Most people probably think of trumpets as a fairly high-voiced instrument, and in most cases they'd be right. But there are exceptions to every rule, and this section is where you'll find it as far as the sound of a trumpet is concerned. Bass trumpets date back to the 1820s and are usually pitched in 8' C or 9' Bb, although there are transposing versions with Eb tuning. To get an idea of the way a bass trumpet sounds, think of the voice of a valve trombone but with a harder, more metallic edge to it. Playing one of these unconventional instruments will definitely make you stand out, just like other notable bass trumpet players such as Johnny Mandel, Elliot Mason and Rashawn Ross.
For a shining example of what a bass trumpet can be, look no further than the Bach B188 Stradivarius Bb Bass Trumpet. From Bach's professional-oriented artisan collection, it's a beautiful instrument featuring a one-piece hand-hammered bell in yellow brass. The Monel pistons deliver smooth and responsive playability, and this bass trumpet comes with a genuine Vincent Bach 12C small shank trombone mouthpiece. It's ready to play right out of the box - and speaking of which, it also includes a high-end wooden-shell case.
Another fine choice in this section is the Kanstul Model 1088-1 Bass Trumpet. Its bell is also a one-piece design, with a 7" diameter matched to a .485" bore. The design comes from Zig Kanstul himself, and it was first put through its paces by first-call players around Los Angeles. That's a tough proving ground for any instrument, but the 1088 came through thanks to its bold, brassy sound and excellent intonation. It's equally at home in a jazz club or a symphony, and its replaceable leadpipe makes it perfect for any player who wants the ability to personalize their instrument.
Go ahead and ask yourself which bass trumpet is the right one for you - by coming to this section in the first place, you've already shown that you like to think outside the box. So why not take the next step and bring home one of these bass trumpets to add to your own collection? Getting that trombone-like sound in a trumpet package is certainly worth the price of admission, and you'll be joining an elite roster of master players who've made their names by daring to do things a little differently.