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Olds Super Recording Trumpet Vs Olds Super or Olds Recording



 
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akibulan
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:19 pm    Post subject: Olds Super Recording Trumpet Vs Olds Super or Olds Recording Reply with quote

What, if any, are the differences between the three horns? Are there any differences in the tone, range, or openest?
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wardsd
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This question clearly calls for a reprint of Perry dAndrea's posts from Jan 2002 on this subject. Sorry for the formatting, but Here it is:


"The diff between a Recording and Super Recording is just the "tone ring" around the end of the bell. I don't think it makes much of a difference, actually. It is just a little more rare."

OK, ....

This is one difference between the two, but far from the only
difference. They are truly not the same horn. I have two of
each, and *of* each model, I have both an original unaltered
condition version and a restored version. They all play
incredibly.

I have over a dozen Olds trumpets, from a near-mint original
condition 1930 "The Olds" to Ambassadors, a Special, and a
Studio.. Seven of the horns are Supers, Recordings, and
Super Recordings.

I have a restored 1956 Recording and an original 1962
Recording. Also there's a '54 Super (restored), '56 Super
(original), and a 1940 Super (original). And I have two 1946
Super Recordings which were, in all likelihood, made directly
in succession, one right after the other, as far as Super
Recordings go. The serial numbers would indicate this,
supported by the fact that ALL Olds trumpets AND cornets (AND
flugels?) of each and every model were stamped in the same
single serial number sequence. That there would be another
Super Recording with a serial number between these two seems
unlikely. Just an interesting tidbit. I got 'em on two
completely different occasions from two completely different
parts of the country.

The grandaddy of all these models is the INCREDIBLY underrated
Olds Super.

The Supers, since the beginning, have had the extra metal
engraved tone ring just behind the rim of the bell, about 1/2"
wide. I believe that, from the 40's onward, these rings were
made of, or plated with, nickel. The very early Super tone
rings (or at least a great number of them) were brass, just
like the rest of the bell. The font, style and wording of the
engraving was identical from the late forties through the late
fifties, stating that it was a "Super Olds" made in "Los
Angeles" even years after the plant moved to Fullerton.

ALL other Olds horns from Fullerton on were engraved
"Fullerton, Calif" except the Supers which still said "Los
Angeles" until the late 50's or 60's. Guess they had a major
surplus of those tone rings when they moved down near Disney.
The style of engraving on my 1940 satin silver Super, though,
is sort of block lettering, but the font on the tone rings of
my two 50's Supers (again, one original '56 and one restored
'54) was the more recognizable scripted font that remained on
the tone rings of the Supers for the last 30 years of its
manufacture.

The "Super Recordings" all had the tone ring that the Supers
had (They are listed in some of the earlier catalogs as a
"Recording," WITHIN the SUPER line of Olds horns- that's the
confusion. There were actually no "Recordings" per se built
prior to 1950, and no Super Recordings built after 1950). The
departure from the Super design was the forward placement of
the valves and the offset second valve. When the Super
Recording gave way to the Recording, the tone ring was
dropped, and the bell section (along with the leadpipe) was
made with rose brass.

But there's more to it than that. The Super Recordings were
built with apparently the best level of craftsmanship and
attention to detail that those guys could muster, and I'll
tell you why I think that aspect of the Super Recording is a
notch above all other Olds horns later in this post.

First I gotta say a little more about the Super, itself.

The playing characteristic of an Olds Super, particularly from
the 50's and 60's is really unique: they play like a fireman's
hose on full as opposed to a car wash jet spray- the tone is
the densest I've ever heard on any model of any make of horn
I've played to date. But I say fireman's hose as opposed to
garden hose because it IS a big, hugely projecting sound. The
ONLY reason this unbelievable model of horn is not revered far
and wide TODAY like the Recording is, in my opinion, because
the horn doesn't produce a very "wide" or "fat" sound. But
hear me good, brothers and sisters, it aint no small sound
that the Super produces. In fact it's bigger than the sound of
the average trumpet, but it stands far apart from the new ones
in that it's tone is as thick and dense as iron. If you were
painting a wall with the sound of a 50's or 60's Super versus
most trumpets, you would only need one coat. The other aspect
of this incredible horn is that it plays solid as a rock all
over the scale, particularly on up past high C, with NO
indication that you're entering the "next zone". Not to say it
plays all by itself; I have to be in good shape to take the
Supers up there, but when I do, they are dead center, tuning
wise and tonewise. Moreso than any other horn I've played to
date. John Lynch, developer of the Asymmetric mouthpiece, has
said that the Super plays more centered above high C than
perhaps any other horn ever made. It's like the road gets
steeper up there, but it's the same exact road in every aspect
of its pavement. That's the 50's and 60's Super. It is an
absolute solid powerhouse.

My 1940 Super has a darker sound to it with more warmth and
doesn't seem to play quite as densely as the 56 and 54 when
the volume is poured on (the early Supers are also noticeably
lighter in weight), but it is a SWEET as HELL horn when
playing jazz rides. No wonder Jonah Jones swore by the Olds
Super to the end. The Olds Super is truly the Rock of
Gibraltar among trumpets.

Here's the difference I notice between my Recordings and my
Super Recordings.

The Recordings, no question about it, have a "bigger" and
"fatter" tone to them than the Supers or Super Recordings.
Maybe even potentially a more searing edge. They seem to push
the envelope just that one notch farther in the paint peeling
department and seem to have an endless capacity for more
volume and huge sound, limited only by the player. Since, in
THESE days, "big" and "fat" seems to be the vogue sought-out
sound in a trumpet (and unfortunately, too many new, modern
top-line horns have just that, at the expense of a great deal
of tone core density and richness), it's no surprise that the
Recording is experiencing a major revival. But the revival is
indeed justified: these babies STILL have a WAY more *dense*
tone quality in their *fatness* (a difficult feat in trumpet
design) than new modern horns have, HANDS DOWN.

Just make no mistake about it- the Supers do produce even a
denser core to *their* sound than the Recordings- they just
don't have that big wide aspect that the tone of the
Recordings have.

Now- the SUPER-Recordings.

Wow..

These horns are pure magic. I think some sort of elven fairies
fluttered their way into the Olds L.A. plant in the middle of
the night back in those days and whispered magic spells onto
the Super Recordings that were sitting on the workbench. It's
very hard to put their playing characteristics into words, but
I'll try to put it into down-to-earth terms. Thes horns play
masterfully. They play with unrivaled precision and evenness
of response throughout the range of the horn. Compared to the
Recordings, my Super Recordings have a much more sensitive and
quick response. When going through a high-speed run, there is
a slightly higher degree of solidity in the "footfall" and
slotting of each note, but it also has a more fine-tuned
ultra-precision responsiveness in its playing that is found
only on the very very VERY best hand-crafted horns in the
world. The tone, though denser and thicker than the tone of
the Recording, is noticeably warmer and broader than that of
the Super.

And it really IS an amalgam of the Recording and the Super,
but that amalgam delivers a tone resultant that ONLY belongs
to the Super Recording, not either of the other two- a
diamond-dense core with a warmth and richness, coupled with
the ability to soar at full throttle in a combination that is
hard to find on any other horn. It's no wonder that this model
stole the heart of Raphael Mendez and sold him on the Olds
line. God only knows why he then specified an
Olds-manufactured Besson copy as the Olds model that would
carry his name. And Who KNOWS why they cancelled the Super
Recording in 1950, other than the probability, in my
suspicion, that they simply could not afford to spend so much
time handmaking Super Recordings and keep the price affordable
for even the most discriminating trumpet-buyers. If only they
could've held out until THESE times, when folks are apparently
willing to fork out more than $5,000 for certain models made
by Leblanc-Courtois, for example, that are, forgive me,
absolute pieces of metal ****.

The verdict? A tie perhaps? The way my Recordings, and Super
Recordings play:

As for my two Super Recordings, the one in all-original but
used condition plays with a gorgeous rich, dark, warm tone and
an excellence in its response that I would stack up against
ANY new trumpet made. Vintage One, Monette, whatever. The
Super Recording I have that was restored to new condition has
practically as good a response, but with a slightly bigger,
fatter (though less dark), edgier, more modern tone. Both
Super Recordings have the best valve action of any trumpet
I've ever played. Probably a tribute to the painstaking
handwork of that model.

The two Recordings are like this: my original but very-used
condition '62 Recording has a dark but fat tone with an edge
that will hurt the listener if they're not careful- I'm
serious- this baby can peel. As for my Recording that was
restored to new condition (the '56 Recording), this model,
though maybe not as exquisite as the Super Recording in its
perfection of response, and though maybe not quite as dark as
its brother (the original '62 Recording), this '56 Recording
has the biggest and most powerful tone with this level of
density of any horn I've ever A-B'd it with, topped with an
edge that is an absolute danger to society. And I've A-B'd it
in countless instrument stores in front of store staff who
invariably say- "Wow- that one's got a much bigger sound!"
This has happened with Schilkes, Yamahas, Bachs, Kanstuls,
Vintage Ones, Getzens, Benges, Callichios, on and on and on.
I've yet to find any new horn anywhere that can top it in that
respect. It's just huge and monstrous. A product of both its
marque AND the fact that it was overhauled? Yes, I think so.
When you overhaul a trumpet, you're changing it. But in this
case, if it was a compromise in its sound, I'd give anythng to
hear how big she sounded originally.

The Recordings, like the Super Recordings, and seemingly much
moreso than the Supers, are capable of a much wider range of
timbres, limited only by the player. Under this heading, the
Recording probably has a wider range of sounds and may be
where Olds wanted to go with this whole thing.

So, an oversimplification:

EARLY Olds Supers - dark yet very focused, rich sound

50's and 60's Supers - densest tone in all of trumpetdom, big
(but not a wide or fat) sound, rock solid response with thick,
solid tone up above high C that matches an octave lower in
terms of response (though not ease, of course)

50's and 60's Recordings - Big, Wide, Fat tone that is uncanny
in its density by today's standards, with an edge that will
slice through tungsten steel, and an ability to produce a wide
variety of tones and timbres

40's Super Recordings - maybe in some respects the finest made
trumpets in history, uncanny precision of response and warm
purity of tone that doesn't weaken when pushed into the
fortississimo range of intensity. I consider myself very
fortunate to have two of these models- they are absolutely
exquisite.

Anyway.

Whatever.

Super - Workhorse
Recording - Showhorse
Super Recording - Unicorn

Perry D'Andrea
}|-)





Steve
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ernieo2
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,
That was a fantastic narrative. As an owner of 12 Olds horns your analysis was very informative.


Last edited by ernieo2 on Tue May 16, 2006 8:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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wardsd
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks,
but I cannot take credit for the original post. I simply reposted a narrative from Perry Dandrea from Jan 2002. Need to give credit where credit is due. It was an excellent post.

Steve
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Still Trying
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1957 Olds Super and a 1959 Olds Recording that were purchased new. I have been considering having both refurbished. After reading the above post, I'm not sure I should let anyone touch them. Neither have any major dints-just a few minor dings from years of service, but they both could use a lacquer job. They both still play great, inspite of being eye sores.

I'm not willing to swap great playing for cosmetic improvement. What do you guys think about an over haul, if I get somebody really reputable to work on them? I'm thinking Leigh McKinney at First Class Brass.
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BeboppinFool
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic is almost an exact duplicate of one that we had two or three weeks ago.

Jesse, original condition is the best way to have a horn, in my opinion.

Here's what I've found with pretty much every repair guy who's ever worked on any of my horns. They seem to all think they can put their unique "touch" on the horn and make it play better. All they do is make it play differently. The way the horn originally played is the way it's supposed to play (in my opinion, of course).

If I had your two professional model Olds horns, I would merely use a handkerchief while playing and be proud of the incredible original Olds sound that they both possess.

I've had too many horns worked on where the repairman tried to improve something and I wished I had just played the horn the way it was. Only twice (out of thirty or more) have I had a horn that wasn't quite happening come back playing better than I could've ever imagined.

By the way, the best "dent man" I have found is John Lynch in Nokomis, FL. I have a 1950 Ambassador that was really banged up, so I sent it to him. You can't tell that it's ever had a single dent, and it plays great.

Rich
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Still Trying
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Rich.

I think I'll just settle for a chemical clean and play them the way they are. When I first got the Recording, the school I attended was downwind of a sulfur dioxide plant-back before emissions were an item of public concern. We used to practice marching in a cloud of the stuff. It ruined the paint on scores of houses in our neighborhood. Anyway, the lacquer on the Olds became discolored and tarnished almost from the time I got the horn. But I used that Olds Recording through high school and college for everything from marching band to symphony. And it looked just like it does now the whole time. I used to get a lot of comments from other musicians in the symphony about the way my horn looked. But I just ignored them and kept right on blowing. They never complained about the way the old horn sounded.

But it is a sweet blowing horn, and is just as appropriate now for anything one needs a Bb for as it was when I got it. And I definitely do not want to do anything to negatively affect the way it blows and sounds.
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Screamtrumpet
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:22 pm    Post subject: I've got one Reply with quote

I have an Olds Super Recorder. It's really a tight blowing horn, but the added resistance makes upper register work a lot easier than my schilke X3. For my money, the sound on the Schilke is much better - fuller and more open. He makes a good pont about the valves - they are excellent. I bought mine refinished for $300 in 1992. Anyone have any idea what it's worth now?
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San Antonio Horn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:55 am    Post subject: Olds Comparison Reply with quote

I play a courtois, and its by far one of the best instruments I have ever played...You probably havent ever played one...so think before you recommend it as a piece of metal ****. Second of all, there is a whole lot of mouthpiece/horn recommending going on here and nobody ever asks the person in question: "what are you looking for in a horn, what are you playing now, mouthpiece, embouchure set up etc. etc. etc..." There are alot of beginners on this site, Lets shoot them in the right direction. My 2 cents...Brandon.
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San Antonio Horn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:57 am    Post subject: edit Reply with quote

this message was edited by sanantoniohorn
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heritagear
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:37 pm    Post subject: Olds Super; Recording and Super recording Reply with quote

Hello fellow trumpeters. What an amazing resource this is, thanks so much to all who make it possible.
I have recently bought a Olds Super, 1946, and am restarting playing after a break of 50 years. I read the post from Perry dAndrea and much of it was great but I would love to know the actual differences in the manufacture and specification of the three instruments. What actually makes them different to each other?
I do not understand, yet, the terminology used to describe the playing - what is dense, wide, fat, thick; and solid as rock, dead centre, darker sound, more warmth, big wide aspect, evenness of response, higher degree of solidity in the footfall and slotting.
I am not sure I am anywhere near getting the best out of this horn yet, as I am virtually a beginner again. Mine does sometimes seem a bit sluggish in the valve responses and they go down with a bit of a "thunk". It appears to have had some minor dent work sometime in the past and just had the felts changed, but generally seems "un-restored" and looks absolutely amazing, light and beautifully balanced..
Any info greatly appreciated.
Stephen L.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any evaluation of a trumpet carries with it the personal impressions of the player. Those impressions may be dramatically different than your impressions.

I have a 1947 Super Recording, a 1947 Super and a 1962 Recording. My impressions are much different than those expressed by Perry D'Andrea.

My 1947 Super is an extremely lightweight horn. It has a brass tone ring. It may be the lightest weight trumpet I have in my collection of over 50 trumpets. I did a comparison test in front of a room full of university trumpet majors. The consensus was that the Super did not project as well as any of the other trumpets in the test.

My 1947 Super Recording is a dual leadpipe model. It is a great horn, one of the best ever made in terms of sound, projection. and ease of play. No complaints. Contrary to anything said in any of the above posts, there is a significant difference between the Super and the Super Recording in terms of results, at least as to my two 1947 horns.

My 1962 Recording gets a noticeably bigger and warmer sound than my 1947 Super Recording. It is, to me, the best horn of the three mentioned.

I'm not particularly sensitive to the way each horn plays. I'm a "pick it up and play it" player. I can play as high on one as I can on any other and with the same degree of effort. The resistance/blow is the same to me or certainly close enough to not make any difference to me.

I also have a 1965 Olds Opera Premier and a 1966 Olds Mendez. The Opera Premier is an excellent although undistinguished horn. The Mendez is one of the two most securely slotting horns I own.
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A.N.A.Mendez
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So nice to see this post revived.

The SR IMHO is the top, acme, best ever.

I agree in the differences and each player will come away with different opinions.

How Wonderfull is it we get to play, own, and enjoy these marvels from the past that men at the top of the game put much effort into the manufacturing of these top line instruments. ?

Carry on.
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Olds Super; Recording and Super recording Reply with quote

If there’s one topic here that I love to read and discuss, it’s Olds. The Olds Recording literally changed my trumpet life and playing it is such a joy. Its versatile and its timbre is very mouthpiece sensitive, though I agree with HERMOKIWI that it has a relatively warm tone.

It’s interesting to read that the Olds Super trumpet is a lightweight instrument...I’ve got a Super cornet and its very heavy (much heavier than my Recording) Would love to play a Super trumpet someday. The cornet is noticably less mouthpiece sensitive (a deep V greatly mellows the tone like on the Recording trumpet, but the differences between a shallow and a deep C-shape cup are less profound).

Olds trumpets are less common in Europe so I haven’t had the chance to try many. Had the oppertunity to play a Super Recording once but didn’t because feared I might end up buying it on the spot...in hindsight I should’ve tried it. Another horn I once playtested for a friend was a late Olds Ambassador trumpet. It had many of the same characteristics of my Recording, only less refined. It also wasn’t sensitive to mouthpieces (took a deep Bach cup to make it sound classical) but it was a great jazz horn...and for the price it sold, I almost bought it for myself.

There’s something about the sound of Olds instruments that just works for me. If you want to hear about their differences, check out some Youtube videos by Trent Austin. He’s played a lot of different ones and his playing is very consistent which makes it easier to compare the sound differences of the actual horns.

heritagear wrote:
I would love to know the actual differences in the manufacture and specification of the three instruments. What actually makes them different to each other?


There’s a great website called Olds Central that has a lot of data about Olds trumpets. They also have some scans of the original advertisements that contain some of the horns’ specs. For info on the physical differences you might wanna check there.

You have a nice horn there and I wish you lots of fun with it.
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A.N.A.Mendez
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Super trumpets before, say, 1953 were more light weight. The ones from the 30s are just amazing..
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would give anything had I bought a Recording back in the early 00's when they were $600 on Ebay. No way I could pay current prices. Just one of those things - like seeing Doc Severinsen in person - that I'll never get to experience.
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heritagear
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:52 pm    Post subject: Olds Super; Recording and Super recording Reply with quote

Thanks every one for your responses! There is certainly a real dedication to Olds that I am just getting into.
I am loving this site and forum, such a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm, so generous with your time.
Hoping to re-establish my expertise and be worthy of a Super Recording. I should have mentioned that my Super Ser No 16280 c 1946 has the nickel tone ring on the bell. These earlier Olds models are very difficult to get in UK and I was pleased to get mine for $560. It came with an Ambassador case where I have to be really careful not to trap the lead-pipe when it closes!
As soon as this crazy pandemic time is over, I think a pilgrimage to The States will be in order to do some trumpet shopping. Right now I'm trying to find a mouthpiece that suits the Olds and my old lips...
Stephen L.
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Olds Super; Recording and Super recording Reply with quote

heritagear wrote:
Hoping to re-establish my expertise and be worthy of a Super Recording. I should have mentioned that my Super Ser No 16280 c 1946 has the nickel tone ring on the bell. These earlier Olds models are very difficult to get in UK and I was pleased to get mine for $560.

Nice! Seems like a decent price given what Olds Supers go for on the European mainland. And yeah, that tone ring looks so nice, especially when the silvery color offsets the brass.
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