Introduced c.1950, the Emperor trombone was Reynolds’ intermediate horn and a step up from the Roth model. The Emperor was targeted at advanced student musicians and community band players.
The Emperor model line included the “Tone Tempered” model (with nickel-silver bell flare) that had been previously part of the Roth model line. It is assumed that the Roth line was split to create a “good-better-best” catalog offering of Roth, Emperor and Professional/Contempora models, respectively. A brass-bell model was also available, with nickel silver trim being the main visible difference from the Roth model.
After CMI purchased Reynolds, trombone production was reportedly moved to Olds’ plant in Fullerton, where Reynolds’ horns were produced on separate-but-similar manufacturing lines. One of the results of this move is that Olds’ traditional dual-bore trombone design was implemented on many of Reynolds’ student horns, including the Medalist and Emperor models. Note also the change in bell bracing ferrules.
These late-model Emperor trombones are believed to be the same as the Olds Special, Model NL-15.
|TO-50||Bore: .485″/.500″ dual bore
|Emperor Tenor Trombone | Materials: brass | Slide: chrome-plated nickel silver inner slides; brass outer slides | Finish: nickel plating with baked epoxy coating | Other: Rectangular “reynolds” counterweight; same as Olds Special, Model NL-15||No photo available|
Notes and Quotes
1953 Roth-Reynolds catalog:
Reynolds Emperor Trombones designed for flexibility, fine tone quality and beautifully balanced scale. Nickel silver slides with chrome plated finish are correctly proportioned for fast action and durability. One-piece slides with drawn stockings. Deluxe models are equipped with “Silver-Flare” bells and both models are trimmed in nickel silver for rich appearance.
1958, 1959 Roth-Reynolds catalog:
Designed for flexibility, fine tone quality and beautifully balanced scale. Nickel silver slides with chrome plated finish are correctly proportioned for fast action and durability. One-piece slides with drawn stockings. Solid brass bell.
1966 Reynolds catalog:
Modestly priced for serious students who profit by its flexibility, rich tone quality and beautifully balanced scale. Medium bore; 7½” bell; solid nickel-silver slide receiver, tuning slide and bell flare. Professional mouthpiece, music lyre, modern case included.
1970 Reynolds catalog:
Solid nickel-silver receiver, tuning slide and bell flare give this instrument a distinctive tonal quality. Lightweight as an aid to the young player. Dual bores of .485 and .500 so that the performer can obtain a full tone with less effort. Bell flare measures 7½”.
1977 Reynolds catalog:
The Emperor Trombone has been designed for the young player who has progressed beyond the beginning stages. It withstands hard use and has a beautiful rich, full sound. Nickel-plated for contemporary appearance and sound. Lightweight and precision balance. Dual bore permits a full tone with less effort.