I’ve finally done it. I’ve found the “holy grail” (for me) of trumpets!
It doesn’t look too fancy, does it? What is it? It’s a mid ’70s Olds Super Star Ultrasonic Bb trumpet in silver-plate. This is an example of Olds’ top level trumpet model, about four years before they stopped production. I could get into all the stuff about the later Olds horns not being as good as the earlier ones and so forth, but I won’t. It’s still the “best” trumpet I’ve ever owned. I’ve been searching for a professional Olds horn for a long while, and finally found one I could afford.
It’s a warhorse. It has been played by past owners. A lot. You can see it in the wear of the plating. This is no out-of-grampa’s-closet-after-30-years trumpet. It has been used and used well. You know what? I like that. The horn has told a lot of tales in its life, and I hope to get it to tell a few more before I’m done.
It’s designed a little differently than I have seen. It’s described as having a “straight-through” design, where the air goes through the lead pipe and straight through all 3 valves. The valves are supposed to be interchangeable, also. As a result, the 3rd valve finger ring has a “jag” to it, so that it lines back up with where the fingers are when holding it.
It plays beautifully. When I play it, it seems to come alive in my hands. I am in the midst of trying a new mouthpiece setup, along with a new horn, so I am figuring it will play and sound even better once I adjust to the changes. I’m trying out a Bach 11 E/W to see if I can increase my upper register.
I also was able to find a really nice shepherd’s crook Yamaha YCR-233 Bb cornet recently. It needs a missing brace added back to it. It plays well also.
As a result of these finds, my Blessing Artist series Bb trumpet and my trusty ’53 Pan American Bb cornet are on eBay, per the “rules of the house” (if I buy a new horn, I have to sell one). Both already have bids, so they’ll be going to new owners in a week or so.
In other instrument news, I was able to flip a Selmer Signet C flute for a $60.00 profit. Woo hoo!
Stop back by in another 5-6 months for another edition of “The Trumpet Chronicles”.