which vintage trumpets should I look for?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by screamingmorris, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    For a couple of months I have been observing trumpets for sale on eBay and in Craigslist then doing Internet searches for info about those trumpets.
    Which used trumpets under $500 are considered "too die for" that I should try if I ever get the chance to try one?
    For example, I have read about people who regretted selling their Olds Ambassadors and their Holton Galaxies and their Silver Flairs.

    Keep in mind that I am a 51-year-old tone-deaf amateur who returned to trumpet playing 4 years ago after a 30-year hiatus, and the only playing I do is in my kitchen where I have great acoustics but no audience other than complaining next-door neighbors. :^)
    Nevertheless, I have enough of an ear that I can feel and hear the difference when I try a Getzen 300 and a Holton 602 and a Yamaha 2320 and a Bach 300.

    Please specify brand and model, why you like its sound and feel, and how much such probably sells for used.
    If I ever see and get the opportunity to try the type of trumpet you recommend, I might just buy it if I have the money at the time (miracles do happen).

    - morris
  2. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Hi Morris, nice to see you here.

    For under $500, my guess is the 22B crowd will weigh in.

    My own vintage brand, the Selmers, cost a bit more. Mine ran $720 with shipping. If you can find a K-Modified or a Radial for around $500, it would be tough to not bid.

    A Radial you well might snag for that price or less. I've read here that some have bought Radials for under $500 and are very happy!

    My opinion of the student horns is that they are just that. I base it on my experience of playing them when they were new getting close to 30 years ago while working in a music store.

    Good Luck,

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    You occasionally find a vintage King Flair for $500.

    That would be a nice horn for you.

    It MUST be a model 1055 NOT a 2055.

    A 1960s or early 1970s trumpet.

    One way to tell is there is only one brace on the tuning slide.

    That is a pro horn and would serve you very well.

    Also, occasionally you can find a Getzen Eterna-Severinsen Model for that price.

    Again, a 60s or 70s model

  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    For under $500, I would look at the vintage Conn pro models, like the 22B suggested earlier, or a 6B, 8B, 10B, etc. Check out this link - it's very educational as far as older Conn trumpets and cornets are concerned. The Conn Loyalist

    If you want to spend a little more, a Connstellation is nice, and I like the Olds recording trumpets also - they're beautiful horns. I bought a like-new 1960 Conn 6B Victor on eBay last year for a BIN price of $300, and it's a fantastic trumpet. Good luck!

  5. michaelm2

    michaelm2 New Friend

    Mar 23, 2007
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I've got a 1927 Conn 22b that I picked up for $75. It had a crack in the lead pipe. The horn plays so well I went with a patch rather than replacing the pipe and not knowing what I'd end up with. Also picked up an Olds Special (Los Angeles) like new for $350 that I'd put up against many horns today. I also have one from Fullerton that's nice, but not nearly as good.
  6. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

    Jan 24, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Another nod for the older 22B. If you save enough on the front side, consider a pro polish and refurb.
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    You can get the vintage Bueschers for less than $300 on ebay. Look for a serial number less than about 360,000.

    I had a pro play my Buescher 400 from 1949 and he was quite impressed.

  8. meauxhorn

    meauxhorn New Friend

    Feb 28, 2007
    Spend a little more and invest in a Burbank or Los Angeles benge. They have great response and are a joy to play. meauxhorn
  9. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    A nod for the "Vintage" Silver Flairs! I love mine serial number puts it around 1964 or so! Great horn I bought for around 550.00 if memory serves me right!
  10. Gary Schutza

    Gary Schutza Pianissimo User

    Apr 6, 2007
    Kansas City
    My particular fave to look for would be a Holton RB 57. Fairly small bore, great valves, a large (5 inch?) red brass (almost copper) bell with a very late flair; made in the late 50's. I had one that was a very sweet playing horn. Was a joy to play, sort of the reason we play Bb's. Everything clicked. I don't know what they are going for these days, but it can't be much.

    chip schutza

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