Today, the custom-designed and expensive trombones of current musicians are in high demand, but did you know that this instrument has a long and interesting history? Its origin can be traced back to as early as the 15th century when its first form, known as the sackbut, was developed from a trumpet version.
Other trombone versions were used throughout various European countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany, and England. The sackbut featured a unique telescopic slide that changed the tube’s length to alter its pitch. It took the form of a unique u-shape and was often used in concerts and outdoor events until the early 18th century.
Though less common at the time, famed composers in the baroque period, such as Bach and Handel, began to use the instruments in a few of their compositions. As the Baroque period ended, the instrument became more popularized in the Classical and Romantic periods and was used more often in other composers’ music. These included many famous names such as Beethoven, Verdi, Wagner, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Schubert.
Several types of trombones still vary today, with the most common being the tenor trombone as well as bass or contrabass trombones. You may have read about the incredibly expensive flutes and clarinets of the world, but what makes a trombone worth enough to be among the most expensive on (or off) the market?
Read on to find out about the 11 most expensive trombones in the world
Table of Contents
- 1. HAAG Switzerland Bass Trombone
- 2. Miraphone MI57F Contrabass Trombone
- 3. Markus Leuchter Contrabass Trombone in F
- 4. Minick Contrabass Trombone in BBb
- 5. Getzen Trombone (3062AFR)
- 6. Custom Bach New York 50B with Plugin Valve
- 7. Conn 62 Series Bass Trombone
- 8. daCarbo F-Attachment Trombone
- 9. Getzen 3062AF Custom Series Bass Trombone
- 10. Jupiter XO Model Professional Bass Trombone with Rose Brass Bell 1240RL-T
- 11. Antoine Courtois Paris AC420MBOST Artist Model F Attachment Trombone
1. HAAG Switzerland Bass Trombone
This trombone from Swiss company Musik Haag is possibly the most expensive trombone in the world that can be purchased as new on the market. Its body has stunning gold brass, while the valve wrap is yellow brass and has custom axial valves (in D, G flat, B flat, and F).
This beautiful trombone also has comfort features including the curved handgrip and bell lock ring. The Musik Haag bass trombone is not only stunning to look at, but its tone and clarity must make professionals approve of its high price!
2. Miraphone MI57F Contrabass Trombone
As the largest slide trombone of today, this contrabass trombone from Miraphone has a beautiful deep sound that blends well with its fellow instruments. It also has an F attachment to lower its range. This professional-level trombone features a 10″ lacquered yellow brass bell, with a regular slide, single valve. The Miraphone’s contrabass trombone is a pricey item due to its size as well as its level.
3. Markus Leuchter Contrabass Trombone in F
Another giant contrabass trombone is the Markus Leuchter Contrabass Trombone in F. This new instrument will be available in early 2021. What makes it among the most expensive trombones are its features, such as its beautiful sound and the ease with which you can play. The look of the trombone itself is sleek with gold brass and a chrome inner slide. It’s made from all gold brass with a chrome inner slide. Its extra bore rotary valves include those in C, D flat, F, and A.
4. Minick Contrabass Trombone in BBb
The Minick Contrabass Trombone in BBb is a rare item on this list, hence its high price. According to the Brass Ark website, where it can be found for sale, only about five have been made. They also explain who these expensive trombones were initially created, including trombonists Jeff Reynolds and George Thatcher.
The trombone is suspected to be either the last or second-to-last of its kind made. Its features include Bach 50 valves pitched in FF and DD. From this listing, the trombone includes a handmade custom case as well as the original bill of sale.
5. Getzen Trombone (3062AFR)
Getzen offers several types of customizable trombones to music majors and professionals alike, giving their well-crafted instruments their high price. With customization, trombone players can choose what they need for the sounds and responses they would like.
All of the custom bass trombones come with three interchangeable lead pipes. They also boast axial flow valves which make using the F and D attachments on the bass trombone easier and adds to the smooth sound.
According to Getzen, their attachments are easy to maintain. The bore size is .562″/.578″, with a tuning slide that is made of yellow brass. The trombone’s hand slide is made of nickel silver tubes that are chrome plated. They also offer personalized engraving on their trombones.
6. Custom Bach New York 50B with Plugin Valve
Another special find from Brass Ark is a rare New York Bach 50B bass trombone. This silver-plated instrument produces an amazing sound. The trombone has no additional tuning slide in order not to interfere with its original single valve. The current valve tuning is for B flat, F, G, and E flat.
If you’d like more tuning capability, you can easily find an additional tuning slide to work with this trombone. Its uniqueness and rarity make its price understandable, but it is said to really be for playing and not just display. Give this a try if you’re a trombonist who loves playing rare instruments.
7. Conn 62 Series Bass Trombone
This professional-level 62H series bass trombone offers its players the chance to put on impressive performances. It is also made to be easy to use and tune. This type of trombone features a .562″ primary bore and a .580″ bore in the keys of B flat, F, and E flat through its stacked double rotor system. The 9.5″ bell is rose brass, and the 3 mouth pipes it comes with are interchangeable.
8. daCarbo F-Attachment Trombone
The new technology of the daCarbo trombone makes its place among the most expensive trombones well earned. The medium, large-bore version (.526″) featured on this list comes with an F-attachment, and the instrument is equipped with a carbon fiber outer slide.
This material cannot bend or dent, keeping it in better shape than its brass counterparts. This light material is said to enhance the trombone’s sound, quality, comfort for the player, and speed, thus making it effortless to produce a beautiful sound with an excellent flow.
9. Getzen 3062AF Custom Series Bass Trombone
This next trombone has the word “professional” all over it. The Getzen 3062AF Custom Series Bass Trombone is a powerful choice. This particular series features a .562″ to .578″ dual-bore design, three lead pipes that are interchangeable. These lead pipes offer fluctuating openness which helps the professional trombonist to tailor the instrument to their needs.
The 3063AF series also boasts dual independent axial flow valves in B flat, D, F, and G flat. Getzen also offers a hardshell case and custom mouthpiece with these trombones. The lead pipe and hand slide are made of yellow brass, while the 9.5″ bell can be made from either yellow or red brass.
10. Jupiter XO Model Professional Bass Trombone with Rose Brass Bell 1240RL-T
Another impressive bass trombone on the list, the Jupiter XO model has similarly convenient features to our previous bass trombone at an ever so slightly lower price. Professionals can look forward to the technology of its dual Thru-Flo valve and large .571″ bore with 9.5″ handcrafted bell. The valves help with tonal clarity and provide a more open airflow.
This model also offers the body, hand slide, and outer tubes of the trombone to be made in yellow or rose brass, while the inner tubes are chrome-plated nickel. Three mouth pipes, one in silver and two in brass, are available to customize it to the professional trombonist’s needs.
11. Antoine Courtois Paris AC420MBOST Artist Model F Attachment Trombone
Those who have heard of the trombonist legend Michel Becquet will know why this is one of the most expensive trombones in the world. Those who have not heard of him would still be amazed to know he is a professor at the Conservatoire de Lyon whose skills include not only his composing and directing but also his interpretations of beautiful music.
This model of trombone, designed for Becquet himself, is sure to please the professionals who wish to follow in this 20th century great’s footsteps.
This Artist Model F Attachment Trombone is the symphonic trombonists’ top choice throughout the world. It features a sterling silver 215mm bell, 13.89mm bore, with an outer slide made of lightweight brass.
The trombones created for artists such as Michel Becquet, Jeff Reynolds, and George Thatcher may inspire you to continue the search for rare, customized trombones made of sturdy material. For those interested in more affordable options, improving their playing, or even beginners who want to learn, you can consult this trombone buying guide which includes what to look for in the types, anatomy, and best choices of trombones depending on your level.
Whether you are a professional or aspiring trombonist, or simply interested in the price of musical instruments, you may be amazed by the price of these trombones. With some of them designed specifically for certain musicians, and others made of valuable material or even some which are quite large in size, the diversity and value of these expensive trombones are sure to impress any buyers or collectors.