pTrumpet Review – The pBone PLASTIC Trumpets Any good?

In this pTrumpet review we are going to take an in-depth look at the fun little plastic trumpet that the UK based pBone company makes…

…called the pTrumpet

At the time of writing this article the price tag on the pTrumpet, was shockingly low, you can click here to check current pricing over at Amazon.

In this article you will find answers to the questions:

  • Is the pTrumpet worth the money?
  • Who is the pTrumpet for?
  • Are plastic trumpets any good?
  • Should I even bother with a plastic trumpet?

Okay so, make yourself a cup of tea, grab yourself a couple of cookies and stay for a while, because here we go…

Rating 8,2 / 10

When taking all the aspects into account, and also factor in the price I will give the pTrumpet 8,2 stars out of 10. This makes it one of the best plastic trumpet I have reviewed so far as, for example, the “Tromba” plastic trumpet got a score of 8,3 / 10

The pTrumpet -Bb Plastic Trumpet

The pTrumpet is made by the UK company pBone, and it’s a sweet little thing that is incredible light and easy to play. It’s tuned in B-flat and, yes, the whole trumpet is really made out of…

…plastic!



The Specs

  • Tuned in B-flat (Bb)
  • It has a 4,75 inch bell
  • Total weight: 500 grams
  • Even the valve system are plastic
  • All plastic water key

pBone Plastic Trumpet Review

So, as I know many of my readers are a bit impatient I already stated the final rating (8,2 / 10 ) and if you want to jump to the summary then you can find it at the bottom of this pBone pTrumpet Review…

…however, I do recommend you read the whole page because it contains details and more info about the trumpet that you really might want to discover.

We have to keep in mind that this is a trumpet that costs LESS than 200 dollars.

General quality of the trumpet

The first thing you will notice when lifting the pTrumpet is that it’s incredible light. It’s a sweet little thing weighing in at only 500 grams.

The slides work well and so does the water key. The valves also seem to work well. No problems encountered so far…

Click image to check current pricing at Amazon

 The balance and hold

As I already said, the horn is very light and easy to hold. The pressure point on the lips is also good. However, it feels a bit different to hold than the normal trumpets due to the valve casing being a bit bigger than on brass trumpets, so it takes some time getting fully used to it.

This would be excellent for a beginner kid who is small for his age. Not only that as it, of course, is easier to hold a light trumpet, than a heavy one, for an adult as well.

Nothing more to add here. Moving on…

Quality of The Valves

I was extremely skeptical when I learned that the valve system is all plastic on the pTrumpet. For example the Tromba plastic trumpet makes their trumpet all plastic, except for the valves which are stainless steel pistons…

…however, I must say that I have to swallow my negative thoughts, because I find them to be working really well. Upon further investigation, on different online forums, I find that in general it seems like the pTrumpet valves are better than other plastic trumpet brands.

I feel the need to remind my reader though, that when talking about any trumpet, within this price range, there are inconsistencies within the same brand, meaning, some trumpets seem to work a bit worse than others. This is just a risk we have to take when buying any trumpet under…say 500 dollars.

Another thing to note about the valves is that, unlike most brass trumpets,  the piston springs on the pTrumpet are placed at the bottom of the valve casing.



The pTrumpet Sound

Here is a sample of how the pTrumpet can sound. Take a good listen to Alison, in the video below

The sound is surprisingly big and warm. That said, you will not be able to find a plastic trumpet that can match a good brass trumpet, when it comes to the sound. It’s just not going to happen, so that’s why I’m NOT going to compare plastic trumpets to expensive, standard, horns.

The sound on the pTrumpet is

  • Big
  • Warm
  • Very pleasant

Again, you won’t be able to win a trumpet audition for the Chicago philharmonic orchestra with this trumpet, because brass is the only acceptable material well suited for such prestigious jobs, but there are certainly places for the plastic trumpet sound in the music world.

For professional classical trumpeters the “core” or the “meatiness” of the sound is extremely important, and you just do not get the same “core” in the sound, from a material like plastic. We need metal for that. Heavy metal 🙂

Appearance and looks

Well, it’s difficult to describe something visual, but the horn looks sweet. It’s easy to fall in love with it. Also, there is something special with blue, red or why not a yellow trumpet, wouldn’t you agree?

For more pictures click here to take a look at them over at Amazon.

Intonation

The intonation takes a bit of time to get used to but it’s not bad. There are a lot of trumpets in this price range that has got FAR worse intonation. When playing the trumpet, some small adjustments to the blowing may be required to get the notes to find the perfect pitch.



Responsiveness

Amazing! It’s so freaking easy to play in the middle register and in the high register. The notes under low c feel a bit more “stuffy”, but not so much that it becomes a problem. The middle and high register though, oh man, the notes takes almost no energy at all to sound. This is extremely good for a beginner…or for any trumpeter, for that matter.

Slotting

Due to the light wight and the material in general the slotting on the pTrumpet is not as good as on brass trumpets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad, but the notes just don’t “lock” in the same way as they do on for example a Bach Stradivarius Bb trumpet. Then again, those trumpets costs around 3000 dollars. The pTrupet…well, under 200 bucks. Feels like an unfair comparison and the slotting still get’s a thumbs up from me.

High register

Fraking easy to play! I would have never though this. It’s even easier than on the Tromba plastic trumpet. Have a rock or pop gig and want to be screaming some high notes on a red or blue, cool looking horn. This could be a good and fun investment for you.

The high notes come out with so little effort, and they are loud, with a full trumpet sound as well. Again, I am very surprised at this. I would never have thought this was possible on a plastic trumpet. Full score in this department and a big thumbs up! Bravo and good job to the pBone company!

As you can se, the valve casing is a bit thicker than on standard trumpets

 How easy it is to “move around” (agility)

No problems here. Due to the less distinct slotting, compared to brass trumpets, the agility of the pTrumpet takes a bit of time to get used to. Not much though because you’ll quickly figure it out. Once you do it’s possible to play even the hardest pieces on the trumpet, if the player himself is capable of playing the piece in the first place, of course.

The general feel of the pTrumpet when playing

It’s incredible fun to play! I think most players would agree as it’s almost impossible to play this sweet little thing without falling in love with it. Low notes are a bit stuffy, but like I said in the previous point, it’s all there once you get used to it.

Casing

The pTrumpet comes in a nice looking gig bag, along with two plastic mouthpieces. The case is fully functional, however if you still feel like you would want something even more protective, or professional looking, you can read my article best trumpet cases by clicking here.

Pricing

As I said in the beginning, at the time of writing this article,  the price is shockingly low. I have however noticed that the price tends to fluctuate, but you can click here to check the current pricing over at Amazon.

I said it in other reviews too, but I am surprised at how we nowadays can actually get fully playable trumpets for prices as low as what a night out at a restaurante costs. It is good times we are living in.

The low price tag was, of course something I took into consideration when writing the pBone plastic trumpet review and when it was time for the final rating.

Score 8,2 / 10

So in my opinion, with all the above taking into consideration, weighing it against the low price, I think a good rating for the pTrumpet is 8,2 out of 10.

Ptrumpet-Plastic Trumpet Review Wrapping up

Question: So should I buy this trumpet?

Answer: That’s up to you. If you are looking for a cool and incredible fun trumpet to play, then yes, definitely!

Just don’t buy it as your main horn if you are a serious trumpet player with the intention of using it in the symphony orchestra. You will need a “metal / brass” trumpet for that.

However, the trumpet is excellent for a beginner, amateur or even for professionals who want to have a “backup” horn or something very fun to play around with. It can also be used on rock or pop gigs, with its cool looks and easy high register.

Some more pTrumpet playing and demonstration here:

Summary of Pros and Cons
Pros
  • It is incredible fun to play
  • Very lightweight and easy to hold
  • Won’t dent or break if you drop it
  • Easy to play in the middle and high register
  • Phenomenal high notes
  • Surprisingly low price
Cons
  • The low register is a bit “stuffy”
  • There are people who have reported problems with sticky valves. Most of them seem to be fine though.
  • Takes a bit of time to get used to the feel (not really a negative thing, but felt I need to put it in here)

So, Is the pTrumpet worth the money? Conclusion

For this price and for the cool plastic trumpet you get, I think so yes. I don’t own one yet myself, but after trying out many different trumpets for my reviews, I will definitely order the pTrumpet…

…and I will welcome it to my “trumpet family”, along with all my other trumpets, with a warm heart.

The pTrumpet is excellent for amateurs or beginner trumpeters or for professionals looking for a new “fun” friend to play with, to get some variety and time away from their standard horn. And above all, it looks so adorable, and is so much fun to play, you will probable fall in love with it.

Click image to read other real user reviews on Amazon
Some common questions about the pTrumpet

Q: Does it come with mouthpieces and are they also made out of plastic?

A: Yes it comes with two plastic mouthpieces. A 3c and a 7c,  however, I recommend using a brass mouthpiece on them as the sound just gets better that way. Sure you can play the plastic ones, if you want to, but for best results, I’d say use your normal bras mouthpiece…

…or if you don’t have a mouthpiece or trumpet yet, buy a normal brass mouthpiece at the same time. If the latter is the case, you might want to take a look at my article best trumpet mouthpiece for a beginner here.

Q: So if the valves are all plastic, should I use valve oil or not?

A: You don’t have to, but you can. The trumpet is designed to function without valve oil and indeed the valves function really well without any oil.  That said, some people still use valve oil to make the valves function even better.

Q: The tubing that goes to the bell seem to be higher up than on normal trumpets, why is this?

A: Yes, good observational skill there. This is a clever move and done on purpose by the designers to make beginner trumpeters use their finger tips when pressing down the valves. Like we should do when playing correctly. You see, many people, myself included, sometimes “cheat” and use the middle of the fingers to press down the valves.

By putting the pipe that goes to the bell a bit higher, it becomes impossible to “cheat” like that, when playing the trumpet because the bell tubing will be in the way, preventing your fingers from being able to press down the valves. Very good job and thumbs up to the designers for this.

Q: Some people say it’s easy to play high notes on the pTrumpet. Is that true?

A: It is! Feels like they take so much less effort to get. This is why I said, earlier in this article, that the pTrumpet will probably be used at some pop / rock gigs, where high notes and the “coolness factor” has to be present 🙂

Q: Do I have to clean it?

A: Just like with everything we use, it get’s dirty over time. This is true for normal, brass trumpets and the same goes for plastic trumpets.  Just use warm water and some mild soap to clean it. If you are unsure and would like to know more about how to clean a trumpet I have an article where I show you the exact steps to take. Find it here –> how to clean a trumpet

Q: Can I play jazz on the pTrumpet

A: Take a look at the video here above where Jeff Christiana starts the video with some cool jazz notes. Sounds great. Good job Jeff!

Q: Is it really suitable for a beginner though? 

A: If you have the money for a 800-1000 dollar intermediet / beginner brass trumpet, then of course those are better. However, if you are looking for something in the 180-380 dollar range then the pTrumpet does just as well as the brass trumpets in that price range. So, yes, it is indeed suitable for a beginner student.

Q: I understand it comes with a 3c and a 7c mouthpiece. Which one would you recommend starting out on, for a beginner?

A: It depends, the difference is quite subtle though so there is really no way to go wrong. Start out with the 3C, but as I stated earlier, a brass mouthpiece is recommended instead of the plastic ones.

Q: Where ca I get them?

A: They are available on almost all Amazon online stores around the world. Click here to find the one closest to you.


Alright, that will be it for this pTrumpet review. Have you tried this horn yourself and if so, what is your experience with the pTrumpet? Please share a few words in the comment section below, if you feel like it. I think my readers would love that.

Thanks for reading and, as always, keep practicing and remember to have fun on your trumpet journey.

-Robert S.-

2 thoughts on “pTrumpet Review – The pBone PLASTIC Trumpets Any good?”

  1. Great website love reading your reviews and tips. pTrumpet is interesting but the new HyTech pTrumpet looks even more interesting. Any chance you can get one to review ?

    1. Thanks for the nice comment. Oh, yes! It’s definitely on my list of horns to try as soon as possible. I’ll see if I can get around to it before December this year.

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