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Olds Ambassador opinions?



 
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cmac3317
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:02 am    Post subject: Olds Ambassador opinions? Reply with quote

I've heard and seen a lot of things about the Olds Ambassadors, but I've never played one. I always see things like, "outperforms other instruments in its class and also many professional-level instruments." How well do they really play? Who's using one (or more) for their main horn(s)? I'm thinking about trying one (or two... also checking out a converted C trumpet)... Are they really worth it? Seems like it's worth a shot at the low prices... Also, how different are the LA and Fullerton models? If I were to try one, which should I go with? I'd really appreciate any and all thoughts on the Ambassador trumpets. Thanks
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supportlivejazz
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you do a search on this Forum you'll get a huge amount of detailed feedback... mostly all +++. have fun reading because there's a bunch to keep you occupied.

Beyond that, the basics are the ones from the 40s and 50s are best. The 60s are very good... after that, not so much. They are very well constructed and consistent. Lee Morgan recorded and performed using both the trumpet and cornet Ambassador. They are not too bright or too dark... good horns and still fairly cheap and plentiful.
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Dale Proctor
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good horn for what it is - a student instrument. My experience with them (one L.A. cornet, three trumpets - two Fullertons and one L.A.) is that there are much better instruments out there (for more money, of course). I've heard that the trumpets can be modified to play more like a pro horn, but when you start switching bells and leadpipes, you don't really have a cheap Ambassador any more. They have not-so minor intonation problems, and are a little stuffy to play - maybe OK for a small jazz or swing group, but no good for legit playing.
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silverhorn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1949 Los Angeles Olds Ambassador trumpet and they are quality horns that are built like a tank. In my opinion, while the sound rivals that of many pro level horns I find the valves on my olds super recording and Los Angeles recording and other brand pro level horns to be superior. For a student horn, though, I'd think it would be hard to find any better overall.
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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if you consider a student trumpet built on the same line with 95% of it's parts in common with all the pro trumpets that company built a student trumpet then nothing I say will matter!

If you decide to get one do yourself a favor and call Rich Ita and order an R45X Accusonic Leadpipe. A olds Ambassador in good shape ie good compression, good felts,corks and guides and an accusonic leadpipe will out play trumpets costing $2000 or more.

Anyone want to bet that Kanstul has a one piece mandrel that matches the Olds two piece bell profile???? I mentioned to him Mr. Kanstul twice that no one was using the Olds bell profile and that a model with it's bell profile would be a great seller........ The problem is that you would not want to tell anyone that it was the Olds bell profile or it would go from big hit to being poo-poo'ed!
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RandyTX
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capt.Kirk wrote:
... you would not want to tell anyone that it was the Olds bell profile or it would go from big hit to being poo-poo'ed!


I don't see why. Olds made some outstanding horns back in the day. If you could order an Olds Super Recording today, it would probably sell like hotcakes.
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plankowner110
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Jazz Icons DVD of the Lionel Hampton band (1958) and the lead trumpet player played an Olds Ambassador.
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p76
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ambassadors are good trumpets.

Are they as good as a professional horn? No.

Because there are so many, you can get one cheap. If you get a good one for under $100, you've got yourself value for money.

While the earlier ones are better, the mid-late Fullerton models (late 60' early '70s) are still good.

The trick is to get one that has been used a little and then lived in a closet for 20 years or so - there are quite a few ones around that are worn out.
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rockford
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ambassadors are built like tanks, sound good and hold up to the abuse that comes with school band class. Most of them have been through several students by now and they're still hundreds, if not thousands of them around. It's pretty amazing that they're still plentiful after 30 years long after most student horns have been relegated to the trash heap.
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rockford
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....
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Last edited by rockford on Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:44 am; edited 2 times in total
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spitvalve
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother got an Olds Ambassador when he started 5th grade band in 1964. He played until he graduated from high school in 1972, and I used it through high school and took it to college as my "beater" for marching band when I bought my first pro horn. After a few years I made some repairs and gave it back to my brother, who wanted it for his son. Lotta miles on that horn, which was recently destroyed by my brother's grandkids who found it in a basement closet and fought over it until it didn't work any more.

I'd love to find one for my son to use as a marching beater. He's playing my vintage Claude Gordon Selmer right now and it's making me a nervous wreck.

Yes, the Ambassador is a great horn--like everyone has said, built like a tank and plays well, too. I saw a guy throw one down on the stage one night and it survived with no dents. He picked it up and kept playing. Good thing my brother's grandkids weren't around then.
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thedevilisbad
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may or may not have one for sale... ahem.

but seriously,

My olds is a 1958 model, so made in Fullerton but it feels like the LA horns. It also has the pinky ring. I like the horn a lot actually. Awesome valves, good intonation, and it will do most things average players need it to do.

It's not a pro horn, like everyone has said, but that doesn't mean it's bad at all.
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mffan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked up a 53 Ambassador trumpet in wonderful condition, from a late trumpeter's estate stash a few weeks ago, along with a 66 Besson 2-20 trumpet.. There were a number of Fullerton's for sale also and in trying them, immediately got the bright sound just like one I had last year. The LA one was noticeably darker in tone (like) , solid as a rock, with great valves and no dents and still some lacquer It just feels comfortable to play, good intonation, a bit stuffy (as Dale observed) It doesn't quite have the bigger, open tone of the Besson (which has a larger diameter bell pipe), but is well suited for my concert band and swing band playing, etc.
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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmfan, I would not lie to you. Trust me when I say that the R45X Accusonic pipe is worth every dime! It will radically change the horn. The blow will open but not so much you fall into it. The upper register will seam to take care of itself with really solid slots and the color pallet you can access will expand. Oh and it will project 2X as well. My Mom insisted that I give my trumpet to my son after she and the rest of the family most of us are musicians heard the difference between his identical horn and mine with Accusonic leadpipe! While I am not a Moma boy I know what side my bread is buttered on!!!LOL I have had a few different professional trumpet players play it and they liked it a lot. Not perfect mind you and but impressed them none the less!
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mffan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capt.Kirk wrote:
mmfan, I would not lie to you. Trust me when I say that the R45X Accusonic pipe is worth every dime! It will radically change the horn. The blow will open but not so much you fall into it. The upper register will seam to take care of itself with really solid slots and the color pallet you can access will expand. Oh and it will project 2X as well. My Mom insisted that I give my trumpet to my son after she and the rest of the family most of us are musicians heard the difference between his identical horn and mine with Accusonic leadpipe! While I am not a Moma boy I know what side my bread is buttered on!!!LOL I have had a few different professional trumpet players play it and they liked it a lot. Not perfect mind you and but impressed them none the less!


Thanks for your recommendation, John. I just made a super-cool snag which I will report on, so am not putting more money into horns for awhile.
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Dave Rafferty
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jazztrpt76
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out David Longoria.
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