If you are upgrading to the best quality trumpet, finding the best brand is something you will need to take a look at. Having plenty of choices can sometimes be a good thing. And, when buying a trumpet, there is certainly plenty of choice.
But, you can also have just too many choices. And that is what this review is all about – the best trumpet brands. But the first question I would ask is, best for what exactly?
There are probably just two ways to consider which trumpet brands are the best.
- First – best trumpet available.
- Second – best value for money trumpet.
A high-level trumpet is never going to be a “cheap-to-buy” instrument. The materials can be expensive, and the manufacture is also a costly process. On the other hand, you can buy very cheap instruments, but some will be so badly constructed, making them nearly unplayable.
What Kind Of Trumpet?
Another thing to clarify is what sort of trumpet you are going to buy. You are probably aware there is more than just one kind and even size. You have several types of trumpets available. These are:
- Standard Bb flat Trumpet – what you are probably familiar with and what we will consider here
- Piccolo Trumpet – for playing high-pitch notes.
- Pocket Trumpet – for convenience in carrying around.
- Bass Trumpet – for a very deep and powerful sound.
- Baroque Trumpet – for those playing a certain style of music.
As I said, it will be the standard Bb trumpet we will be looking at here. But even in standard trumpet evaluation, there are some more things to consider when looking for the best trumpet brands.
If you are talking about the best trumpets made by the best brands, they will all be well-made using great materials. However, they don’t all sound the same. And they certainly don’t all play the same.
The first criteria involved in how to choose the best trumpet is probably considering what is best for you. And one of the issues to think about is the valves and the pistons. It is this area that can be vitally important to not only the sound but how the trumpet plays. There are three main materials used for the valves and pistons.
- Stainless Steel.
We can discount the Stainless Steel option as the high-end trumpets, and most of the good cheaper visions carry the first two options.
There are plus and minus points for both. Nickel-plated is harder wearing, Monel is resistant to corrosive factors, important on a trumpet, and lasts longer. But Monel valves and pistons do require regular maintenance.
The Important Thing…
The valves need to let the instrument play smoothly and quickly. Some things will determine that are:
- Are they well made?
- Is the surface of the piston smooth and hard enough to give you a great action?
- The potential overall lifespan.
Finally, the finish. Many of the professional trumpets have a lacquered finish on a prepared brass surface. You will see some manufacturers make silver-plated finish trumpets which many consider superior.
These days there are some trumpets in different colors using lacquered nickel-plate. These designs are for those who do not like the traditional look.
Finding The Best Trumpet Manufacturers
Being familiar with the names of the manufacturers will help. There are a lot of brands, and it will assist you to know those with big reputations. But if you are looking for the best budget trumpet brands, you also need to know who they might be.
You have large international corporations who have gained a significant reputation in the world of music. Others produce trumpets that are more cost-effective. These help young musicians to get their foot on the ladder. In both cases, we are only looking for the best. Let’s make a start.
Let’s begin with Yamaha who has established itself as one of the most well-known and respected brands in musical instrument manufacture. And not only in trumpets. They make a range of professional-level instruments. The trumpet is just one.
From Student To Pro
No matter what level you are at, Yamaha will have an instrument that is right for you. The quality of manufacture is very high, with each piece made to a great consistency. The finished instruments all undergo rigorous checks.
Praised by the Pros
The Yamaha YTR-2335 Bb Trumpet receives accolades from professional players and is recommended by them as being the very best trumpet for beginners. It is so good that it goes beyond the starter level and even suits intermediate players.
At the other end of the musical level…
Yamaha has the Xeno series, as evident by this Yamaha YTR-8335G Xeno Series Bb Trumpet Silver. Craftsman-made to the most exacting standards to produce world-class quality. From trumpets for beginners to horns for the pros like the YTR-83335G Xeno series, Yamaha must be one of the best trumpet manufacturers in the world.
Two interesting observations about this well-known trumpet manufacturing company. The company was founded by Vincent Schrottenbach, not Bach, in 1918. By then, he had left the UK, though born in Austria, to go to America. Therefore, implied claims by some that it is an Austrian company are not accurate.
The play with the surname is also interesting. Possibly trying to plant an image that it has something to do with the great German composer 200 years before. It doesn’t.
And finally, the appellation Stradivarius is another “musical coincidence.” Antonio Stradivarius made violins and had nothing to do with trumpets. Experienced musicians will know all this; others may not.
In The Beginning
Vincent Schrottenbach was a cornetist and had previously toured Europe. He was touring in the US in 1918 when his mouthpiece was destroyed by someone repairing his cornet. He began repairs of his own, and the company grew from there.
In today’s trumpet world, there is no doubt they make a quality instrument. They are accepted as being one of the best trumpets available. Additionally, they have operated a series of brand names for their trumpets, Stradivarius, Mercury, Mercedes, and Minerva.
They finally became part of the Conn-Selmer group, and many of those names were discontinued. One of their most popular is the Bach 180S37 Stradivarius Series Bb Trumpet Silver. It has Monel valves and pistons.
There have been some cost-cutting design changes in their manufacturing process over the years. However, this doesn’t seem to have affected the sound and playability of their instruments. And they are still a highly respected brand in many circles.
Renold Schilke was a professional Cornet player who had a remarkable education. Besides playing in various high-level orchestras, he also studied in Belgium at the Brussels Conservatoire.
He worked on metallurgy and physics and their effects on music. And he studied the effect of mathematics on identifying pitch and studied the effect of lacquered brass instruments.
Make Your Own
In the 1950s, dissatisfied with the quality of the instruments that were available to buy, he made his own. He was well-equipped to do so. In the 60s, he worked as a consultant for Yamaha on brass instrument design. And many of those early Yamaha instruments were assembled by Schilke craftsmen.
After his death, the company continued to produce quality instruments played by such notables as Lew Soloff of Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Dizzy Gillespie. Today they are still a recognized force and known for their quality.
Each instrument is handmade and also fitted together by hand by craftsmen. They make a range of trumpets in Bb, C, D, G, and F, as well as Piccolo trumpets.
If you are looking for quality, these instruments are very special and one of the few manufacturers that challenge Yamaha. A great example is the Schilke B Series Custom Bb Trumpet.
My Big Three
Those are three examples of trumpets made by some of the best manufacturers. The prices, of course, will be out of reach for some, especially if you are a beginner. So what about the other end of the cost scale?
Best Trumpet Brands for Beginners
Whilst it is important to look at the very best, it is also necessary to identify the best at the other end of the cost spectrum. Some will want the best makers of trumpets but at cost-effective prices.
Mendini by Cecilio Trumpets
This is a company that is known for manufacturing budget-priced instruments aimed at beginners. Mendini is a range from Cecilio Instruments.
Cecilio was founded in 1999 in China, which is where the trumpets are made. They make a wide range of orchestral instruments which are aimed at the beginner. Most of their products come as part of a package.
In the case of the trumpet, this Mendini By Cecilio Bb Trumpet includes a silver-plate 7c mouthpiece and a hard case. You are also supplied with some accessories, including some valve oil, a cloth to clean it, and some white gloves to handle it while cleaning.
These are cost-effective instruments that are made for the beginner. Quite clearly, the quality of the instrument is not going to be anywhere near what we have looked at so far.
But the purpose of this part of the exercise is to choose the best trumpet manufacturer at this price level. Cecilio will certainly fall into that category. They are well-made and have Monel pistons and valves, and a rose brass lead pipe.
The sound for its price point is very good, and this particular example shown below has a surprisingly warm sound. There are a range of trumpets to choose from and even a range of colors. They are designed to be the first instrument, and as such, they are a good option from a manufacturer serving a much-needed purpose.
For our last look at the best manufacturers for cost-effective trumpets, we go to Eastar. They are based in Hong Kong and have a simple aim. To provide a range of orchestral instruments that are good but also cost-effective. They achieve both goals, in my opinion. Their range of instruments now includes Wind, Percussion, Orchestral strings, Keyboards, and Brass.
A Range Aimed At The Beginner
They are very clear that their instruments are aimed at those just starting on their musical journey. They are, therefore, conscious of the need to produce a decent quality, or it will be unplayable. Not much good for a new musician.
To ensure the quality is up to Eastar standards, the trumpets are checked before leaving the factory. They are checked again when they arrive in their US warehouse before they are sold and distributed.
As we have indicated at the price point, the quality of the trumpet is very good. They are made from Brass and have either a gold lacquer or nickel finish.
You may notice that the trumpet is quite heavy compared with other starter trumpets. This is because of the quality of the materials. There are no plastic parts or cheap materials.
They are well-put-together instruments, and great care is taken in this area. It is one thing having good materials machined precisely. But if the trumpet is put together poorly, it is going to be very evident.
Easy To Play
As they are designed particularly for the starter, they have been made to be easy to play. It is not an easy instrument to come to terms with, and so every student needs a little help from their trumpet. A good example of what they produce is the Eastar Bb Standard Trumpet Set for Beginner.
Interested in Buying a Trumpet?
Well, we can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Mendini by Cecilio MTT-L Trumpet, the Mendini by Cecilio Gold Trumpet, the Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet, and the Yamaha YTR-2330 Standard Bb Trumpet for amazing trumpets you can buy in 2022.
And don’t miss our handy articles on What’s the Difference Between a Cornet and Trumpet, How Much Do Used Trumpets Sell For, and Are Eastar Trumpets Any Good for more helpful information about this amazing instrument.
What are the Best Trumpet Brands?
I have tried to cover the best of both worlds here. And there are a lot of names of manufacturers not included because this article could easily be twice as long. But I have tried to include what I think are the best manufacturers for both the experienced player and the starter.
If I had to choose the best trumpet brand in the professional range, then I would choose Yamaha just ahead of Schilke. And that is based on Yamaha’s constant striving to produce the best in everything they do. Their trumpets are no different; they are excellent.
My choice as the best starter trumpet brand would be Eastar. A manufacturer that goes out of their way to make the trumpet cost-effective but at the same time, very good indeed.
Enjoy choosing, and of course, playing.