Trumpet repair and refinishing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tcalpino, May 5, 2012.

  1. tcalpino

    tcalpino New Friend

    Sep 25, 2011
    Hey all!

    I picked up an Olds Ambassador for a couple hundred bucks, but the thing is...someone put a lot of custom work into it. They put the heavy braces and custom valve caps, etc... Its in raw brass, and it really plays nice. I am looking into getting it refinished in satin silver and gold wash accents, or something along those lines. Do you guys know of any good repair/refinishing shops near Reading, PA? I used to have my horns fixed by my lesson teachers father in high school, but he has long retired. Any leads? Thanks in advance!
  2. TerryR

    TerryR Pianissimo User

    Jun 3, 2012
    Quakertown PA
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  3. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    Does it need repair, or just refinishing? If just refinishing, Anderson in Elkhart Ind. Does great work. Most of the techs send their plating work to Anderson. You can skip the middle man and deal directly with them.
  4. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    If someone has already got it into great playing/looking shape, why go farther? You may change the sound with a refinishing job.
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I concur with graysono, and would add that personal maintenance is about the same with raw brass and silver plate with no further expense forecast for the raw brass while silverplate down the road will require replating again. With due diligence, raw brass can shine like gold. Personally, I'd leave it as is. I do suggest you hold it with a handkerchief ala Louis Armstrong and wipe the outside down with a clean microfiber cloth after every time you play.
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    My suggestion is that you regularly play it a year or so before dumping any money into it.
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    That might be true for most techs, but any of the nationally-known guys? If it's different at all, it's likely better. Of course I might be spoiled being 3 miles from Charlie Melk, who does all of my work.

    Wise advise from Mr Dale.

  8. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Just be careful whom you take the horn to.

    There are a lot of close-minded brass techs out there who upon seeing a modified horn will
    tell you that it needs to be restored back to original specs to play "right".

    I have modified a number of Olds Ambassadors for myself and others and know that "restoring" any of them
    would essentially ruin all the improvements I made to the horn.


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