Introduced in 1961 by RMC-Reynolds, the Medalist tenor trombone replaced the Roth model as the low-end student instrument in the catalog. Medalist trombones made under RMC ownership were actually produced for Reynolds by the E.K. Blessing Company in Elkhart, Indiana.
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.
In the 1970s, Olds and Reynolds merged manufacturing lines and the Medalist models were essentially rebranded Olds’ Ambassador models.
Notes and Quotes
When production of the Medalist and Olds Ambassador models was combined in the 1970s, the bell/slide connection nut on the Medalist moved from Reynolds’ traditional placement on the bell section to the slide, as on other Olds trombones.
1966 Reynolds catalog: “For young students, but with all the basic features of Reynolds’ best. Lightweight for easy response. Medium bore. 7½” bell; extra-strong bell-to-slide receiver; nickel-silver bracing at all points of wear. Professional mouthpiece, music lyre, modern case included.”
1970 Reynolds catalog: “Lightweight, yet durable, the Medalist is designed to withstand daily student use while producing musical results equal to much higher priced models. Hand straightened slides for smooth, fast action. Baked epoxy finish.”
1966 Reynolds catalog: “Scientifically designed bore permits students easy control in their developmental stages, plus the extended range of our other bass trombones. With F attachment.”
1970 Reynolds catalog: “The Medalist TO-57 meets the demands of all serious students. Lightweight inner slide is hard drawn nickel silver, precision plated in chromium for minimum friction, non-jamming action. This outstanding student instrument features a trigger that converts the B-flat trombone to F. Straight .515 Bore.”
1977 Reynolds catalog: “Designed for the beginning student, the TO-58 is constructed to withstand daily use and yet produce musical results equivalent to higher priced models. Hand straightened slides for smooth, fast action. Dual bore for full tones with less effort.”
1977 Reynolds catalog: “This large bore tenor trombone is designed to meet the demands of the serious student. A lightweight, yet durable instrument built to withstand daily use. The awkward 6th and 7th positions may be eliminated by the use of the rotary valve trigger. The F valve allows the low B’s, C’s, E’s and F’s to be played perfectly in tune. The dual bore design produces a full, resonant tone.”