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review
12-01-2016, 10:25 PM
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by: J. Jericho

Product Review: If you like multicolored horns, this one will grab your eye. I'm not sure how much the bronze plating on the bell flare affects the timbre, but it looks nice, and... well... Special. Build quality is quite good overall, although on mine the valve ports align accurately, but not precisely, with the ports in the casings. The valve action, as expected is excellent, although the valves seem not quite as quiet as those on more sophisticated models. Nicely balanced in the hand. The long rod adjustable 3rd valve slide stop is a nice touch.Easy to play, the sound is fairly clear and bright without many overtones. It can be played ppp thru fff without effort or distortion. Intonation is good. I'm not sure it would blend with a Classical ensemble without a suitably deep mouthpiece to tailor the sound. It would excel as a lead trumpet; it sparkles and sizzles in the upper register. All in all, the Olds Special is a competent instrument that I would not hesitate to play in Popular, Commercial, Jazz, and Swing ensembles. The minor shortcomings do not affect the overall quality and playability of this horn.

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