Purchased Olds Super.. cracked bell rim, no ring when flicked

  • Hello, I need some advice. I've been away from brass instruments for about 15 years (played trombone growing up). My father is looking to get back into teumpet after many years and I decided to take the journey with him.

    I found a 1949 LA Olds Super in perfect condition and decided to negotiate a deal. When I met the seller I checked the trumpet out and it a single dent or nick. He played a few notes and it sounded fine to my ears (I have no lip at the moment). After he handed it back to me, I noticed a small crack in the rolled bell rim. I pointed it out to him and he said that it's just the bell bead and that it's normal. I took his word and paid him. My ignorance and stupidity have put me in a conundrum.

    Got home, took zoomed in shots and spoke to multiple brass repair shops that said it is indeed a crack in the bell. They said that if it doesn't rattle or anything that the trumpet should be fine and it's likely just cosmetic. They even said that if I showed them this trumpet with this one crack and asked if I should buy it, they both said absolutely... and that it was a very good deal (I paid $750).

    The third shop I called said the same, but to flick the bell to see if it rings. Unfortunately it does not really ring (unless I listen closely, which is a short ring). My dad's Olds Recording has a ring when flicked.

    I called back one of the shops who said it was a steal and he said, nope.. bad bell, get your money back.

    Upon further research, I have found a few forum post where the Olds Super (without cracked bell rim) didnt ring either. This model has a silver "Tone Ring" which might affect the ringing of the bell when flicked, so I'm starting to think it still might be worth keeping... I am WAY out of my league now and need help from you guys. Does anyone here have an Olds Super with a bell that does ring? Should I keep this horn (I paid 750)?

    Here's some pictures of the crack

    Here's some pictures of the trumpet

    Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  • My 1941 Super has a slight ring, as I do my own repairs I would fill the crack with low melting point silver solder (lead free).

    I have a 1925 Besson trumpet awaiting restoration with a much bigger crack in the bell extending into the flare which I will repair with a higher melting point silver solder. The Besson Bell rings when flicked, it does not have the tone ring.

    I am not a trained brass technician, a working lifetime in electronic and electrical instrument making and repair.

    My feelings are to keep the horn, they are great instruments.

    Regards, Stuart.

  • Qualified Repair Techs Credentialed Professional

    Play it. Enjoy it. Do nothing unless the bell is buzzing. If you are tapping it checking for a ring you would have noticed any buzzing. Some bells ring, some bells don't. Some people have dark colored hair, some have light.

  • If you don't know horns, do not mess with it, yourself.

    As far as getting your money back, unless the seller is a good guy, you won't. Legally, it was bought as an "as-is" sale. Legally, unless you can prove fraud, you own it.

    But on a larger scale, since you're a rank beginner, will getting a newer horn make a difference?

    My advice would be to work using your present horn until you can actually feel and hear an improvement from the horn you now have compared to another one.

  • Straightening the bell, followed by cleaning and filling the crack presents a number of difficulties that make the job risky. You might end up with a trumpet that plays worse as a result after the wasted effort. I wonder what caused the crack in the first place. The tone ring should do a great job of keeping things together indefinitely.

    Unless you have a specific musical part the requires you to flick the bell of your trumpet, don't worry about it. As Trumpetsplus (who should indeed know) mentioned, some bells ring, and some bells don't; I don't believe it's an indication of any aspect of playability.

    It looks like a good horn. What I can see of the valves looks pretty good. Enjoy your new trumpet, and dismiss any concerns about it.

  • I've played a number of Olds Supers, and played on one as an everyday horn for a couple of years-they generally don't ring when you flick on their bell. I don't think that's really a necessary feature for a horn to be good.

  • @Newell-Post Is this a valid link? I get an Error 404 message.

  • @J-Jericho Hmmm... The link works on one of my machines, but not the other. Will try to re-post to a different site. Thanks.

  • Global Moderator

    Not even sure what the "ping" means. Seems unnecessary to me. If the horn plays great, that's what matters, right?

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