When you go buy a brass instrument there are a lot of brands to choose from, at first glance they are selling the same instrument but is when you look at the details that the differences become obvious and the best choice for you appears.
In this article i’ll be going through a lot of brands websites and i will be comparing them in the next aspects:
- Variety: How many different brass instruments they have.
- User Experience: Is the page fast, clean and intuitive?
- Shipping: Do they have delivery or do i have to go to a physical store?
- Customer service: Do they have a guarantee, how’s the customer service, what’s the company reputation, etc.
Notes: This post is made in february 2020 and things change fast on the internet, so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that the data shown here would be based on my experience while searching for all these brands online. I’m not getting paid by any of these brands, I just want to know where to buy instruments and share that information with you.
Yamaha is the most famous music brand in the world, so you may have heard of them simply by being around music instruments.
When you search for them don’t forget that they have a complete division called yamaha motor for bikes and golf cars, so type yamaha music instead. Once you enter you will find a ton of categories, for synthesizers, professional audio gear, apps and instruments and in the instruments they have all categories, strings, keyboards, brass, woodwind and percussion.
As far as i could find, you can’t make direct purchases of instruments in the webpage, instead after selecting the instrument you will be directed to a dealer locator where you put your location to find if anyone is selling around you, physical places, so you may need to call them or go there.
What they sell on their webpage is accessories, and sound systems, those have free shipping, 30-day returns and a secure checkout.
In terms of customer support they have a FAQ section (Frequently ask questions) and you can contact them using Twitter, Facebook, email or phone, this last one at certain hours.
Of course none of this matters if you want to buy an instrument, for that you will need to go to another kind of shop, like amazon or ebay to get it, a place where the guarantee, free shipping and customer service will be different.
Jupiter music is a Taiwanesse company from 1930 that started selling wind instruments, as time went on they expanded to brass instruments and accessories.
When you enter their webpage you will find a list of the instruments they are selling, they seem to have a lot of variants of each one, but when you choose one you will be directed to a selling locator where you can search for an international distributor in a list of countries.
The countries they have international distributors covers most of the world having around 1 shop in every country. They will then give you the direction of the company a phone number and maybe a webpage so you can buy there.
In terms of customer support they have 5 different warranties, one for each country (USA, Germany, Australia, China and Taiwan), you can contact them by email and check the FAQs page, they also have social media, but seem used for following only (not customer support).
So if you want to buy a jupiter instrument know that you may have to deal with the rules of the distributor for your country and you may not have a warranty for your area.
You can get confused with this one, there is a shop called Wessex music that serves as a distributor for many music brands, they also focus on repairments of your instruments but do not make their own instruments.
Wessex tubas on the other hand makes not only tubas but brass instruments in general. It’s a british company that has a distribution center in the USA.
When you enter the page you will find a heavy focus on tubas over the other instruments, that is expected, but for you it means that you will find a lot of tuba types and not so much the rest of the instruments.
You can buy the instruments online directly from the webpage, you can choose the finish if you want your instrument to have a silver lacquer or gold, they also come with cases. There are plenty of photos, descriptions and videos.
The only problem you will find is that wessex being a small store with a high variety of instruments is that the supply is low and a lot of instruments are either out of stock or reserve only.
Aside from that, they have free shipping to US and Canada for purchases over $250, a 3 year warranty and a phone number and email for contact. So in conclusion if you choose wessex choose it for the tubas and with a good amount of time for manufacturing and shipping (especially if you are outside of the USA and Canada).
Mendini by Cecilio
Mendini is a United States company that focuses on providing instruments to schools but also sells instruments online.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the webpage hasn’t been updated in a long time, the about us section doesn’t work, the logos for facebook, twitter and youtube are really outdated and the last news article in the news section is from 2013.
In terms of the products they have brass, woodwind and string instruments with some accessories. You can check the price of the products on the website, but in order to buy you will need to find a dealer, which makes me believe the price is not really the one on display.
The physical store dealers are all located in different states of the USA, there are also online store dealers and… most of their webpages don’t even work. If you are looking to buy a mendini instrument i can only recommend you buying it second hand and really considering other options.
Jean paul is a USA company focused on brass and wind instruments, actually the only sell 5 instruments trumpets, trombones, saxophones, flutes and clarinets plus some accessories.
Luckily their weak catalog gets compensated with the overall quality of the shopping experience, the webpage is straightforward and clean, you can buy directly there or in some physical stores like Sams, Cotsco and Best Buy (for USA).
Each instrument has photos, a list of accessories and some reviews with photos/videos of clients using the products. They ship to other countries and have free shipping for the USA.
When you buy you can register your instrument to extend your warranty, they also have a phone number and an email for contact.
In conclusion if you want one of the instruments they offer and you live in the USA, this is the place for you.
Conn selmer is a USA company that does not effer instruments themselves, but they have a portfolio of brands under their name, so you may heard about:
- Vincent Bach
- C.G Coon
- Ludwig USA
- Ludwig Musser
- Henri Selmer Paris
- Scherl & Roth
That’s right, these guys are big, and i’ll review them all at once since the basis of quality and user experience is around the same. Not only that but to get the most options i recommend you to visit the conn selmer page and not each brand one at a time.
In terms of variety they have band (brass & wind), string and percussion instruments plus some accessories, when you select one instrument you can see a short description with specifications and a photo, witch is not that much, so if you want more information on that product the description will tell you which brand is selling that one, then you can check that specific brand website to see if they offer something else (not ideal but ok).
If you want to order you will be directed to a dealer locator, so you can go get one physically or order one using the phone.
They have warranties depending on the brands, here they are:
|Selmer Paris||2 Years|
|Vincent Bach||5 Years|
|CG Conn||5 Years|
|Ludwig Marching & Concert||3 Years|
|Ludwig Classic Maple and Birch||3 Years|
|Ludwig USA Snares||3 Years|
|Ludwig Accent||1 Year|
|Musser Mallet||1 Year|
|Ludwig Stands, Pedals, Thrones and Holders||3 Years|
|Ludwig Drum Carriers||1 Year|
|Scherl & Roth||6 Months|
|William Lewis||6 Months|
It’s weird, the company it’s really big, but the quality doesn’t match that. I was expecting an online shop where you can choose between all the instruments from all brands and order right there. I can only recommend this brand for variety.
Dillon Music is the first music store in this list that has a whole category for 1 product, a gift card… besides that they sell brass and wind instruments, accessories and CD’s.
Since they are a USA company they offer free shipping to that country for all orders above $40 (except tubas for their size), they also ship to 90 countries.
In terms of customer service they have a repair price list for each of their instruments and a “customer satisfaction” section that appears in all pages of the website, but i don’t know about that because i wasn’t able to find any warranty and the returns policy says it’s at most 10 days.
So if you want the variety, worldwide shipping and don’t care too much about a guarantee this is the place for you, bonus points if you live in the USA.
I have another bundle for you in this brand, similar to conn-selmer this company has acquired a portfolio of different brands, the main difference is that they focus on France with 4 subsidiaries in the US, Japan, China and Germany.
The name of the brands are:
- Antoine Courtois
- Hans Hoyer
- J. Scherzer
- Julius Heilwerth
- Melton Meinl Wetson
- Verne Q. Powell
- W. Schreiber
Buffet Crampon brands operate the same, they have the same website template, shopping experience, but they offer different instruments, so you will have to go to each brand to find the instrument that you want and sadly you will not be able to buy directly, instead you’ll go to a dealer locator and then you can buy on the physical store or call.
So a lot of steps, if you have time or don’t mind going to a physical store you’ll find good variety and great quality.
We’re talking about a smaller company here, they sell brass and wind instruments, they are from Texas and they ship within the USA, but i didn’t find shipping overseas, not even for Mexico.
Tempest is focused on quality, they are so sure that their instruments will last, that all their instruments have a 5 year warranty, they also have a repair station (not free) so you can send your instrument for restorations.
They also have a good reputation for going the extra mile in terms of service with video tutorials, financing for schools and a lot of praise in their reviewers. So a nitch alternative for Americans.
Speaking of nitch alternatives Getzen is another example of a small company that makes few instruments (trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns & trombones), but the difference is that this one doesn’t deliver but has a bunch of dealers in different countries.
The site is weird because you can look to see all the instruments they make, then you will be sent to a dealer locator, to see which dealers have that instrument in your area right? No, the dealer locator is separated so the dealers may not have the specific instrument you want.
The website also looks old but they kind of compensate by having a lifetime warranty for most of their instruments. So in conclusion this option is extreme, limited variety and shipping experience buy excellent warranty, if that’s what you are looking for, this is the option.
There’s a slight problem with this post, not all brands have websites or they don’t work at all and not all of them focus on the same things, so here are some honorable mentions for those:
- G&P: The website doesn’t work, I wasn’t able to buy it at all.
- Helmut Voigt: This German brand makes instruments, but the page looks forgotten and the way to buy is only on the original shop in Germany.
- Lätzsch: This one turns out to be a custom trombone manufacturer, if you want modifications or a completely unique instrument, you can try here.
- Levante: I didn’t find their website, but i was able to find levante instruments sold in different online stores.
- Nasir Ali: I didn’t understand this one, they have instruments but with no description, videos or specifications, also instead of buying you make an offer, the thing that make me put it here is the lack of focus, they have a category called “300 KING LEONIDAS SPARTAN HELMET”, so they also sell armor i guess.
- Cerveny: The website hasn’t been updated since 2010 and it’s overall not trustworthy.
- Kaizer: The website works well enough (really slow) until you put something on the shopping cart, then you can’t proceed to check out.
So there you have it, as you can see i prefer buying online, without doing a lot of steps and having to speak to anyone. I also expect a warranty, shipping to my country and safe payments, but sadly you can’t do that in many of these websites, enfasis in many,so i hope you have learned about some brands and maybe found one that suits you, thank you for reading.