Best Stradivarius Trumpets Brand Guide

Latest posts by Kenaz Filan (see all)

For nearly 100 years professional trumpet players have considered Bach Stradivarius trumpets to be among the finest instruments available. Bach Stradivarius trumpets can be found in jazz clubs, orchestra pits, and recording studios around the world. But given the dizzying number of keys, bell sizes, bores, and finishes, how do you decide which Bach Stradivarius is right for you?

All those choices can leave you feeling overwhelmed. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Bottom line up front: For most trumpet players, the Bach 18037 Stradivarius, Bach’s most popular professional model, will be the best trumpet thanks to its versatile and “just-right” tone. But Bach also offers many other trumpets, some of which may be better suited to your individual needs. Read on to find out which Bach Stradivarius trumpet is right for you!

The History of Bach Stradivarius Trumpets

We might never have had Bach trumpets had Vinzenz Schrottenbach’s family not insisted he attend engineering school. Schrottenbach dutifully completed his studies, then went on to pursue a successful musical career as a trumpet and cornet player. In 1914, Schrottenbach, now a wartime refugee in America, changed his name to the more American-sounding  “Vincent Bach” and won gigs at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

While the BSO was on tour, Bach asked a technician to modify his mouthpiece before a performance. When Bach returned to the store, he discovered the mouthpiece had been irreparably damaged. Frustrated by the general incompetence of instrument repair shops, Bach purchased a lathe and put his engineering degree to work hand-turning and electro-plating brass mouthpieces.

Bach’s mouthpieces proved to be wildly popular and even today Bach mouthpieces are highly sought after by brass musicians. But Bach wanted to do more than make mouthpieces. In 1924 his shop began making trumpets and cornets. To distinguish the top of his lineup, Bach used the name of another famous instrument maker. And so was born the Bach Stradivarius line.

The Best Bach Stradivarius Trumpets

Best Bach Beginner Trumpet: Bach TR300H2 B♭ Trumpet


Bach Stradivarius trumpets are fantastic instruments and any beginner lucky enough to start out with a Bach Stradivarius trumpet will be as fortunate as a student driver who gets to take their road test in a Rolls Royce. But most beginning trumpeters don’t need a Stradivarius any more than a student driver needs a luxury car. A beginner will do best with a student instrument that stays in tune, holds up to hours of rehearsal, and brings out the best in a novice musician’s sound.

Bach TR300H2 has easy projection and control, with a subtle warmth to the overall sound and the durability you would expect from a Bach trumpet. The TR300H2 is a well-designed durable instrument perfect for the beginning student and is well suited for all types of music. While you can get a “student trumpet” online for a fraction of what you will pay for a TR300H2, those instruments are of dubious quality and will cause many beginning students to throw up their hands in frustration. Bach has always sold student and intermediate trumpets alongside its professional models, and the TR300H2 continues in a long tradition of excellence.

The 300H2 comes with the 7C, the same mouthpiece used in many of Bach’s Stradivarius trumpets. The soldering and machining on Bach’s student instruments are as good as the work on a Stradivarius because they are built in the same factories. The TR300H2 is also available in silver plate as model TR300H2S.


  • One of the best student trumpets on the market
  • Quality construction that will reward good technique with excellent tone
  • A resale horn that holds its value when you move on to a more advanced instrument


  • More expensive than many student trumpets


  • .459″ bore
  • Red brass leadpipe
  • Seamless yellow brass bell
  • 1st slide thumb hook
  • Monel pistons
  • Adjustable 3rd slide ring
  • Clear lacquer finish
  • Bach 7C mouthpiece
  • 50915 molded case

Best Stradivarius Professional Trumpet: Bach 18037 Stradivarius B♭ Trumpet


The 18037 uses Bach’s standard #37 bell, a medium-flared bell that projects beautifully and also blends well with other instruments. You can step out front for a solo and then return to the brass section and the 18037 will never let you down.  Not only is the 18037 the most popular trumpet in the Stradivarius line, but it’s also one of the world’s most popular professional trumpets, and with good reason.

If you want to play jazz on a Bach Stradivarius, you’re in good company! Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson, Herb Alpert, and Freddie Hubbard are just a few of the many famous jazz trumpeters who have recorded with Bach trumpets. But while it is especially loved by jazz musicians, Bach’s 18037 Stradivarius works well with every genre of music. Jazz draws on all sorts of musical influences, and your 18037 will shine through classical and rock tunes and in an ensemble or lead performances.

Because professional trumpet players have instrument preferences, Bach offers several variations on their 18037. You can get the 18037 in the silver plate (18037S) instead of the standard lacquered brass. While the #25 lead pipe used on the 18037 offers a balance between openness and resistance that helps players center notes, the LR18037 uses a reverse lead pipe that gives the horn a more free-blowing response. The 19037 uses two-piece valves that provide more feedback and a richer, more complex sound.


  • Bach Stradivarius trumpets are known and loved worldwide
  • Great sound suitable for every musical need
  • Several different varieties of 18037 to suit your personal preference


  • Expensive


  • .459″ Medium-large bore
  • Standard weight body
  • Standard weight yellow brass one-piece hand-hammered #37 bell
  • Standard construction #25 mouthpipe
  • Monel pistons
  • 1st slide thumb saddle
  • Adjustable 3rd slide rod stop
  • Silver-plate finish
  • Bach 7C mouthpiece
  • C180 woodshell case

Best Stradivarius Mariachi Trumpet: Bach LR19043 Stradivarius B♭ Trumpet


Trumpets are an integral part of Mariachi music, and Bach’s LR19043B was designed in cooperation with Jose Hernandez, leader of the Mariachi Sol De Mexico Brass Section. While the LR19043B is a great mariachi trumpet, it’s also good for many other genres. It has the brightness you want for loud and fast passages, but in the hands of a skillful player, it can sound sweet as sugar when you play it soft.

The LR19403B is the first Bach Stradivarius to feature a bronze bell. Bronze gives the trumpet a livelier and more responsive sound that is especially well suited for fast staccato passages, while the clear lacquer finish helps damp the edge and keeps it from becoming overly strident. The #43 shape has a broader, brighter sound that will cut through the noise even at outdoor events. The bell is also decorated with a beautiful, intricate filigree that will make this bell a show-stopper.

The LR19043B also uses a reverse leadpipe. In most trumpets, the tuning slide slides into the leadpipe. On the LR19043B, the leadpipe slides into the tuning slide. This design eliminates air pushback and provides a smoother route for air to travel through the instrument. Musicians who prefer the extra feedback offered by a standard leadpipe may find a standard Bach Stradivarius 19043  more to their liking.


  • Designed with input from a professional mariachi trumpeter
  • Engraving makes it look as pretty as it sounds
  • Excellent dynamic range makes it great for dramatic works


  • Can be shrill in untrained hands


  • .459″ medium-large bore
  • Standard weight one-piece hand-hammered #43 bronze bell
  • 5″ diameter bell with flat rim
  • #25LR leadpipe with reverse tuning construction
  • Two-piece valve construction
  • Lightweight valve slides with brass inner and outer slide tubes
  • 1st slide finger ring
  • Adjustable reversed 3rd slide rod stop
  • Bach 3C mouthpiece
  • Available in clear lacquer or silver-plate finish

Best Stradivarius Orchestral Trumpet: Bach Stradivarius AC190 Artisan C Trumpet


While most trumpets made today are in the key of B♭, American orchestras prefer C trumpets in their brass section. Bach’s AC190 Artisan C Trumpet is found in orchestras throughout America, where its brilliant sparkle and powerful projection make it a favorite with musicians, conductors, and audiences alike.

Bach’s Artisan trumpets are built using the blueprints Vincent Bach designed in his New York City and Mount Vernon studios. Two-piece valve construction with nickel balusters and brass casings give the AC190 Artisan C a classic sound that evokes Bach’s cherished early and mid-20th century instruments. The easy high register and big sound will help you win auditions and stand out on leads and solos.

The AC190 has more resistance than some C trumpets, but once you get used to the tighter blow, you’ll find the slotting is exceptionally precise and the intonation superb throughout the entire dynamic range.  And the ease and speed of articulations make the AC190 a joy to play. If you want to focus on classical and symphonic music, the AC190 will be the last C trumpet you will ever need.


  • One of the most popular C trumpets in American orchestras
  • Lively horn with an especially strong high range
  • Artisan line built to even more exacting standards than Stradivarius instruments


  • Does not come with a mouthpiece


  • .462″ large bore
  • 4-13/16″ diameter one-piece hand-hammered bell with flat rim
  • Special acoustic bell treatment
  • Enhanced radius ferrules
  • Monel pistons
  • 2 sets of valve guides – brass/plastic
  • 1st slide split ring
  • 3rd slide pin stop
  • 3rd valve tone enhancing ring
  • Deluxe engraving
  • Clear lacquer finish
  • C190DBL deluxe double case
  • No mouthpiece

Best Stradivarius Cornet: Bach 184ML Stradivarius B♭ Cornet


Though it has largely fallen out of favor today, the cornet was once more popular than the trumpet. The cornet was Vincent Bach’s primary instrument, and cornets were an integral part of Dixieland jazz and 19th-century orchestral music. Bach’s 184ML Stradivarius cornet is one of the best cornets on the market and could be a game-changer for historic jazz and period performers, as well as anybody who wants to play British brass band music.

Cornets have a smaller receiver and the cornet mouthpiece is smaller and deeper than a trumpet mouthpiece. The cornet also has a more conical bore than a trumpet, so it has a warmer, velvety sound like the closely related flugelhorn.  The 184ML is built with the traditional “shepherd’s crook” wrap that further mellows the sound. While the cornet’s action makes it well-suited for very fast work, it has less projection than a trumpet and can get overshadowed in louder settings.

Very young students often start their musical journey with cornets. While a cornet has the same length of tubing and same fingerings as a trumpet, its wrap makes it shorter than a trumpet and easier for very small hands to play. If your child struggles with holding a trumpet, Bach’s CR301H Student Cornet might be an excellent alternative.


  • A dark, intimate sound that makes it perfect for softer music
  • Blends brilliantly with ensembles in brass band and period instrumental pieces
  • “Shepherd’s crook” wrap makes cornets easier for very young students to play


  • Conical bore can make it harder for beginners to slot notes


  • Bach “Stradivarius” – Short shepherd’s crook design
  • .459″ medium-large bore
  • Yellow brass one-piece hand-hammered bell
  • Monel pistons
  • 1st slide thumb trigger
  • Adjustable 3rd slide rod stop
  • Clear lacquer finish
  • Bach 6 cornet mouthpiece
  • 1884 wood shell case.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: What is a Mt. Vernon Stradivarius?

Answer: In 1953 Vincent Bach moved his factory from New York City to Mount Vernon, New York. In 1964 Bach retired and the company’s new owner, Selmer Instruments, moved production to Elkhart, Indiana.  Bach Stradivarius trumpets made in Mount Vernon are especially prized by collectors and musicians who say that these Mt. Vernon horns are the finest Vincent Bach ever produced.
If you want to see if your vintage Bach Stradivarius is a Mt. Vernon model, check the second valve casing for a manufacturing stamp that lists “Mount Vernon, NY” along with the bore letter code and serial number.

Question: Who makes the Bach Stradivarius Trumpet?

Answer: In 1961 Vincent Bach, then 70, sold the company to Selmer Music. While other prospective buyers had offered more money, Bach got his start making mouthpieces out of the back room of Selmer’s New York showroom. Selmer was later acquired by another famous maker of brass instruments, Conn. Today Conn & Selmer still make Bach Stradivarius trumpets using Vincent Bach’s original drawings.

Question: What is a trumpet’s range?

Answer: A C trumpet’s range is from F♯3 to D6. A B♭ trumpet plays a step lower than the written note, so its range is E3 to C6. Trumpeters can use their embouchure and breathing techniques to produce higher notes in their altissimo range.  Most professional trumpeters can reliably play to F6 or G6, and players like Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie became famous for their ability to go even higher!
Using their embouchure and technique, trumpet players can also produce pedal notes that go as much as an octave below the instrument’s lowest fundamental. (E2, written as F#2, for the B♭ trumpet).


So what’s the best Bach trumpet for your needs? It depends.

For most advanced and professional trumpet players, the Bach 18037 will be their best choice. The Bach 18037 is found in recording studios, jazz clubs, and orchestral pits.

For beginning students, I recommend the Bach TH300H2 student trumpet. The Bach TH300H2 isn’t just the flagship model of Bach’s student line, it’s one of the best student trumpets on the market today.

Because Bach is such a highly regarded instrument maker, you will find many used and new Bach Stradivarius trumpets available online and at music stores. Get as much hands-on experience as you can with Bach Stradivarius instruments, read reviews, and talk with fellow trumpet players. In time, you’re sure to find the Bach Stradivarius trumpet that’s perfect for you. Best of luck in your search and happy playing!

Looking for more interesting readings? Check out:

Scroll to Top