I sat right next to a guy playing a Besson trumpet for 8 years (in a brass band)so I know the Besson brass instruments well and I’ve played them many times.
Here’s how the Besson models stacks up against other trumpet brands.
The quality of Besson trumpets
Besson trumpets are high-quality student trumpets which is reflected in the price. They are often used in schools and teaching sessions. Besson instruments tend to keep their value well which is a sign that people trust the brand.
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The Besson brand is most known for their line of professional cornets and horns (larger brass instruments) as they also have many professional players use these instruments.
Besson has four different models at this point, and they start at around $500 and go up to around $1,500.
For some reason, they only produce student trumpets but the quality is really good and you can definitely use these trumpets as an intermediate player as well.
Super-Fast Valve System
The Besson brass instruments are known for their super-responsive pistons.
This is great when you play classical music as well as jazz where you often need to shift tones really fast.
You can see the super-fast response in the video below where Roger Webster (world-class soloist) is testing one of the Besson cornets:
Great for Young Players and People With Small Hands
The area around the valve pistons (the valve block) is a bit smaller on a Besson trumpet than other brands which is great for kids and people with small hands.
This also means that you can more easily hold it with one hand as you get a better grip.
You will immediately notice this when you grab the trumpet. The valve pistons themselves are a bit smaller in diameter in order to accomplish this.
The Famous Pre-War Besson Brevete Trumpets
The trumpets we find today from the Besson company are different from the ones they made before Word War II. Back then, they produced a trumpet named the “Brevete” and it’s still famous for its excellent tone and quality.
Absolutely similar to what you find in today’s professional brands such as the famous Vincent Bach Stradivarius models.
This shows how strong the quality of the older Besson trumpets was and how durable and strong they were built. It’s amazing that they still stand out as some of the best trumpets ever built.
They started out by manufacturing these amazing trumpets in France and later moved the production to England. The French-made Besson trumpets from around that period are some of the best trumpets ever made.
If you happen to come across one of these wonderful French Besson trumpets you should look for serial numbers below 91000 to verify that it is indeed a Brevete trumpet.
They can be worth a fortune.
Used Besson Trumpets? Check These Things
If you’re looking to purchase a used Besson trumpet you need to check a few specific things before you make up your mind.
First, you should NEVER buy a used trumpet without playing it first. It’s impossible to judge the quality and tone of a trumpet without playing on it.
Next, here are a few things you should remember to check out before you make up your mind:
- Check that all three valve pistons move quickly, freely, and without any weird sounds or friction at all.
- Check that the tuning pipes also move freely.
- Check for dents. A dent can easily affect the sound and tone of a trumpet.
- You should also check the serial number. Specifically for older Besson trumpets. If you’re dealing with an old French Besson trumpet it might be worth a lot of money.
- Also, check that the trumpet is in fact an original Besson trumpet. As I mentioned, there are many fake Besson instruments out there because it’s a solid brand, and the name wells well.
What Genres Are Besson Trumpets Primarily Used For?
Besides brass bands and classical orchestras, Besson trumpets are also used in pop music and jazz musicians.
The quick response from the valves make them ideas for modern jazz as well as advanced classical music where you find a lot of fast finger action.
Here’s a video of Thierry Amiot playing jazz on a Besson trumpet (he’s endorsed by Besson):
Besson actually has an impressive lineup of endorsed professional soloists who play the Besson Cornets.
They feature many famous jazz musicians as well as classical soloists.
How long do Besson trumpets last?
Besson trumpets will last a lifetime when properly taken care of. The valve pistons and the tuning pipes need oil and grease regularly and when that’s taken care of, a Besson trumpet can last for 70 years.
As we looked above, you will still find trumpets from before World War II that are being sold at really high prices today.
They were built a little differently than the Besson trumpets we find today, but generally, any quality brand trumpet will last for several generations when properly cared for.
Where Are Besson Trumpets Manufactured?
Today, Besson trumpets are manufactured in Markneukrichen, Germany. They have previously been manufactured in France and U.K. (London) but the production was moved back to Germany after the company got acquired by Buffet Crampon in 2013.
Besson has always been produced in either Germany, England, or France.
Germany is well-known for strong engineering and high-quality craftsmanship and the Besson brand is no exception.
From here, Besson export trumpets to the whole world including the United States.
Beware of Fake Besson Trumpets
Over the last two decades we have seen a pretty big amount of fake Besson instruments from India.
They are typically offered via online auctions and will also be shipped from India. They simply do not match the quality of Besson instruments at all.
They are often sold as “Bessons” instead of Besson and they can often be distinguished from an original Besson trumpet by looking at the serial numbers on the bell or valve pistons.
If you buy a used Besson trumpet you need to make sure to check the serial number with a local store to make sure that it’s the real thing.
What do the reviews say?
We have checked the reviews on three different online stores:
We found the most reviews on gear4music.com. People seem to praise the quality and the smaller valve block area which makes it easier to hold the trumpet and get a good grip.
They gave Besson an average score of 5/5.
How well do Besson trumpets hold their value?
Used French-made Besson trumpets are often sold for $2,000-$3,000.
That’s a very good price for a used trumpet regardless of the brand. Newer Besson trumpets are all student models and they depreciate faster.
You shouldn’t buy a new Besson trumpet as an investment.
As they only feature student trumpets today it’s better to purchase a Besson cornet if you’re looking for a high resale value.
How long is the warranty on Besson trumpets?
All Besson instruments come with a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer, which covers defects and cracks. It does not cover damages or dents from a fall or drop. The warranty falls away if the invoice is missing or if the issue appeared more than four weeks ago.
This is pretty standard and similar to what you find with many similar brands among brass instruments.
You should expect to get the trumpet replaced if the issue was present prior to the purchase and if it’s from wear and tear the company will typically just replace a part of the instrument.
You can often extend the warranty to five or six years for a a small amount of money. That can definitely be worth if if you’re buying the trumpet for a kid.
What gear do you get with a Besson trumpet?
Here’s what you get when you purchase a Besson trumpet:
- The trumpet
- A backpack-style plastic hardcase
- A mouthpiece (3c)
In most stores (online and offline), you’ll be able to get a free bottle of valve oil and a free tube of grease for the tuning pipes.
You will need both so it’s a good ida to ask for it.