10 Best Professional Trumpets in 2020 (Review)
A professional trumpet is essential for any serious player. The craftsmanship and quality of your instrument ensure you perform your best. The care you put into choosing it represents a passion and commitment to the craft that you have cultivated throughout your lifetime.
While there are trumpets for beginners and intermediates, profession-caliber options are reserved for an elite group of players. To help unite those individuals with the perfect instrument, we have researched and analyzed top makes and models to make those connections possible. Our reviews and buying guide have everything serious players need to know about the best professional trumpets in 2020.
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The Best Professional Trumpets
1. Bach 180S37 Professional Trumpet
The name Stradivarius carries a legacy unchallenged by other instrument manufacturers. The company only hires the most experienced craftsmen to design, assemble, and test Bach Stradivarius instruments. As a result of this meticulous engineering, the models, including the Stradivarius Series Bb trumpets, are prized amongst the most technically proficient trumpet players.
The Bach 180S37 Bb professional trumpet comes with a one-piece #37 bell for the ultimate resonance along the length of the instrument. The silver-plated trumpet features Monel pistons for fine-tuned tolerances and smooth action. While this model doesn’t have the triggers and two-piece value casings of fancier Stradivarius trumpets, it produces excellent sound quality.
The #37 standard silver Stradivarius is one of the more common options amongst professional level players, and deservedly so. It has a traditional weight for the body and bell and a #25 standard taper lead pipe. Additionally, you receive a Bach 7C mouthpiece.
One of the unique qualities of the Bach 180S37 Stradivarius Bb professional silver trumpet is that it is handmade. These nuances will become apparent when examining the continuity of the pipes, the silver flair, or the large bore.
2. Yamaha YTR-2330 Professional Trumpet
Trumpets may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the name Yamaha. The multinational corporation is the largest producer of pianos in the world and has an extensive line of motorcycles.
Still, the company’s roots in music go back generations, and the Yamaha YTR-2330 professional trumpet is no exception. The two-piece bell offers a consistent vibration and tone with each note. Its overall playability has made it one of the top professional trumpets in the world.
The thoughtfulness and consideration taken in the design phase are evident in every curve and angle of the Yamaha YTR-2330 trumpet. There are comfortable grips and an effortless balance for intuitive and skillful play. The high-quality Monel alloy pistons, buttons, and bottoms will all stand the test of time.
It also has a second and main tuning slide like its higher-end counterparts. This overall playability makes it a great choice for a professional level player. Best of all, it comes with one of the most reasonable price tags of any option on this list.
3. Kaizer C-Series 3000 Professional Trumpet
The first thing customers will notice about the Kaizer C-Series 3000 professional trumpet is the price tag. Considering that some trumpets can cost upwards of $4,000, this instrument is a steal.
While Kaizer doesn’t producer professional trumpets itself, it cuts out the middlemen and distributors that artificially increase the price tag. Instead, Kaizer seeks out high-quality trumpet manufacturers and puts their private label on the instrument.
On a technical level, this Kaizer model is a standard Bb flat trumpet featuring a new gold lacquer finish. It has a large bore measuring .464″ and an easily adjustable 3rd valve slide ring. You can also comfortably rest your playing-hand above the pistons with a 1st valve side thumb hook.
The Kaizer C-Series 3000 takes a considerable amount of inspiration from its predecessors, the 1000 and 2000 series. The upgrades in features from the brass lead pipe to the tuning slides make it one of the most exceptional models in the company’s inventory.
4. Getzen 900S
Getzen is a legacy brand in the realm of professional level trumpets. The company has been a household name for more than 50 years. The Getzen 900S Eterna Classic came to fruition in the early 1960s, and the American jazz trumpeter Carl Doc Severinson helped popularize the model.
This classic Bb trumpet features a .460″ large bore with a standard lead pipe made of nickel silver material. The two-piece yellow brass bell is 4.75″ and delivers excellent intonation and vibration. You’ll notice a fuller and richer sound, especially when playing at higher octaves.
The 900S Eterna Classic has a high-quality sound with a smooth action. Each stroke is fast, short, and effortless on top of nickel-plated valves. Even in a professional orchestra, the Getzen 900S can cut through the noise.
The long-established credibility and influence of the 900S Eterna bb trumpet are undeniable. You can compare it pound for pound against other competing brands, like Bach and Yamaha, and come away with favorable results.
Additionally, you also get valve oil and a soft cloth cover. This trumpet is a great investment.
5. Yamaha YTR-8335RS
Endorsements for the Yamaha YTR-8335RS Xeno Series Bb Trumpet are not hard to find. The instrument is a prominent part of world-class orchestras and is similar to the Yamaha YTR-8310Z used by award-winning trumpet player Bobby Shew. Its harmonious tone delivers a bright and warm sound that functions well as a solo instrument or part of a larger composition.
The Yamaha YTR-883RS starts with a 16C4-HGP nickel-silver mouthpiece, which locks into a relatively sturdy mouthpiece receiver. Further down the instrument are hand-lapped slides and Monel pistons that are highly receptive to finger strokes. The lightweight and durable case helps optimizing player performance.
The extraordinary quality of the Yamaha TRY-883RS is possible, in large part, to the handcrafted precision during the manufacturing process. The attention to detail is evident in the double main tuning slide braces, reverse tuning slide, and hand-hammered one-piece bell. You also have the option to select between a silver or gold lacquer finish or nickel-silver plating.
The Xeno trumpet series stands out among the trumpets reviewed because of its versatility and responsive touch. It doesn’t sacrifice timber or tone with its streamlined body or redesigned bell. While the price tag approaches the highest range, the Yamaha TRY-883RS is a worthy addition to the repertoire of any serious player.
6. Jupiter XO Series1602RS-R
The Jupiter XO Series1602RS-R Series Bb Trumpet is a mouthful. Simply put, though, it is worth the investment from any professional trumpeter. It produces a deep, rich sound that delivers a high-quality experience thanks to a lightweight and smooth action spring set.
This series Bb trumpet features a .459” large bore, hand-hammered one-piece bell, and Monel piston valve. The distinguishing features, though, are the rounded and elliptical tuning slides. Each slide offers absolute precision when it comes to finding the perfect pitch during a performance.
The Jupiter XO Series 1602RS-R is also notable for its intuitive design. The thumb saddle and fixed ring for the 3rd valve slide adjustment allow you to rest your hands comfortably along the body. This positioning not only allows for immediate action but also promotes proper playing technique.
There are no weaknesses when it comes to the Jupiter XO Series 1602RS-R. This professional model delivers high marks across the board with smooth Monel valves, impeccable sound, and outstanding versatility.
7. Yamaha YTR-8335S
Hand-hammered one-piece bell. Hand-lapped slides. A .459” large bore. There is a lot to like about the Yamaha YTR-8335S Xeno Professional Bb Trumpet. The model is part of the company’s Xeno series (pronounced Zeno), which offers some of the smoothest resistance and airflow among leading professional trumpet brands.
This professional Bb trumpet excels when it comes to power and performance. Yamaha’s lengthy history in the music industry is directly responsible for the robust tone and sound. Even when you approach peak volumes, the caliber of the notes will remain true to pitch.
The Yamaha YTR-8335S features yellow brass bell and body, in addition to a gold brass lead pipe and a silver or gold lacquer. It also comes with a 16C4-HGP mouthpiece for the fullest possible airflow. Additionally, each Yamaha YTR-8335S has a wood frame durable case with cloth interior for the ultimate protection.
8. Bach AC190
The Artisan Series marks an evolution in Stradivarius craftsmanship. Conn-Selmer, the American manufacturer responsible for Stradivarius, used it as an opportunity to blend classic quality construction with the signature Bach sound. This has resulted in the creation of a classy looking and great sounding trumpet.
The Bach AC190 Artisan Series Stradivarius C Trumpet draws inspired from some of Bach’s earliest designs. The goal is to replicate the clean and centered sound with modern craftsmanship and features. It has a .462″ large bore and a hand-hammered one-piece bell with a flat rim.
The yellow rose brass bell and body comes with Monel pistons that offer smooth action and lightning-fast response times. The stainless-steel pistons are customizable for each player and provide two sets of valve guides. Additionally, the first slide split finger ring lets professional players calibrate the trumpet with the utmost precision.
The remarkable part of the Bach AC190 is it offers superior intonation, even compared to standard Stradivarius instruments.
9. Bach LR180S-43
The association with Vincent Bach should be enough for any professional level player to consider the Bach LR180S-43 Stradivarius Professional Bb Trumpet. While the name is cumbersome, the action and performance are not. It seamlessly integrates the essential features you need to deliver timeless Bach sound.
This professional trumpet has a .459” medium-large bore along with Monel values and a 25LR reverse lead pipe. These components provide the means for well-centered tones, regardless of where the note falls in pitch. Note that Bach trumpets also come with a 3rd valve slide ring and 1st valve slide hook.
The silver-plated Bach LR180S-43 is handcrafted, which allows for a distinct flow and continuity, even among the same models. Bach only allows the most proficient technicians to handle these professional trumpets during production to ensure high-quality performance.
10. Blessing BTRML1
Don’t let this trumpet’s affordable price tag fool you. As far as cheap professional trumpets go, the Blessing BTRML1 Artist Series Professional Trumpet is a worthy purchase for any professional level player.
It is the brainchild of three popular professional players: Robert Dorer, Dominick Farinacci, and Buff Dillard. These trumpeters consulted with Blessing when it came to designing the BTR-ML for maximum versatility and functionality—needless to say, this trumpet has no shortage of positive reviews. The company also uses mouthpieces from Terry Warburton and Lausmann to deliver high-quality sound.
This Artist Series trumpet features a .460” medium-large bore with a bell that measures 4 7/8” inches. You will also find all the components you know and love, including Monel pistons, a third valve stop, a first valve thumb hook, and a double-tuning slide brace. It’s is only appropriate that one of the gold-standards in the industry also comes with gold lacquer, as well.
How to Choose a Professional Trumpet – 5 Key Features
Many of the options in this professional trumpet review are here, in part, because of stellar reputations. While this reason should not be the only factor in your purchasing decision, it is worth consideration. An outstanding reputation requires decades of patience and performance to earn the trust of players and retailers across the world.
Stradivarius is notable for its association with superior sound. While the Stradivarius violin is the most famous example, the company’s trumpets are no slouch. Examples of other high-end brands include Yamaha, Getzen, and Jean-Paul.
You can have the best trumpet in the world, but it won’t matter if the valve action is sluggish or sticky. Each stroke should be agile and responsive. The goal is to shape notes dexterously with rapid finger action and minimal effort.
Nickel-plated valves are a worthwhile investment, too, as the metal is durable and requires infrequent cleaning. The best trumpets, though, typically use a Monel alloy. This metal is a mixture that is primary nickel and copper and is resistant to corrosion.
You also need accurate tuning to ensure your skill level matches your performance. Tuning slides come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For instance, Jupiter offers rounded and elliptical tuning slides, while Bach trumpets have them linked with the 1st and 3rd valve.
You should also consider whether to purchase a Bb or C trumpet. The Bb models are known for a warm sound that pairs well with ensembles. While the Bb is more popular, the C trumpet may be a better fit for professional level players who would like a higher tone and smaller body.
Mouthpieces. Mutes. Cases. These are a few of the accessories that you can add to your pride and joy. Depending on your style and preferences, you can make your performances higher quality or more manageable. The bottom line, though, is that these accessories should never take away from the playability or caliber of the sound.
Believe it or not, the exterior coating on a trumpet affects its performance and sound. Clear lacquer finishes are standard, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or professional player. There are also silver-plated options, which are thinner and let the metal produce more vibrations. Additionally, many professionals opt for gold-plating as a way to darken the overall tone of the instrument.
How to Tell If a Trumpet Is Professional or Not Before Purchasing
Tone and intonation are distinguishing features of professional trumpets. The reason professional trumpets cost so much more is their unparalleled sound. You are more likely to recognize the differences in timber the longer you play.
Conversely, trumpets for students are often affordable and come with reinforced durability. Manufacturers design them for ease of play, though the sound may be thin and relatively sporadic. Additionally, the small-bore on beginner trumpets make it simpler to get a full sound without exerting too much effort.
What Can You Expect to Pay for a Top Professional Trumpet?
Many professional trumpets cost upwards of $4,000. While some makes and models are only a couple of hundred dollars, a trumpet should be considered a significant investment.
Generally speaking, higher price tags come with the highest possible technical precision. Take the Bach 180S37 professional trumpet, for instance. Workers hammer the bells by hand and fit the pistons on manually. This intricate attention to detail produces a sound and model that assembly-line techniques can’t match.
Are There Cheap Professional Trumpets Available on the Market?
The short answer is no. When it comes to playing the best professional trumpets, there is a corresponding price tag to reflect the high quality you’d expect from an instrument fit for a pro. The same applies regardless of whether you are looking at professional-grade trombones, clarinets, flutes, saxophones, percussions, or string instruments.
Whether purchasing a Bach Stradivarius or Yamaha YTR 8335RS, you can expect to pay a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. That price tag returns top-end craftsmanship and performance when it comes to the airflow, rich tone, vibrations, and quality materials. All these aspects make the investment well worth the price point.
This isn’t to say that price is indicative of quality, though. There are options in our reviews under $500, such as the Kaizer C-Series (3000), but like all musical instruments, the price factors into the features offered, the materials used, and the craftsmanship of the instrument overall. Brand recognition also plays a role in some cases.
Overall, two adages hold true—you get what you pay for, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.