Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1087255 Posts in 72010 Topics- by 19242 Members - Latest Member: simonvd
Jump to:  
The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Olds A-20 Ambassador F-Attachment Trombone
Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Olds A-20 Ambassador F-Attachment Trombone  (Read 413 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Hammer

*
Offline Offline

Location: Monticello, NY
Joined: Dec 29, 2010
Posts: 121

View Profile
« on: Sep 10, 2017, 07:39AM »

Hey all. I was looking for a straight Olds Ambassador to be my "new" beater/marching horn on eBay, when I came across the Ambassadors with the F-Attachments, known as the A-20. I ended up getting one at a great price, with the original coffin case. The case itself is the heaviest coffin case I ever saw, but is beautiful with no smell at all. This horn is in better condition than some of my jazz horns; must've been a closet horn. I just got it 2 days ago and played it, and it sounded great. Then I tried it a parade yesterday, and man, this thing blows wonderfully! I didn't expect an Ambassador to play this well. Anybody else try an A-20 and have a similar great experience? Also, there's one little downside. The brace on the bell just under the trigger is very wide, and the trigger itself has to be pressed down very far in order to have the valve completely open. This combination makes it a little uncomfortable to use the trigger, unless you have very long thumbs. I think this is just the way the instrument was made. Is there any way to remedy this problem? I know one option is have a fabricator do a custom job, but I'd rather have that option as a last resort. And here's the link to the ended eBay listing if you want to see pictures: http://www.ebay.com/itm/olds-ambassador-trombone-/263119270740.
Logged

Nothing's impossible, just mathematically improbable.
BGuttman
Mad Chemist

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Londonderry, NH, USA
Joined: Dec 12, 2000
Posts: 51143
"Almost Professional"


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: Sep 10, 2017, 07:52AM »

I got an Ambassador with F back in High School (late Pre-Cambrian era).  It was an LA Olds and I don't know if they used the same model numbers then.  It was my main instrument until I started taking lessons as a returnee in the mid 1980s.

The brace was never a problem for me.  In fact, it was an advantage.  I played a bunch of parades on the thing; once even playing the tuba parts (or tuba player didn't show).  If you are having problems, consider gluing a cork pad where your thumb hits it to move the actuation point back.  You may need to put a fairly thick one on; maybe 1/4 inch (6 mm) or more.

Does the rotor actuation sit on the top as you are playing or the bottom?  Mine was on the top and used to irritate my chin something fierce.
Logged

Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orch. President 2017-2018
bonesmarsh
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: May 22, 2007
Posts: 2200

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: Sep 10, 2017, 08:43AM »

Not sure if there were different trigger mechanisms on F Ambassadors. Mine has incredibly SHORT stroke.
Remove the top valve cap and look at the "I" marks stamped into the top plate. Engage the valve and see when the "engaged position" mark is lined up. If yours is like mine it is a stroke no longer than about 1/4 turn, not 3/4. You might be over forcing the trigger and because the floppy bit actually does go further than the STOPPED position, and might be criss crossing itself as it makes at turn more than 180 degrees, it feels like it is needing to be pushed 3/4 way, not 1/4 way.

In short, on mine, the F attachment lever begins BEHIND the big bell brace, and when the valve is engaged it is lined up with the big bell brace, not further than the brace.

However, it is possible to over push it, and not hear a difference in sound, because the valve does stop-- the rotor activation arm does not stop.
It will return, by the spring action, and you will not hear a difference, between the short stroke, and the overextended stroke.

Congrats on the Olds 1* mouthpiece score. Rare.

I've used mine on lead big band jobs, and when I go to a gig where I am not knowing what I am walking into, casino sight reading jazz/commercial jobs, the Ambassador F is my choice of weapon. Play Ellington lead bone stuff with confidence with a 12C mouthpiece, and keep a 6 1/2AL in reserve to blow 2nd, 3rd and pseudo bass stuff.

Magnificent horns. I am firmly convinced that the Ambassador Bass ( with F) is the ultimate American version of a true German orchestral tenor, and the right sized horn to play in brass quintets. Schumann, Brahms...Ellington...Basie..you got it all now. Well done.
Logged
JohnL
Edge Monster

*
Offline Offline

Location: Anaheim, CA, USA
Joined: Aug 1, 2004
Posts: 7197

View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: Sep 10, 2017, 08:47AM »

The A-20 is pretty much an R-20 Recording made out of yellow brass and without the bells and whistles (fluted tubes, fancy braces). Built by the same people to the same tolerances and mostly on the same tooling.

It's interesting that most people are surprised at the quality of older student instruments from the major manufacturers. A lot of them were really "plain Jane" versions of the pro horns, usually with a little thicker metal to stand up better to careless little hands.
Logged

Question change.
Embrace progress.
Take the time to learn the difference.
bonesmarsh
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: May 22, 2007
Posts: 2200

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: Sep 10, 2017, 09:00AM »

Thicker metal = more projection in venues without amplification. Thicker metal = less dispersal of sound.
More punch. More core. Less waste.

Not so pretty to look at, but when you're working against 4 or more professional trumpet players blowing their b*lls off, all yellow, and the thicker the better, for my taste.

Toss in the part where an Ambassador Bass is all yellow brass, and thick, and it isn't fighting itself. I love my '56 Recording... but I'm not entirely convinced that red thick bells on nickle silver horns is as efficient as an all yellow horn.
Logged
Hammer

*
Offline Offline

Location: Monticello, NY
Joined: Dec 29, 2010
Posts: 121

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: Sep 17, 2017, 08:52AM »

I got an Ambassador with F back in High School (late Pre-Cambrian era). 
:-0 :D

If you are having problems, consider gluing a cork pad where your thumb hits it to move the actuation point back.  You may need to put a fairly thick one on; maybe 1/4 inch (6 mm) or more.
As soon as I get it back from the shop (an alignment never hurts), I'll try this out. Thanks for the advice!

Does the rotor actuation sit on the top as you are playing or the bottom?  Mine was on the top and used to irritate my chin something fierce.
Mine sits on top, but it doesn't bother my chin.
Logged

Nothing's impossible, just mathematically improbable.
Hammer

*
Offline Offline

Location: Monticello, NY
Joined: Dec 29, 2010
Posts: 121

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: Sep 17, 2017, 08:57AM »

Not sure if there were different trigger mechanisms on F Ambassadors. Mine has incredibly SHORT stroke.
Remove the top valve cap and look at the "I" marks stamped into the top plate. Engage the valve and see when the "engaged position" mark is lined up. If yours is like mine it is a stroke no longer than about 1/4 turn, not 3/4. You might be over forcing the trigger and because the floppy bit actually does go further than the STOPPED position, and might be criss crossing itself as it makes at turn more than 180 degrees, it feels like it is needing to be pushed 3/4 way, not 1/4 way.

In short, on mine, the F attachment lever begins BEHIND the big bell brace, and when the valve is engaged it is lined up with the big bell brace, not further than the brace.

However, it is possible to over push it, and not hear a difference in sound, because the valve does stop-- the rotor activation arm does not stop.
It will return, by the spring action, and you will not hear a difference, between the short stroke, and the overextended stroke.
As soon as I get it back from the shop, I'll check if I was overdoing it. Thanks for advice!
Logged

Nothing's impossible, just mathematically improbable.
BGuttman
Mad Chemist

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Londonderry, NH, USA
Joined: Dec 12, 2000
Posts: 51143
"Almost Professional"


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 2017, 09:52AM »

My old Ambassador "bass" had a direct linkage rather than the geared lever used on many other Olds trombones.  It was more like the King 3B.

One issue could be the valve lever stops being worn or even missing entirely.  If you have a good tech, he can install new stops as part of his going over the horn.  Works with a simple piece of neoprene "rope" that is shaved to fit.

When you get it back, check the alignment visually if you can.  I believe you can see the rotor from the slide receiver side.  The ports on the rotor should seem to align with the rotor engaged or not engaged.
Logged

Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orch. President 2017-2018
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to: