Olds 25 info?

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DutchGuy
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Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:47 pm

Hello guys,

I was wondering if anyone has some info on a trombone I recently bought. I can find virtually nothing about it myself, but have to admit that I am still getting into trombones. I just started little over a year ago :) , but did play the trumpet for about 20 years.

So, the question is regarding an Olds 25, red bell, with valve and open wrap that extends beyond the trombone bell.
Bell inscription:
OLDS
elkhart, ind.
U.S.A
serial nr: 489xxx

on the tubing it reads 'nr25'


Case: quite regular black hard-case with a little plate with a logo: 'O Olds' in a square, with the 'O' in white on black, and the 'Olds' in black on a white background.

The seller wasn't the original owner, and believed it to be similar to a 4b. I honestly cannot tell with my limited experience, having only played the courtois 150 and Pbone before this one :)

If anyone could tell me about the age, perhaps the original purpose of the horn, a similar more well known instrument etcetera? I'd like to know some more about this one.
Posaunus
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by Posaunus » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:10 pm

All I can tell you for sure is that this trombone is NOT an Olds O-25. The Olds factory in Fullerton, CA operated into the mid-1970s, not too long after the departure of manufacturing guru Zig Kanstul. There were various efforts to keep the brand name alive, including moving manufacturing to Abilene, TX, but none worked. The lights were finally turned off in Fullerton in 1979.

At some later time, the name "Olds" was sold to another entity, which manufactured brass instruments in Elkhart, IN and possibly other locations. Those instruments, of suspect quality, bear no relationship to the (often wonderful) instruments made by Olds in California other than the name engraved on the bell!

TromboneChat member "JohnL" will probably be able to provide additional (and more factual) information.
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JohnL
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by JohnL » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:28 pm

The "new" Olds still shows a model NR25 on their site, but only with a trad wrap in yellow brass with nickel silver trim. At one time, they offered a choice of bell materials (yellow or red brass) and a choice of wraps (traditional or open). Dredging through the Wayback Machine, it looks like they were offering the NR25OR (open wrap, red brass bell) up through at least 2012. As far as I know, the "new" Olds never actually built any instruments; they were "badge-engineered" by other companies. Of course, they never actual said who was making them, but the general consensus back that was that it was E. K. Blessing in Elkhart. No idea who is making them now, but the Blessing factory in Elkhart shut down a few years back.

Here's a Wayback capture from the Olds site:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120804083 ... mbones.htm

I would expect an NR25OR to be more "88H-ish" the "4B-ish".
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:54 am

Ah yes. Thank you JohnL. That's a nice website :)
Too bad they don't have the picture to visually confirm it though.

The use of 'nr25' and 'Elkhart' do suggest that this is the one I have.
Now, is there any way to check the age of the instrument by using the serial number?

So would you guys consider this a good instrument?
I got it more or less with the intention of not having to buy another one ever again, and I can still return it.
With a price of about 700 euros, is it worth it, or should I return it and look for something else instead?

It's quite hard for me to judge it because I've only played a few horns in total. Second hand purchasing usually requires traveling to a seller's home, and that makes it even harder to try new horns. My local fellow trombonists are also not much of a help, all playing on quite random inexpensive horns.

I'm looking specifically for something all-round, if that makes any sense. A horn that I can use in orchestral setting but also in big-band and street band settings, on both 1st and 2nd parts.
greenbean
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by greenbean » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:31 am

Yes, return it if you can. You can do a lot better, for sure.
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JohnL
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by JohnL » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:04 pm

DutchGuy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:54 am
So would you guys consider this a good instrument?
I got it more or less with the intention of not having to buy another one ever again, and I can still return it.
With a price of about 700 euros, is it worth it, or should I return it and look for something else instead?
It's probably not a "bad" instrument, but I agree with greenbean that you can do better.

The question is if you can do better for the same amount of money. Not knowing what the market is like where you are, I can't say. For me, here in the Los Angeles, CA, USA area, that price would be too high.
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:10 pm

OK, thanks JohnL.

What would be horns to be looking out for? Assuming I'd want a high quality horn that will last me a lifetime without the immediate urge to upgrade even before I buy it :P
I also tried a King 4B Sonorous which I really liked, but was priced at about double the amount. I saw one advertised locally for much less (about 500) but it didn't have a valve. (which I probably will only sporadically need, but I want it nontheless)

I find it quite difficult to tell from a picture and a (at least to me) seemingly random set of numbers and letters from a brand I don't know whether an instrument could be suitable for me.

So again: assuming I want an all-round horn that can do pretty much everything well, preferably with a valve, and I want to purchase it second-hand for let's say up to 1000 euros; what would be the brands/models to be on the lookout for?
hyperbolica
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by hyperbolica » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:43 pm

DutchGuy wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:10 pm
So again: assuming I want an all-round horn that can do pretty much everything well, preferably with a valve, and I want to purchase it second-hand for let's say up to 1000 euros; what would be the brands/models to be on the lookout for?
I personally would get a Bach 36b. You may spend more than your stated price on it, but it should be able to do almost anything you want. Maybe with a mouthpiece change. It's not a bass, but you can play below the staff with it. It's not a lead horn, but you can play all the high notes.

Some horns might stand in for a 36b, like a Conn 79h, or the 50h, or there is a John Packer horn, that I think does the .525 w/F. There is a 3b+ w/F on ebay now, I think. Several student level horns, like King 607/608 and the Bach 200 exist, but I don't think they come with the F attachment. In terms of quality, flexibility, and availability, I think all roads lead back to the 36b. Prices (in the US) range from $800 for one in not great condition to $2000 for a mint example. Plenty of options in the $1300-1500 range. Not sure if the same availability in Europe.

Good luck.
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BGuttman
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:44 pm

King 607 and 608 both have F-attachments (but not the curved bell brace).

The Bach TB-200 (or Omega) can be had with F-attachment. I was underwelmed with how it played.

Good luck.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
Ted
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by Ted » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:52 pm

Too bad we live in Europe, the market is much smaller and more divided!

Maybe this one is a good option:
https://www.marktplaats.nl/a/muziek-en- ... ousPage=lr
Dutch!
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:27 am

Thanks BGuttman,
I'll skip the King 607 and 608, as those seem to be student horns (if I'm not mistaken), and the Omega as well. If I'm buying anyway, I'm buying the best i can get for the money.
So far on my list to look out for:
King 2103 / 3b
King 2104 / 4B Sonorous (anyone know the difference between the two?)
Bach 36b
Bach 42b
Conn 76h
Conn 88h
Conn 50h

and thanks Ted.
I found the one you link to as well, but I want to make sure I'm completely sure on what I want to play (3b or 4b-ish).
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BGuttman
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by BGuttman » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:33 am

King 3B is 0.508" bore. King 4B is 0.547" bore. 3B takes a standard shank mouthpiece and 4B takes a large shank mouthpiece.

If you are skipping King 607 and 608 (both Intermediate), skip Conn 50H. It's a Director (student horn).

If you can find one, the Benge 175 (Medium Bore) and 190 (large bore) are excellent instruments.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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JohnL
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by JohnL » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:36 am

DutchGuy, are you planning to keep your Courtois?

Trying to use one horn for big band, concert band, and orchestra means you have to make compromises (thus, a medium-bore horns). If you keep the Courtois for jazz/big band type stuff, then I would suggest going with symphony-bore tenor with f-attachment for orchestra and maybe concert band.
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BillO
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by BillO » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:54 pm

I had some success in playing a King 4B in almost every imaginable circumstance. I never played it as 4th trombone in a Big Band, but I used it for every other chair in the band, as well as every chair in a concert band, as well as a Trad Jazz (Dixieland) band, and in rock bands and in several musical stage bands, and briefly in first chair in a symphony orchestra. The only time I had an issue with it was playing 3rd trombone in a concert band, as some of that music is written for bass trombone.

I never had any complaints that the trombone was not suitable for any of these applications, but I did (and still do) get lots of compliments on how it sounded.

BIG fan of the King 4B. You could do a lot worse than using the 4B as an all-'round horn.
Last edited by BillO on Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
greenbean
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by greenbean » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:59 pm

I have a 3B/F for sale in the Classified section. Check it out - shipping to Europe isn't bad.

Anyway, I love 3B's and 4B's. King knew what they were doing when they designed these horns. There is some special mojo in there, for sure. The valves blow especially well. :good:

Bach? Yes, but they are very variable, so play before buying if you can. Or buy from someone trusted.
Conn 76H. Sure, but you will never find one! :D
Conn 88H. Yup. And the newer ones have the same great valve as the 4B.
Conn 50H. Forget it.
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:35 am

Thanks BGuttman. Removing the 50H and adding the Benge.

JohnL: I'm not sure yet if I'm keeping it. Depends on whichever trombone I end up with, how much it costs, and how much I can get for the Courtois. I wouldn't mind keeping it. BUT: I play the trombone currently in 1 band (trumpet in the others), and there I want to get something bigger than the Courtois. So while I could keep it for in the future, it will be replaced for now. Sort of between a big band and a brass band. I play 1st parts there, but the first rehearsal on the Olds nr25 not disappointing at all. I expect that a large bore will be just fine, but only time will tell I guess.

BillO: Good to know! I tried a 4B and just cannot get the great sound and easy playing out of my head... Do you happen to know what the difference is between a 2104 and a 4B Sonorous? The specs seem the same.

Greenbean: Thanks for letting me know. I'll check out the local stuff first and try to get my first choice of trombone. If that doesn't work out, I'll contact you. Are the Conn 76H that rare? Anyway, I've got quite a list alreadyto look out for :)

My list to look out for:
King: 2103 / 3B / 2104 / 4B
Bach: 36b / 42b
Conn: 76h / 88h
Benge: 175 / 190
Ted
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by Ted » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:06 am

As a fellow Dutchy;

Which site do you look at for your hunt?
Dutch!
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:15 am

Ted:
Marktplaats, obviously :)
I check the 'used' section of online retail stores as well sometimes (van der Glas, van Gorp, Adams), but the prices are way higher than on Marktplaats.

Are there any others I should be aware of?
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BGuttman
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by BGuttman » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:04 pm

King 4B 2104 and 4B Sonorous are exactly the same. They dropped the Sonorous name in the late 1970s. Note that there is a 2104, 2104 with F, and 2105 (used to be called Symphony). 2105 has an F-attachment and a 9" (225 mm) bell.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:35 am

Thanks BGuttman, I was wondering about that!
Still not sure about which model to look for though... 3B, 4B or even 5B.
I liked the 4b sound, but am not sure if I can playing it like that during a whole reheasal. Then the 3B would be more suitable, right?
Ted
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by Ted » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:40 am

DutchGuy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:15 am
Ted:
Marktplaats, obviously :)
I check the 'used' section of online retail stores as well sometimes (van der Glas, van Gorp, Adams), but the prices are way higher than on Marktplaats.

Are there any others I should be aware of?
Euhm sometimes I look on tweedehands.be most of the instruments posted here are also on marktplaats.
I was wondering because, I haven't seen a Conn 76H on those sites.

I'm playing on a 4B, however, for the outdoor playing we often do I sometimes think I've should have bought a 3B for a little more projection.
Dutch!
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:33 am

OK guys, I returned the olds nr. 25. I still think it played quite well, though the 4B I played just played better.
I also noticed that it was an unlaquered copper (I think?) bell, which tarnishes really fast. As in within a week it's black on points where I touched it. That was the final deciding factor to return it. Don't want to clean it every day haha :)

Soooo, I'll be looking out for the horns mentioned by you guys. Unless anyone has some trombones to add to the list, this topic may be closed by a moderator.

Let's put the list here one more time.
King: 2103 / 3B / 2104 / 4B
Bach: 36b / 42b
Conn: 76h / 88h
Benge: 175 / 190

One last question though: How does the Yamaha Xeno trombone compare with these?
Posaunus
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by Posaunus » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:22 am

The Benge 175 is medium bore (0.525 inches); the Benge 190F is large bore (0.547 in.).

If you like the King 4B, you should keep your eyes out for a Benge 165 (the closed-wrap 0.547 in. bore brother of the Benge 190) - shares some design features and components with the King 4B (from the same factory), but I think they are made and play a little better. No longer manufactured (production stopped in early 2000s), so only available used. But when available, usually can obtain (in the U.S.A.) at very reasonable prices. Probably very rare in Europe, but undervalued for sure!

The King 3BF / 2103 are very different (small 0.508 in. bore), with somewhat cumbersome ergonomics (awkward trigger location), but also play nicely if in good condition. I play in a Big Band where the lead trombonist plays a 3BF.

The Conn 79H is a wonderful and versatile medium-bore (0.522 in.) trombone, but also very rare (limited production; ceased in 1971) and prized enough that prices are high. Sort of the little brother of the Conn 88H.

As far as Yamaha, I think the better value are their "professional" grade trombones just a level below the Xeno. To me they play easier and more comfortably, and are priced lower!
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ConnBone18
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by ConnBone18 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:28 am

DutchGuy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:15 am
Ted:
Marktplaats, obviously :)
I check the 'used' section of online retail stores as well sometimes (van der Glas, van Gorp, Adams), but the prices are way higher than on Marktplaats.

Are there any others I should be aware of?
You will not easily find a Conn 79H in the Netherlands.
There is another Conn 52H at Van Gorp:
https://www.vangorp.nl/nl/tenor-trombon ... 34147.html
Nice compromise between the 79H and 88H maybe?

Just try out some trombones from Van Gorp or Adams.
They are very helpful.
Conn SL2547 slide
Conn 8HT
Conn 52H
Conn 48H Connstellation
Conn 18H Elkhart Coprion Bell (1962) with 0,485" slide
Conn 18H with 0,500" slide
P-Bone
DutchGuy
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Re: Olds 25 info?

Post by DutchGuy » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:55 pm

For those of you that are interested in knowing how this all ended:

I bought a trombone today.
After having tried several trombones somewhere else (including the 3B and 4B), I took a gamble and picked up a used King 4B Sonorous trombone, no quarter valve, pretty bad lacquer damage, but otherwise in great condition. It looks horrible, but plays unlike anything I've owned before, in a good way.

Whoever has the power to do so may close this thread.
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