The title pretty much states the question, how do people, based on reputation alone justify a trumpet purchase? I am considering buying some new horns and have a list of trumpets I intend to try before I make a decision to purchase. Personally I would never consider buying a horn based on reputation alone. Yet, I read so many posts in which someone is asking if he/she should buy a horn they have never played, a horn they have only heard about. I played a dozen horns before settling on my Recording Olds--and every variation in the shop before buying my 72MLV. Both times these were the horns I preferred, neither purchase (thanks Mom and Dad for the Olds) has ever been regretted. If I had just walked in and bought a Connstellation (that's what my Director recommended) or a 37 ML (that's what the prof at my college recommended) those horns would have been replaced long ago. I realize that trying out horns isn't as easy as it used to be, but I can't imagine not playing a horn before I bought it. Lay it on me, am I wrong in believing this. PS--I'm not talking about buying a classic horn today--I've played so many different horns over the last 50 years I already know how most of them play.