The trumpet is one of the brass instruments used in a great variety of musical genres. From orchestras and chamber, music ensembles to big bands, jazz, funk, rock and more, the trumpet can play a supporting role or be a lead, depending on the situation.
Due to its popularity and versatility, there are plenty of options for students, intermediate and professional trumpeters. This isn't only true of individual instruments but also of solo trumpet makers and larger brands.
With such a wide variety of choices, knowing the market's top brands is useful. Of course, the brand is far from the most important aspect of a trumpet, though it's still worth considering for general knowledge and judgement. In this article, I'll share my take on the top trumpet brands.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list out these brands based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Performance of the trumpets
- Longevity of the trumpets
- Variety of trumpets available
- Accessibility of the trumpets (how easy they are to find/buy)
- The company must currently be in operation
With all that being said, let's list out the brands.
The top 11 best trumpet brands are:
Let's get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best trumpet brands. I'll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable trumpet, and a link to their official website.
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Vincent Bach was born in the 19th century in Vienna. He was a rare mix of a graduated violin and trumpet student with an engineering degree. Although he was very gifted in design and manufacture, he was also a sought-after musician.
Upon arrival in the USA, he started a mouthpiece business. Soon after, he manufactured some of the best trumpets the world has ever seen or heard. Moreover, some people talk about them like the Stradivarius of brass instruments.
Nowadays, the company belongs to Selmer, and the communion of these brands is nothing short of a match made in heaven. If you haven't already, try a Bach trumpet today.
Notable trumpet: Bach 18072 (link to check the price at Sam Ash)
This series, the 180 by Bach, is the best-selling professional trumpet line globally. One of the secrets behind success is the hand-hammered professional bell. Indeed, this is a quintessential part of this brand's open and broad yet warm and full sound. Moreover, the thin lacquer adds further warmth to the overall sound. As a result, this is a versatile instrument you can use not just to play but to shine in any musical style.
Bach was founded by Vincent Bach in 1918. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Eckhart, Indiana, USA.
Official website: bachbrass.com
Bach is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
T.J. Getzen had been a superintendent at the Holton Company for nearly ten years before starting his own business. With the knowledge and know-how he gathered working in one of the top brass instrument manufacturers in the world, he set out to make the instruments that could set a new standard for the industry.
After decades of hard work, relentless innovation, and the advice of many top players in the world, Getzen fulfilled his goal. Today, Getzen trumpets are second to none and, if they fit your budget and you love the tone, they can be your musical companion for decades of flawless playing and sonic adventures.
If you are looking for an instrument that is easy to blow and yet delivers rich harmonic overtones, natural brilliance, and flexible power, this trumpet's copper bell might be everything you were searching for. Such power and ease to play in the same instrument are not found everywhere. Thus, this is the perfect instrument for those looking for excellence and power in an easy-to-blow trumpet.
Getzen Instruments Co. was founded by T.J. Getzen in 1939. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, USA.
Official website: getzen.com
Getzen is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Although you might have seen Yamaha's logo in everything from motorcycles to guitars, this company was founded by a piano maker. Indeed, if you take a close look at its logo, you can see three intertwined tuning keys.
Because of its long heritage building state-of-the-art instruments, Yamaha has become synonymous with the highest quality in everything it does, from pianos to combustible engines. Therefore, every time you buy a Yamaha instrument, you are getting a piece that reflects the company's century-old legacy. Trumpets are, of course, no exception to that rule of excellence.
Notable trumpet: Yamaha YTR-6335 (link to check the price at Woodwind Brasswind)
Whether you are the lead player in a large orchestra, play in a quintet, or do studio work, this trumpet can help you shine in every scenario. This is because of its impeccable craftsmanship and medium-large bore with a yellow-brass bell projecting a big, clear sound. Moreover, this instrument sounds round and powerful, making it perfect for covering a vast sonic ground. Regardless of where you play it, this trumpet will make people notice you instantly.
The Yamaha Corporation was founded by Torakusu Yamaha in 1887. Nowadays, the company's headquarters are in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Official website: yamaha.com
Yamaha is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
A long-time friend with master builder and trumpet player Vincent Bach, Renold O. Schilke shared his passion for great-sounding trumpets and engineering as well. This passion for excellence, continuous innovation, and a privileged ear for sound took his company to be considered by professionals worldwide as “the jewel in the industry”.
Nowadays, the same tradition of veteran craftsmen and women passing on their secrets to the new generations continues. Therefore, each Schilke trumpet leaving the factory is a unique piece ready to make history. If you want the best, you need to play a Schilke today.
Notable trumpet: Schilke HC2 (link to check the price at Woodwind Brasswind)
When you put your lips on an HC2, the first thing that comes to mind is the ease of play. Then, as you blow it gently, the quieter performances get a smoky, dark tone that is a journey through time to the earliest company designs in the 50s and 60s.
That's not all this instrument can offer you. The tonal palette opens up as you blow it harder, and natural brilliance, as well as harmonic overtones and lively sounds, appear effortlessly.
If you want a trumpet that is capable of true vintage tones and can take your playing to unknown sonic territory and bring you back with a smile every time as well, you have to try the HC2.
Renold O. Schilke founded Schilke Music Products in 1956. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Melrose Park, Illinois, USA.
Official website: schilkemusic.com
A trumpet player, a perfectionist, and a master trumpet builder, David Monette created one of the most perfect mouthpiece designs in the world. His original goal was to help players reduce blowing efforts by coming up with a more efficient design.
Although his original goal was ambitious, the outcome was far more than he set out to do. He ended up creating custom instruments for players the size of Wynton Marsalis and Maynard Ferguson, among others.
Monette might be jazz's best-kept secret. If you haven't already, give them a try.
Notable trumpet: Monette P2-STC (link to check it out at Monette)
Designed for Wynton Marsalis in 2016, this trumpet is one of those strange cases in which a light instrument sounds with the density and power of a much bigger, heavier one. Because of this reason, Wynton hasn't looked back since he got it, using it almost exclusively in all his gigs. Moreover, the flexibility of this instrument allows him to cover the needs for section playing as well as small-group jazz. If that sounds like you, don't hesitate to give this trumpet a try before you buy.
If you want to watch and hear Wynton play it, check out this video.
Monette was founded by David Monette in 1983. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Portland, Oregon, USA.
Official website: monette.net
Jupiter has been the go-to brand for Asian students for decades. Indeed, this brand has been a privileged witness seeing generations hone their musical talents from the first row. Moreover, it has become a synonym with affordable, well-made, good-sounding instruments that can withstand the hardships of student life, stay in tune, and sound great as well.
For those after reliability, good sound, and a hard-to-beat quality for the price tag, checking Jupiter before buying anything else is a must.
This intermediate trumpet is not only a great-sounding instrument. Still, it can also be paramount to developing the skills of an advanced player because of how easy it is to play it. This is because it features a reverse lead pipe that is less resistant, and thus, it requires less effort from the player. Moreover, the solid intonation and rose brass construction make it a warm-sounding trumpet that offers a sound that could satisfy most professionals as well.
If you are serious about your trumpet-learning path, this instrument is a must-check.
Jupiter Band Instruments Inc. was established by its parent company, KHS, in 1980. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Taipei, Taiwan.
Official website: jupitermusic.com
Jupiter is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Kim Lee created several prototypes for brass instruments with outstanding results by mixing cutting-edge technology with tradition. Thus, the company started selling its products in the Asian market to critical acclaim.
By 2011, and with a carefully curated product catalogue, Carol Brass disembarks in NAMM. The concept of “Materials Offered”, which means to use consistent material to make the most out of vibration synergy, shook the world.
Nowadays, Carol Brass is one of Asia's leading brass instrument companies; if you haven't already, you have to give these high-tech, great-sounding trumpets a chance.
Notable trumpet: Carol Brass CTR-5000L-YLT-Bb/G-L (link to check the price on Amazon)
It is every trumpet player's dream to switch from Bb to G without changing the instrument. Well, this Carol Brass trumpet is great in both tonalities, allowing players a level of flexibility that most could only dream of. But that's not all; the Medium-large bore size, yellow brass bell, lacquer finish, and CarolBrass 3C mouthpiece make it a sweet, warm, and loud-sounding instrument ready for any stage.
Carol Brass was founded by Carol Lo and Kim Lee in 1989. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Chiayi, Taiwan.
Official website: carolbrass.com
After half a century of making some of the best brass instruments in the world, HN White Company and King became the go-to option for players like Tommy Dorsey, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, and Charlie Parker in the golden years; the 40s and 50s.
The company became a quintessential element to growing musical styles like jazz because of its flawless craftsmanship, gorgeous sound, and commitment to excellence. Nowadays, owned by Conn-Selmer, every King trumpet is ready to make history, and although it will not make you sound like Charlie Parker, it can get you as close as possible.
Notable trumpet: King 2055S (link to check the price on Amazon)
Whether you are an advanced student or a seasoned professional player, this silver-plated instrument can suit your needs in any musical style. Moreover, the first valve thumb saddle allows easy intonation adjustments, while the silver-plated finish adds superb projection and brilliance to the overall sound. For those looking for a great price-to-quality ratio, this model by King might be everything they were looking for.
King was founded by Henderson White and Thomas King in 1894. Currently, the company is owned by Conn-Selmer, with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Official website: conn-selmer.com/en-us/our-brands/king
King is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
The company's motto: “quality without compromise” is true from the bore to the last piston. Indeed, these handmade instruments represent the heart and soul of their creator and his passion for excellence. Furthermore, they are built by a musician with an exquisite ear for well-made instruments.
In 2014, the company was bought by Eastman, which elevated its scalability and quality by adopting new techniques and revolutionary elements from other outstanding Eastman brands. As a result, whenever you pick up an S.E. Shires instrument, you'll find it very hard to put it down.
Notable trumpet: S.E. Shires Model CVLA-XL (link to check it out at S.E. Shires)
Although S.E. Shires instruments are known worldwide because of being made with high-tech machinery, this instrument provides the player with a vintage flavour only found in truly vintage horns.
This instrument's XL bore and mix of materials can easily create a vast palette of tones while giving the player a superlative response and being easy to play with lots of attack, requiring minimal effort. This trumpet might be the one for those who love the vintage tone and modern specs.
Steve Shires founded S.E. Shires in 1995. Currently, the company's headquarters are in Holliston, Massachusetts, USA.
Official website: seshires.com
Jean Paul USA
The company started in 1994 as a distributor for big-name brass instruments such as Yamaha. Because of this experience, they noticed a gap in the market because students couldn't afford a $1,300 instrument just to see if they liked it.
Therefore, in 2012, they started manufacturing some of the best student-level instruments in China and selling them through direct channels such as Amazon and Costco. As a result, they could supply students with well-made, good-sounding instruments that could help them on their learning path without breaking the bank.
With a handmade bell, impeccable intonation, a professional carrying case, and reliable construction, this trumpet represents the perfect blend between price and features. Moreover, the delicate and beautiful hand engraving on the bell, as well as the stone caps, give it an elegant touch that is hard to find at this price point. Finally, the reversed lead pipe gives it extra power and a bigger tone.
Jean Paul USA is a small family endeavour founded in 1994. Currently, the company's headquarters are still in Miami, Florida, USA.
Official website: jeanpaulusa.com
Jean Paul USA is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
After leaving a successful career in the aerospace industry, the Rossettis (MIT mechanical engineer and Cal State Fullerton business manager) decided to pursue their lifelong passion: music.
Besides being accomplished players, working for years in one of the most demanding industries in the world gave this family the know-how to make great instruments at affordable prices.
Thus, every time you pick up a Rossetti trumpet, you'll be grasping decades of experience in making a state-of-the-art instrument that can help you in your sonic journeys.
Notable trumpet: Rossetti Trumpet (link to check the price on Amazon)
Behind this model's simple name, there's a trumpet that can fulfill your musical needs. Indeed, from the nickel and lacquer finish to the adjustable tuning valves and cleverly-placed finger rests, this is the perfect instrument for the advanced student or professional player. Moreover, it is entirely hand-built, includes a deluxe case, white gloves, slide grease, and won't break the bank. So, if you are after an instrument with a good price-quality balance, beautiful sound, and pro specs, this Rossetti is a must-try before you buy.
Rossetti father and son founded the company in 1995; currently, the headquarters are in Whittier, California.
Official website: rossettiaccordions.com
Rossetti is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!