Don’t ignore second-hand trumpets, whether you need a beginner or professional model.
They may not be as flashy as the newest instruments, but you may be able to save a lot of money and get a good quality model. Then, you’ll be able to improve your playing without breaking the bank.
1. Vangoa VTB-2 (budget pick)
The Vangoa VTB-2 is an excellent, affordable second-hand trumpet.
It’s in the key of Bb and has silver lacquer to help you get a warm yet brilliant sound. As long as the prior owner took good care of it, you can play this trumpet as well as any new model, and it can work as it should.
While Vangoa isn’t a super popular brand, it can be a good option for beginners. You can also use this trumpet if you need cheap to play in a marching band or other outdoor settings. That way, you don’t have to use something super expensive and risk dropping it.
This trumpet is also great for casual players who need something. If you can’t justify spending a ton, you’ll love this model.
2. Bach Omega (best overall)
If you’re looking for the best trumpet on the used market, try the Bach Omega.
This trumpet features silver plating that looks good and can help you get a unique yet amazing sound. If you can find one without dings or dents, you can play it like a new trumpet.
Of course, most used trumpets will have some signs of wear, and the Omega is no exception. As long as the seller maintained the trumpet and kept it in playing condition, it should work well for any advanced trumpet player.
This is a great model to upgrade to if you want to take your playing more seriously. It doesn’t cost nearly as much as some new trumpets, with prices in the thousands.
Like other Bach trumpets, this one is of excellent quality. Just be careful and buy from someone who took care of the instrument and will answer your questions about it.
3. King Tempo II 601
The King Tempo II 601 is a vintage trumpet, so you won’t find it new.
Its vintage origins make it an excellent second-hand find for the advancing trumpeter. Depending on the exact one you find, it can work well, though there may be a few small issues you’ll need to fix if you want it to play like new.
In general, the valves move up and down smoothly, so you can get a fluid sound and technique. However, you may want to take it to a repair technician to ensure it’s in the best possible condition.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to find a second-hand trumpet that doesn’t have technical problems so that you can focus on learning to play.
This trumpet model is also fantastic for anyone who collects old instruments. You can put the brass trumpet on display, and you won’t have to worry about mechanical problems.
4. King 601
If you want a similar trumpet that’s newer but still second-hand, check out the King 601.
This trumpet still works like any other trumpet, but you may find slight cosmetic wear like any second-hand instrument. It’s an excellent choice for serious players on a tight budget and needs a good model.
The pistons and slides work as they should, so you can play almost any trumpet part you’d need to play. You’ll even receive a 7C trumpet mouthpiece and valve oil, so you have everything you need to start playing.
Depending on the seller, they may clean the instrument before shipping it. That will give it the best chance of looking good, and you’ll be able to play it out of the case without worrying about germs.
Teachers love the King 601, so it’s great for school band or orchestra players. However, you can play it if you aren’t in a school music program.
5. Jean-Paul USA TR-430
The Jean-Paul USA TR-430 is already more affordable than some models, and it’s an even better price when it’s second-hand.
If you get a refurbished model, you may not be able to tell that it’s not new. It looks great with the brass finish to fit right in with any trumpet section in a band or orchestra.
There’s a rose brass lead pipe that offers a bit of warmth to the sound so that you won’t sound so shrill up high. This model is great for beginners and intermediate players who need something affordable that can last a while.
The piston valves are durable and can withstand a lot of playing, so you can play almost anything. You get a third adjustable trigger that can help you hold the trumpet more comfortably.
6. Conn Constellation
If you have a bit more money to spend on a second-hand trumpet, give the Conn Constellation a try.
You may find a model with some small dents and dings, but that’s pretty common on the used market. The Constellation trumpet works well to use the valves and slides like any other trumpet.
It comes with a mouthpiece and a case, so you’ll need to get some valve oil to keep the instrument in playing condition. You will be able to start playing as soon as you receive the trumpet.
Advanced players will love the way the instrument sounds and feels. It’s a great option for serious students, professionals, and amateur musicians who want a unique tone.
7. Conn 22B
The Conn 22B is another amazing second-hand trumpet to consider, especially for beginners.
It’s more affordable than even a used Constellation, so you don’t need to invest a ton in starting learning the trumpet. Depending on the specific one you find, there may be a bit of cosmetic wear, but it still looks great.
You should play the trumpet without the valves or slides getting stuck. That way, you can spend your time learning how to read music and how to finger the different notes.
Along with the trumpet, you will get a 7C mouthpiece so that you can play it right out of the case. However, you may want to replace the case if the seller uses it a lot since the latches may not be secure.
Still, a good seller will have taken care of this trumpet when it was in their care. It’s an excellent alternative to the King 601 series, so give both a try.
8. Yamaha YTR-1310
Yamaha is one of the most famous musical instrument brands, so buying a second-hand Yamaha trumpet makes sense.
The YTR-1310 is a brass model with silver plating so that you can benefit from both materials. If you’re a beginner, you should give this model a try.
It comes with a mouthpiece, so you don’t need to buy one separately to start playing. Instead, you can get the trumpet and learn the basics as soon as possible.
Everything comes in a hard case so that you can protect your new gear. This model is perfect for students who need an instrument that will last and be sturdy enough to use in the classroom and on the marching band field.
You may even be able to use this trumpet longer than some other models. It’s great as a backup once you upgrade, so keep it on hand for when you need it.
9. Yamaha YTR-738
When you’re ready to upgrade to a professional trumpet, you should look at the Yamaha YTR-738.
This model is perfect for advanced players looking to be pro musicians or continue playing for fun. The silver finish looks great and can offer a unique sound compared to a brass lacquer model.
It has a somewhat large bell to help you project your sound throughout a large hall and over an orchestra. The slides are smooth, and the valves move up and down easily, allowing you to play fast.
Like many used instruments, you may get a trumpet with plenty of scratches. However, small dents and dings won’t affect your ability to play the instrument and get a great sound out of it.
10. Yamaha YTR-6310Z
If Bobby Shew is a big inspiration, you should look for a second-hand Yamaha YTR-6310Z.
This model is the Bobby Shew model, and it’s a professional trumpet that’s perfect for jazz. You can use the trumpet to get an open and resonant sound, and you won’t have to struggle to play.
Of course, you can expect some scratches and other minor signs of wear. That doesn’t keep the trumpet from sounding amazing, which is great for serious players.
This model has brass lacquer, and it has a third slide trigger and a thumb ring so that you can get a comfortable hand position. That way, you can keep playing this model through a long rehearsal or concert.
How Much Should You REALLY Pay for Second-Hand Trumpets?
You shouldn’t pay nearly as much for a second-hand trumpet as a new trumpet.
Of course, the prices can vary based on the level of the trumpet model as well as the age and condition of the specific instrument. However, you can save hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars on a used trumpet.
Second-hand beginner trumpets shouldn’t cost more than $200 to $400. Intermediate models on the used market may cost closer to $500 to $700, and professional second-hand trumpets may reach $1,000 or more.
That’s still much cheaper than buying those same new models.
If you’re in the market for a trumpet, you may feel like you have to buy a new one.
However, you can find an excellent second-hand trumpet of the same quality but for a fraction of the price.
Be sure to consider a few models at your level of playing and in your budget. Then, you’ll be able to select the right one for you.
WiseGeek: What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Trumpet?