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Should I Buy A New Or Used Trumpet?

August 25th, 2022 | 3 min read

By Ewan Moore

Shopping for a new instrument can be a pretty daunting experience, especially if it’s your first time. There will undoubtedly be plenty of questions floating around in your head right now.

Questions like:

These are all great questions to ask before you start your musical journey! Now, let’s assume that you’ve arrived at this blog post because you’ve decided to go for the trumpet (excellent choice, by the way). Now you’re probably thinking: should I buy new or used?

There are advantages and disadvantages to buying any instrument second-hand, but brass instruments such as the trumpet have their own unique aspects to consider. In this article, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of both new and used trumpets, and hopefully help you come to the decision that’s right for you. 

We’ll cover the four main points to consider:

  • Condition
  • Sound
  • The Marketplace 
  • Price 

Does A Used Trumpet Sound Better Than A New Trumpet? 

The most important thing you need to consider if you’re entertaining the idea of buying a second-hand trumpet is, of course, the condition of the instrument. Be absolutely certain to ask the seller how often the trumpet was played before they decided to sell, and how long they had it for. 

You’ll also want to ask how well maintained the trumpet has been, especially if the seller has had it for quite some time. A trumpet that has just been left in a cupboard for several years completely uncared for is probably going to sound rubbish, and will need a little extra love and attention that a beginner player might not be able to provide. Similarly, a trumpet that’s been played to death and has experienced its share of knocks and bumps over the years will probably run into problems and need fixing/caring for much sooner than a brand-new trumpet would. 

There’s no getting around the fact that the manufacturer of the trumpet will also play a big role in the overall quality of the instrument. A bad trumpet is a bad trumpet no matter how well it’s been cared for, after all, so be sure to look at where the trumpet originally came from and take a look at some reviews of brand-new products first! 

Consider The Marketplace! 

Think about who you’re buying the trumpet from. Are they a trusted seller on a website like eBay? Or are you buying a trumpet for £20 from some random person on Facebook Marketplace? People get scammed every day when buying things online, and we would urge you not to purchase anything from anyone without an established track record - no matter how tempting the offer may seem! 

Below are a few sites that you should consider if you’re looking to safely purchase a used instrument:

But again, and we can’t stress this enough, you need to be careful no matter which website you’re buying from. 

Are Used Trumpets Cheaper Than New Trumpets? 

Well, yes. Usually. Sort of. At first glance. Once again, there are a few things you need to think about here. The first is; “how much cheaper is this used trumpet compared to the exact same model brand-new?” If there isn’t much in it, then you should absolutely get the brand-new model.

You’ll also want to once again consider the condition of the instrument. A £450 trumpet for £225 might seem like a bargain at first glance, but if it’s been absolutely battered by time and use, you may end up having to pay more down the line to repair or even replace the instrument. 

If price is the biggest factor driving you towards considering a second-hand trumpet, then it might be worth considering a pInstrument. Our instruments are made from durable, 100% recycled ABS plastic, and they’ve been specifically designed to help beginner players get a cheaper and more accessible start. Take a look at our range and prices below to see if any jump out at you! 

Instrument pBugle pCornet pTrumpet hyTech Yamaha YTR-2330
Weight 250g/ 0.5lbs 500g / 1.1 lbs 500g / 1.1 lbs 650g / 1.4 lbs 1.08kg / 2.4lbs
Comes With 7C plastic mouthpiece. Cloth bag. 2B and 4B plastic mouthpieces. Fabric Bag. 3C and 5C plastic mouthpieces. Gig bag / backpack. 7C silver plated mouthpiece. Works with any standard trumpet mouthpiece. Compact zip up bag. TR-11B4 metal plated mouthpiece
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Instrument pBuzz pBone Mini pBone  Yamaha YSL 354E
Weight 250g / 0.5 lbs 500g / 1.1 lbs 800g / 1.8 lbs 4.9 kg / 10.8 lbs
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Price From £19.99 £99.00 £139  £746


To conclude, shopping for a second-hand trumpet really boils down to doing the research and looking out for the main points we've covered today. In some cases, a second-hand trumpet will be a much better deal for you! In others, the condition, seller, sound, and price could make it a serious mistake. Remember what to look out for, however, and you should be fine. 

Find Out More

Feel free to browse through our comprehensive learning guide, or take a look at the full range of pInstruments to see if there might be a better fit for you. And if you still feel you need to do a little more research, check out the following articles:

How Long Does It Take To Learn A Brass Instrument?

pBone Review Roundup: Is It Any Good?

Top Five Advantages Of Plastic Instruments 

Ewan Moore

After seven years writing about video games, Ewan made the jump to the music instrument industry to stop his family asking when he was going to get a real job. Mostly, though, he adores music and is passionate about its vital role throughout life - especially in education. He also played guitar in several bands with deeply embarrassing names that won't be revealed here. With a degree in journalism from an NCTJ-accredited university under his belt, Ewan uses everything he learned as a writer over the last decade to help answer any questions you might have about pBone Music in an accessible (and hopefully entertaining) way. Because if you can write 1,000 words on SSDs and ray-tracing, you can explain why plastic instruments are accessible, sustainable, and fun.