The most expensive trumpets have the best metals, fittings, and sound. The quality of production means that the sound is better than the rest. Musicians play them for jazz and classical compositions, but they also show up in popular music like rock-and-roll and rap.
Another top feature for these valuable trumpets is the lack of maintenance they require. Many have a silver finish with golden brass accents, and one of the best trumpets is made of platinum.
These precious metals do not corrode, which makes them highly desirable by busy musicians. The trumpets also have pistons that flow like butter, and the sound delights the ear.
Our list includes trumpets with high-quality craftsmanship and those played by some of the most famous trumpeters of all time.
Here are the 15 most expensive trumpets in the world:
Table of Contents
- 1. Yamaha Solid Platinum Trumpet
- 2. Dizzy Gillespie’s Martin Committee Trumpet
- 3. Harrelson Summit Art Trumpet
- 4. Getzen Severinsen Trumpet
- 5. Yamaha Limited Edition Vizzutti Gold Plated Trumpet
- 6. Vincent Bach Stradivarius Mt. Vernon
- 7. B & S Challenger II
- 8. Schilke HC1-GP Gold Trumpet
- 9. Adams A8 Select Professional Trumpet
- 10. Bach Stradivarius Mariachi Bb
- 11. Yamaha Xeno Custom Artists Chicago Series
- 12. Bach Stradivarius Professional Trumpet
- 13. Adams A3-SH Fulcrum Custom Trumpet
- 14. Bach Stradivarius 180 Pro Trumpet
- 15. Yamaha Xeno Series
1. Yamaha Solid Platinum Trumpet
The most expensive trumpet in the world is the Yamaha trumpet made of solid platinum. The Yamaha platinum trumpet was significantly more because platinum costs more than brass, gold, or silver. Platinum does not oxidize. You do not need to polish it to keep it shiny.
Unfortunately, the $125,000 platinum trumpet sounds about the same as a trumpet that costs under $5000. Yamaha did not make many platinum trumpets, simply because most people cannot afford them. The platinum trumpets looked like silver trumpets, and Yamaha left them straight, so they didn’t even look like a Dizzy Gillespie horn.
Another benefit of buying a platinum trumpet is that they weigh less than brass or silver trumpets. If you ever get tired of playing the $125,000 trumpet, you might struggle to get a return on your investment, especially since the cost of platinum fluctuates daily.
2. Dizzy Gillespie’s Martin Committee Trumpet
Dizzy Gillespie is one of the most famous trumpet players in the world, along with other greats like Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong. His puffed cheeks and iconic sound set the standard for be-bop jazz. His personal Martin Committee Trumpet with the bent horn sold at a Christie’s auction for $55,000 in 1995, making it 3rd on our list of the most expensive trumpets in the world.
The bend in the horn was accidental, but Gillespie loved the way it sounded. So, he kept it, and never used a straight horn in a performance again. Gillespie’s silver-plated trumpet had a 4.75-inch bell at a 45-degree angle. The iconic trumpet had floral engraving and the inscription: The Martin Committee, Elkhart, Ind, USA. His name was also inscribed on the brass body.
The Martin Committee manufactured the trumpet’s body in 1964. The jazz star changed the body of the trumpet several times before it made the sound he desired.
To put this price in perspective, it’s the same as the Super Earl, one of the most expensive banjos in the world. Regardless of the type of music played, you can find some amazing and highly valued instruments out there!
3. Harrelson Summit Art Trumpet
Harrelson Summit Art Trumpets are unique instruments with beautiful sound and design. Harrelson Trumpets makes these with three scientifically-researched variables: an efficient bell surface, an air-volume algorithm, and a perceived tone color. Over 25 years, Jason Harrelson personally built more than 800 trumpets with unique designs for individual musicians.
Harrelson only makes two Summit Art trumpets per year. The lucky people who get to order one get to choose either a Bb or C trumpet with a trim kit of their choosing. The slide, bell, and bracing can have custom artwork. They also get to choose their water keys and a third slide stop. These unique pieces are indeed one-of-a-kind, and they sound as good as they look. The one above features a tribute (Satchmo) to Louis Armstrong, one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time.
4. Getzen Severinsen Trumpet
Along with Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Severinsen is another name to know in the world of trumpeters. Severinsen is best known for his time as the bandleader on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He was with that show for 25 years, and his band immediately followed Ed McMahon’s memorable “Here’s Johnny!” announcement.
Severinsen’s Getzen 3001 trumpet has not been played and has only been touched by gloved hands. The trumpet looks like new and still has its original packaging. Severinsen autographed the certificate of authenticity. These are limited edition trumpets designed by Severinsen, which makes them incredibly rare.
5. Yamaha Limited Edition Vizzutti Gold Plated Trumpet
The gold-plated Yamaha Bb trumpet was designed by Allen Vizzutti and sold in 2018. Yamaha only made 200 of them, which makes these trumpets highly desired by collectors and musicians alike. Vizutti created his trumpets for elite players who want the best of the best. His trumpets have gold plating with mother-of-pearl finger buttons.
The trumpets have brass piston stems with resin valve guides. These fittings allow players to move quickly through passages, just like Vizzutti. Yamaha upgraded the lead pipe, and the bell design with square-style bend makes the trumpet sound rich and tonally balanced. These limited-edition trumpets are only available on the secondary market.
6. Vincent Bach Stradivarius Mt. Vernon
The Vincent Bach Stradivarius Mt. Vernon trumpet is from 1959. Despite being over 60 years old, the vintage trumpet can still be played. It is meant for professional players who know how to get the dark and rich sound out of an instrument of this quality.
There is some lacquer wear, from decades of being played, but the wear does not affect the sound quality. This type of trumpet is rare, and collectors pay handsomely for them. They are rare because the Vincent Bach Corporation only made this type of trumpet between 1953 and 1964 in Mt. Vernon, New York.
7. B & S Challenger II
The B&S Challenger is an Eb trumpet made of yellow brass with a silver finish. It has a .465-inch bore for a one-piece tunable bell. It has E slides with a lever style water key in the third and fourth valve.
Even the wooden case is valuable, although not quite as expensive as African Blackwood, which costs $100 per board foot.
This trumpet’s value comes from the hand-hammered bell that produces a professional-quality, rich, and melodious sound.
8. Schilke HC1-GP Gold Trumpet
The Schilke HC1-GP Gold trumpet is different from other models on this list because it is still being made. They are back-ordered due to their popularity with musicians who want a quality trumpet with responsive intonation. The trumpet has a yellow brass bell but is gold plated for outstanding shine.
The trumpet was designed based on the concepts from Renold O. Schilke. It has an unusual bell taper and multi-bore concepts that are unique to Schilke Company. The trumpet is balanced but has flexibility in its sound. The Bb trumpet is a favorite with professionals today.
9. Adams A8 Select Professional Trumpet
When you see the Adams A-8 Professional trumpet’s sleek lines, you will quickly notice the difference. This trumpet has unique lines that give it a modern, minimalist design that has a unique look compared to a typical trumpet. It is sleek and compact with a heavy threaded integral mouthpipe and brace plate that reaches the main tuning slide.
You can switch the mouthpieces due to the threading style. It has an ergonomic valve cluster, and a sound that can’t be beaten as the wide target remains through the range of the horn. The satin-lacquer yellow brass looks like a piece of artwork.
10. Bach Stradivarius Mariachi Bb
The Bach Stradivarius Mariachi Series Bb trumpet has an ornate filigree covering the bell. The Vincent Bach Company made this trumpet with yellow brass on the valve casing and bronze brass on the bell. The brand new trumpet has a silver finish that glistens under the stage lights.
Jose Hernandez, the well-known Mariachi trumpeter, helped design this trumpet, giving it a 43-style bell. The taper is responsive and built for the quick staccato notes that differentiate Mexican Mariachi music from other genres.
11. Yamaha Xeno Custom Artists Chicago Series
The Yamaha Xeno Artist Model trumpets are some of the most sought-after trumpets in the marketplace today. John Hagstrom from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra designed this model for trumpeters who prefer classical music over all other genres. It is available in C and Bb, so professional musicians can easily play both interchangeably.
The trumpet has a silver-plated yellow brass bell with beautiful intonation. The crisp, clear sounds come from the smooth slides and valves.
12. Bach Stradivarius Professional Trumpet
This professional-quality trumpet – the Bach LR180S-43 – is a Bb model with a portable, lightweight model. It has a .459-inch medium-large bore and a 43 bell. It includes Monel trumpet valves. The yellow brass trumpet has a silver-plated finish. Bach hand-hammers the one-piece bell. Even the case is high-quality, made of Cordura-covered wood.
Vincent Bach made his first brass instruments in 1918, and his company has been a favorite by musicians for decades. Musicians called his trumpets a real “Stradivarius” in reference to Bach’s name, and the moniker still stands. Bach trumpets are made in Elkhart, Indiana, and the company still follows the original designs.
13. Adams A3-SH Fulcrum Custom Trumpet
The Adams Custom A3-SH trumpet is a professional model built in The Netherlands. The trumpet has a silver finish with a 4.75-inch bell. The medium-large bore has a .60mm gauge metal, with a beautiful and rich sound.
Adams distinguishes its trumpets from other brands because they use a thicker gauge metal for the bell, resulting in a stable, dense, and balanced sound. The A3 model bell is slightly smaller than the other models’ bells, but the thick wall makes this model popular with professionals who appreciate the inverted tuning slide.
14. Bach Stradivarius 180 Pro Trumpet
If you love to play the trumpet and want a top model for a more affordable price, the Bach Stradivarius 180S37 is the model you want. It has a standard weight with a medium-fast taper. It has a D-style radius on the tuning slide to optimize the airflow. The sound quality is perfect for all music types, from classical to jazz, pop to solo pieces.
The Stradivarius model has Monel valves with efficient seals separating the pistons from the valve casings. The air-tight seal keeps the performance quality consistent. It comes with a yellow brass bell or a gold brass bell. It also comes with a case and mouthpiece. The silver plating is perfect for today’s professionals.
15. Yamaha Xeno Series
Yamaha makes several Xeno models, and this model is one of the newer ones. The YTR-8333 is less expensive than the Chicago model, but it still has a bright and warm tone uniquely Yamaha. It is comfortable to hold in hand despite the slightly heavier mouthpiece receiver.
The Xeno models have been around for over 30 years, and the best trumpeters in the world play them. This model shows up in symphonies and stages all over the world. The craftsmanship is outstanding, and the Yamaha quality is evident. The bell is hand-hammered with an agile response.
The trumpet has hand-lapped slides with Monel pistons. It is available in lacquer finish or silver plate.
The 15 trumpets listed above play some of the world’s most famous songs and the world’s most beautiful music. These artistically built trumpets are a part of the world’s best symphonies and jazz bands. Some of the best trumpeters ever to walk on the Earth – Dizzy Gillespie and Doc Severinsen – played them or designed them.
Musicians and collectors pay handsomely for top quality trumpets. Collectors look for limited-edition designs with a one-of-a-kind artistic addition like filigree and customized work. Musicians look for hand-hammered bells, thick gauge metal, and smooth slides and valves. The finish of the trumpet also factors into the cost and desirability.
Playing one of the most expensive trumpets in the world is an experience like no other for trumpet players. The rich sound and quality craftsmanship make them a joy for musicians who know better. Whether playing in a small Mariachi band or a full symphonic band, the most expensive trumpets pay for themselves in sound quality, precision play, and metalwork.