Bach TR500 Student Model Trumpet Review

*I’d like to note that this is a TR500 that was mistakenly stamped “TR300” on the leadpipe. Really goes to show you the amount of care put into this horn.
This is quite an old video, but I vividly recall disliking this horn. Fuzzy low range, bad slotting, hard to use vibrato… you get the idea. It’s a very mediocre horn that I wouldn’t recommend past beginning band. It really doesn’t feel great in the hands and doesn’t sound the part.


The Barn says:

I got this trumpet on eBay in fairly good condition and all the slides and valves work great and it sound better than my old one

James Duffy says:

That looks like a Bach TR500.

megastarwarsrocks99 says:

Allie is that you

EnglishTMTB says:

It all depends…

First up, lets consider WHY cheap horns are so cheap… Obviously you can cut a few corners on the assembly line – cheaper workers being pushed to tighter deadlines, that sort of thing. But more importantly, you can cut some much more valuable corners by cutting down on Quality Control – doing less checkups on workers quality, doing less random testing finished instruments for playing quality (or cutting it out altogether), rejecting less for minor cosmetic whoopsies (visibly poor solder joints, etc).
Sure, you can cut corners on R&D too when you’re talking about general manufacturing, but that’s less relevant here – Conn-Selmer (the parent company of Bach) already owns plenty of acceptable student-trumpet designs, they don’t need to re-invent them and to be perfectly honest they’re not going to be massively fussed about pushing up the playing qualities to the point that it discourages upgrading to their expensive flagship models…. besides, when you’re shipping out the manufacturing to cheap countries like China (or India, in the case of some makers), you probably don’t want to send your absolute best design blueprints out there in the first place.

Second up… let’s be fair to this particular example – it might be that it was a less than great example coming off the production line in the first place (it’d hardly be unknown), but it may not have been helped over it’s lifetime anyway – student trumpets are rarely looked after as well as pro instruments (if nothing else, the player neither cares quite as much nor knows what to do to look after it).
You’d be amazed just how much difference a good bath can give an instrument that hasn’t been cleaned in a year or two – and that includes pro horns too!
I’ve seen $5000+ instruments brought into a workshop because “the valves keep randomly sticking and it’s not playing as well as it used to” only to see my favourite (world-class) technician take one look inside the second slide and declare that with 99% certainty both problems were down to prolonged lack of cleaning – cue ample blushing on the customers part, and following a good clean he was proven to be absolutely correct.

Those clanking valves are probably due in no small part to significantly worn down felts (or do the TR300/TR500 use rubbers instead of felts, like the Strads do?) a couple of dollars would buy some fresh felts and that would really quieten the valves down… whether the rest of it is great enough to be worth caring about is another question entirely 😛

So yeah, at the end of the day this instrument is probably a dog anyway – but just because it’s a student instrument and expected to be a dog, doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be “less of a dog” with a little TLC… I’m not saying it’s worth sinking any real money into getting it professionally serviced, but it could be educational to see just how much difference it can make (especially if you take the tuning slide out and look down the leadpipe and see a bunch of grime – if that’s the case, it could be truly eye opening!).

Michael Terrazas says:

thats what I play

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