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Opinions on Best of the Pro Olds Trumpets ?


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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:02 pm    Post subject: Opinions on Best of the Pro Olds Trumpets ? Reply with quote

I bought an Olds Standard, '47 I think, about a month ago and just love it. Of course being human, I'm never satisfied and can never get enough. I'm wondering what else I'm missing in the OLDS line ?

I see them come up often enough, but have never played any of them and am wondering what order, modest to best, players would put these in : Standard, Super, Studio, Recording, Opera, Mendes and any other pros I forgot ?

I've owned a couple Specials and didn't find them that special, so need not mention those.

Until the Betty Ford Clinic comes up with a program for Horn Lust, I guess I'll just keep buying them.
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stumac
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The top of the Olds range is the Super Recording, the last made in 1949 I believe, these days can command insane prices, I paid US$1100 some years ago for a 1949 one s/n 44xxx in excellent condition and consider I got a bargain, I have seen asking prices to $8000. Best of luck.

Regards, Stuart.
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The general vibe on Olds trumpets seems positive, with even the lower end models getting decent comments (though often with the caveat 'if you can get a good one'). Stuart is correct, generally the Super Recording is considered the best model Olds ever made.

As for myself, given that Olds trumpets are more rare in Europe, I've not played many, so I can only comment on the ones I did play, which are:

-An 70's Olds Ambassador trumpet I picked up for a friend. Although not from a favorable era, it was a good player and I wouldn't have minded to keep it myself. Very durable too.
-A recently purchased Olds Super cornet. I have absolutely no use for it, been meaning to sell it, and yet it such a fun horn to play, I just can't get rid of it yet.
-My 70's Olds Recording trumpet: if it ever got lost or destroyed, I'll likely quit playing. Part of that is emotional value (the horn got me through some very rough times), but it's also an excellent player, getting favorable comments from any pro that's tried it.

Recently I visited a tech who's been working on an 50's(?) Olds Recording that he felt was 'something off' with it. After comparing it with mine it seemed he was right, which I guess kinda confirms the 'if you can get a good one'. Given their age, it becomes more of a gamble if you buy them unseen...they may have been unplayed and well cared for, or tossed around a school bus daily.

Trent Austin has played many Olds instruments in his youtube video's so you may wanna check those out to get a better idea on the different models.
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A.N.A.Mendez
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The list.....

Super Recording.The earlier the better.
French Model
Any pre war Super
49-54 Recording
Early Standard model
52 -54 Mendez
Special model, especially very early ones
50-52 Super "U.S." model in silver. Monster horns

Thats a start.....
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dschwab
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're all different and all good. I play a LA Ambassador for commercial work.
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A.N.A.Mendez wrote:
The list.....

Super Recording.The earlier the better.
French Model
Any pre war Super
49-54 Recording
Early Standard model
52 -54 Mendez
Special model, especially very early ones
50-52 Super "U.S." model in silver. Monster horns

Thats a start.....


So the Super Recording is best but Supers between 50 and 52 are less desirable than Specials ? Interesting. What years would you call 'early Standard" ? Operas don't make the list ?
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recently acquired a 1963/64 Recording and am really enjoying getting to know the horn. It plays quite open and it's been a challenge to find the right mouthpiece match. (I'm currently trying a NY Bach 10 1/2 C.) There are some quirks with the slotting, but nothing that can't be learned over time. It's a definite pro horn that's a different beast from the Strad lineage.
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A.N.A.Mendez
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abraxas wrote:
A.N.A.Mendez wrote:
The list.....

Super Recording.The earlier the better.
French Model
Any pre war Super
49-54 Recording
Early Standard model
52 -54 Mendez
Special model, especially very early ones
50-52 Super "U.S." model in silver. Monster horns

Thats a start.....


So the Super Recording is best but Supers between 50 and 52 are less desirable than Specials ? Interesting. What years would you call 'early


Standard" ? Operas don't make the list ?



I sort of got the ball rolling, feel free to add models going into the later 50s and 60s. They are all great horns in my opinion, and that's all it is , an opinion based on owning and playing many different Olds horns over the years.


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EdMann
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't beat Olds for consistency, build and sound. Bachs and Olds, all you'd ever need, IMO.

During a lesson I had with the great Uan Rasey back in the day, he asked me what I was playing-- he was a bit blind in his old age-- and I said, "right now, it's my Olds Super." He lit up like a candle and said, "Oh, I played Olds though most of my early career, an Ambassador." I was shocked, and had thought that Ambassadors were just student horns. He did have someone pop a Recording bell on his, but it was basically a 100 dollar horn you heard on Singin' in the Rain, The Apartment, American in Paris, and hundreds of other legendary films.

You can't go wrong.

ed
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A.N.A.Mendez wrote:

I sort of got the ball rolling, feel free to add models going into the later 50s and 60s. They are all great horns in my opinion, and that's all it is , an opinion based on owning and playing many different Olds horns over the years.



Thanks. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I have a pretty good idea as to what Olds are considered to be pro horns and I am well aware that even the Ambassador can be on that list. What i really was looking for is to see the list ranked by what they thought were the best. I predicted the Super Recording was going to top the list but what about the rest, what spot do the others on the list merit ?
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abraxas wrote:
Thanks. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I have a pretty good idea as to what Olds are considered to be pro horns and I am well aware that even the Ambassador can be on that list. What i really was looking for is to see the list ranked by what they thought were the best. I predicted the Super Recording was going to top the list but what about the rest, what spot do the others on the list merit ?


Everyone has their own list. I find the SuperRecording to be more interesting as a collector horn than a playing horn, thus have 2 lists:

Collecting:
1) SuperRecording
2) Military
3) Standard
4) French Model
5) original Studio
6) CHR
7) Custom (in an original custom configuration - if Zig's or Dale's it moves to #1 though)
Recording
9) Pinto

Playing:
1) original Studio
2) Custom (stock psuedo-Mendez configuration)
3) Super (the earlier the better)
4) Opera (in nickel)
5) SuperStar
6) Military

And, rest assured, my lists are different from those of others - let the objections begin!
1)
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Yamahaguy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A.N.A.Mendez wrote:
Any pre war Super...
50-52 Super "U.S." model in silver. Monster horns
This! The silver is indeed a beast, just recently picked one up. Amazing!
And the pre-Wars are fantastic as well, very surprised at their versatility.
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ChopsGone
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You’re all overlooking one of the best Olds trumpets ever made: the Symphony model. It was available in MSYM and SYM (ML and L, respectively) and with plain or hand-peened bell. Mine’s the elusive combination of SYM bore and hand-peened bell, and it’s a standout in every respect. (I’ve owned every model of Olds trumpet prior to the Ultrasonic era, with the exception of the Opera - only have a cornet in that model.)
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny how time in our earliest of surviving generations is relative to 'the war'. I'm almost tempted to sadly ask which one as there were so many. Did the best craftsmen get left on the beaches of Europe or the Pacific ? Was it materials ? Surely we had equal access before and after to quality materials. I understand we needed the brass for shells during, but why not after ?

I'll have to hazard a guess that the machinists were just too burned out from cranking out armaments at a fevered pitch, they all had to retire soon thereafter. Then there's the LA - Fullerton phenomenon. I understand they switched materials a couple years after the move, yet some of the pro line were only made in Fullerton through that 50's period. Perhaps a loss of leadership and a greedy refocus on quantity.
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A.N.A.Mendez
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChopsGone wrote:
You’re all overlooking one of the best Olds trumpets ever made: the Symphony model. It was available in MSYM and SYM (ML and L, respectively) and with plain or hand-peened bell. Mine’s the elusive combination of SYM bore and hand-peened bell, and it’s a standout in every respect. (I’ve owned every model of Olds trumpet prior to the Ultrasonic era, with the exception of the Opera - only have a cornet in that model.)


To be fair your symphony model is so rare I doubt many have ever seen or heard of one. I have one not marked,( I only know because it is listed in R.D. Olsens factory log book ) had another that was marked "SYM" and had the "S" on the receiver, Another I remember just had "SYM" on 2nd casing, in almost 20 years of being an Olds nut that's the total number of SYM marked Olds I've heard of. Fantastic models too......
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dr-pepp
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abraxas wrote:
Funny how time in our earliest of surviving generations is relative to 'the war'. I'm almost tempted to sadly ask which one as there were so many. Did the best craftsmen get left on the beaches of Europe or the Pacific ? Was it materials ? Surely we had equal access before and after to quality materials. I understand we needed the brass for shells during, but why not after ?

I'll have to hazard a guess that the machinists were just too burned out from cranking out armaments at a fevered pitch, they all had to retire soon thereafter. Then there's the LA - Fullerton phenomenon. I understand they switched materials a couple years after the move, yet some of the pro line were only made in Fullerton through that 50's period. Perhaps a loss of leadership and a greedy refocus on quantity.


When it comes to Olds, the "before and after the war" reference is really more of a timeline reference than anything else. I'm sure that some of your speculation might enter into the equation, but if you look at Olds trumpet (and cornet) production numbers, they made about 10,000 trumpets and cornets in the 10 years or so leading up to WWII. The war time production numbers are very fuzzy, but if you look at production numbers a year or two after the war when the Ambassador was introduced, they were making 10,000 a year and a few years later were up to 50,000 a year. They still made some great horns after the war, but I've got three Supers in the 13xxx to 18xxx serial number range that are some of the best horns I've ever played. Two of them are original silver and I assume they may have been made for the military. To me, it is just a numbers game.... if I have the option of getting a horn made from a quality shop that puts out 1,000 horns a year vs. one that puts out 10,000 or 50,000, I'd give a nod to the smaller shop. And my experience with Olds horns bears this out.
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Manuel de los Campos
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed playing my both Olds Super trumpets a lot; I had a late 40's and an early 60's Super, the latter I liked better. In the end I sold them because of although they played well, they sounded a lot less than my 90's Getzen Eterna 900 LB.
I once posessed an Olds Studio as well, 1948. Good instrument but poor sounding.

Last week I had a rehearsel with a fellow trumpet player, she plays an 60's Olds Super, I brought my Conn 22B NYS and in the room there was a 90's Bach 180-37R, one with a reversed leadpipe, her husbands. We switched horns and who was the winner...?

The Vincent Bach Stradivarius 180-37R. Hands down: Both playability ànd sound

Next time I'll bring the Getzen Eterna 900 and we will see...
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OldSchoolEuph
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olds models: https://www.trumpet-history.com/Olds%20Trumpet%20Models.pdf
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Ron Berndt
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1962 Mt. Vernon Bach 43
1954 Holton 49 Stratodyne
1927 Conn 22B
1957 Holton 27 cornet
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1975 Olds Recording R-20
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EdMann
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clay, you nailed my favorite Olds of all time. It's like magic. It can do everything, that wartime Olds Super. I've said it before, cold dead hands.

ed
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OldSchoolEuph wrote:
Olds models: https://www.trumpet-history.com/Olds%20Trumpet%20Models.pdf


I've seen this before and was talking to my repair man at our local shop about this contraption on the 3rd slide of my Standard. It says, on that linking doc: "Significant Characteristics: Bb/A quick change by way of the under-mounted stop-rod on the tuning slide" to which my repair man says balderdash ... impossible for a single slide on the third to do a complete pitch change. At the risk of changing the subject somewhat, anyone know anything about that double throw on the 3 rd slide of the Standards ?

Back on subject, is the Standard comparable to the Supers ? The '47 Standard is more than I deserve but Covid has brought prices down a lot and I'm getting that itch again. Will I like the Super more than the Standard ?
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