Louis Armstrong, Rex Stewart, and Wayne Bergeron are just a few household names for contemporary trumpeters. At some point along the road, they all had to invest in their first trumpet which can be an expensive proposition. Economical inflation has caused the difficult decision of which trumpet to buy to become ever increasingly important. Whether investing in the musical future of yourself or perhaps an aspiring child, the choice to buy a trumpet (and which trumpet in particular to buy) will reward or punish you for years to come. Whether you will be proudly buzzing with your new trumpet or remain continually disappointed with flat notes depends largely on the research you conduct before buying. This article reviews an economic option for aspiring horn blowers everywhere.
The slogan put forth by LJ Hutchen’s company offers “Superior Quality [at a] Reasonable Price.” The buyer reviews bare this out. The price of the LJ Hutchen Bb Trumpet with Plush-Lined Case certainly fits this description. Typically sold between the $210-$420 USD range (it is currently listed at $219 on Amazon), this trumpet costs less than virtually all of its competitors. The market for a beginner’s / student’s trumpet is a large one and the Bb size is the most commonly used. Such a trumpet can run anywhere between $149 all the way up to $2,000. Can the LJ Hutchen Bb Trumpet beat the lower priced competitors while rivaling its more expensive cousins in quality?
This trumpet comes with a stock 7c mouthpiece which is common among starter packages. At one point or another, you will likely change mouthpiece sizes depending on the strength of your lungs and level of skill. Be prepared to spend another $40 or so when this time comes but the 7c is generally the standard mouthpiece provided when you buy any trumpet. Even with the potentially added cost of a new mouth piece, the reasonable pricing of this trumpet is beyond argument.
Proudly manufactured in the United States, LJ Hutchen has built a stout instrument with the Bb Trumpet. It is easy to maintain with the valve oil and cleaning cloth included in the package. Once ordered, the instrument itself arrives greased and ready to go. The stock intonation usually sounds nice but tuning is also easy should you need. The tuning slide is braced to prevent misalignment and very user friendly. There will be, like any other instrument, a learning curve when it comes to keeping all the parts working smoothly. Attributing the proper intonation to any instrument is an acquired skill. Like many metallic instruments, this Bb trumpet may need some breaking in, so don’t fret over random pieces that “stick”. Before long, when working your fingers along the trumpet’s valves you will find that they depress and rise fluidly. Of course, being forged of stainless steel ensures the consistency of your compressions and prevents corrosion. Press the valves while you play and the pitch changes without a fuss. You can sample the quality of sound you get before purchasing this trumpet here. The smooth valve action and rose brass lead pipe emits a full, unblemished tone.
I doubt that many people would place appearance highly on their list of instrumental priorities. However, it beckons saying that this trumpet does not disappoint in the looks category. While many instrumental snobs may scoff at a lacquered instrument, LJ Hutchen has done a great job delivering a unique tri-colored look while maintaining the integrity of their Bb trumpet’s sound. The trumpet is as nice to watch as the musician swaying melodically with it. The case the trumpet comes with even has a classy look to it. Once inside the hard case, the LJ Hutchen Bb Trumpet is portable and light enough for even younger students to hoist it around when needed. The black plush-lined inside gives a floating appearance to the trumpet like it is hovering while waiting eagerly for its master. The case itself is sturdy and will protect the trumpet from the clumsiest of owners. One minor complaint is that it does not have attachments for shoulder straps, just handles. The quality and cost of LJ Hutchen Bb Trumpet and Plush-Lined Case together more than make up for having to tote around an average-weighted trumpet by hand. Also, although it does not have an inner storage compartment, there is still some room for storage of small accessories.
Some customers have complained about the seating of the valves and not being able to get proper sound flow when they first receive their trumpet. It is due to the valves’ initial position in the chamber upon delivery. However, this is a very simple fix and novice horn blower’s should be aware of how to. Simply loosen each valve chamber top, turning until you hear a click. This aligns the holes in the valves with the trumpet itself and air can then flow freely when blown.
In conclusion, the LJ Hutchen Bb Trumpet is a beginner-priced trumpet that blows intermediate quality. There is no reason to refute the overwhelmingly positive buzz surrounding this trumpet. After reviewing customer feedback, there are occasional problems with some of the minor hardware such as losing screws or valve caps, but LJ Hutchen is known for replacing these pieces freely and within a reasonable window of time. This family owned company’s customer service reputation ensures that you and your new trumpet are in very good hands. They seem serious about their claim in the Bb Trumpet’s product description, that their “[p]ricing and warranty terms are the best value offered in the instrument market today.” This company is also known to be dedicated to musical education and music directors consistently compliment the quality of this instrument. Again, the size and cost of this trumpet suits any student looking to proudly carry an elegant instrument to class. Although priced for beginners, intermediate players will not be disappointed with its overall sound quality. With a price that defeats the need to rent an instrument, sturdiness, and a clean sound: The LJ Hutchen Bb Trumpet is clearly a worthwhile investment for aspiring musicians. In fact, it may even be the best trumpet you can buy for the price.