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Saturday, December 29, 2007
There are many brands of quality instruments available
today. Below is a list of reputable trumpet manufacturers. They
are listed in no particular order and they should not be viewed
as equal in quality. Inclusion on this list simply means that
they are real instrument makers who are dedicated to the
production of quality instruments.
Note: With the advent and popularity of internet
commerce, many instruments I believe to be of poor quality have made their way
into the unsuspecting hands of students and parents throughout the
world. If you
are wondering about a particular brand of instrument and you do
not see it on the list below, please click
here for a list of
brands that I DO NOT endorse in any way. If you still do not
find it, please
email me and I'll be glad
to research it.
my knowledge, Bundy trumpets are no longer in production but can
be obtained used. These instruments were produced by Selmer-Bach
some time ago and should be considered a reputable brand.
Obtaining replacement parts may be an issue, however.
Olds is, to my knowledge, no longer producing instruments. The
brand NAME has been purchased and is being used by another
manufacturer. OLDS student line instruments from the REAL OLDS
craftsmen are excellent instruments. The ones currently being
produced are, in my opinion, of less than good quality.
manufacturer) You can click on an image for a larger view. Keep
in mind that comparisons between student trumpets and
professional trumpets cannot be drawn from the ratings. A
student trumpet that's rated a 7 is not as good as a
professional trumpet that rates a 7.
>Bach 180S-37 -
This is the model of Bb trumpet that I
recommend most for high school and college students, including
my own. It's generally considered to be the "industry
standard" and produces a well-centered, resonant sound that
lends itself to a wide variety of playing situations. The
only weakness with this, or most of the Bach models, is the
inconsistency from one horn to another. If you can find a
good one, get it.
Overall rating: 8.5/10. Expect to pay about $1,995.
- Now, I normally don't like the 43 bell and why that is I'll never
know. However, I've played this horn for several days now including on
a show gig and I really liked it. It centers up very well with really
fine intonation. In many ways, I like this horn just as well as my
Kanstul 1500A and in some ways I like it even better. It blends better
with other horns like Bach or Blackburn (the two most popular brands
among pros I play with) and the slightly larger 43 bell gives a
wonderfully broad sound with great projection. I recommend this horn
for anyone looking for that "Bach" sound with just a bit more depth and
punch. Thanks to Ceth at
Tulsa Band Instruments
for the loan.
Overall Rating: 9/10. Expect to pay about $1,995.
C180LS 239/25A -
This is the
current model C trumpet that I play and the second most
popular Bach C configuration. It has a moderately warm
sound with just the right amount of "zing" for classical
and/or church work. The most popular configurations of
the Bach C are 229/25H and 239/25A.
Overall rating: 8/10.
Expect to pay about $1,995.
4p-SP Bb/A Piccolo Trumpet (This is NOT the Benge
Colibri model) - This is my current piccolo
trumpet. I've been playing this horn since 2002 and have
loved it. It has a very well centered, semi-dark tone (dark
for a piccolo that is) that blends perfectly within an
ensemble. But, it also has enough sparkle to be a great solo
instrument. It's good to see manufacturers making this type
of horn despite the fact that the piccolo trumpet market is
dominated by Schilke. And the Schilke P5-4 is a great horn,
no doubts there. However, the Benge 4P-SP has all the warmth
of a Selmer piccolo without the dreaded "Schilke squeak".
ACCORDING TO MY SOURCES, THIS INSTRUMENT IS NO LONGER
Overall rating: 9/10. I'm researching used prices. If you
find one, let me know.
700SP Intermediate Trumpet -
This is a good-quality, nice-sounding student trumpet. It
has great valve and slide action and comes with a
lightweight pro-tec case. This particular model is
manufactured exclusively for select
dealers to sell to the public. Thanks to
MUSIC for loaning me one to evaluate. This is an excellent trumpet for a beginning student. Highly recommended. Overall Rating
8.5/10 Expect to pay about $799.
896S Flugel -
my current model of flugelhorn. Though I don't play
flugel that much these days, I still really love this horn.
It's got a darker, more horn-like sound that most flugels
and the intonation is really easy to deal with. The
only downside of the instrument is no third valve slide.
But, with the 4th valve, compensating for out-of-tune D's
and C#'s is easy. If you
get a flugel with only 3 valves, make SURE you get a third
valve slide. Overall, a great horn for the money.
Overall rating: 8.5/10. Expect to pay about $1,420.
3071 Custom C Trumpet
- Wow! I'm impressed with this horn. It's got a great sound,
much better than average intonation, a smooth scale, and
great response. The only intonation problem was the G on top
of the staff. It was VERY sharp; about 30 cents. I could
barely pull it down. For that reason, I couldn't justify
buying it. But, let's face it: most C trumpets suck (we all
know that) but this horn feels more like a Bb than most any
other C I've played. Generally speaking, the only C's I know
that I really think play better than this one are the great
ones by Cliff Blackburn (blackburntrumpets.com) or a really
good Bach; and those
cost more than twice the price of this Getzen. Thanks again
to my friends at
Tulsa Band Instruments for
letting me try this great horn.
Overall rating: 8/10. (I would have given it a 9 except for
the bad intonation on the "G"). Expect to pay about $1,600.
T602 USA Student Trumpet - This is an excellent
quality instrument that I highly recommend for beginners. It
is well-built of quality materials and is capable of
producing a warm, mature tone. Students can use this
instrument successfully for several years; even into high
school. Overall Rating: 8/10. Expect to pay about
- This is
my current Bb trumpet and one of the best I've ever played.
It has a great, dark, well-focused sound with good
projection. Featuring heavyweight valve caps,
receiver, and tuning slide, it can produce a tone with
brilliance and sizzle in the upper register and also the
dark, thick, warm sound of a great jazz soloist. It
also comes with a single radius standard weight tuning
slide. I love this horn and recommend it to more
advanced players looking for a horn with more flexibility
than any of the Bach horns.
Overall rating: 9/10.
Approximate price $1,865.
- This horn, the Kanstul "Wayne Bergeron" Model is another
outstanding instrument from Kanstul. It was recently lent
to me by my friends at
Tulsa Band Instruments to
try out. I've played it now for about a week and I really
like it. It's got a really nice "fat" sound, especially in
the upper register. I would recommend it highly to any
player looking for a lead, big band, or commercial sound.
Overall rating: 8/10. Approximate price: $1,795.
601W Student Trumpet -
This is generally a good instrument for beginners. However,
the low register has proved to be rather flat on the ones
I've tested. For this reason, I can't really recommend
this instrument. Overall Rating: 5/10. Approximate Price: $750.
(Paris) Concept 1903 TT -
This is an instrument for a soloist, not for a section
player. It has a rather unique sound that doesn't match well
with Bach, Benge, Yamaha, or any other more common model.
Don't get me wrong, I really LIKED the tone. And for a solo
player, especially jazz, it has a warm sound that hints at
the old Martin Committees. That warmth, however, comes with
a price: because it's so warm (read: dark or heavy in lower
overtones) you can't really project with it or get any
bright "sizzle" or "sparkle" to the tone. At the louder
dynamics, it tends to sound a bit "dead". So, although I
liked the horn I can't rate it very high due to it's
inability to blend with others or project. Overall rating:
7/10. Approximate price: $2,245 US.
8335(R)G "Xeno" Bb Trumpet
- This version of the "Xeno" plays fairly well. I've never
been a fan of the reverse leadpipe, but this one was okay.
My main complaint with this horn was the response. It did
fine in the middle to lower register, but, above top line F
it was hit-and-miss. I played the same model with a standard
leadpipe and like it much better. I would recommend the
standard over the reverse leadpipe. Overall rating: 8/10.
Expect to pay about $2,000 US.
an instrument you want me to review? Email
reviews to come, check back later!
Troy K. Snow