Saturday, 4 January 2014

My Horns No. 5 - Olds Super (Fullerton)

For those who have wandered around this blog a bit, you might have seen my post regarding my Olds Studio here. I went a little into the history of Olds in that post, so I won't repeat myself too much here.

The Olds Super was a horn that figured in the lineup from Olds' early days, and had a few changes in configuration, which have been discussed on various forums such as Trumpet Herald, and which can be seen by looking at the old Olds catalogues on Olds Central.

My particular Super is a mid-late 60s horn (66-67), made in Fullerton California, with no first valve tuning slide adjustment, trombone-style main water key and traditional water key on the third slide. The horn is of yellow brass construction, with nickel silver valve balusters and trim on slides, and a nickel silver bell garland. The bell garland was the distinctive feature of the Super, and was a carry-over from earlier times of trumpet construction - the garland is more common on rotary trumpets in Europe, as a means of intensifying the sound, which on a rotary trumpet with a short leadpipe can be handy.

It has the same effect here on the Super - this horn is effortlessly loud. While I would not call the horn overly bright, it has such a dense core to the sound that it cuts through and over most other trumpets. There are no diffuse edges to the sound on this horn - it never gets airy when played lightly. It's a totally different sound to the Studio, despite the basic specs (0.460" bore, 4.75" Bell) being the same.

While those specs are the same, this is a different horn in other respects - it's a long horn, to the extent that it won't fit in my Yamaha case, and it's very slightly remeniscent of the "peashooter" horns of the 20s -a tight wrap, and a tight fit for the hand - definitely a "Vulcan grip" for me to use, which is the opposite to the Studio's very open wrap.

The valves are typical Olds smooth - with a very short throw, which is again opposite to the Studio.

While I don't often use this trumpet in group settings, it is a wonderful, smooth trumpet to play. I've noted that the price of these horns has been increasing over the last few years - a recognition of their quality.

Cheers for now, from
A View Over the Bell

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