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  1. newby going to look at 'vintage' Holton

    My son started playing trumpet last year using a school rental. We are now looking to purchase his first instrument. My inclination is to buy an older quality instrument rather than a new student trumpet.

    I am going to check out what is described as a 'vintage' Holton posted on my local craigslist. The seller is not a musician so can't provide any information. My background is in string instruments so I feel very out of my element.

    I would appreciate any information you can give me to help assess whether the instrument is in good condition and which Holton I might be looking at.

    The asking price is $300 and the photos look good, comes with mouthpiece. (Do I understand correctly that with older models I could not use a new mouthpiece?)

    Thanks,
    Karin

  2. Hi, Karin,

    Firstly, without seeing the Holton trumpet, it's hard to know for certain. I've seen good late-model Yamaha student trumpets like the YTR-2335 going for the same price as is being asked for the Holton. Are there any identifying marks? Why is the seller unable to describe the provenance of the horn? On what basis does the seller ask $300? How vintage is "vintage"? craigslist is a wonderful community service, but is also used to unload stolen items by miscreants who feel no remorse about taking your money. Ask me how I know. On second thought, don't ask.

    The inclusion of a mouthpiece in the deal probably isn't of value to your son, as mouthpiece fit is uniquely personal, and your son must have a mouthpiece that fits correctly.

    If I were you, I wouldn't buy the Holton without the assistance of an experienced trumpet-playing friend. Even better if you can find a friendly brass tech to look at it. Maybe the seller will let you take it to a shop before you decide. Holton trumpets are excellent instruments, but even a "vintage" Ferrari can be no end of trouble if it hasn't been properly maintained.

    HTH.


 

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