Emperor Horns

While the Emperor model line was introduced to the Reynolds catalog c.1950, French horns weren't made under that name until 1961, when RMC/Reynolds relabeled the earlier Roth horns as Emperor. Horns made after 1964 were produced at the Olds plant in California and were relabeled Olds Ambassador models.

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. "FE" for French Horn, 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 French horns, it appears that the Roth models introduced just a few years earlier were rebranded as Emperor horns. Model numbering is the same as Roth models of other instruments, e.g. CR-56.

Model FE-56

Emperor Single Horn in F

Bore: .472"
Bell: 12"
Materials: brass with nickel-silver slide tubes and keys
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer finish

Reynolds Emperor Single Horns in F or B♭ — Especially designed and priced for student use, this model gives the youngster the advantages of great flexibility in range, trouble-free rotary valves and faithful tonal reproduction. Plated valve levers and durable brass lacquered finish discourages corrosion.

c.1963 RMC/Reynolds catalog

Model FE-57

Emperor Single Horn in B♭

Bore: .472"
Bell: 12"
Materials: brass with nickel-silver slide tubes and keys
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer finish

1964-1970

Reynolds (Fullerton, Calif.; Abilene, Texas)

After CMI purchased the assets to Reynolds, all of the trumpets, cornets, trombones and French horns were made at the Olds factory in Fullerton, Calif. There were slight adjustments to the model specifications compared to the Cleveland instruments. In some cases, a horn would come off the California production line and become either a Reynolds- or Olds-branded instrument based on detailing and finish. Emperor horns produced at the Olds plant were the same as Olds Ambassador horns, models A-45 (F) and A-48 (B♭).

Model FE-56

Emperor Single Horn in F (E♭ slide available separately)

Bore: .468"
Bell: 12"
Materials: brass with nickel-silver slide tubes and keys
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy coating

Model FE-57

Emperor Single Horn in B♭

Bore: .468"
Bell: 12"
Materials: brass with nickel-silver slide tubes and keys
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer finish

Designed and priced for student use, with great flexibility in range and faithful tonal reproduction. Feature trouble-free rotary valves with built-in oil reservoirs; plated valve levers and durable corrosion-resistant brass finish. E♭ slide for F horn available at slight extra cost.

1966 F.A. Reynolds catalog

1970-1979

Reynolds (Fullerton, Calif.)

In 1970, Reynolds sold their Abilene plant to Conn and merged production lines for all instruments with Olds in Fullerton. After this, Reynolds instruments were engraved "Made in USA". 

Model FE-56

Emperor Single Horn in F (E♭ slide available separately)

Bore: .468"
Bell: 12"
Materials: brass with nickel-silver slide tubes and keys
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy coating

Model FE-56; photos used with permission from Hoggtowne Music (eBay ID: hoggtownemusic)

The student French horn [FE-56] with the characteristic qualities and features of more expensive professional models. Remarkable flexibility in range and consistent tonal reproduction make this French horn the choice of serious students. The Emperor features rotary valves with built-in oil reservoirs, plated valve levers and durable corrosion-resistant brass finish. Optional E♭ slide available at slight extra cost.

1974 F.A. Reynolds catalog

Model FE-57

Emperor Single Horn in B♭

Bore: .468"
Bell: 12"
Materials: brass with nickel-silver slide tubes and keys
Finish: polished brass with clear lacquer finish

A student model French horn that permits the student to achieve greater accuracy in the upper range without observable change in tone color. Rapid progress is made as a result of the special acoustical and structural design. The FE-57 features quiet, floating rotary valves with built-in oil reservoirs, plated valve levers and a durable, corrosion-resistant brass finish.

1974 F.A. Reynolds catalog

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