This is the coolest Ambassador trumpet I have ever owned.

There is little disagreement that the Olds Ambassador is the finest student trumpet ever made and the best of the best were the first production, made just after WWII. This is the finest example of such an instrument I have been able to acquire.

This trumpet was made in late 1952 and is considered a type I. It has a 5 digit serial number (88xxx) and includes the original owner's manual and certificate. Beneath the torn off edge of the warranty card is a hand written note that reads 'mailed Dec. 31, 1952.'

These early horns are lighter and more elegantly built than later models with a brighter, richer tone. While designed for students, these horns are ideal for 'come back' players, adults who gave up music as the demands of daily life consumed the days but who now have some leisure time to fill. Also perfect for a student looking for a reasonably priced upgrade from a beginners horn or one looking to get out of the rental rat race.

First, this horn is easy to play. It takes a while for a lapsed trumpet player to build up chops and wind. This horn sounds great with little effort making rebuilding faster and a lot more pleasant- especially for the neighbors!

Mechanically, the horn is in nearly new shape. Slides pull easily, the valves all have 100% plate and even the delicate old formula lacquer is still around 80%. The bell has a small crease but otherwise the horn is remarkably free from dents. Original third valve ring is often missing from these old horns, but this one has it.

I've never felt better valves. They are light pressing down and fast rising, like glued to the fingers. The fastest passages are a breeze. Olds valves are legendary. These are superb.

Even among same models, horns are very individual. I've owned several Ambassadors and this one is by far the best. Every time I put it through its paces, I have to remark to my wife that this horn is a super Ambassador. The instrument is a thrill to play with rich bright sound, accurate intonation, solid slots. It will growl in the basement and in the air above high C, really soars.

Like to hear what this model / type of instrument sounds like in the hands of a pro? Oregon trumpeter Charlie Porter plays his LA Olds Ambassador at a NYC gig.

More information about the genesis of the Ambassador...

In the late 1940s, in a meeting between Reynolds, Reg Olds and Berlin, it was decided to pursue the student musician market for which great projections had been made. Among his first design actions were the renowned Ambassador model trumpet, cornet and trombone (1948). In fact, the trumpet was designed in tandem with the Mendez professional model. Because Olds management was concerned about the possible effects of a low-priced model on the company's reputation, Reynolds insisted the horn be built to the same quality and tolerances of the rest of the line, only with less-expensive bracing and other features. According to R. Dale Olsen, who was R&D director at Olds in the 1960s, the company was a "one tolerance shop," meaning that all brass instruments were crafted to the same close tolerances, regardless of price or market niche.

Built on the same bell mandrels as the premium Recording models and featuring extremely reliable valve sections, the Ambassador line was intended to reflect Reynolds' professional commitment to providing high-quality, dependable horns at an affordable price.

For more information about the F.E. Olds instrument company, follow this link:


1952 Olds Ambassador