How Student Models Compare to the other Horns
Student instruments are less expensive than intermediate, professional, and artist level instruments for various reasons. It doesn’t mean they won’t play well it just means they are constructed differently. After all, there are high end [used] horns that won’t play well if they weren’t taken care of. Each year, thousands of children enter band class for the first time, so student instruments are mass produced and the manufactures get the materials in bulk at a discount. Also, most student models are constructed by machine where as a many professional models are custom-made.
Most beginner level instruments are of high quality and you won’t be compromising much in terms of sound quality and craftsmanship. If you consider how horns were classified several years ago, professional horns offered specs that come standard on many of today’s student models including fancy lacquer and detailed engravings. However, student horns will often times use a lower grade of metal such as nickel instead of silver, and the keys may be set differently, like closed holes instead of open holes on a flute, to make it easier for the beginner. Often times it is easier to get sound out of student horns compared to custom ones. Many brands today offer a high quality student model that offers good, quality tone and pitch.