Emperor Trumpets

Introduced c.1950, the Emperor trumpet was Reynolds’ intermediate horn and a step up from the Roth model. The Emperor was targeted at advanced student musicians and community band players.

c.1950-1964

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.

Model Size Description Example
5 Bore: .458″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Emperor Deluxe B♭ Trumpet | Bell: brass bell with “Silver-Flare” nickel-silver bell flare | Body: brass with nickel silver tuning slides | Valves: hand-lapped valves, nickel-silver pistons | Finish: clear lacquer finish; optional silverplate with bright bell or gold bell finish Model TBD [SN 24577]. Photos used with permission from Paul Ayick (eBay Member: bulos).
Model 5 with “Roth-Reynolds” engraving style. Model 5 [SN 35822]. Photos used with permission from eBay Memeber: isoldit.mi061
5-B Bore: .458″
Bell: 4-5/8″
Length: 21½”
Emperor B♭ Trumpet | Same as Model 5 without nickel silver bell flare Model 5-B [SN 41168]. Photo source: eBay.
In conjunction with the premiere of Warner Bros.’ motion picture, Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” (1962), RMC/Reynolds sponsored “The Music Man Contest” for individual musicians between ages 8-18, with national, regional and local award winners. “Official Music Man” models of the brass-bell Emperor trumpet, cornet and trombone were produced in conjunction with the contest.
1964-1970
Model Size Description Example
TU-52 Bore: .460″
Bell: 4¾”
Emperor B♭ Trumpet | Bell: brass bell with nickel silver bell flare | Body: brass with nickel silver tuning slides and mouthpipe | Valves: solid nickel-silver pistons, hand-lapped valves | Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy Model TU-52. 1970 Reynolds catalog.
1971-1979
Model Size Description Example
TU-50 Bore: .460″
Bell: 4¾”
Emperor B♭ Trumpet | Body: brass | Valves: TBD | Finish: nickel plating with baked epoxy | Note: Same as the Olds Special NL-10 trumpet Model TU-50 [SN 284022]. Photos courtesy of eBay Member: ellobosoloist.
TBD Bore: TBD
Bell: TBD
Emperor B♭ Trumpet | First-valve slide trigger | Body: TBD | Valves: TBD | Finish: nickel plating with baked epoxy? Model TBD [SN 266216]. Photo source: eBay.

1953 Roth-Reynolds catalog:

Reynolds Emperor Models in medium bore produce that clear, crisp tone musicians and audiences thrill to hear. Beautifully designed with a fine tapered bore that makes playing as effortless as possible. Dependable and fast action produced by solid nickel silver valves that are individually hand-lapped for perfect adjustment. Trimmed in nickel silver for beauty and to prevent wear at every possible point of contact with hand or case. Available in deluxe model with nickel silver “Silver-Flare” bell or with solid brass bell.

1958, 1959 Roth-Reynolds catalog:

Made in medium large bore which produces clear, crisp tones musicians and audiences thrill to hear. Beautifully designed, with perfect taper guaranteeing correct acoustics and effortless playing. Dependable and fast action produced by solid nickel silver valves which are individually hand-lapped for perfect fit. Trimmed in nickel silver for beauty and to insure longer wear at every possible point of contact with hand or case.

1966 Reynolds catalog:

Acoustically designed for promising beginners and advanced students, this instrument offers more professional characteristics and features than many ‘professional-grade’ instruments. Hand-lapped nickel-silver valves, solid nickel-silver outer slides, [mouthpipe] and bell flare. Professional mouthpiece, music lyre, modern case included.

1970 Reynolds catalog:

The Emperor is calibrated to meet the exacting demands of the finest professionals and most demanding music educators. Unexcelled tone, coupled with lightning-fast response make the Emperor the choice of all serious students. The solid nickel-silver outer slides, mouthpipe and bell flare, combine with the highly polished brass to give an attractive two-tone appearance.

1977 Reynolds catalog:

Designed to meet the exacting demands of professional players and music educators, the TU-50 offers unexcelled tone with exceptional control and flexibility. Nickel-plating provides the trumpet with a ‘dark’ resonant tone along with a contemporary look. Metal valve guides, forged water keys and adjustable third valve throw.