Contempora Trumpets

Introduced in 1949, Reynolds Contempora trumpets featured a larger bore size, bronze alloy bell and distinctive first-valve tuning “trigger” mechanism compared to the earlier F.A. Reynolds models.

1949-1964
Model Size Description Example
40-L Bore: .462″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Contempora B♭ Trumpet | First-valve “trigger” mechanism; optional third-valve trigger | Bell: Bronz-o-lyte bell with nickel-silver tone ring | Body: brass with nickel-silver upper valve casings (balusters) and trim; bronze-alloy mouthpiece receiver | Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring Monel valve pistons | Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional silverplate with bright bell or gold bell finish Model 40-L [SN 45394]. Photo source: eBay.
Contempora trumpets with serial numbers in the 32xxx-36xxx range (c.1953-54) have upper valve casings made of what appears to be Bronz-o-lyte. The same variation is observed with the Contempora cornets. Earlier and later horns used nickel silver casings. Model 40-L [SN 33231]. Photos used with permission from David Jordan (eBay Member: ddjordan5039).
40-M Bore: .458″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Contempora B♭ Trumpet | Same as Model 40-L with smaller bore size Model 40-M [SN 33172]. Photos used with permission from Jack Laperriere (trumpetherald: The Royal Lancer).
40-S Bore: .462″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Contempora “Leonard Smith” B♭ Trumpet | First-valve trigger; optional third-valve trigger | Bell: Bronz-o-lyte bell with nickel-silver tone ring | Body: brass with nickel-silver slide tubes, valve casings and trim | Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring Monel valve pistons | Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional triple gold-plate finish Model 40-S [SN 46741]. Photos used with permission from David Greenfield (eBay: gree44332).
41-L Bore: .462″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Contempora B♭ Trumpet | Same as Model 40-L without first-valve “trigger” mechanism Model 41-L. Photo source: eBay.
41-M Bore: .462″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Contempora B♭ Trumpet | Same as Model 41-L with smaller bore size No photo available
43-L Bore: .462″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Contempora C Trumpet | First-valve “trigger” mechanism | Bell: Bronz-o-lyte bell with nickel-silver tone ring | Body: brass with nickel-silver valve casings and trim | Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring Monel valve pistons | Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional silverplate with bright bell or gold bell finish | Note: introduced in the mid-1950s (appears in 1958 catalog, but not the 1953 Roth-Reynolds catalog) Model 43-L [SN 51074]. Photos used with permission from Santos Rivera, Jr. (West Texas A&M University).
43-M Bore: .458″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Contempora C Trumpet | Same as Model 43-L with smaller bore size | Note: introduced in the mid-1950s (appears in 1958 catalog, but not the 1953 Roth-Reynolds catalog) No photo available
1964-1970

Shortly after Richards Music bought Reynolds in 1961, the Contempora trumpet line was apparently reduced to a single large-bore Bb model and a C model. The Bb trumpet (now known as model TU-11) appears to be the same as the prior Contempora “Leonard Smith” Model 40-S.

Model Size Description Example
TU-11 Bore: .468″
Bell: 4¾”
Length: 21½”
Contempora B♭ Trumpet | First valve trigger | Bell: Lubaloy bell with nickel-silver tone ring | Body: brass with nickel-silver valve casings, slides and trim | Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring valve pistons | Finish: polished brass finish with epoxy coating 1970 Catalog.
TU-13 Bore: .468″
Bell: 4¾”
Length: 21½”
Contempora C Trumpet | First valve trigger | Bell: Lubaloy bell with nickel-silver tone ring | Body: brass with nickel-silver valve casings, slides and trim | Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring valve pistons | Finish: polished brass finish with epoxy coating No photo available
1971-1979
Model Size Description Example
TU-10 Bore: .464″
Bell: 5″
Contempora B♭ Trumpet | First valve trigger | Bell: red-brass bell (no tone ring) | Body: brass valve casings and leadpipe; nickel-silver slides and trim | Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring valve pistons | Finish: polished brass finish with epoxy coating Model TU-10 [SN 282192]. Photo(s) used with permission from Don Rugg of Relic Rescue (eBay Member: relic_rescue).
TU-13 Bore: .460″
Bell: 4¾”
Contempora C Trumpet | First valve trigger | Bell: red-brass bell (no tone ring) | Body: brass valve casings and leadpipe, nickel-silver slides and trim | Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring valve pistons | Finish: polished brass finish with epoxy coating Model TU-13 [SN 288814]. Photos used with permission from Washington Music Center (eBay Member: chucklevins).
Notes and Quotes

1953 Roth-Reynolds catalog:

The Reynolds Contempora Trumpet embodies the ultimate in fine playing qualities demanded by today’s artists. Beautifully designed from mouthpipe to its graceful Bronz-o-lyte Bell, it features monel steel valves for a lifetime of accurate performance. Every detail of this instrument is so carefully crafted that the Contempora is truly the pride of Roth-Reynolds. Each instrument is tested by outstanding symphony musicians before it leaves our factory.

1958, 1959 Roth-Reynolds catalog:

Brilliant tone amplified by the Bronz-o-lyte bell. Contempora trumpets are masterpieces of perfection. The first trumpet with perfected Monel valves achieved after many years of research and engineering. Excellent balance. Available with or without first valve trigger for delicate intonation adjustments. Each Contempora trumpet is rigidly tested by members of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra to insure perfection throughout. Possesses sparkling tone that makes the instrument literally come alive in your hands!

1966 Reynolds catalog:

Choice of professionals for exceptional projection and carrying power in all dynamic levels. Easy-action solid monel-nickel valve pistons for longer wear. Nickel-silver slides, trim and tone ring; bronze alloy bell. First-valve trigger for more precise control over intonation.

1970 Reynolds catalog:

The Contempora is the choice of today’s finest trumpet players. Precision engineering and quality craftsmanship combine to give the professional musician exceptional intonation and powerful projection. Fast-action valve pistons are silent and smooth. The addition of a bell tone ring takes out vibration-roughness and allows the player to ‘focus’ a rich, dynamic sound. Finish is highly polished brass with long lasting epoxy coating.

1977 Reynolds catalog:

A large bore instrument with a dynamic sound designed for professional work. Quality craftsmanship and precision engineering provide exceptional intonation and powerful projection. Fast-action valve pistons insure a quick and immediate response. 3rd valve slide throw and 1st valve trigger.