Student trumpets



  • Very recently I acquired a UMI King Tempo 600.
    Wow! What a disappointment. I have better fit and finished Cecilio’s. Stuffy, squirrelly and dead tone.
    Also got my high school Holton t602 Collegiate back. Way way different horn! They are very similar looking but the Holton plays way easier and is of seemingly better quality
    At any rate neither compare to my professional level horns.
    But, all my student cornets seem way better even than these two.
    Just some thoughts. What say you?



  • The Olds Ambassador is considered a "student" horn. So with that said, of out of my other Olds "professional" horns, Super Recording, Recordings (LA and Fullerton), my Ambassador is my favorite of the group.

    Will I argue that the Ambassador is not a student horn... No. I believe Olds evolved the Ambassador to be just that. The valves feel a bit light in response, the slotting is not as crisp, and the sound not as bright. But all of those characteristics I prefer. The Ambassador is more like my Committe than it is like my other Olds. And that is what I like about this horn. I love the loose slot! It has a darker, smoother sound than my other Olds, and I just gravitate to that sound characteristic. I have less resistance in the upper range with the Ambassador than the Recordings, but I have got to admit, the Super Recording does play itself in the upper range, but again more on the brighter side.

    So for student horns, the Ambassador is a solid contender. It is a student horn, but for me, it gives me the performance OVERALL than my other Olds horns. AND if you want to check out a "professional" on this horn, here is the Ambassador played on this recording:



  • Oh yes. Forgot to mention, I also "tricked" out my Ambassador. Here it is as re-created by me (with the help of Tom Green):
    Olds Ambassador Bell View.jpg



  • @Dr-GO Horn porn at its best. I always like seeing your photos of this trumpet.



  • Haven't played that era of Kings, but the Old Amabassador is a pro quality horn and can be found on eBay for a good price. As for student horns, I haven't ever played a Getzen or Bach student horn that wasn't a good horn.



  • @Bay-Area-Brass

    I made my old age comeback with a Bach TR300H2 student horn, and 3 years later I still like playing it despite the fact I own two excellent professional horns. I get a rich warm sound with the Bach that gives a ballad that extra sweetness.



  • I have a King 600, not a Tempo and I have no idea what the difference is. Based on the serial number is was made between 1981 and 1982, which I believe pre-dates UMI. It’s not a bad student horn, not squirrelly and has a decent tone. My son played it his first year on trumpet.

    But I’m with Dr Go on the Olds Ambassador. I have a 1957 Olds Ambassador and I love how it plays. Paid $100 for it on eBay and had my brass tech inspect it. He cleaned it, replaced the valve springs, felts and corks and said it was good to go. Its raw brass and not a “tricked” out beauty like Dr Go’s, but I think it looks pretty good for 62 years old!
    Vette 2r.jpg



  • @Dr-GO , to me mister Morgan does not sound very good on this horn, the man could play! but that is another discussion. If you want to let us hear a pro playing on a student horn you'd better come with Chet Baker playing on Scolastics, Getzen Capri's etc. etc.
    I really never understood the hallelujah about Olds Ambassadors but it seems to me I will never have friends anyway



  • My Getzen Capri sounds way brighter than my Getzen Eterna 900LB but she plays almost equal. To me the best student horn ever.
    My Conn Director isn't a bad horn either but the difference between the Director and my former Conn Victor 22B is way bigger than the former example



  • As far as current horns are concerned, I feel that Yamaha and Getzen are the best on the market. King and Bach are a level below them. I've had good luck with Eastman recently. A new Jupiter and Antigua in my beginner band this year consistently had valve issues throughout the year.



  • @Dr-GO
    Agree, the Olds Ambassador was a very good horn - at the student level. It has the attributes you note. It is medium bore, good for a student, but it is easy to overblow as the student develops power. The tone can be very good for a maturing student using a 3C mp or such, and has focus, but it can never approach the sound of say a Bach Strad. It slots well. The intonation within the staff is very good, but the horn has poorer intonation for lower and higher. The 3rd slide helps with low register: but the the 1st valve has no slide and cannot be modified to have a ring - a real pity. The valves on mine were excellent. The coating was natural lacquer and wore quickly, causing the brass to corrode at the valve casings - a pity. Overall, the Ambassador can serve as a benchmark to compare other horns, and it can develop a student to a rather high level. I regret selling mine so long ago.



  • @mafields627
    Good choices. We all have our preferences and reasons. Have you compared such horns against the Carol Brass models? You might be surprised.



  • I've owned and played a ton of Kings from early to late. Loved them all but the Tempo line. I don't know what the difference was, but I had the same experience. It was a dog. I traded it for repairs to another King, a King 603 cornet, which was a very nice instrument.


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    I’ve been very impressed by the Jupiter intermediates we have at work. They are more like a stripped down version of the XO than a dressed up student model, like a lot of others. Prices are great and I could gig on one no problem! I still prefer my Adams, of course, but our rep says there are a bunch of Jupiter artists playing them alongside the XO, and I’m not surprised. They also compare very favorably in price to a lot of the student models, so they have sold very well.



  • @grune said in Student trumpets:

    @mafields627
    Good choices. We all have our preferences and reasons. Have you compared such horns against the Carol Brass models? You might be surprised.

    I haven't simply because we don't have access to them locally; however, if Trent Austin recommends them I'll take his word on it.

    This thread has got me thinking about what will happen if either of my sons wants to play trumpet. A Strad or Xeno will probably $3000+ at that point. Do I give up my Strad or my Teatro (a Getzen/Kanstul frankenhorn assembled by Eclipse)? What will be the affordable, high quality brands in a decade?



  • @mafields627 said in Student trumpets:

    @grune said in Student trumpets:

    @mafields627
    Good choices. We all have our preferences and reasons. Have you compared such horns against the Carol Brass models? You might be surprised.

    I haven't simply because we don't have access to them locally; however, if Trent Austin recommends them I'll take his word on it.

    This thread has got me thinking about what will happen if either of my sons wants to play trumpet. A Strad or Xeno will probably $3000+ at that point. Do I give up my Strad or my Teatro (a Getzen/Kanstul frankenhorn assembled by Eclipse)? What will be the affordable, high quality brands in a decade?

    A number of competent players have commented very favourably on the CG line of horns. We may be in a golden era for trumpets, with so many brands producing quality horns. I should think, as time goes by, many quality instruments will be available on the used market for good prices.



  • Haven't played any student trumpets made in the 21st century. Playing a Getzen 590 step up cornet and soon a Getzen 700 trumpet.

    Just bought a Bach 700 trumpet and a Calicilo trumpet. Interesting to see how they compare with the Getzen.



  • @Gendreauj said in Student trumpets:

    Haven't played any student trumpets made in the 21st century. Playing a Getzen 590 step up cornet and soon a Getzen 700 trumpet.

    Just bought a Bach 700 trumpet and a Calicilo trumpet. Interesting to see how they compare with the Getzen.

    May we know your comparisons?



  • I have owed many student level cornets and liked most of them. Did find that several of the same models played differently. Had two Bach 300 cornets. One was exceptional and the other was a dog. The student model Yamaha's played well. Didn't like the King student american model cornet, but liked the King student model shepherds crook model. The first cornet I owed was a Conn 17 A cornet. Did like the looks of the coprion bell but it played more like a trumpet. Last of my student model was was the Getzen 490 cornet.

    Felt that the student models were lacking something, so I upgraded to the intermediate Getzen 590. Still didn't have the sound I wanted. So now I own a Getzen 800 professional cornet and very happy with it. Quite a relief, I am now only buying slide grease and valve oil.



  • I've owned 4 Ambassadors, 3 trumpets and one cornet. They are great student horns, but just so-so for higher level playing. I did play one (a 1950s trumpet) in a big band for a few years and it worked pretty well, so they probably do have a place in jazz, swing, and similar types of settings. Legit music, nope.


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