Ok, I am NOT a great player. Let's start with that.
I am "coming back" after being a very average player in high school. I have been playing for a few years after a few decades off. I have read all of the silly questions about what mouthpiece to use to hit the high notes etc. Practice practice practice. No question. My question might receive similar responses, but I have to ask.
Think about the solo in the Etta James version of "My Funny Valentine" or any number of similar, beautiful smoky sounding trumpet solos. What is that? What I mean is that I think I have a relatively good tonal quality. I think I sound ok. I have tried a number of horns just to see what kind of sound I can get. There are times when my band covers things on which I need to punch through. I seem to be able to do that and other things relatively well. But that warm butter, smokey thing is just something that I would LOVE to hear flowing out of the end of my horn. I'm just interested in what others might be able to tell me.
I have an old (LA) Olds Ambassador that sounds nice with a big, open mouthpiece. It's probably the closest that I come. I don't think my ability warrants spending the money to buy an old Committee or something along that line, but if somebody told me that I would notice a difference using another horn or mouthpiece, I would do what it took to make it happen. I would love to get to that sound or close, but I don't want to be stupid and spend money that won't help.