Are you looking to expand your trumpet skills or add a new model to your collection?
A rotary trumpet can be a great choice, but you need to choose a good model. That way, you won’t waste your time or money.
Here are some of the best rotary trumpets we could find:
1. Yamaha YTR-945 (Best Overall)
The Yamaha YTR-945 is an excellent rotary valve trumpet in the key of C.
It has a gorgeous finish, which helps make the instrument look and sound fantastic. Meanwhile, the three valves are easy to depress to change the pitch. This model is a German model and is based on the design by German maker Heckel.
If you’re looking to play a C trumpet, this could be a good model for you. It’s not the most expensive model, but it’s also not the cheapest that you’ll find.
The Yamaha is best for serious players looking to expand their instrument collection skills and grow. You probably won’t use it in a standard orchestra or band, but you can swap it out for any other C trumpet.
2. Schiller Elite Piccolo Trumpet (budget pick)
If you’re looking for a piccolo trumpet that uses rotary valves, consider the Schiller Elite Piccolo Trumpet.
Most of the instrument has a silver finish, so you can use the trumpet to get a fantastic sound. However, the four buttons and some parts of the valves have a gold or brass finish.
This instrument offers a clear, fast response so that you can stay on top of the beat. Schiller uses hand lapping to help produce and seal the valves to produce a smooth sound.
The trumpet’s bore is .433 inches, and the bell is just over five inches. You should also get a third valve slide trigger to help get the best tuning before and while you play.
3. Schiller Elite Bass Trumpet
The design of rotary valves is useful for bass trumpets because the rotation can help open up longer tubes.
If you want to play a lower instrument, the Schiller Elite Bass Trumpet may be for you. It has a beautiful gold finish, so it looks as good as it sounds when you play.
This model is in the key of C, and it features four rotary valves. The rotary valves are in a nice cluster, and they’re heavy-duty, so they can support you as you practice or perform on the trumpet.
You can get a warm sound that projects well, so you can use it as a soloist or when playing with a group. It’s an excellent model to get if you want to explore lower members of the trumpet family.
4. Scherzer Bb/A Piccolo Trumpet
Moving back to the smaller trumpet models, there’s the Scherzer Bb/A Piccolo Trumpet.
This model sounds fantastic, and it’s easy and enjoyable to play. Intonation is great, so you don’t have to struggle a ton to keep the trumpet in tune.
It sounds light, and it’s a fantastic choice when playing with a choir or a solo singer. You can choose from three leadpipes to get the best sound you want, and you can adjust the pitch as the valves move back and forth. The valves are close together, so this model isn’t the best for players with big hands.
This is a versatile model to use because of the different tuning options and leadpipes. You may be able to use it instead of any other piccolo trumpet.
5. Scherzer 8217
The Scherzer 8217 is another fantastic rotary trumpet, and it’s in the key of C.
A professional model, this is a perfect choice for serious players who need a C trumpet but want to explore rotary valves. The body is gold brass, so it looks and sounds amazing, and you’ll be able to stand out from the trumpet section.
Its large bore is 5.197 inches, which helps with resistance while producing a resonant tone. You can swap out three gold brass leadpipes to get the specific sound you need or want in different situations.
Valves and slides move easily so that you can play technical music well. You can play at a full volume, but your sound won’t be too shrill or overpowering. It’s a great choice for a first rotary trumpet or an upgrade.
6. C.A. Wunderlich Rotary Valve Trumpet
Another rotary trumpet to consider is the model from C.A. Wunderlich.
It has a silver finish with some cosmetic wear, so it doesn’t look perfect as a new model. However, it still sounds great, and you can play it like any other trumpet with rotary valves.
This model features three valves, which is pretty standard. You don’t have to worry about learning the fingerings for an instrument with four valves. And you don’t need to deal with a fourth valve getting stuck.
It’s one of the more affordable options, so it’s nice for players on a smaller budget. You can use the trumpet to play solo music or in a group, and you can get a sound that will carry out to the audience.
7. Miraphone Model 8
The Miraphone Model 8 is a rotary valve trumpet in the key of Bb.
It has a brass body with a high polish finish, so it looks great, and you can get a nice sound. Three valves all move back and forth smoothly to allow you to play fast and technical passages without struggling.
You should get a mouthpiece so you can get started playing right away. The mouthpiece works well with the body to help you get a fluid, consistent tone. That way, you won’t need to shop for a new mouthpiece to use with the model.
Parts of the tubing have silver on the outside, but most are brass. Combining those materials is perfect for helping you advance your trumpet playing while you learn how the different valves work.
8. Dotzauer Rotary Piccolo Trumpet
Another piccolo trumpet to consider is the Dotzauer Rotary Piccolo Trumpet.
It plays in both Bb and A to play more keys more easily. You should get four leadpipes, one for the key of A and three for the key of Bb. The valves, body, and leadpipes are all brass so that you can get that standard trumpet sound.
This model looks great, so it’s useful for students and professionals who need a suitable piccolo trumpet. The two keys also make it more flexible than other instruments, so you don’t need to carry as many trumpets with you.
You’ll find you can play a lot of music on this instrument, and you may get tons of compliments. Give it a try when shopping for a rotary valve or piccolo trumpet to get the best of both worlds.
9. Weibster Bass Trumpet
The Weibster Bass Trumpet is an excellent bass model that uses rotary valves.
It has four valves, which help extend the range and make certain notes easier to produce. A gold brass body and bell help provide a unique look and sound, but you can also blend with other trumpets and other instruments.
The bell is big enough to help project your sound through most auditoriums at seven inches. Unlike some bass trumpets, this one is in the key of Bb so that you can play standard trumpet music with other musicians.
You should get a case with the trumpet to protect your instrument when storing or transporting it. That way, you can keep the trumpet working well and be able to play it for years.
10. H. Ganter German Rotary Trumpet
Another excellent German Rotary Trumpet comes from H. Ganter.
You can use the valves to change pitch, and the valves move lightly and smoothly to produce a consistent sound. The finish is raw brass with no lacquer, so you can get a gorgeous, authentic tone that you may not get on other trumpets.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a case or mouthpiece, so you’ll need to buy those separately. But that means you can find a mouthpiece that works well with the instrument, a case that fits it, and perhaps another instrument.
This model features three rotary valves so that you can play the full trumpet range. It sounds in the key of C like many other rotary trumpets so that you can play a variety of music on it.
How Much Should You REALLY Pay for a Rotary Trumpet?
The amount you should spend on a rotary trumpet depends on things like the type of trumpet and your goals. For example, you may be able to get a piccolo trumpet for much less than a bass trumpet.
If you mainly play for fun, you might not want to spend more than a thousand dollars. However, professionals or advanced students can justify spending a few thousand dollars on a fantastic rotary trumpet.
The best rotary trumpets may be hard to find, but they exist.
As long as you know what you’re looking for, you can compare models to get the best instrument for your needs.
Curtis Institute of Music: Sarah Jessen explains rotary trumpets