Compared to many other instruments, the trumpet has one of the longest histories. It’s almost 3 thousand years old!
While trumpets in centuries as recent as the 1800s did not have modern valves, trumpet technology took off quickly, allowing them to play the full range of chromatic notes.
And now, many trumpet brands are selling a range of styles, from student to professional models. So let’s work through 10 of the best trumpet brands in the world and their specific models—in the standard key of Bb—that you might consider.
1. Vincent Bach
While new brands often make fantastic instruments, there is trust in the classical music world for the brands that have been around since the beginning.
The Vincent Bach company is one of these and has been making trumpets for over 100 years!
Started in 1918 by Vincent Shrotenbach (whose stage name as a trumpet player was Vincent Bach), Bach trumpets quickly gained a reputation as being fantastic instruments. Besides being a musician, Shrotenbach also had an engineering degree that aided in building superior designs.
Vincent Bach’s line of Bb trumpets—specifically the 180 Stradivarius series—is the top-selling professional trumpet worldwide. The name is a play on the famous Stradivarius violins, complementing its gorgeous design and sound.
Next up is Yamaha, a company you have undoubtedly heard of, considering they make a huge range of instruments and electronics. However, Yamaha has a special relationship with the trumpet—it was the first wind instrument that the company made.
Yamaha released the YTR-1 Trumpet in 1966, and they now have well over 20 models of trumpet alone. Ranging from their Xeno trumpet line from the 1990s to the intermediate and student models, this is a good-sounding instrument from a reputable company for any skill level.
The YTR-2330 Bb trumpet is one of their best-selling horns amongst students, but you can find extremely expensive horns in the Yamaha lineup that some of the top professionals in the world use every day.
KHS Musical Instruments, Co. launched Jupiter in 1979 with the mission of providing top-notch instruments that would enable young musicians to have a quality music education.
Fast-forward to now, and Jupiter is known for making a range of wind and brass instruments. They have a stated mission of believing in the power of music and the crucial role that music education serves in children’s development.
With many models at student and intermediate levels, a Jupiter trumpet can be a great way to avoid the cost of professional models while still getting a great instrument.
One of their most popular models is the JTR1100S, which is great for improving students.
4. Carol Brass
Next is Carol Brass, which was founded in the spring of 1989 in Taiwan by Carl Lee and Carol Lo (Carl’s wife).
Within six months, they completed their first prototype of a Bb, and by 2011, the duo had changed the company name to Carol Brass, and they began to frequent top music shows like NAMM and Musikmesse Frankfurt.
Fast-forward a few years, and now, Carol Brass instruments are known and sold worldwide, with their factory in Taiwan.
Their Bb Trumpet CTR-105L, in particular, is lightweight, making it perfect for kids. These budget trumpets are ideal for young beginners because they are easy to hold and will give you less stress when a student inevitably dents the metal.
Monette trumpets have a reputation for being expensive, but compared to the other brands in this article, Monette makes the most unique designs.
David Monette made his first trumpet in 1983, and since then, he has gained a reputation among top trumpet players for his instruments and his mouthpieces.
Monette has a few established models of trumpets, but he also works with individuals to make custom instruments that meet their specific needs.
One of his most famous models is the P2-STC, made in 2016 for Wynton Marsalis. Wynton immediately fell in love with this trumpet and uses it to this day.
Monette trumpets are available directly from their website or an authorized dealer.
One of the oldest brass manufactures, the history of King instruments dates back to 1894 when trombone player Thomas King helped Henderson White develop their company’s first trombone.
They utilized unique designs for the bell and bore of their instruments, and by 1917, the company was providing instruments to the US military.
And while jazz trombones are their most respected product, King also has a great lineup of trumpets, including two student models and two intermediate models.
The King 1117 Ultimate Marching Bb Trumpet is particularly great for outdoor situations like marching band. It has great projection while being lightweight and easy to play.
Next up is Schilke Music Products, which began in 1956 and was founded by Chicago Symphony musician Renold O. Schilke.
Like Vincent Bach and his instruments, Schilke showed a strong interest in playing and designing brass instruments from a young age, and there is something extra special about an instrument designer who can also play at the highest performance levels.
Their Eb trumpets are particularly popular in the professional trumpet world—different lengths produce trumpets in different keys—as are their line of piccolo trumpets (the P54 is a popular model).
But Schilke also has a line of standard Bb trumpets that range from intermediate to professional levels. The i33 Series Bb trumpet is among their top-selling.
T. J. Getzen worked at the Holton Company, another well-known brass manufacturer, and left that position after ten years to start the Getzen Company.
Getzen launched his endeavor in 1939 as a repair company based in an old dairy barn on his family’s property. But by 1946, Getzen was making instruments, first trombones and then trumpets a year later.
In 2019, the company launched its Eterna Deluxe line of instruments to celebrate its 80th anniversary. These instruments are professional models that blend old-school craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, such as a sterling silver lead pipe and a vintage trim.
For intermediate students, their Capri Series of Bb trumpets are a more standard option, such as the 590S-S Capri Series.
9. S. E. Shires
Compared to the long traditions of some of these trumpet brands, the S.E. Shires company is relatively new to the brass instrument manufacturing scene. Launched officially in 1995, the company prides itself on never compromising the quality of its instruments for anything else.
Despite this young age, Shires gained a credible reputation remarkably fast. Top trumpet artists such as Terry Everson, David Hickman, and Doc Severinsen play on Shires’ trumpets.
In addition to its top-level professional models, the company also launched the Q Series line of trumpets to provide a more affordable access to their instruments. Their TRQ10RS Q-Series Professional Bb Trumpet is one such example of these models.
10. Jean-Paul USA
The price tag on many of the trumpet models from the top brands can be intimidating. So for folks on a tighter budget, you might consider an instrument from Jean-Paul USA.
The company started in 1994 as a distributor for the big brands, but they were frustrated at not being able to offer better prices to students and beginners.
Hence in 2012, they began manufacturing instruments with the main goal of keeping prices as low as possible, avoiding most of the markup costs associated with the big brands.
For a trumpet, you can find three models—beginner, intermediate, and professional—all at budget-friendly prices. While their professional models will not sound comparable to a Yamaha or Bach trumpet, the quality might surprise you.
The TR-430 from Jean-Paul is their intermediate-level horn, and it even includes a ring on the first valve slide.
Summing Up Our List Of Well-Known Trumpet Brands
As you can see, there are many trumpet brands, and each offers its line of trumpets.
If you are an advanced player, you might be interested in trumpets in alternate keys such as Eb, D, or even the tiny piccolo trumpet. C trumpets are also the most common orchestral trumpet used in America.
However, for the standard situation, especially for younger students, Bb trumpets are everyone’s first trumpets.
And depending on your budget, there are plenty of options, ranging from the basic beginner model to an intermediate/advanced model that can last you through music school and beyond.