Onyx Trombones

The nickel-plated Onyx model replaced the solid nickel-silver Argenta model in the catalog, the latter having been introduced by Reynolds in 1959. It’s likely that having a model line with unique manufacturing needs, i.e. solid nickel-silver bells, was too expensive for CMI to continue producing, plus it gave Reynolds another trombone model with F attachment.

The Onyx model trombone (TO-20) featured an ebony lacquer [aka “black nickel”] finish option over the brass areas of the horn. The ebony contrasted with the nickel silver used on the tuning slides and handgrip area. The Onyx model was produced at the Olds plant beginning c.1974. The Onyx is not listed on a 1973 price list or in the 1977 Reynolds catalog, and known serial numbers date only from 1974-1976.

1974-1976
Model Size Description Example
TO-20 Bore: .515″
Bell: 8½”
Onyx Tenor Trombone (with F attachment) | Valves: rotor valve with F attachment | Materials: brass; nickel-silver tuning slide and trim | Finish: ebony [aka “black nickel”] lacquer Model TO-20 [SN 295xxx]. Photo source: Oberloh Woodwind and Brass Works.
Notes and Quotes

1974 catalog:

The Onyx Trombone combines advanced engineering techniques with traditional skills to produce a truly responsive instrument the meets the most exacting requirements. Hand straightened slides provide fast, dependable slide action for a rich, full sound while the dual bore ensures maximum tone quality with minimum effort. The Onyx TO-20 is precise in every register, highly responsive and flexible. The Onyx finish with nickel silver trim delivers a slightly darker tone to accommodate the contemporary sounds of today. The Onyx Trombone is supplied with a deluxe instrument case and accessories.