what makes a trumpet pro or student grade

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mtlcaqc, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. mtlcaqc

    mtlcaqc New Friend

    Dec 29, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    ahello every one, I have a very beginner question, what makes a trumpet different between a pro or a student grade, does it have a better tone on a professional one? can a beginner trumpet sounds better after a long time playing? why the price of a trumpet varies so differently, from servral hundred to servral thousands? only a better quality or they sounds differently? how do you know a trumpet is pro or student grade? can we disguish them by their looking or must try on it to hear the tone? is it true that more playing better is the tone on a trumpet? can a student trumpet sounds like a pro grade one after a long time playing on it? thank you for your patient to answer me, I'm indeed a beginner :-)
  2. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2009
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Most dealers will inform you whether a horn is student or professional grade, and you can usually tell by the price. The professional models generally outclass the student horns in every way - construction, sound, almost everything - except for price. Generally, as price goes up, quality goes up as well.

    A trumpet will "sound good" if the trumpet player is good. However, if you take the same trumpet player, he will usually sound better on a professional trumpet than on a student trumpet. A student trumpet will not "get better" - the trumpet PLAYER will get better at playing the trumpet and his sound will improve. The trumpet player makes the sound, and the trumpet player improves - the horn stays the same.

    Trumpet price gaps are very wide for two reasons: One is you have a very large quantity of trumpet players who are looking for an entry-level (student) trumpet because they play in school bands. Most of these players will stop playing the trumpet after high school. They are not particularly invested in trumpet playing. However, if you want a high-quality trumpet, it will cost a lot of money - my professional grade trumpet cost approximately $2300 plus tax, if I recall correctly.

    I hope this was able to answer some of your questions.
  3. isue4you3

    isue4you3 New Friend

    Dec 29, 2009
    Great answer, another big thing is pitch.

    There are many different pitch tendencies on a Bb trumpet that are unavoidable (Low C# will be high, 4th space E will be low, etc.) But with a lot of these cheaper horns, they will introduce new unnecessary pitch problems that wont have any effect for a 5th grader LEARNING how to play. However this will have a big effect on a musician trying to perform.

    This would be like making a track star race with no shoes on, he could do it and still be pretty fast but not as fast as he could be. When you are using your lips to fix pitch on notes that your horn should do for you it will cause you to fatigue MUCH faster.

    I have always said: A beginner horn is something you learn on, a pro horn is something you perform on.

    Hope I could help!
  4. mtlcaqc

    mtlcaqc New Friend

    Dec 29, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    thanks Jon and Greg, I learned a lots tonight with you. I'd like to ask again, how to choose a trumpet for a beginner, get a entry level trumpet and do upgrade after progressed or get a pro one directly from beginning? there is any change of tone on a trumpet after a long period playing on it? why I heard the old instrument is good? is that possible a student trumpet sounds like or even better than a pro one, for example, a vintage trumpet. for a vintage trumpet, how do you know its grade is professional or entry level? by their figure? by their tone? or any thing else? how do you know if the pitch of a trumpet is correct or not? how to measure it? thank you very much for your answer and your patience especially, thanks!!!
  5. isue4you3

    isue4you3 New Friend

    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm not sure that I am understanding you 100% but I will answer what I think you are asking.

    From my understanding you are a beginning trumpet player looking to buy a horn and you want to know if you should get a begging model or a pro model.

    In my opinion (it's just my opinion) I would say buy a entry level horn. There is no point in throwing down 2000 bucks on a horn before you know you are serious about trumpet playing. Also as a beginner you will have no idea what to look for in a horn and what kind of horn would be best for YOU.

    There are tons of things that go into choosing a horn, and if you aren't a developed player then you won't know what attributes YOU like in a horn (such as resistance, weight, material, etc.) If you buy a basic horn (you can look online for great used horns) then you can become a better player and see what feels good for you. After you are an advanced player you can try as many horns as you can get your hands on and find something that's right for you!

    Good luck!
  6. govtmodel

    govtmodel Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Jim Donaldson has a very good explanation at Guide to new trumpets

    Quoting him, "Beginner's trumpets are made by machines in large quantities, with numerous compromises in manufacturing to keep the prices reasonable. They are also designed, at least in theory, for inexpensive manufacturing, durability and easy production of tone, rather than quality of tone and intonation."

    Best to read the whole article-
  7. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Amen to everything that has been posted above. A good horn to start out on should be reasonably priced, gree of glaring intonation issues, and sturdy. From experience I would suggest used horns like the Olds Ambassador, Conn Director (Coprion model) or a Getzen trumpet. These horns have always been serviceable for me and I have tried several in my early years, as well as playing horns of student players. They will hold up, require very few repairs, and will serve you until you know for sure whether you want to buy a more expensive (and even better playing) horn. You can buy used horns that are cheaper and better than most of today's student model horns. It's just my opinion. Hope it helps.

    Ed Fitzgerald

    Courtois Balanced Model trumpet
    Rudy Muck Super Artist clone
    1954 Olds Super w/ Bach uptilt bell Frankenhorn
    Olds Special cornet
    Besson cornet (London)
    Getzen Eterna Flugel (4 valve)

    "Hindsight is ALWAYS 20-20"
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    The difference is usually student horns are mass made and corners are cut to keep down prices.
    What separates the sound of the two? Generally the player. Maynard Ferguson could make a student Bundy scream and sing but the Bundy doesn't play as well as the MF Horn or the Monette Prana.
    If you're a beginner and are looking for a horn that possesses both durability and a great sound, check out a good used Conn Constallation. I think you'll be pleased.
  9. jonterman

    jonterman Pianissimo User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Agreed, a good Constallation will sell for less or the same as a new student model. Also check out any of the Olds line. Many on this site regard the Olds Amabassador as a good intermediate horn (even though is was billed as a student horn). I cant really speak for the trumpet, but I have an Abassador cornet that plays as good (or better than) as the Intermediate Bach TR200 I had.

    One really noteworthy trumpet that the builder considers a pro horn at a student price is the Jaegar trumpet. I tried one and it plays really nice. I think the master builder, Ivan Hunter will let you try one for the cost of shipping. He is a great guy and a great trumpet tech. Jagerbrass.com.

    One quick personal experience about beginner and pro horns - I started on the Bach TR200, decided I love the trumpet, and was fortunate enough to acquire a new Yamaha 8335LA. I'm going to get slammed here, but I DO play better on the Pro Yamaha than I did on the Intermediate Bach. I know they are different brands, but I wanted to share personal experience - not a general opinion. Without going into the specific reasons why I like the Yamaha better - but its just much easier to play, and the tone is much better.

    Thats not to say you cant find an easy playing student model, this is just my experience. Good luck!
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Mtlcaqc, in addition to the comments made so far, there are a couple of additional points to consider. There are many models of inexpensive asian imports being offered for sale to students. Most are offered online but there are some stores that sell them, too. Most of these imports are very pretty but they will not last long as they are somewhat flimsy and the valves are not high quality so they begin to stick and leak in a short time. These instruments are referred to as "TSO's" (Trumpet-shaped objects). Also, many of the imported trumpets will use names that are similar to respected, quality names in hopes of confusing the buyer so beware of that issue.

    So, if you are going to purchase a new trumpet - as opposed to a used, vintage model that was made by a quality manufacturer, be sure the store has a good return policy and also that they will service the instrument (many repair shops will not service the imports as they repair cost is more than the price and also parts are not available).

    There are many threads on this forum that deal with this topic such as this one:
    Spend some time browsing and read through them to educate yourself. The more information you have, the better choices you will be able to make. As a beginner, the specific brand and model that you choose will not make a great deal of difference as long as it is good quality so it doesn't fail you while you are still learning. If you look at the list in my signature block, you will see some of the brand names that have become known as good instruments over the years. All of mine (except the Eastman) are models made in the 1940's - 1970's and are good instruments, even used. The problem will be finding vintage instruments that you can touch and play before you buy since most of these are now sold online in places like ebay where you simply take your chances.

    Go, good luck on your search and come back often to let us know what you are finding. We can address specific questions that you may have about models that you are considering.

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