Emperor Baritones

Emperor baritones were student-model instruments. Introduced in the early 1960's by Richards Music (RMC), owner of Reynolds, the Emperor was essentially a rebranded version of the Roth baritone introduced 10 years earlier. The Roth-to-Emperor transition was done for French horns as well.

After CMI purchased Reynolds and shipped background brass manufacturing to Texas, the Emperor was taken from the same production line as the Olds Ambassador baritones and offered in the same three bell configurations: adjustable bell front, fixed bell front and fixed "American" upright bell.

1961-1964

RMC/Reynolds (Cleveland, Ohio)

Sometime after Richards Music purchased Reynolds in 1961, the product catalog was reorganized. Old model numbers were replaced with a new scheme that incorporated an abbreviation for the type of instrument, e.g. "BR" for Baritone, and a hierarchal numbering system that reflected the grade of instrument, e.g. "01" for top-level artist instruments, "56" for student horns. To the best of knowledge, the instrument specifications did not change, just the model numbers. The new numbering system was used for the rest of the company's history.

In the case of the student baritones, it appears that the Roth model introduced in the 1950s was rebranded as an Emperor horn. Model numbering is consistent with documented Roth models of other instruments produced under RMC ownership, e.g., the Roth cornet, CR-56.

Model BR-56

Reynolds Emperor Baritone

Bore: TBD Bell: TBD" fixed, front-facing bell  Valves: three side-action piston valves, solid nickel silver Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer finish; optional silver plate with silver bell or gold bell finish

Especially designed for school use, this sturdy horn has refinements not ordinarily found in student-line background instruments. Three-valve, side-action, fixed bell front.

c.1963 RMC/Reynolds catalog

1964-1970

Reynolds (Fullerton, Calif.; Abilene, Texas)

After CMI purchased the assets to Reynolds, the background and low brass instruments were produced at the Reynolds factory in Abilene, Texas. There were slight adjustments to the model specifications compared to the Cleveland instruments. It has been reported that some parts—e.g., baritone and low brass bells—were manufactured at the Olds plant in Fullerton and shipped to Abilene to be assembled with parts made there. The Emperor baritones produced at the Reynolds plant in Abilene were identical to Olds Ambassador baritones.

Model BR-56

Reynolds Emperor Baritone—Removeable Bell Front

Bore: .560"
Bell: 11¼" removeable front-facing bell 
Valves: three side-action piston valves
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy finish

Note: same as Olds Ambassador Baritone Model A-25

Model BR-57

Reynolds Emperor Baritone—Fixed Bell Front

Bore: .560"
Bell: 11¼" fixed front-facing bell 
Valves: three side-action piston valves
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy finish

Note: same as Olds Ambassador Baritone Model A-30

Model BR-58

Reynolds Emperor Baritone—Fixed Upright Bell

Bore: .560"
Bell: 11¼" fixed upright bell 
Valves: three side-action piston valves
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy finish

Note: same as Olds Ambassador Baritone Model A-35

1970-1979

Reynolds (Fullerton, Calif.)

In 1970, Reynolds merged production lines with Olds in Fullerton and sold the Abilene plant to Conn. In most cases, a horn would come off the California production line and become either a Reynolds- or Olds-branded instrument based on detailing and finish. 

Model BR-561

Reynolds Emperor Baritone—Removeable Bell Front

Bore: .560"
Bell: 11¼" removeable front-facing bell 
Valves: three side-action piston valves
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy finish

Model BR-571

Reynolds Emperor Baritone—Fixed Bell Front

Bore: .560"
Bell: 11¼" fixed front-facing bell 
Valves: three side-action piston valves
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy finish

Model BR-581

Reynolds Emperor Baritone—Fixed Upright Bell

Bore: .560"
Bell: 11¼" fixed upright bell 
Valves: three side-action piston valves
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy finish

Widely used in school band programs, the Emperor features the characteristics of a professional instrument. A highly responsive, free blowing baritone with fine intonation. Three side-action valves for smooth, fast action. [Model BR-58 features] American-style bell with horizontally-mounted valves for unobstructed view of the conductor.

1977 F.A. Reynolds catalog

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