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Buying a pocket trumpet


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TimTheTrumpeter
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject: Buying a pocket trumpet Reply with quote

So I have been considering purchasing a pocket trumpet. I'm wondering if the bores in most of them are standard size for mouthpieces- and whether a trumpet mouthpiece or cornet mouthpiece is used for playing it. (And is there a difference between a pocket trumpet and pocket cornet?). I looked on Ebay and it seems that they have some decently priced ones, almost all of them appear to be under $200 - what is the norm for buying a used pocket trumpet that is in decent condition? I've seen a lot of them on there for like as low as $40... many between $40 and $100, with the sellers having pretty good reputations for selling history. Anyone bought one on Ebay before?

-Tim
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gbdeamer
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject: Re: Buying a pocket trumpet Reply with quote

TimTheTrumpeter wrote:
So I have been considering purchasing a pocket trumpet. I'm wondering if the bores in most of them are standard size for mouthpieces- and whether a trumpet mouthpiece or cornet mouthpiece is used for playing it. (And is there a difference between a pocket trumpet and pocket cornet?). I looked on Ebay and it seems that they have some decently priced ones, almost all of them appear to be under $200 - what is the norm for buying a used pocket trumpet that is in decent condition? I've seen a lot of them on there for like as low as $40... many between $40 and $100, with the sellers having pretty good reputations for selling history. Anyone bought one on Ebay before?

-Tim


Do yourself a favor and search the forum for information on pocket trumpets. Unless you're getting it for novelty purposes, the cheap ones are junk. Really.
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cinci-sop
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, watch the shipping charges, some of them on the cheap ones are well over a hundred dollars
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jazz_trpt
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They take a standard trumpet mouthpiece.

Avoid pocket trumpets with undersized bells. I played a Jupiter for a few years and found it to be unusable for any serious playing.

There are some recent entries into the pocket trumpet market w/full size bells in the $300-$400 range. I played one at ITG Harrisburg that gave my Pocket Max a run for its money.

Note that intonation on these horns can be a bit squirrely, and you usually have to fine-tune low D and C# with the first valve slide saddle, as there's typically no third valve slide ring.
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bwoodard
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Wisemann silver plated Pocket Trumpet which I purchased brand new from dfmusicinc.com. It was $295.00 delivered to my door with a Denis Wick MP of my choice. It comes with a very nice case too!

I would never use it for serious work but as a novelty it plays real nice. I took it on a recent trip to Mexico so I could keep the chops up and it worked very well. Takes a little getting used to but all in all, I'm satisfied with it.

HTH!
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only played a few pockets, but the only one I'd ever consider buying myself is the Kanstul. It is a fine instrument, if diminutive!

"What has he gots in his pocketses, Precious??"

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KingSilverSonic
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who has played the Taylor Pocket Rocket for a comparison?
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TimTheTrumpeter
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may come across ignorant, but I really am interested in getting one just to play around with. I wouldn't spend any money if I wanted one just for show. I really just want a used pocket trumpet that doesn't even need to be in great condition. As long as the valves are working and there aren't any *major dings in the horn, I'd be happy with it. It doesn't even have to look nice (I have an old Bundy cornet from the late 50's/early 60's that looks terrible in appearance due to wear over years but it plays great). Think I'd be able to find a somewhat decent one fitting this description in the $100 range?
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KPWtrumpet72
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought one on ebay for like $100...piece of garbage really, I wouldn't seriously play it anywhere, just for fun, for novelty. Heck it's blue...
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lmf
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim,

If you want a pocket trumpet for show, display, wallmount and/or , lampstand you might find one for $100 range or maybe a little more. Certainly, a used one can be found for your price (if it is a cheap one to begin with), so your search will probably be successful.

It won't play well, correct intonation will nearly be impossible, valves won't work right or fall apart easily and the finish will fail, but it will look like a pocket trumpet.

For the purposes you indicate, you don't need to spend much for a pocket cornet. However, if someone actually plays it, they will be not pleased with the sound and shouldn't assume ALL pocket trumpets are EQUAL.

Best wishes,

Lloyd


Last edited by lmf on Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jetjaguar
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a 'Cecilio' for my 2-yr old daughter. She can produce tones on a trumpet. It was under $200. The valves feel very good so far. It's been since Christmas. It has the small bell. The D below the staff is very weak. The sound is not great, but a professional could make it sound fine, with some added effort.
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NMex
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim,
There was one in the Marketplace recently. A used Jupiter. Call and talk to the guy.
Good luck,
NMex
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mcamilleri
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Trumpet Gearhead at www.dallasmusic.org has some very wise advice.

Most pocket trumpet are at best novelties, at worst junk. There are some real pocket trumpets out there, which the above website points out. The Jupiter is about as low as you should go - it is comparable to a basic student trumpet in quality and playing, and usable in a non-critical situation. A friend used to play one as a novelty, pulling it out when playing jazz piano.

If you just want small size, get a short model cornet.

Michael
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TimTheTrumpeter wrote:
Think I'd be able to find a somewhat decent one fitting this description in the $100 range?

No.

All the cheap Chinese (and Indian) Ebay trumpets - whether they are pocket trumpet, cornets, alto horns, flugelhorns, piccolos, or C Trumpets are junk. Junk. You're paying $100 for something that's the same as the trumpet-shaped objects they sell at Sam's club or WalMart. It might be $100 cheaper than those, but you're still getting lamp or wall material at a rather steep markup. Your Bundy will play like a Monette or custom built Don Miles trumpet compared to all of these.

There are good instruments coming out of China apparently (see Eastman, etc) and also Taiwan but their price range is in the same ballpark as major trumpet brands - perhaps 10-15% less or so.

Personally, I've never understood the pocket trumpet thing other than for portability. I don't play toys, I play instruments. The reason I play is to enjoy my sound, so why would I want to sound like a kiddie toy? Of course, you could buy a top line pocket trumpet. But, if you have $1800 to spend on a real good pocket trumpet - why not spend it on a real trumpet?

It's your money. Spend it how you want. With most things, you get what you pay for, however, at this price you're getting even less what you pay for.
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rbdeli
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Low notes were an issue for me. . Reply with quote

I tried one years ago and to tell you the truth, don't remember what model it was. It was very difficult to product a good quality sound below E on the staff. Very hard to play in tune as I remember.
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rbdeli
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe you on the 'cheap' ones not being anygood. However, do the Chinese or Koreans produce any good horns at all that cost a little more? I would think they have improved. It wasn't so long ago, that Japanese Yamaha was considered junk. They really changed their perception.

Crazy Finn wrote:
TimTheTrumpeter wrote:
Think I'd be able to find a somewhat decent one fitting this description in the $100 range?

No.

All the cheap Chinese (and Indian) Ebay trumpets - whether they are pocket trumpet, cornets, alto horns, flugelhorns, piccolos, or C Trumpets are junk. Junk. You're paying $100 for something that's the same as the trumpet-shaped objects they sell at Sam's club or WalMart. It might be $100 cheaper than those, but you're still getting lamp or wall material at a rather steep markup. Your Bundy will play like a Monette or custom built Don Miles trumpet compared to all of these.

There are good instruments coming out of China apparently (see Eastman, etc) and also Taiwan but their price range is in the same ballpark as major trumpet brands - perhaps 10-15% less or so.

Personally, I've never understood the pocket trumpet thing other than for portability. I don't play toys, I play instruments. The reason I play is to enjoy my sound, so why would I want to sound like a kiddie toy? Of course, you could buy a top line pocket trumpet. But, if you have $1800 to spend on a real good pocket trumpet - why not spend it on a real trumpet?

It's your money. Spend it how you want. With most things, you get what you pay for, however, at this price you're getting even less what you pay for.

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Hipster
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KingSilverSonic wrote:
Who has played the Taylor Pocket Rocket for a comparison?


I've played a Taylor Pocket Rocket, it is has a really nice tone, it is HEAVY, has a monster size bell, takes some getting used to actually holding it, and when really checking against a tuner only a nice scale from C below the staff to G on top, lower than the C it starts going flat, really flat, pretty fast, and above the G is goes sharp. Still it is a fun novelty item.
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Capt.Kirk
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not played any pocket trumpets in so long that is not even worth mentioning since that was pre-come back days. I would think though that anyone that made a significant income from the sales of full line trumpets and instruments as in they make everything from student to pro would be a good place to start. So I would start with Jupiter since few really want to drop $3k on a pocket trumpet almost no one records with them outside Jazz and Blues and even then they are not that popular. SInce Jupiter can make student and pro level horns I would imagine that their pocket trumpets are at the very least a decent representation of what is doable with a pocket trumpet in terms of intonation, projection and color.

The only way I would spend more on something like a pocket trumpet would be if I had several to try and one brand was just 2x,3x,4x, better then all of the rest. I doubt that even taylor can make a pocket trumpet that is significantly better then what Jupiter is selling the design really limits what the end result can be.

Their is a video on Youtube I think it is Maynard playing with some other people. In it one guy has a pocket trumpet and he is playing right into the mic. It looks like someone trimmed 2 inch's off the bell and like they did not do it cleanly. SO check that video out if you happen to have the time. I think it is a good representation of the limitations of a pocket trumpet even inthe hands of a professional! I did not recognize the guy playing the pocket trumpet.
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plunkett
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second the vote on the Wisemann - I bought the same one as the poster above (from the same dealer). It fills the bill as a second horn quite nicely - it plays pretty darn well, seems well made, and is relatively cheap. Before the Wisemann, I would have wholeheartedly recommended the silver Jupiter. I used to play it on pep band gigs and it was great. The Wisemann is just better. None of them (except maybe something like the Kanstul, etc) should be your primary horn.

I also second the vote to stay away from the eBay junk - I tried one of the regular sized trumpets of that vintage and it was horrendous! Badly made, pitch problems, crappy valves, etc, etc...

Pat
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mcahynuacrkd
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dallasmusic.org/gearhead/Pocket%20trumpets.html

Re:
Your safest bet , if you can afford it, is to go with Kanstul:

http://www.music123.com/Kanstul-905-Series-Bb-Pocket-Trumpet-463553-i1429182.Music123

Kanstul at $1,700.00 is as expensive as a regular trumpet.

I really like the great prices on these Taylor's, and like Kanstul, Taylor is a brand you can trust:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Taylor-Pocket-Rocket-Brand-NEW-in-Polished-Silver_W0QQitemZ120476999861QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBrass_Instruments?hash=item1c0cfd20b5

I don't think UMI Benge is making the pocket trumpet at the moment , but you never know about these guys as they seem to be making the superb UMI Benge piccolo trumpet again. How bout it John? Let's see the UMI commitment to Benge's brand and identity that we spoke about?

Here is used one fs right now for a steal on eBay at $1,200.00:

http://cgi.ebay.com/BENGE-FLAWLESS-MODEL-PKT-SILVER-POCKET-TRUMPET_W0QQitemZ180472588049QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBrass_Instruments?hash=item2a05012711



For $ 500.00 you will in my opinion just get a piece of junk.

For the $1,200.00 - $1,500.00 range you might land a great used Benge , Kanstul or similar type horn on eBay , but you might have to wait before one comes up for sale.


Jeff is correct, the size of the bell almost always gives the quality of a pocket trumpet away. Look for one with a "regular" sized bell (width).

Also, think of it this way, if you would not use the brand trumpet as your main axe, that company's pocket trumpet most likey is not going to please you.

For those with money, there are some really super cool well made vintage pocket trumpets out there.
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