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dr_jay
New Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2019
Posts: 8
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:39 pm    Post subject: 2 months in Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

Just thought I'd say hello. I started back playing again a couple of months ago after roughly 39 years off, and am enjoying my daily 1/2 hour to hour of practice.

Funny story about my trumpet. I have the same 1974 Olds Ambassador my parents bought me in... 1974. I played it maybe once every 5 years since I stopped in 1980. A couple of years ago, I took it out of the case and the valves were just frozen. This past January, I decided to take up playing again. I had picked out a cheap trumpet on Amazon just to see if I was interested enough to justify buying a nicer horn later, and I ordered it. Then it occurred to me to go down to the basement and see what I could do with the old one. The valves were fine!

So I rushed to the computer, cancelled the order, and went to the store for a cleaning kit. The Ambassador cleaned up just fine. I had always been meticulous with polishing it and protecting the finish. Of course, you never know when you put it down for the last time, or you would have cleaned and oiled the valves perfectly, etc. But overall, it looks like a new horn... almost.

Anyway, the only issues with the Ambassador are a large number of red rot spots on the bottom of the lead pipe, and a couple of rusty looking spots on the bottom of the valves. (Although the valves work as smoothly as ever.) The varnished finish looks almost new. But reading around on this site and others, I learned about the Pilczuk lead pipes people have been putting on old Ambassadors. So I called Rich Ita in Georgia and talked to him about putting on a new lead pipe. He was very polite, although he did recommend cleaning out the current lead pipe thoroughly and playing for another 6 months or so before doing the repair... .

Anyway, I bought a $150 Mendini pocket trumpet to have something to play on trips and if/when I send the Ambassador for rehab. I'll certainly think about buying a better quality horn in 6 months or so. But at the moment, my plan is to send the Ambassador off sooner rather than later. I certainly understand that I'll never get back the 300-500 it'll cost to fix it, but it may be more of a sentimental thing not to abandon the horn I started with.

This is getting too long. Thank for reading: your comments are welcome!

Jay
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2019 Bach 180S37
1974 Olds Ambassador
2019 Mendini MPT-N pocket trumpet
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laundryman
Regular Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2016
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville, TN

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still playing my Conn 80A. It belonged to my dad and it's the horn I learned on. Lot;s of memories! The horn still plays well and suits my needs although I do frequently wonder what's out there. The Ambassador may remain your best friend.
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JetJaguar
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Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 1388
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for saying hello! Both of you!
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Kumara999
Regular Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2019
Posts: 59
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:48 am    Post subject: After 4 months..... Reply with quote

Well you were both smarter than me. Also just started back about 4 months ago after 26 years off. I stupidly sold my Getzen at a garage sale for $50 dollars. Sad to think of that now.

Got a great deal on an F. Besson Meha - great horn to start back up on.
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JorgePD
Regular Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Location: Lake Worth, FL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started playing again a little over year ago after 40 years off. I still have the Conn Director trumpet my parents bought me in 1968. It was in excellent condition until my son played it in middle school band. He beat it up and bent the tail of the bell pipe so bad the brass tech I took it to, said it wasn’t worth fixing. He told me I could get a better trumpet on ebay for less that than the cost of repairs.

I took his advice and bought a 1957 Olds Ambassador on ebay that was in good shape for $90 (I was born in 1957 and I thought it would be cool to own a trumpet as old as I am). I took it to the brass tech for service. He cleaned it, replaced the valve springs, corks and felts, charged me $40 and told it me it was good to go.

Since then, I’ve been practicing almost every day for about an hour, taking lessons and playing in a local community band. I’m having a great time!

Jay, I understand the sentimental thing. I’m planning on upgrading my trumpet (buying new this time), but I’m going to have my Conn repaired as well. Playing it will definitely bring back some great memories!

Jorge
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TrumpetMD
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 22 Oct 2008
Posts: 2053
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jay. Welcome to TrumpetHerald. I see we're both from Maryland. I'm also a comeback player.

The advice from Rich Ita to wait a few months before doing the repair is reasonable. As you get back into playing, your goals may change.

But I also understand the sentimental value. I also started on a 1970 Ambassador. I no longer have that horn, but picked up a 1957 Ambassador. I ended up restoring that horn for sentimental reasons.

Mike
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Bach Stradivarius 43* Trumpet (1974), Bach 6C Mouthpiece.
Olds L-12 Flugelhorn (1969), Yamaha 13F4 Mouthpiece.
Plus a few other Bach, Getzen, Olds, Carol, HN White, and Besson horns.
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dr_jay
New Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2019
Posts: 8
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words! Of all the things I mentioned, funny that the one which seemed to really strike a chord with people was having good memories of the trumpet you started on. So yep: I'm pretty sure I'll fix up the Ambassador, but I'm unlikely to sell it ever. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to give it to a grandchild some day.

JorgePD: I did face the question of whether to give my trumpet to my son when he started playing at age 9. In the end, I just couldn't do it at the time (given how careful he wasn't). I decided to rent one for a year, and he lost interest. It definitely would have been his eventually, though. (My son is 26 now: he says he didn't want to keep playing because carrying the trumpet case to school was too nerdy. Funny how kids minds work.) I have to say that the Ambassador looked _way_ more solidly made / better quality than what they were renting the kids when my son started (in ~2001). I can't recall the brand/model.

TrumpetMD: I did see your postings and location earlier. Maybe I'll see you some time if and when I get around to joining a group. I'm near Olney, and they do have a community band which anyone can join (according to the web site).

Jay
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1974 Olds Ambassador
2019 Mendini MPT-N pocket trumpet
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dr_jay
New Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2019
Posts: 8
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

laundryman wrote:
I am still playing my Conn 80A. It belonged to my dad and it's the horn I learned on. Lot;s of memories! The horn still plays well and suits my needs although I do frequently wonder what's out there. The Ambassador may remain your best friend.


laundryman: is the 80A a cornet or a trumpet? Did they stop making it in the 60's?

Jay
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laundryman
Regular Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2016
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville, TN

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Conn 80A is a cornet. Depending on the player and the mouthpiece it can sound more like a trumpet or a more mellow cornet. The model was discontinued by Conn in the 60's . Mine was made in 1941.
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TrumpetMD
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 22 Oct 2008
Posts: 2053
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dr_jay wrote:
TrumpetMD: I did see your postings and location earlier. Maybe I'll see you some time if and when I get around to joining a group. I'm near Olney, and they do have a community band which anyone can join (according to the web site).

Coincidentally, my trio will be playing this Saturday at the Olney Winery, 7p to 10p.

Yes, there are community bands in Olney and Columbia. And if you're looking for jazz jams, there are regular jams in Ellicott City, Columbia, and Greenbelt.

Mike
_________________
Bach Stradivarius 43* Trumpet (1974), Bach 6C Mouthpiece.
Olds L-12 Flugelhorn (1969), Yamaha 13F4 Mouthpiece.
Plus a few other Bach, Getzen, Olds, Carol, HN White, and Besson horns.
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dr_jay
New Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2019
Posts: 8
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

laundryman wrote:
The Conn 80A is a cornet. Depending on the player and the mouthpiece it can sound more like a trumpet or a more mellow cornet. The model was discontinued by Conn in the 60's . Mine was made in 1941.


Ahh... I did look up the pictures. The 80A has a very unique looking tuning loop on the bell side of the valves. Looks interesting! It must be cool to be playing a 78 year old vintage horn!

Jay
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1974 Olds Ambassador
2019 Mendini MPT-N pocket trumpet
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dr_jay
New Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2019
Posts: 8
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrumpetMD wrote:

Coincidentally, my trio will be playing this Saturday at the Olney Winery, 7p to 10p.

Yes, there are community bands in Olney and Columbia. And if you're looking for jazz jams, there are regular jams in Ellicott City, Columbia, and Greenbelt.

Mike


Hey Mike: that sounds like it would be fun! I'm afraid my wife and I will be out of town over the weekend, but I'll look for your group in the future. I'm afraid I'm not only too early on the comeback trail to consider jazz: I also played mainly in school bands and in the Tidewater Youth Symphony in the 70's. So although classical music is not my main interest, it is really the only experience I have, and that's some 39 years ago. I do enjoy jazz: mainly fusion and more modern jazz, but I have no experience playing it.

My wife and I saw Keyon Harrold down at Blues Alley a few months ago. Although I'd never heard of him before, he put on a great show. That's the type of music I'd love to work toward being able to play, eventually.

Cheers, and I hope you have a good time this Saturday.
Jay
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2019 Mendini MPT-N pocket trumpet
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Tobylou8
Veteran Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2019
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love seeing all these comeback player posts. The more trumpeters, the better. I remember getting my horn out of the attic when my kids stated playing guitar. They were jamming and knew I had played. "C'mon dad, get your trumpet and play", they would say! I eventually did and the rest is history. Nothing wrong with any y'alls horns, just keep playing!
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