Best Trumpet Brands for Beginners, Intermediate and Professional Players

Best Trumpet Brands for Beginners, Intermediate and Professional Players

The world of trumpets is absolutely massive. There are so many brands out there that make the instrument that it can be hard to know who to trust. Word of mouth can only be trusted so far; at some point, you need to turn to the experts.

This list of the best trumpet brands covers trumpets for beginner, intermediate, and professional level players and the brands that make them. I built this list from my own experience in teaching music for over 10 years, but I also surveyed band teachers from all over the nation.

In this article, you’ll see a quick review of the best brands and what makes them great. Then I’ll go over a sampling of trumpets that fit into the different playing ability categories.

Review of the Best Trumpet Brands

Of the hundreds of trumpet brands that are out there, these are my pick for the 7 best ones to look for. If you can find a trumpet by one of these brands, you can trust that you’re making a safe purchase.

Yamaha

It’s hard to talk any top instrument making brand without mentioning Yamaha. The company is a pillar in any instrument field, but especially those in the brass world.

One of the best features of Yamaha trumpets are the many levels of trumpets they offer. You can find beginner, intermediate, and professional trumpets at a large variety of price points.

With a company this large, they can offer a lot of warranties and services that some smaller ones can’t. Despite the company being so diverse in what they offer, each instrument is still hand made with consistent quality checks.

Personally, this is the brand I use for my intermediate trumpet and my professional tuba. I recommend Yamaha products to anyone. Only in the highest level of professional trumpets may Yamaha fall short when compared to some other brands.

Bach

Bach Brass is a company founded by Vincent Shrotenbach (stage name: Vincent Bach) in the early 20th century in New York. He started as a violin player before switching to trumpet, and then he dedicated his life to designing and making the best brass instruments he could.

The company was later bought by Selmer (famous for their saxophones), but Bach brass instruments, especially trumpets, still have a top-notch reputation across the playing ranges. Some people referred to Bach’s trumpets as the Stradivarius of trumpets. Stradivarius violins are well-known as the best in the world, so the comparison is quite complimentary.

Compared to other companies like Yamaha and Jupiter, the main benefits of using a Bach trumpet is that it comes from a company entirely focused on the brass family.

Jupiter

Since 1930 and under the name KHS Musical Instruments Company, Jupiter products have become commonplace in the trumpet world. The main reason for this is that Jupiter trumpets are known for being durable and affordable when compared to other brands. The downside of this company is that at the highest level, Jupiter trumpets are less common because the general belief is that these don’t have the depth of sound that others do.

Jean Paul

Jean Paul is an American based company. They focus largely on student wind instruments, though their intermediate trumpets are known to play well for many people at higher levels as well.

Their trumpets are well-built and affordable. Jean Paul does offer a professional model, but most professional trumpet players would consider it more of an advanced-intermediate trumpet than a true professional horn. Jean Paul may be great for people only looking for a nice and affordable trumpet for casual playing.

Cecilio-Mendini

This company is completely known for its affordable trumpets (and other instruments). It does have a decent intermediate option, but the beginner trumpets are where this company shines.

Another big plus for this brand is that the trumpets are basically for sale anywhere: music stores, Walmart, online, etc. Most bigger brands work through music stores or their own websites.

Best Trumpet Brands For Professionals

As we discussed above, some of these brands are best in different levels of playing ability. Below you can see the best trumpet brands for professionals and a quick review of one of their trumpets for the category.

Yamaha YTR-6335 Series

This professional line of trumpet by Yamaha is more expensive, but when you buy a professional horn, you expect to pay more. The key to this trumpet’s great sound is in the material and hand-crafted design.

A more detailed look at the specs for this trumpet follows, but if you want a quick overview, you can look here:

  • Bb Key
  • Bell is one piece of yellow brass
  • Bell diameter: 123 mm
  • Bore size: 0.459”
  • Medium Weight
  • Rose brass lead pipe
  • Gold Lacquer

On trumpets, the main differences come down to material and size. The bell is made from one solid piece of yellow brass which gives it more stability and adds a brighter and clear sound from the projection point.

This bell has a diameter of 123 mm which lands just above the average size for a bell. In general, the larger the bell the richer the sound but the harder it is to project.

In combination with this bell is the 0.459” bore size. This smaller size is common with most professional line trumpets. The smaller size gives you more control and power in your playing, but new players may struggle with this.

The medium weight body also allows for versatility and projection of sound. With a rose brass lead pipe and gold lacquer, the trumpet is also protected from grime and sweat.

What we liked:

  • Balance of bore and bell size gives a powerful but mellow sound
  • Solid one-piece bell
  • Versatile sound for jazz or classical
  • Great company to work with
  • Durable construction

What we disliked:

  • Higher price
  • Doesn’t project as well in outdoor spaces

Bach Stradivarius 180S37

The 180 series is Bach’s number one selling professional trumpet line and with good reason. The higher price is still scary for some amateurs, but this trumpet’s sound quality can’t be beaten.

Read on for more details on the trumpet’s features, but here is a quick look at its specifications:

  • Bb Key
  • Solid yellow brass bell
  • #37 bell
  • .459” bore size
  • Yellow brass lead pipe
  • Medium weight
  • Monel pistons
  • 3rd valve slide rod stop

As with the other trumpet, the Bach’s solid yellow brass bell offers a clear sound at the point of projection and is durable and specially made for creating a rich sound.

Bach calls their bell sizes by numbers. A #37 bell is their hand-made bell size for a good combination of projection and mellow sound; it’s around the same quality as the Yamaha with a little more edge to it.

The 0.459” bore size is standard for professional line horns. The smaller size offers more control over the sound and makes the higher notes easier to reach. Less experienced players may have a hard time with the added back pressure.

The yellow brass lead pipe protects from corrosion but is considered by some to be less effective than rose brass for a lead pipe. With a medium weight, this trumpet offers a good resonance while still being easy to handle. Young players may find this trumpet too heavy.

One of the best features of the Bach trumpet is the Monel piston valves. These valves are specially designed to be as tight as possible inside the valve casing (read more about parts of the trumpet with our article here). This prevents losing sound as you use the valves and keeps the trumpet sounding as smooth across all notes as possible.

 

What we liked:

  • Smooth, rich sound
  • Projects well, great sound control
  • Monel pistons allow for consistent sound across all pitches
  • Durable construction
  • Versatile sound for classical or jazz playing

What we disliked:

  • No consistent complaints were found

Best Trumpet Brands for Intermediate Players

Intermediate players are where most people who play the trumpet end up. I consider my student intermediate players if they stick with playing the trumpet up to high school level. These brands are the best ones for this type of player and included in this section is a quick review of some trumpet I recommend for this type of player.

Jupiter 1100 Performance Series

This trumpet by Jupiter is made with some great features at a medium price for intermediate level instruments. It balances good sound and projection with easier playing than professional models.

Read on for more details, but a quick look at the specifications follows here:

  • Bb Key
  • Lacquered yellow brass body
  • 8” bell
  • Monel pistons
  • 460” bore size
  • 3rd valve slide stop
  • Rose brass lead pipe
  • Reverse lead pipe configuration

The lacquered yellow brass body is standard on most trumpets and provides good protection from corrosion. The 4.8” bell is a little smaller than the professional models, but not by much. Smaller bells have a smaller sound, but they are easier to control for intermediate and beginning players.

Jupiter adds the monel piston technology as we saw with the professional Bach trumpet. This system makes the valves fit as tightly in the pistons as possible ensuring consistent use and smooth tone across all notes.

The 0.460” bore size is a little bigger than the professional series, but still on the small side of the bore spectrum. Smaller bores make it easier to play high notes and control the sound, but it makes it harder for beginners to play.

The 3rd valve slide stop and rose brass lead pipe are nice features for keeping the trumpet is good condition for a long time. A reverse lead pipe configuration tops off the unique features on the trumpet. This design element make sit a little easier to harness the sound for less experienced players but still get the other benefits of small bore and larger bells.

The playing demonstration starts at 1:30.

What we liked:

  • Monel pistons are great to use
  • Smooth sound across all notes
  • Rose brass lead pipe protects from corrosion
  • Bore and bell size are great for intermediate players
  • Good value price for quality

What we disliked:

  • Trumpet is light and doesn’t resonate with the sound as much
  • Not as rich of sound as professional horns

Yamaha YTR 4335GII

The Yamaha YTR 4335GII is their intermediate model in their line of trumpets. It comes in at a medium price point (although it may be more than what some want to spend). For this price, you get a good horn from the instrument making giant.

Read on for more details, but a quick look at the trumpet’s specifications follows:

  • Bb Key
  • 2 piece, gold brass bell
  • 123 mm bell diameter
  • 459” bore size
  • Medium weight
  • Monel pistons

Yamaha follows a specific formula when it comes to making their trumpets, so this intermediate trumpet has a lot of the same features as their professional one. The bore size of 0.459” and bell diameter of 123 mm are the same which is great because it offers an excellent balance of control, rich sound, and strong projection.

It also has a medium weight which is good for sound and carrying ability. Some people may find it harder to play and hold this instrument at the proper angle for long periods of time. The monel alloy pistons work well for durability and consistent tone across all notes like was said before.

Essentially, this is the same quality as the professional line except for how the bell is made. As many instrument makers would tell you, the shape, size, and construction of the bell has a big impact on the sound.

The Yamaha bell for the YTR 4335GII is made from two pieces. This makes it easier to produce, but it sacrifices one of the durability of the part and, more importantly, the richness of tone. The trumpet’s tubing and material are what amplify and shape the sound, and by making it in separate parts, you lose some of the sound potential.


What we liked:

  • Good quality construction and design
  • Smooth monel alloy piston valves
  • Appropriate bore size for a balance of rich sound and projection
  • Nice bell size for rich tone

What we disliked:

  • 2 piece bell loses some sound quality
  • Doesn’t project as well outdoors

Bach TR200S

The Bach TR200S is the Cadillac of intermediate trumpets. It is the highest priced of the intermediate trumpets, but with the quality you get, it may be worth it. I recommend this for people who know they’re only going to be at the intermediate level, but they want the best they can get at that level.

Read on for more details, but a quick look at the specifications follows:

  • Bb Key
  • 459” bore size
  • 4 13/16” bell diameter
  • 2 piece yellow brass bell
  • Monel alloy pistons
  • Silver plated finish

Like the professional line of the Bach trumpet, the TR200S has a .0459” bore size which is optimal for balancing good projection with sound control. The 4 13/16” bell size is a little smaller than the Yamaha which results in a brighter sound that has more edge to it which may be better for playing outside or as the lead trumpet player.

A bell made of 2 pieces is less than the best, but yellow brass for the bell material does work well. Yellow brass at the projection point helps to provide a crisp, bright sound.

Monel alloy pistons are the quality setup for valves because of their reliability and consistent tone. The silver plated finish protects the brass from corrosion and, some say, adds some richness to the sound. A clear, lacquer finish is also available.

The video below demonstrates the sound of the TR200. The first of the two trumpets played is the TR200.

What we liked:

  • Clear, bright sound
  • Projects well
  • Good construction and size balance
  • Consistent tone
  • Reliable valves

What we disliked:

  • Higher price

Jean Paul USA TR430

Jean Paul’s intermediate level trumpet is the most affordable at this level while still being a good quality. The features and sound provided may be just what you’re looking for at the lower price.

Read one or more details, but a quick look at the specifications follows:

  • Bb Key
  • Rose brass lead pipe
  • Lacquer finish

With this trumpet by Jean Paul, you’re getting a good sound for high durability and playability by intermediate players. The rose brass lead pipe contributes protection from corrosion at this part. The bracing and construction are built with younger players in mind, so they wanted to make sure it could stand some extra dings.

You still get good sound quality front his horn, it isn’t as rich as the higher-end intermediate horns on the list. The bore size is a little to big provide control, but it does add control and projection power. The bell design works for an overall good and clear sound, but it lacks the depth of higher quality ones.

That being said, for the price you pay and it’s durability, this may be th perfect trumpet for a young intermediate player who plays casually and doesn’t plan on pursuing trumpet professionally.

What we liked:

  • Affordable price
  • Great durability
  • Rose brass lead pipe and lacquer finish prevents damage well
  • Sound projects well with a clean tone

What we disliked:

  • Sound is bright and edge-y compared with higher-end trumpets

Best Trumpet Brands for Beginners

In this section you’ll find the best trumpet brand for beginners. With beginner trumpets, you need to prioritize ease-of-use, durability, and price over sound quality. These are the trumpets for those just getting into it; as the players improve they’ll probably need to upgrade to one of the other trumpets above.

Yamaha YTR 2300

Though the YTR2300 is available at a higher price, it’s the best quality beginner trumpet you can get. This trumpet is for the beginner who is dedicated to mastering this fun instrument.

Read on for more details, but a quick look at the specifications follows:

  • 2 piece yellow brass bell
  • Monel alloy pistons
  • 123 mm bell diameter
  • 459” bore size
  • Gold lacquer
  • Medium Weight

This trumpet is made with all of the features of Yamaha’s intermediate trumpet. The bell size, bore size, pistons, lacquer, and bell are all the same to give a good sound with strong projection.

Because of these features, the trumpet still sounds great. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe that it was a student trumpet at all!

The lower price comes from the lighter brass and the sturdier design. This weakens the sound compared to higher levels, but it is better for students who aren’t used to caring for a delicate instrument.


What we liked:

  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to hold and very light
  • Valves are consistent and last a long time
  • Plays very well in tune over its whole scale
  • The trumpet will grow with your skill

What we disliked:

  • Higher price for beginner trumpet
  • Valves need a lot of oiling

Jupiter JTR700

This trumpet by Jupiter is the medium-priced option that may be the best middle of the road choice for balancing quality and price.

Read on for more details, but a quick look at the specifications follows:

  • Bb Key
  • Clear lacquer
  • Stainless steel pistons
  • 8” bell
  • .460” bore size
  • 2 piece yellow brass bell

The features in the size of the bell and bore are slightly larger, but that makes it easier to produce sound from less experienced players. It does make it harder to play higher pitches and control your sound quality.

On the other hand, the stainless steel pistons and clear lacquer protect against corrosion. The stainless steel and durable design prevent some impact damage from young students.


What we liked:

  • Nice, mellow sound in the lower and middle register
  • Affordable
  • Smooth piston valves
  • Tough case that will last

What we disliked:

  • May need to trade out quicker than other student trumpets as you get more skilled
  • Difficult to play higher notes with the larger bore size

Mendini by Cecilio MTT-L

A lot of band directors may dislike this very affordable trumpet, but I would rather you get a trumpet and start playing rather than be scared off by the higher price of some models.

Read on for more details, but a quick look at the specifications follows:

  • Bb Key
  • 460” bore size
  • 5” bell
  • Phosphorus copper treated lead pipe
  • Smooth action valves

The larger bore size makes it easier to produce sound which is good for new players, but that does make it harder to play higher notes. The 5” bell is large compared to many other models. Larger bells produce stronger sound, but when the bell is this large it can sometimes give an uncontrolled sound.

The phosphorus copper treated lead pipe gives the metal some protection from corrosion. However, it isn’t as effective as rose brass, but it is cheaper.

The smooth action valves and light brass makes it even easier to use and hold, but they aren’t as durable as other pistons and alloys. At the low price, you may not care.


What we liked:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Good sound for price
  • Comes with useful accessories
  • Comes in different colors

 

What we disliked:

  • Doesn’t match up to the sound of higher-end student models
  • Not all of their trumpets end up with the same quality
  • General construction doesn’t hold up to long-term use

Jean Paul USA TR330

As the second most affordable option for beginners, the step up in quality of sound is great. If you’re worried about price but you still need a trumpet with some durability, this may be the one for you.

Read on for more details, but a quick look at the specifications follows:

  • Bb Key
  • Clear lacquer
  • Yellow brass body
  • Rose brass lead pipe
  • Large bore

There’s not too much that’s fancy on the Jean Paul TR330, but what it lacks in depth of sound it makes up for in durability. The large bore make sit easier to play and project, but it makes it harder to control the sound and play higher notes.

The yellow brass body is constructed soundly making the trumpet easy to hold and play and durable as well. A rose brass lead pipe (surprising for this low price) provides protection from corrosion.


What we liked:

  • Solid sound
  • Affordable price
  • Durable design
  • High-quality case

What we disliked:

  • Piston valves tend to stick
  • Bright sound may be too piercing with beginners

Conclusion

Sorting through the world of trumpet brands can be tricky, especially if you want to avoid buying a trumpet you don’t want. It can be hard to navigate without guidance, but this list of the best trumpet brands should help you pick the right trumpet for you at any playing level.

Trumpet Main Specs

You may have noticed some common features that are reviewed in each snapshot of the trumpets above. These features are the ones to look for when you go to buy a trumpet. They can have a huge impact on the sound, price, and overall quality of the instrument.

Bell Size and Build

Bells range in size and shape depending on the model. When you look at the trumpet’s bell, the better bell’s are usually one piece bells and that are slightly above average diameter. This gives the trumpet a richer sound that resonate well with the vibrations of the sound.

Extra large bells project well but create an edgy sound. Smaller bells have better control but don’t create as much sound.

Bore Size

Bore size has a big impact on how the trumpet is played. Larger bores are easier to play in the low and middle range which is great for beginner players. They don’t handle high notes as well.

Middle and smaller bore sizes make it easier to play higher notes and control the sound which is what advanced intermediate players and professional players are looking for. Too small of a bore size though, and the trumpet won’t project well.

Piston Valve Systems

The piston valves are the way that you change the notes on the trumpet. Because they’re always moving, they are the most likely to break or cause problems when playing. They also have a higher potential of water getting trapped which can cause corrosion.

This is why many brands take care when making the piston valve systems. The best that’s out there now are valves made of monel alloy. Another good option is stainless steel.

Lead Pipe 

The lead pipe is the tubing where your sound first goes. It’s also near where you use your hand to press down the valves. This combination makes it essential that it’s designed well and has some extra protection from moisture and sweat otherwise it corrodes quickly.

Most brands add something to the lead pipe to make it a little tougher. Rose brass is a common choice that’s considered the best, but some add copper or treat the part with extra chemicals to do the same job.

Durability

The tougher and more reinforced the design of the trumpet the more it loses in the sound usually. But this something you need to balance if the player is a young player or if you play outside a lot. Check the “what we liked” section for how durable the trumpet actually is.

As a final note, now that you may be looking into purchasing a trumpet, it would be also beneficial to check out this post about trumpet types and explore which one may be the best choice for you depending on your goals and needs.

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