professional vs. student model trumpets

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Tammerman175, May 13, 2008.

  1. Tammerman175

    Tammerman175 New Friend

    Oct 19, 2007
    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between a professional and student and/or intermediate level trumpets??
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    generally the difference is in the quality control of the manufacture
    student models are much more "slapped" together and more about producing a trumpet for as cheap as possible than good/sound intonnation
    Higher quality instruments have various advantages such as ease of playing in different registers, more consistent sound and blow, better intonation, better slides, better valves, etc.
  3. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    In addition to what the other poster already answered about a professional trumpet being made with better materials and to better quality control standards:

    Although we speak of just 2 categories, student and professional, there is really a spectrum of different quality trumpets.

    1. - Lowest quality is junk on eBay that sells for $100 new, not worth buying even for a beginner.

    2. - Higher are the Conn Directors and Olds Ambassadors from the 1950's and 1960's, and the modern-day Bach 300's and Yamaha 2320's, decent quality student instruments.

    3. - Still higher are what some people call "intermediate" quality trumpets, which can be a 1960's Holton Galaxy or 1960's Conn 22B, instruments which can be used by good students or casual professionals.

    4. - Still better are the strictly professional instruments, such as Olds Recording and Conn Connstellations of the 1960's and 1960's, or present day Monette or Schilke.

    A beginner who has never played trumpet before might not be able to tell the difference between student trumpet and professional trumpet, because the beginning student has such an immature embouchure that his embouchure is messing up any instrument he tries to play.

    But the more experienced he becomes, the more he will begin to feel and hear the difference between student and professional instruments.

    After a few months of learning to play trumpet he might be able to discern some difference in the 2 instruments.
    After a couple of years he might be able to discern a big difference between the 2 instuments.
    After a few years he might discern a *huge* difference between the 2 instruments.

    As his embouchure and other aspects of his playing mature, the student will notice that his abilities have outgrown what the student trumpet can do, that more and more he needs something better, something approaching a professional level trumpet.

    As your abilities increase, you will notice that the student trumpet is fighting against you, in range and in tone and in fingering.
    But when you finally get your hands on a professional trumpet it suddenly feels like the trumpet is working with you instead of fighting against you.

    You really need to do a side-by-side comparison of student and professional instruments to know what the difference is like.

    - Morris
    nilloc97 likes this.
  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    In addition to playing different characteristics, pro horns are usually built to tighter tolerances. Student horn are a little looser and can tolerate a little more abuse before the valves start binding. This doesn't include the cheap Ebay or Sam's Club no-name horns which are barely put together well enough to work at all.

    Also, student horns usually don't have a first valve saddle to adjust the slide and might have a moveable ring instead of a fixed ring on the third slide.

    Generally, student horns are made to be durable and economical and pro horns are made to optimize playability (and sometimes to appear to optimize playability!).

    Intermediate horns are harder to define, but are often made such that they look more like a pro horn, but are built like a student horn. The playability may or may not improve with the improved look (and added cost, compared to a student horn). I had a Yamaha intermediate model from 7th to 10th grade and it was really a nice playing horn. Better than a student line and it had good first and third slide rings.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think we may be missing an important point here.
    A good student instrument is built with durability, dependability (even when not properly cared for) and easy to play in mind - at the sacrifice of some sonic quality and maximum volume.

    A pro instrument is much more sensitive to mishandling - valves stick easier, dents affect the sound more, the laquer comes off easier and many times they are not easy to play or control when your breathing is not together. I do not consider a decent second hand pro instrument to be a suitable instrument for a young beginner. After a couple of years and the impression that the kids know how to take care of the horn, then it is often a great motivational factor to get a pro horn.
  6. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    I agree.

    Circa 2003 I began my come-back with a beat-up 1971 Getzen 300.
    That thing looked like it had been through 2 world wars and several junior high schools.
    But that ugly, dented, bent, lacquer-molting thing was built so solidly that it still played well and served me well for the first 3 years of my come-back.

    On the other hand, I read posts which say, "Last night I dropped my $3,000 trumpet and it is completely un-playable until I have it repaired".

    - Morris
  7. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA

    I agree with everything stated in this thread, but Rowuk did a great job (as usual :cool:) of getting to the heart of the matter and summing it all up!!

  8. Dr. Zink

    Dr. Zink Pianissimo User

    Feb 8, 2007
    North Coast US

    Nothing if you happen to find a student/intermediate instrument that meets all your expectations and works for you.

    On that note, I think I remember that Yamaha student model trumpets during the late 70s in general played better than their professional models.

    Dr. Z
  9. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    To expand on this; most vintage top line trumpets until very recently did not have a first valve slide saddle or ring. The artist was expected to lip all of the notes into proper intonation. Now, even the TSO's,( trumpet shaped objects ), at the bottom of the quality list have such apurtanances to make them have the 'look'.

    As an elderly trumpeter, I never got used to a first valve slide adjustment, because only a very few horns in my formative years had such mechanisms. I still don't use one, because it is second nature to lip everything into tune. I even rarely use the third valve adjustment ring because I was taught not to. My ear has served me well.

  10. Decentplayer

    Decentplayer Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 11, 2008
    Morris, you're pretty much a beginner yourself, there are many other professional trumpets than you state. Any professional player can play a student trumpet and sound great.


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