The 10 Best Trumpets

Updated January 30, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

10 Best Trumpets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Are you musically inspired by Louis Armstrong, Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, or Herb Alpert? Maybe you bleed brass and dream in B flat? No matter your preference or level of commitment, one of these trumpets will be just the instrument you need for sharing your talent with the world. You’ll find models for everyone, whether beginner, intermediate, or pro performer. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best trumpet on Amazon.

10. Jean Baptiste TP483S

While it's designed for students, the Jean Baptiste TP483S has many features found on pro models, including Monel-alloy valves and a beautifully engraved bell. This inexpensive instrument is available in either a silver or lacquer finish.
  • comes with the common 7c mouthpiece
  • medium-large bore
  • not incredibly durable
Brand Jean Baptiste
Model JBTP483SX
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Legacy TR750

The Legacy TR750 is a popular entry-level option with a double-brace construction as well as both a tuning slide and 3rd-valve water keys. Its zippered canvas case conveniently converts into a backpack for easy portability.
  • 2-year warranty against defects
  • great for young beginners
  • excellent alternative to renting
Brand Legacy
Model TR750
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Jean Paul USA TR-430

The Jean Paul USA TR-430 moves beginning players to the intermediate range, with features like a rose brass leadpipe that can produce a rich, broad array of tones. It’s also an investment in sturdiness; its hard-wearing piston valves are crafted for the long haul.
  • adjustable third-valve slide
  • from a line of popular starter horns
  • case is pretty bulky
Brand Jean Paul USA
Model TR-430
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

7. Bach Stradivarius

One of the most popular choices for over 80 years, the Bach Stradivarius can be heard on countless professional recordings. Its medium-large bore offers an ideal balance between sound and ease of playing, while its velvet-smooth valves resist air leakage.
  • for jazz and classical musicians
  • even intonation and response
  • less solid feel than other pro horns
Brand Bach
Model 180S37
Weight 13.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Mendini MTT-30CN

The Mendini MTT-30CN is suitable for beginning to intermediate students who will appreciate how easy it is to play. Its case has backpack straps for easy carrying, and it's accompanied by cleaning accessories, a digital tuner, and a folding stand you can stash in the bell.
  • among the least expensive choices
  • sturdy double-braced design
  • includes 1-year warranty
Brand Mendini
Model MTT-30CN+SD+PB+92D
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. B&S Challenger II

Performers who often modulate tone using their embouchure will love the B&S Challenger II. This work of art was created with dynamic improvisation in mind. A tapered, reverse leadpipe ensures a clean and consistent sound with little resistance.
  • very loud with a flexible tone
  • excels in the upper register
  • as expensive as they come
Brand B&S
Model 3137/2LR-S
Weight 11.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Yamaha YTR 2330

From a Japanese company known for quality, the Yamaha YTR 2330 offers new trumpeters toughness without weight and a steady tone without struggle. The Monel pistons and high-quality bottom caps provide longevity while the yellow brass contributes to a classic look.
  • great for advanced-level students
  • the best intermediate model
  • no maintenance kit
Brand Yamaha
Model YTR-2330
Weight 11.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Yamaha Xeno

Introduced in 1990, the Yamaha Xeno is a relative newcomer to high-end brass. With decades of precision instrument manufacturing experience behind its construction, it's proven to be a heavy-hitter beloved by gigging jazz artists and orchestral trumpeters alike.
  • crystal clear sound
  • extra-heavy reverse leadpipe
  • worth every penny
Brand Yamaha
Model YTR-8335IIRS
Weight 14.6 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. LJ Hutchen B-Flat

The LJ Hutchen B-Flat features a warm sound, a corrosion-resistant leadpipe, and a mouthpiece conceived for excellent student performance. Its durable finish and strong welds resist damage caused by the poor maintenance of inexperienced players.
  • multicolor lacquer stands out
  • a fantastic first instrument
  • individually quality tested
Brand LJ Hutchen
Model 4218II
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Schilke B Series

Designed by a co-creator of the fabled Martin Committee trumpet comes the Schilke B Series. The B3 variant is known as the freest and most open of the line, with a commanding sound and intricate tonal control in the hands of an advanced professional.
  • the brightest and most bold option
  • ideal for any genre of music
  • large bore and medium bell
Brand Schilke
Model 10 B3
Weight 12.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

The Abridged History Of The Trumpet

The trumpet is a wind instrument in the brass family that is popular all around the world, and has been played for many centuries. While the modern trumpet usually consists of tubing bent twice into an oblong shape with an overall length of nearly five feet, traditional trumpets came in varied shapes and sizes.

Archeological evidence can trace trumpet production back some 3,500 years into ancient history, with instruments approximating a trumpet's design uncovered in Ancient Egypt, China, and other areas of central Asia. Biblical tales about trumpets being used to "blow down the walls of Jericho" are almost assuredly apocryphal, but they do confirm the existence of this wind instrument during that long ago era. In the early centuries of the Common Era, trumpets were produced and played in the Americas, with trumpet like instruments found in parts of Peru in particular.

Early trumpets were largely used for signaling purposes, conveying messages across distances or to be heard over the din of battle. They may also have been used in ceremonial or worship proceedings, but were likely not used in the sense with which we treat a musical instrument today. In fact, it was not until the turn of the last century that trumpets truly gained recognition as unique instruments worthy of being used at the center of musical compositions.

Long relegated to supporting roles by the major composers of the classical era, the 20th Century finally saw the trumpet getting its proper respect and enjoying an enlarged oeuvre of compositions. This rapid expansion of the repertoire produced for trumpet players was largely thanks to technological innovations that had seen the addition of valves to the trumpet.

Traditional trumpets had no way to modify pitch or tone other than by a player essentially blowing into the instrument with varied degrees of force. With the addition of valves common by the middle of the 1800s, the instrument was soon to help revolutionize music in the 1900s. Not only would the trumpet soon play a larger role in orchestral music, but it would take center stage in a brand new genre of music known as jazz.

The Trumpet Player

Trumpet Player is a poem written by Langston Hughes that both celebrates the man as musician yet laments the plight of largely dispossessed African Americans during the 20th Century. Indeed jazz music, that fiercely original American genre, was formed largely as a result of the separation between black communities of the south and the wider American public. A confluence of styles influenced early jazz, and these included Blues music, Ragtime, and European Quadrilles, to name a few. The genre developed in many areas, with New Orleans treated as the traditional cradle of jazz music. And at the center of many jazz bands was the trumpet player.

Perhaps the most famous trumpeters of all time remain those men that helped define jazz in the first place; giants such as Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie were not only virtuosic trumpet players, but also helped to define the nascent sounds of the jazz genre, with playing styles featuring everything from syncopation to a heavy reliance on improvisation to that intangible but indefeasible quality known only as swing.

The trumpet also gained greater recognition and use in orchestras playing more classical styles of music. A comparison between the works of Mozart or Bach contacted with those of a famed 20th Century composer such as Aaron Copland make clear the new respect paid to the trumpet. Copland's beloved piece Fanfare for the Common Man, for example, was scored primarily for brass and percussion instruments, a marked departure from the former's role as a mere supporting player in other eras of orchestral music.

Choosing The Right Trumpet For You

Choosing a trumpet comes down to two primary factors: your experience level, and your budget. Looking at the latter factor first, one should keep in mind that while it's easy to spend many thousands of dollars on a superlative trumpet, it's also entirely possible to buy a decent instrument for less than two hundred dollars. (It's not possible to get a trumpet worthy of serious play for less than a hundred dollars, however.) If budget is no concern, then by all means consider a high end, expensive trumpet.

There are many trumpets that are so-called student trumpets thanks primarily to their larger bore mouthpieces that make it easier for less experienced musicians to produce rich, loud tones even without the same breath control that comes with years of play and practice. These instruments are great for use in marching bands or large ensembles regardless of experience level, though they can lack the range and ability for tight control that a saxophonist in a jazz band might want.

Make sure to consider valve tightness and choose the resistance that's right for your playing style, and also consider how easy it is to swap out varied mouthpieces in case you ever need to make a change to your instrument.

Responsible ownership of a trumpet means being ready to spend some time on care and maintenance, and that starts with having a good case for the transport and storage of your instrument. If your trumpets does not come with a good bag, you should invest in one. You also need to make sure you have and use the right oil to keep it moving parts in good condition, and the right cleaner to keep it shined and tarnish free, but without risking any damage to the instrument's finish.

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Last updated on January 30, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

A traveling chef, musician, and student of the English language, Chris can be found promoting facts and perfect copy around the globe, from dense urban centers to remote mountaintops. In his free time he revels in dispelling pseudoscience, while at night he dreams of modern technology, world peace, and the Oxford comma.

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