3 Popular Trumpets Under $1,000 (With Pictures & Prices)

Let me share my own experience and what I believe to be a good purchase when you have around $1,000 to spend on a trumpet.

Hint: You can get some REALLY good stuff!

How Did I Choose These Models?

We have three trumpets in my family and I have played in a brass band for more than a decade and seen and heard most of the better trumpets for intermediate trumpet players.

I’ve tried to find the best buys based on a few different criterias:

  • Standard B flat tuning
  • Standard bore
  • Reliable and well-known brands
  • Durable valve pistons
  • Different use cases

Let’s start with a good choice from Yamaha.

#1 Yamaha YTR-2330 (for All-Round Use)

This is the cheapest trumpet in the Yamaha lineup.

Many stores will help you out if you let them know about your strict upper budget limit of $1,000.

It also comes in silver-plated finish (YTR-2330S)

This model will typically be referred to as a student trumpet. However, don’t let the word “Student” fool you here.

You really get some bang for your buck with any Yamaha trumpet.

Sometimes, it makes sense to buy the cheapest model from a professional brand instead of a regular model from a mediocre brand.

I believe that to be the case here.

I have personally used a model very similar to this one (the predecessor) for two decades and it still sounds like a dream!

Specs & Numbers

  • Price: $799-$1,200
  • Key: Bb – The standard tuning for trumpets
  • 5.51 lb (2.5 kilograms) – Light-weight construction
  • Hardcase included
  • TR-11B4 Mouthpiece (good all-round mouthpiece)
  • Tuning slide on 1st and 3rd valve
  • Produced in China*
  • 5-year warranty

*Only the professional and custom models from Yamaha are manufactured in Japan.

We recommend buying online from WoodWinds & BrassWinds in Kansas, Missouri. They sell it online for a little more than $1,000 (visit the store here), but many other online stores ship from Japan which means income taxes and long delivery.

Durable and Reliable Valve Pistons

As I said, I own the predecessor to this model and it has been with me on countless tours around Europe over the last decades and I have used it outdoor in snow and icy weather many times as a traveling street musician.

The model I have is from 1987 (!) and it still plays like a dream!

My 1987 YTR-2320 still works perfectly fine (the predecessor)

The valve pistons are made from “monel.” Monel is an alloy (mix of metallics) you typically find among the professional trumpets and rarely in student models. Student models typically feature nickel-plated pistons.

The valves are one of the most crucial components of the trumpet and you need to go for quality here. It’s really frustrating when the pistons start to corrode and cause friction.

Good quality valve pistons (like those found on this model) give you a really great feel over time and it’s almost impossible to wear them out.

Same Construction As the Pro Lineup

The sliding mechanisms on the main pipe and the secondary tuning pipe are made exactly the same way as on the $4,000 -$5,000 Yamaha models.

In many ways, you get an instrument from the ranks of professional trumpets at a really good price point here!

What Do Others Say About This Model?

You can find 60 reviews on Amazon for this specific model with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

People point out that it has a great sound and beautiful finish.

Just be aware that if you buy from Amazon and several other stores, you might have it shipped from China or Japan unknowingly. As we stated above, we recommend using this online store in Kansas to avoid issues and surprises around the delivery.

#2 Allora ATR-580 Chicago (Great for Jazz)

This trumpet is made especially for jazz music.

It has a great tone and a “reverse leadpipe.” A reverse leadpipe means that the sliding part of the leadpipe slides into the tuning slide (and not vice versa). In other words, the leadpipe has a constant thickness which creates a perfect airflow and a slightly longer tuning slide.

By pulling the tuning slide pipe out (almost) as far as possible, you can more easily down-tune the trumpet from B flat to A.

A pretty cool little feature you will enjoy when playing sharp-heavy jazz compositions.

Specs & Numbers

  • Price: $799-$999
  • Bb key (B flat) – The standard for trumpets
  • 10.6 lb (4.8 kilograms) – a little heavy for kids
  • Semi-hardcase included
  • individual mouthpiece sizes (depending on reseller)
  • Tuning slide on 1st and 3rd valve
  • Produced in China (despite the “Chicago” branding)
  • 3-year warranty

Again, we recommend buying online from WoodWinds & BrassWinds in Kansas, Missouri. They sell it online for $799 (visit the store here). Many other online stores ship from Japan which means income taxes and long delivery.

Strong Materials and Genuine Quality

This trumpet also has monet valve pistons, like I mentioned above for the Yamaha model.

The bell is constructed from a single piece of brass which means the instrument weighs a bit more than a regular beginner’s model. The Yamaha model above is almost 5 lb (2.3 kilograms) lighter.

It’s generally a high-quality instrument that will make sure this trumpet can get played by the next generation as well.

What Do Others Say?

We have checked the online reviews for this trumpet as well and here are some of the things people mention about the Allora ATR-580:

  • Great price for a trumpet with a reverse leadpipe (see explanation above).
  • People like the 3rd valve slide ring, and one-piece bell construction.
  • Users found it easy to play over 2.5 octaves.
  • Others also commented on the ease of playing around the mid-upper register.
  • Generally, people would recommend this trumpet to friends.

#3 Blessing BCR-1230 Cornet (for Kids Under 10)

For smaller kids, a cornet is easier to hold as it is smaller and a lot lighter.

This cornet, in particular, is a great choice for kids wanting to get started with the trumpet.

Not only is it really light (only 3 lb or 1.83 kilograms!), it also looks more like a trumpet because it’s a bit longer than a regular cornet.

The Blessing Cornet is also a B flat instrument, so it’s tuned exactly like a standard trumpet.

A cornet is basically a small trumpet that weighs less and has a slightly brighter tone, and the Blessing BCR-1230 Cornet is a great choice.

Specs & Numbers

  • Price range: $816-$950
  • Bb key (B flat) – The standard for trumpets
  • 3 lb (1.83 kilograms) – VERY lightweight
  • Hardcase included
  • Blessing 7C mouthpiece (standard)
  • Produced in America (Indiana)
  • Tuning slide on 1st and 3rd valve
  • 2-year warranty

Again, we recommend buying online from WoodWinds & BrassWinds in Kansas, Missouri. They sell it online for $816 (visit the store here). Many other online stores ship from Japan which means income taxes and long delivery.

Is the Blessing Brand Any Good?

The Blessing brand is an old well-known American trumpet brand. Vincent Bach (the biggest trumpet brand) actually bought valve parts from Blessing back in the days. Blessing is well-known for its good prices and strong quality.

The Blessing brand is a mid-tier brand with a good reputation in the industry.

Good Craftmanship & Good Quality

This cornet does also feature Monel pistons like the two trumpets above. This is a good choice and not too common in this price range for cornets either.

The entire instrument is made of brass and it comes with a good solid plastic-covered hardcase. A great option for younger players in order to keep the instrument protected on the way to class.

Blessing Cornets and Trumpets will last a lifetime due to the monel piston valves. The valve mechanisms are typically the first thing to cause problems on brass instruments, and with a Blessing model, you will have a good instrument for generations (when taken good care of).

Should I Consider a Used Trumpet?

With a budget of around $1,000, you can get a good intermediate trumpet so there’s no need to take the risk of buying a used trumpet.

However, in case you decide to try a few used trumpets, here’s what you should look for besides the obvious stuff like dents and cracks.

  • Check that all tones are in tune
  • Check for crackly sounds at low pitch and volume
  • All valves must move completely frictionless
  • Look for dripping from the water keys
  • Retractable parts should move freely