What is the best brand of trumpets?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hitman0042, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. mellowmood_in_ventura

    mellowmood_in_ventura New Friend

    Dec 4, 2008
    This is quite an issue, and when you think about it, unlike automobiles(or what I can oughttamobiles, which are the ones that oughtta run better), trumpet-manufacterers are not so familiar. For the average person, it'd be just as easy to identify the best maker of potato-peeler:lol:
    I'd suggest the we use two guidelines in determining what the 'best' trumpet would be, which are 1. the actual sound that you desire. Say your all-time favorite trumpet recording is Hugh Masekela's "Grazing In The Grass", then you'd want a horn with lots of resonance, and that calls for a heavy horn.
    Same goes for getting the 'Al Hirt' sound(or Miles Davis' DARK tones.
    But, if you desire a medium-bright sound a la Herb Alpert, then a medium-gauge horn would be suitable. From there, if airiness and crackle are your bag, then a lightweight horn would be right for you. Not everyone likes the same thing, y'know! Now onto item # 2. buying from a trusted company. A considerable problem can happen when(or if) you need replacement parts...say you drop your horn squarely on it's 2nd-valve crook, and need a new one, or any other accident that necessitates a part.
    The last thing you'd care to deal with is either a totally oddball horn for which NO-ONE makes parts for. Or a 'fly-by-night' company that didn't make anything compatible with anyone else. I'm just guessing here, but I'd think that enough 'generic' parts are available to suit most any brand.
    That Bessen puts out instruments with such concerns in mind, and can sell you that crook, piston or whatever that you need, and even if they go out of business, they bothered to created trumpets that are sufficiently compatible with others, so that a Holton valve can be used, provided that the part is for an equal-gauge horn. This brings me to what became my choice of trumpet, the Cecilio from K.K.Music. I chose that for one reason alone, and that was cost. I hadn't played in some ten years or so, and quite frankly, had no idea of whether I'd play consistently, or just just toot around for old time's sake; a friend of mine suggested a used horn such as he'd seen on ebay for about 80 bucks or so. In other words, a cheap(but nonetheless name-brand trumpet. And I scoured ebay's list for something that would be suitable. Well, along came an ad that proclaimed that "you'll never find a better deal on the Internet" for some horn that I'd never heard of. Ever, that is, and so I thought "isn't Cecilio some Simon and Garfunkel thing"? I did research, and found Cecilio just about everywhere. In Yahoo! Shopping, along with MSN's Shopping Network, and Amazon. In fact, all of 'em carried Cecilio. Well, a brand-new horn that sports a guarantee appealed to my sensibilities. Oh, yes I did also read the criticism, too, and there are some unflattering things said about Cecilio, but from the customer's rating site of ebay, glowing accounts were also found, and that Cecilio just seemed to be a fave for ebay folk. And I assumed the risk of ending-up with a cheapie, but fortunately for me, it turned-out to be a
    Glorified cheapie. Cecilio eschews just about ever frill known to trumpets...in fact, the first prob that I encountered was because, unlike typical horns in which the 'valve-guide'(the raised rectangular thing that goes into the cylinder's groove that's normally molded TO the piston, with Cecilio, the valve-guide is found on that acrylic piece that sits atop the springs. Prob is that should that piece be just slightly tipped, the valves doesn't work right, and because I wasn't familiar with this peculiar way of doing things, the guide frequently slipped(or should I say was rotated) from it's groove. Well, I somehow got that corrected, and in time could actually produce some tones from the horn, but for couple of months, it was like starting all over again; I had all of this knowledge of how to play, and absolutely no ability whatsoever! It was just s-p-p-p-p- s-t--t-t-t-t<brief tone> and then sp-p-p-p-p-p-p-t-t-t-t-<brief tone again> and so forth. In other words, I didn't take on where I had left off some decade or so earlier. Talk about humbling! But, also talk about illustrating an earlier point that I made, that you'll want to be able to replace damaged parts, so here is the question that I have to be concerned with: will these odd pistons of Cecilio be replaceable ANYWHERE from ANYONE? Can I used a standard-style of valve(with the guide cast into the piston), or is everything about Cecilio so weird that part will never be found? Personally, as I'd said before, the chances are that amongst all the trumpet-makers, there must be one that puts out parts that I can buy, in the event that K.K. Music goes defunct. See, I'm not stupid, and yes! I have considered things.
    Ok, so this 'I can use a Holton(Benge, Conn etc) valve thing just occurred to me right at this moment, but wouldn't you think that it'd be so, with only one possible exception, being that K.K.Music didn't bother to co-ordinate their trumpets to any known standards. Well, that's the kind of issue that you have to weigh-out..."am I going to be able to service this horn, should I need to?" That, together with determining the gauge that will be best for you(weight and diameter of bore, etc) are what I think are the two most critical issues. From there, I don't give a fig. When I'm buy woodshedding, a Cecilio is good as a Pennies Cadet is as good as a Yamaha or a Holton, Selmer Bundy, or anything else; beyond that, it's just the maker's fancy engravings on the bell, and how they design the valve-caps. In other word, it's six or a half-dozen of the other to a person like me that thinks status is what you do with a trumpet, rather that it's name. If a trumpet named Inkle-Dinkle Droppit on A Finkle ever makes a reliable (and affordable horn, then I've go for it. I used to own a Bundy, while I was residing in L.A. near Bundy and Santa Monica Blvd, and so that name appealed to me then.
    But now I don't care for anything but having a means to becoming a darned-good living room player.:play:
  2. thebugleboy

    thebugleboy Pianissimo User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Deep South
    Anybody ever play an old Getzen Eterna. They could really be fun to soar on back when I was in school. In college (along with an antique Besson - sweet sound) I also had a custom Conn Constellation with a leadpipe and bell so big nobody ever wanted to try it out. You could sure get a sound out of it though. I used it for my jazz and rock bands. I could slide around and bend notes in half with the Getzens, but there never was a bigger sound than that old Constellation tank. Fast valves too, believe it or not. I did Haydn with it one time and had a ball. Of course the instructors didn't have so much fun as I did. It's a good thing I had so much time in as a skin diver and had huge lungs and a massive diaphragm.
  3. mellowmood_in_ventura

    mellowmood_in_ventura New Friend

    Dec 4, 2008
    during the past 47 or so years, I've had a few trumpets, and(most likely) my favorite as a Selmer Bundy. It was a terrific *mid-weight* horn. Neither dark-sounding nor bright, it possessed a pleasing tone that could be used for nearly anything. Then there was my previous horn, the off-brand called Kris Kratt...it was a heavy trumpet with with weirdest feature of any that I've used: the valve-guides swiveled slightly. Made for probs if I misaligned them while cleaning, and then would have to reposition them...when they were oiled, that is. The Kratt was a horn that I purchased used from an in-law who didn't play it for very long, and so into the cast went the Kratt, valve oil and all, and oil became a daunting layer of residue that I had an awful time removing(as I believe I've said before in another posting)...well, the third valve never worked well, and for that reason, I preferred to play stuff that didn't use that valve extensively. But crusty former valve oil and goofy valve-guides not withstanding, the Kratt was a good horn for a 'Big Ballad' style. You could play "Wonderland By Night" on it, or anything Harry James authentically on it, thanks to it's HUGE resonance. But as for getting many 'transients', forget it. The Kratt didn't provide them. With my present(and even further off-brand Cecilio, I can obtain certain noises while at a low volume...the kinds of stuff that Herb Alpert did, which were those crazy mouthpiece sounds. It's like if you deliberately move the mouthpiece away at different angles, you can get these fabulous crackly, or sputtery noises. They aren't clean and tidy, and some folks most likely hate them, but haven enjoyed those effects of Tijuana Brass recordings, they've become items that I enjoy creating.
    My very lightweight Cecilio is ideal for them, but...but if I have to choose a favorite horn, then my 'Bundy' gets the honors. :-)
    I guess that some of you are thinking that it's a downward progression for me, from Bundy to Kratt and now Cecilio...what's next, a kazoo?
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    ¿ʇɐɥʇ ɥʇıʍ ǝnƃɹɐ uɐɔ oɥʍ ʍou

  5. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Ah Chuck, now your speaking my language. ROFL
  7. The Trumpet Shop

    The Trumpet Shop New Friend

    Dec 28, 2007
    When I have a week to spare and a nice cuppa joe, I'd like to read this thread. In the meantime, the wise-guy answer is I have the best brands of trumpets...actually I have a couple that may qualify.

    Nordsland has my 2 favorite quotes I've seen so far, although I'd say trumpets are cheap. It's the wives that are expensive. :shhh:

    (no wonder i'm still single)
  8. The Trumpet Shop

    The Trumpet Shop New Friend

    Dec 28, 2007
    Ok as it turns out, I didn't need a week nor a good cup of coffee. This thread isn't exactly what I expected...silly me.

    Let's take a stab at the best horns. I'd start with the makers of the horns listed in my signature. All are great choices. I could easily end there. That's how good they are.

    There are many I haven't played, but I'll get to them ALL eventually. :evil: Of course I'll have to try them all side by side, with the right mouthpieces. Ah what the heck, do I really need to put the car in the garage? Fill it with horns! :thumbsup:
  9. cannonball junkie

    cannonball junkie New Friend

    Dec 16, 2008
    what et mike has already stated, different brands have different qualities. go to a local horn dealer, try as many horns as possible, sum it up to a couple, play them, and decide. And dont take anyones opinion on "THE BEST BRAND OR HORN", its a matter of opinion. what works for someone else may not work for you.
  10. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    You know I am going to approach this from another prospective!!!

    If I had my wish I wish Old's and Son's was still makeing trumpets. I think they made very interesting intruments that had a lot of charcter! It did not matter if you picked up an Ambasador or a Menendez they all had character! Today most trumpets are devoid of character and are entirely too good at what ever purpose they where designed to fill! I especialy like the fact that everytime you picked up an old student horn their was a chance it would sing like a professional model. I do not think that happens today.

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