Before we get to our in-depth Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet Review, let’s look at a little history…
It’s been around for quite a while, the trumpet. It dates back to at least 1500BC, though probably further. Given that there are Biblical mentions of trumpets being blown, and that is a historical record, it is likely they were around. We presume they weren’t having a Jazz festival back then, so it must have been for a battle-cry or perhaps an attention-getter.
Trumpets made of Ram’s horns, of course, may date back even further. They were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb covered with silver and gold. The military has used them for centuries as they formed an effective way of communicating instructions. Or possibly they were just a cunning tuneful invitation to another mass slaughter or a suicide.
It was in the 14th and 15th centuries that the trumpet that we know today appeared and since it has become a mainstay of music, classical, pop, rock, and of course, jazz. Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis brought the instrument to the masses, and Dizzy Gillespie dazzled us with his skills. The Beatles used it on some of their tracks, and bands like Blood Sweat and Tears, and Chicago showed what could be done in the pop and rock world.
One of the problems with this instrument is that it is not easy to get started. To start with, it can be an expensive investment. Practicing is also a potential problem with the neighbors as it can be quite loud. And also, of course, it is actually quite difficult at first to get any sort of sound out of it at all.
Many young people want to learn but fall away soon after starting as they cannot make any headway. It isn’t like a piano where you can pick out a one-finger tune — likewise, a guitar where you can do the same thing. There is a skill level to be mastered before anything happens at all.
To make it easier, you need to get the best student trumpet you can afford. The better the quality, the easier it will be to play. Buy a poor trumpet, and no one is getting a sound out of it. So, let’s have a look to see if the subject of our Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet review is good for a beginner to learn on…
Jean Paul is a US company that manufactures a range of brass and woodwind instruments. The trumpets are just one of their range. They are well-known for making instruments particularly suitable for starters, improvers and intermediate players.
The TR-330 model is the Jean Paul trumpet that is designed for the new student. It has been made very user-friendly for the beginner with a design that helps in creating those first important notes. As we shall see, the material used in the manufacture makes it lightweight and, therefore, easy and comfortable to hold.
Jean Paul understands that the student needs good experiences early on, so it is manufactured with that in mind.
It is B flat trumpet as most are, with a reputation for a good tone and good construction quality. The strength and reliability in the quality of the build are important. It is going to help the student make the notes, as we have said. But it will also take the strain of being carried around, especially if it is being taken to school or other teachers’ premises.
So let’s have a closer look at the Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet…
It is well-built with a tough, robust feel to it. The body is yellow brass with a gold lacquer finish. The idea of the lacquer is to give the trumpet a nice finish. It can, however, deteriorate quite quickly if it is not maintained properly or not treated with care. This is important in certain environments. If the trumpet is kept in the home, then the potential problems are reduced. On its travels, with the inevitable knocks, it might take is another story.
The bell is also yellow brass, and there is a standard taper Lead pipe made of Rose Brass. Brass, of course, is an alloy of Zinc and Brass, and the amount of brass determines its title. Rose brass or Red brass contains a little more copper. It helps in the production of a warmer tone.
The trumpet has a nice comfortable .459 inch bore suitable for students, that doesn’t expect too much puff to create a note.
It has a thumb saddle on the first valve for control and comfort. The third valve slide has a ring and a slide stop. These are common to most trumpets, but they are important as they help promote correct hand posture. That will also encourage the development of good technique.
If they are sticky, then it becomes very difficult for anyone, let alone a student, to play. We cannot say that won’t happen with this instrument, but the stainless steel and nickel valves seem to run smoothly. That makes for good tuning and of course, reliability. More on this later.
The soldered parts are quite nicely worked for a budget instrument though, of course, not of the quality of expensive trumpets. One important fact about this trumpet that is very relevant to the beginner is the weight. Being only 2.2 pounds makes it easy to hold and lightweight. Perfect for the starter. It is beginning to look like it might be considered as the best student trumpet.
It is made by Jean Paul in China and then shipped to America for the final check and setup.
Intonation & Tuning
Let’s return to the intonation and tuning. One of the biggest assets that we can see with this instrument is its intonation. It is one area where some manufacturers decide to cut some costs. The result is that the trumpet is hard to play for the student.
The intonation on this instrument seems to be good enough for a student trumpet. You can get electronic tuners or an online app to help you keep the instrument in tune. You can use the trumpet’s tuning slide, which is just behind the bell to make finer adjustments. It is a ‘C’ shaped tube.
Pull the slider towards you when you are playing it to make the note sharper. Pull the slider away from you to flatten it a little. Over time the student will begin to hear themselves when a note is flat or sharp. You can check other notes to make sure all is well, but there is no need if the ‘C’ is accurately set.
This is an important area to ensure you get the best quality possible for your budget.
Manufacturers cutting costs is understandable to keep prices down. However, if costs are cut too fine and the student can’t play it, then there is a problem.
Most trumpet manufacturers include some extras with their instruments, some of which are very necessary. This instrument is no different and comes with the following extras. A 7C mouthpiece is included. 7C is the standard size, especially for a beginner. Other sizes are available as and if necessary to buy.
It comes with a nice carrying case, which isn’t a hard case. It is, though, made of good material and quite strong. Some maintenance products are included. The all-important valve oil to keep the valves running smoothly. A cloth for cleaning and some gloves.
How Does It Play?
There are two important elements to a trumpet when considering how it plays. Firstly, the feel of it in the hands and secondly the actual operation. Although it is quite light, lighter than most other yellow brass trumpets for students, it feels quite substantial.
The thumb saddle on the first valve and the third valve slide give a comfortable and balanced feel in the hands. We have mentioned the bore size, which allows an ease of solid note production.
The valves work well, but as this is a budget line instrument, frequent checking will be important. As will applying the valve oil if necessary to keep it working smoothly. The nice feel and the efficient operation earn it some bonus points. Of course, it won’t play like an instrument costing twice the price, but for a starter, it seems fine.
How Does It Sound?
For a budget level instrument designed for a beginner, the sound is surprising. It is a solid and clean sound with good prominence from the Lead pipe and the bell. There is a good resonance, and the effort level is not very high to achieve a decent volume of sound. We think it is fair to say it exceeds some of our expectations.
When a starter picks up an instrument to start to learn, they need to hear it sound like the instrument they know. We have already discussed the early problems with learning any wind instrument. With this trumpet, though, it is easy to get good sounds, which will encourage the student to continue.
Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet Pros & Cons
- Good sounding trumpet.
- Well balanced and comfortable to play
- Fair price for the quality.
- Good selection of accessories.
- The finish is good but is not likely to remain that way, and we prefer non-lacquered instruments.
- No hard case.
The TR0330 is built to be an affordable instrument, but it is not made on the cheap. It is a solid, well-made instrument. The finish is good, though we are personally not great fans of brass instruments with a lacquer finish. The valves run smooth, and it is a well balanced and comfortable trumpet to hold and play.
You could say that the sound it produces is what you might expect from a trumpet costing more. The construction and build quality are good. The soldering good and the mechanisms all work as they should. For these reasons alone, it could be considered as one of the best student trumpets around.
One thing we haven’t mentioned yet is cost. Now, this is not the cheapest student trumpet around by any means. It is probably higher than most and possibly more than you thought you might have to pay. This could be for a number of reasons. But there hasn’t been an obvious massive cost-cutting exercise to keep the price down.
For the sake of balance, it is only right that we identify something we don’t care for. With this trumpet, it is just the lacquer finish. It can deteriorate quickly, and then the initial beauty of the instrument disappears.
Having it manufactured overseas and then shipping it in is far cheaper than making it at home. But then most manufacturers do that. The real difference is that it is just better made than cheaper versions. And if you want a good horn, then you have to pay for it. If you opt for the very cheap version, it might not do the job. And you might end up with a very disappointed and discouraged student.
This is a good instrument for a beginner. Even possibly slightly beyond that and must be easily considered as one of the best student trumpets on the market at the moment.