Are King Trumpets Any Good? (An Honest Review)

Currently, Conn-Selmer manages and manufactures King trumpets. It’s a more affordable brand than some, but that doesn’t mean the instruments are bad.

Whether you’re new to the trumpet or are looking for your first upgrade, consider King trumpets.

The design and materials give way to great quality at all instrument levels:

The Quality of King Trumpets:

King is one of the best trumpet brands out there for students and intermediate players. They’re of excellent quality, and they’re suitable for marching and indoor playing. Beginner King trumpets cost about $1,300 new, while more advanced models cost around $1,600.

How Hard or Easy Are King Trumpets to Play?

King trumpets are easy to play for both students and intermediate players.

Professionals can play them as well, but professional King trumpets are harder to find nowadays.

The brand has existed since 1894, and famous musicians have chosen King throughout that time.

Even now, the King trumpets follow the same manufacturing process that made them so popular. The brand builds student trumpets with the same platform as the professional models, giving players more features from the start.

Beginner King trumpets do have a bit more resistance than professional models. However, they’re fantastic for practicing, and they hold up well, even when the lacquer wears off.

At the student level, King trumpets are some of the best on the market. If you need something to help start learning the instrument, you can’t go wrong.

What Genres Are They Good For?

King trumpets are suitable for playing classical and jazz music. These trumpets have the right design and sound to be versatile.

They’re handy for playing in a marching band, where you need to maintain proper posture.

Are King Trumpets Good for Marching Band?

While not a genre per se, King trumpets are lightweight and durable, so they’re perfect for playing in a marching band.

The trumpet can withstand extreme temperatures and frequent travel, so you can easily take it on the field.

Its bright tone also helps you project across long distances, and you can use it to play any marching band music. Whether your band focuses on pop, rock, or something else, King trumpets are fantastic.

Are King Trumpets Good for Jazz?

The famous jazz trumpet player Ziggy Elman played on a King trumpet.

If you want to focus on jazz music, you’ll enjoy the features and sound of intermediate models, like the Silver Flair.

King has been a respected brand for all brass instruments, and jazz players love it. Even other instruments from King, like trombones and saxophones, have been played by the jazz greats.

Can You Play a King Trumpet for Classical Music?

Even though King is popular in the jazz world, classical trumpeters can play it.

All King trumpets have a 1st valve thumb trigger that helps you control intonation at the moment.

If you’re playing a piece and notice your trumpet going out of tune, you don’t have to stop playing. That way, the symphony can continue as normal.

How Long Do King Trumpets Last?

King trumpets can last for decades, if not centuries.

You can find plenty of vintage instruments available online. While they may be missing some lacquer, the trumpets still play well, and they provide a sound you can’t get with a new King trumpet.

The used market includes some trumpets dating back to 1925.

As long as you take good care of your King trumpet, you won’t need to worry about replacing it. Sometimes with care, you may find that the valves wear out. If you play the trumpet a lot, that can happen more quickly than reserving the King for occasional shows.

However, you can mitigate this by using valve oil. That will keep the valves from sticking or having other issues moving up and down.

With care and maintenance, you can keep your King trumpet in use long after you stop playing, and you can sell it or give it to a student or child. Then, they can play the trumpet for years.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Before deciding if King trumpets are right for you, it’s essential to know what others think.

We found 27 reviews across:

  • Amazon
  • Guitar Center
  • WWBW

The average rating for all three websites is about 4.1/5 stars.

While it may not be as popular of a brand as Bach, many people still enjoy playing King trumpets.

Lightweight

One of the most significant advantages of King trumpets is that they’re lightweight.

This makes them suitable for beginners and anyone who needs a marching trumpet. Some customers have said their trumpet holds up well in the extreme weather outdoors.

When you’re new to the trumpet, the weight can also come into play. You need to hold the trumpet so that you can maintain good posture while keeping the mouthpiece against your lips.

Durable

Many customers have also noted how durable their King trumpets are.

Even if someone doesn’t use the trumpet as their main horn, it remains easy to play and practice on.

Durability also makes it an excellent choice for students who might not take the best care of their instruments. And if you want a vintage horn, there are plenty of Kings available on the market that still plays well.

How Well Do King Trumpets Hold Their Value?

Unfortunately, older King trumpets don’t always hold their value.

If the lacquer starts to wear off or the valves have problems, the instrument’s appraisal will drop.

Silver-plated King trumpets also tend to sell for a bit more than standard brass models. That could be due to the plating not wearing off like lacquer.

The value can also depend on the instrument level. Used student horns can go for a lot less than new ones. Professional and intermediate-level horns can also hold their value longer.

For example, some vintage King trumpets have minimal wear and tear, and they’re selling for much more than used beginner instruments.

The Silver Flair model is selling for about $1,300 used. On the other hand, the student model 601 goes for around $100 on the used market.

How Long Is the Warranty on King Trumpets?

When you buy a new King trumpet, it will come with a warranty that lasts for five years.

Like other trumpet brands, King does have restrictions on the warranty.

For one, you’ll only get the warranty if you buy a trumpet through an authorized dealer. You also can’t use the trumpet outside of its main purpose and still receive coverage.

King’s warranty only covers replacement, and the company states they aren’t liable for damage or loss because the buyer breached the policy.

The warranty also doesn’t cover selling or maintaining the trumpet. You’ll need to pay for regular checkups in full to keep the model in good condition.

Some other brands under the Conn-Selmer umbrella only have a warranty for one to three years, so you can expect the King trumpet to last.

What Gear Do You Get With a King Trumpet?

A King trumpet comes in a good quality case, and you’ll receive a mouthpiece.

The specific model will depend on the trumpet you buy.

For example, the 601 student model includes a King 7C mouthpiece. The 2055 Silver Flair models include a CKB 3C mouthpiece.

If you don’t like the mouthpiece that comes with the trumpet, you can buy a different one.

You’ll also need to buy valve oil and a soft cloth separately.

That way, you can keep the valves moving smoothly, and you can keep the outside shiny.

Popular Beginner and Intermediate Trumpets

Consider the following beginner and intermediate King trumpets:

Brand & Model Price Seller
King Student Model 601 Bb Trumpet $1,376 King Store on Amazon
2055 Silver Flair $1,699 Woodwind Brasswind

Popular Professional Trumpets

Ready for an upgrade?

Check out some professional models:

Brand & Model Price Seller
King Silver Tone Liberty $1,550 http://www.hnwhite.com/

Sources:

Trumpets: Conn-Selmer, Inc.

Warranty Information: Conn-Selmer, Inc.