Medalist Trumpets

RMC/Reynolds introduced the Medalist line of instruments in 1961 in an attempt to take advantage of the sales opportunities created by expanding school band progams (and funding) in the 1960s. RMC introduced trumpet, cornet and trombone models under the Reynolds name and other Medalist instruments under other subsidiaries.

In order to produce the anticipated volume of needed student instruments, RMC contracted manufacturing of the Medalist lines to a variety of locations. The presence of “Elkhart, Ind” markings on many models indicates horns that were made at the E.K. Blessing factory in Elkhart, Indiana (confirmed by Merle Johnson, former President of Blessing). Other Medalist instruments are marked “Made in USA” and are of unknown origin (if not also made by Blessing).

1961-1964

RMC-Reynolds (Cleveland, Ohio; Elkhart, Indiana)

The Medalist line effectively replaced the Roth instruments in the RMC/Reynolds catalog. The Roth cornet, trumpet and trombone had been one of the three original instrument lines manufactured at F.A. Reynolds and Ohio Band, along with the Reynolds and Regent lines, and were noted for their durability and value. Conversely, Paul Rawlins notes that the early student horns produced by RMC-Reynolds were made with low-quality, inexpensive sheet brass. The concept was to put a cheap horn in a durable Samsonite case and sell the package to the student rental market. The approach worked until it was discovered that the low-quality brass used to make the horns could not be repaired without permanent damage to the metal.

Model TU-58

Medalist B♭ trumpet

Bore: .470"
Bell: x" brass
Materials: brass with nickel-silver braces
Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring valves
Finish: clear lacquer finish

Designed for young musicians to serve them faithfully throughout their school years, the Medalist trumpet or cornet is the outstanding value in the Reynolds line. Built-in strength to withstand hard student handling with such features as solid nickel bracing and nickel silver on every movable slide, this instrument still encompasses such refinements as combination construction of third valve slide for maxium acoustical effect and balanced bore dimensions to produce an outstanding intonation patter adn truly characteristic sound. Easy-action valves with hard nickel plating and enclosed top action springs. 

1963 Reynolds catalog

Model TBD

Medalist B♭ trumpet

Bore: .xxx"
Bell: x" brass
Materials: brass with nickel-silver tuning slides and braces
Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring valves
Finish
: clear lacquer finish

1964-1970

F.A. Reynolds (Abilene, Texas)

After CMI purchased the assets to Reynolds, 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.

Created for students, but with most of the features usually found only on higher-priced instruments: Contempora-type valve system; five-piece mouthpiece-to-bell bracing; solid nickel-silver tubing on the outside of all movable tuning slides; three-piece solid nickel-silver water key with machined bridge. Professional mouthpiece, music lyre and modern case included.

1966 Reynolds catalog

Model TU-58

Medalist B♭ trumpet

Bore: .460" Bell: 4¾", brass Materials: brass with nickel-silver tuning slides Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring piston valves Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy coating

Model TU-58T

Same as Model TU-58 with first-valve trigger

Listed in a 1968 price list, this variation is most likely similar to the Emperor "trigger" model that incorporated an Olds-style first-valve trigger.

The Medalist offers the student musician features usually found only in higher-priced horns. Features like: top loaded innerspring valves, ‘live’ bell, and a professional mouthpiece. Each of these important considerations was a factor in determining the acoustical design of the Medalist. Easy-blowing characteristics do not hamper the output. A minimum of breath produces a large, full sound.

1970 F.A. Reynolds catalog

1971-1979

F.A. Reynolds (Fullerton, Calif.)

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

Model TU-58

Medalist B♭ trumpet

Bore: .460"
Bell: 4¾", brass
Materials: brass with nickel-silver tuning slides
Valves: top-loaded, inner-spring piston valves
Finish: polished brass with baked epoxy coating

Crafted to permit the student to progress to the best of his natural ability. Easy blowing characteristics do not hamper output. A minimum of breath produces a large, full sound. Included in the design are top-loaded inner-sprung valves, live bell, and a professional mouthpiece. Solid nickel silver tubing on the outside slide tubes. Three piece solid nickel silver water key with machined bridge. Contempora type valve system. Complete with luggage.

1974 Reynolds catalog

The purpose of this website is to preserve the history of the F. A. Reynolds Company and the distinctive qualities of its brass instruments. Contempora Corner and contemporacorner.com are not related or associated in any way to the former or current F.A. Reynolds Company.

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