original, so get it redone, but I agree with the others, do it in lacquer. Too many silver horns these days, be different! :-)

  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Refurb but be sure to get a good person to do it. Mine was done by Ziggy Kanstul (who was one of the heads at Olds when it was made). He did a great job on the horn (of course that was 30 years ago). If you are the least bit insecure about who to select, consider sending it to Kanstul.
  8. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Keep it in lacquer. And refurb the Old Girl with a good Tech... 1964 to 2010 Not bad. Who did the work last time?

    Best of luck, the Recording is a nice horn.
  9. Dr. Nic

    Dr. Nic New Friend

    Dec 22, 2009
    Georgia, USA
    Hi Ed, Dale, Buck, Steve and Peter,

    Thank you all so much for your comments and advice. My old OLDS Recording actually plays well. Valves are good, really fast. Has some scrathes and small dents and the lacquer is coming off in spots. The first and second slides are stuck and have been so for years. Within the last few years, I went and bought a new Bach Strad 180S37 thinking it would play better. Started experimenting with mouth pieces and now have found that the "old girl" actually sounds and plays a lot better than the Strad. I got into that "you've got to play with a 3C or bigger" rut not realizing the the mouth piece is 80 - 90% of what comes out the other side. After experimenting I've found some mouth pieces that really make the OLDS sing but didn't make a difference in the Strad. What a dissappointment with the Strad. And to think this was the horn I always wanted to get. I grew up about 10 miles from Mt. Vernon, Vincent Bach, but in those years couldn't afford a Strad. Some one gave me a Bach Mercedes to play on gigs and it was a really good horn. Unfortunately had to give it back.

    I had the horn the first time redone at the OLDS factory. I orignally pruchased it from Billy Wild a great guy and was an old family friend. He used to play on some TV show, Art Linkletter or something like that. He actually was going to give it to me but felt I should have to pay something for it to realize it's worth. He was right and it took me this long to realize it!!!

    You've all been great,
    Thank you so much,

  10. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    Several good people have been mentioned. Let me add two more of the best: Robb Stewart, Mark Metzler. I've had beautiful work done by both, as well as some of the others already mentioned.

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