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Reviews & Testimonials

Hello Pete.

We just returned from the ITG convention in San Antonio. It was, as usual, as fabulous week. Okay trumpet geeks - As many of you know, I endorse for Phaeton Custom Trumpets and play an FX model which I like very much because of its exceptional versatility. I took mine to Bob Reeves to check for the "dreaded" alignment of my va!ves. After about five years of being played 350+- days a year, the valves were well within (-.001, +.002) the excellent range for brand new first line horns - remember, mine is five years+ old and is played nearly every day. These results are a tribute to the quality of Phaeton horns. Kudos to Peter LaPlaca and crew. Those of you who purchased a Phaeton after playing mine can look forward to years of quality results when playing your horn.

Douglas Bull
This Phaeton Pocket Trumpet is the most amazing pocket I own. I have a 1985 Benge and a 2017 Brasspire Dizzy pocket and, together, they can’t outplay this 3000. Everything about this horn is perfect- the valves, the gold brass finish, the case... all perfect. Most impressive, however, is Pete LaPlaca, company executive.

My horn arrived without the bell engraving. I left Pete a message and he responded in just a few minutes. He couldn’t have been nicer. He said he would take care of it, and he certainly did. I would have been happy if the engraving was done and delivered within a few weeks but, it was done — perfectly — and delivered in exactly one week. His customer service is so extraordinary that he emailed me at 9:30pm on Sunday night to say the horn was ready and shipping out the next morning.

He just got it on Saturday! He also sent it back with a gold-plated Las Vegas Showroom mouthpiece, books, tee shirt, you name it – he sent it! I’ve NEVER had such outstanding service. I’ve already ordered a Phaeton Brush Brass PHT-2030 custom trumpet as a result.

Here is an example of ordinary customer service: my new Adams F1 Flugelhorn has had valve problems since I got it and it’s on a waiting list to be repaired sometime this summer. Not much for service, huh?

As soon as the repairs are complete I will be selling it and getting a Phaeton Flugel.

Stick with Phaeton and you’ll never go wrong!

Thanks for everything, Pete!
Lynne Iverson - Myersville, Md.
Hello Pete.

So it’s only 10 years! Don’t time fly when you’re having fun. I remember seeing and playing the horn in a shop in Cheltenham. Maybe it was called “Second Wind”? But I can’t remember if I actually bought it there because I’ve a feeling I found it (new) somewhere else, cheaper. I paid about £900/950 I think (new) - discounts for Union members can be very good - but I no longer have the invoice and as I approach my 81st year, my memory isn’t so good. Still gigging! Playing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday next week ... I started aged 15, had a break, playing bass, for 20 odd years, had a heart attack at 52, went back to playing trumpet of which I have a collection: Selmer Balanced Louis Armstrong signature, Old Recording, 2 Bach Strads (trumpet and long cornet), King Dizzy (bought in New Orleans), Leblanc Conrad Gozzo signature, and a few others. You’ll be pleased to know the Phaeton tops the list.

Jon Stone
Trumpet flugelhorn bass guitar
Just wanted to pop an email in saying how much I've enjoyed the PHTF - 2650 flugel. I've had it for about 7 months now and it has done nothing but played like an elegant and beautiful instrument. I have not been able to find a single horn that can be pushed so hard or played so gently and remain equally as nice to play, nor can I find one that fits into so many roles so comfortably (Small group jazz, big bands, pit work and brass bands.) The horn has been an absolute joy and I have no regrets on buying this horn. It would be nice to see a few more here in Australia though.

Take care and best of wishes,

Zac Chambers
Phaeton PHT2040

I cannot believe how well this horn performs... free... easy... outstanding projection.

Review Date: 8/2/2007
Phaeton PHT2030

Overall, this is a great horn. I just got it the other day and love it. The valves are amazing. The tone is warm but punchy, and also it just feels great to play. The brushed finish has some kind of clear lacquer over it which gives it this indescribable glow, it almost looked like a horn made out of velvet. And for the price, this trumpet is amazing.

Review Date: 10/6/2007
Hey Pete

This is Pete the Phaeton Guy… Just wanted to let you know I hope you’re getting a lot more sales from Missouri as I am introducing my Phaeton Black Onyx trumpet to two different colleges and 4 high schools with great positive response!

Not one player who played this horn has not loved it and wanted to know more!! I am giving your web address/ phone number to all the directors I visit. I am doing my level best to get this wonderful horn to everyone I can.

I almost quit playing when my old Bach died and didn't think I could ever get one as good, but I was dead wrong. You and Phaeton have given me back the passion for music and if I only play at Church and with the Patriot Guard Riders, I am playing and doing what I love.

From the bottom of my heart again and tears in my eyes every time I play this horn, thank you… and as always… your friend and biggest fan

Pete Shelton, The Phaeton Guy - Missouri, 2011
Phaeton PHT2050

Forget all the other horns, this is definitely the best! The pistons are great and responsive. When I grab it and start playing, it takes me to a different world. And really I am not exaggerating!!!!

Review Date: 3/2/2007
Hi Pete,

I am back in Jamaica now. Melvin and I met on Saturday, and I got a chance to play the horn.

I was amazed...firstly at the quality of the packaging (shipping box with packing peanuts around it).

Then at the case design! You clearly do not mess around on quality in your construction...I loved the tweed exterior and the red velvet lining inside. Then I got to the horn itself. WHAT A BEAUTY!!

I have to admit it was tempting to ask if I could just take the gloss horn... but I stayed strong.

Melvin can tell you, I spent at least 5 minutes just admiring the finish and feel of the instrument...well done to you guys. It is beautiful. I oiled the valves a bit with the included oil (very nice by the way) and then I was stunned again by the quality and feel of the valve action. Finally I played the horn (brought my bach megatone 3c with me – current and favourite mouthpiece).

I own a CG Conn vintage one and a king 2055...I have played a number of other horns, but I don’t think played one as responsive and comfortable as the Phaeton.

Thank you so much (and Melvin) for allowing me the opportunity to play one, and I am now more excited than ever for My Phaeton to be ready.

Omar S.E. Azan
The guys over at Phaeton horns have come up with an unbelievable horn at an unbelievable price! I love the responsiveness, ease of play in every range and dynamic level, and the even tone of the horn.

Since picking up the 2030 model, I've been able to effortlessly play in multiple settings with GREAT success. And to top things off, it's a great looking instrument. From the finishes to the bracing to the overall "floating" design of the fingerhooks, my horn has turned many heads from the studios to the stage.

So if you're looking for a great looking horn, a great playing horn, and an affordably priced horn to take you to the next level, Phaeton has just the right product for you!! As an in-demand recording artist and touring musician, I heavily recommend the Phaeton horns for players of every level and setting!

Melvin Jones -
(Recording Artist, Turnaround Records)
Moorehouse College, Atlanta, GA - December 14, 2010
Pros: Big sound - almost what you would get out of a full-sized trumpet
Cons: None

I have had the opportunity to own five different pocket trumpets. Most were made in China but my Kanstul 905 pocket was built in the USA.

Out of all these pockets, the only one I wish I would have kept was the Phaeton 3030 (silver plated). I enjoyed it even more than the $1700+ Kanstul pocket (at less than half the price). It was a solid, well-made pocket with absolutely GREAT valves. The valve buttons and top/bottom caps were of the heavy style. Furthermore, the buttons were slightly concave. I loved the feel. I even used it on a gig!!

The bell was full-sized coming in at about 4 3/4 inches in diameter. All my mutes fit perfectly. When using my practice mute, it was great to practice with late at night or in a motel room. The case was well made and had room for my practice mute.

Personally, I'd like to get one again sometime in the future!!

Review Date: 1/15/2010
I find it to be my favorite trumpet over my Olds Mendez and Harrelson Bravura. Use it for all my gigs. It has a bright and brilliant sound that comes out so easy. Perfect for mariachi music. I purchased it on eBay (with the great looking case) based on looks alone about five years ago. Been playing it ever since.

Mr. Al Lopez
July 15, 2016
Hi Pete,

Yes indeed the horn (Phaeton) arrived last week, thank you.

In short, the horn plays really well. All around great trumpet! In my opinion, from a pro commercial trumpet playing standpoint, the Pl-lT-2070 definitely plays better than a Bach in the sense of the free upper register, slotting and bigger sound. Also, more affordable than the Bach, Schilke and Yamaha! A really great combination of metals and materials, bells, etc...

Warm and rich at soft levels and will definitely sizzle and get really nice brillance and focus.

So sorry I didn’t get back sooner, and I am looking forward to talking to you soon. Thanks so much for your efforts in getting this great horn to me.

David Perrico
Las Vegas Trumpet Artist
February 22, 2012

“The sound is even in every register. Very rich and nice blend with the alto sax- Do they make trombones?"

“Your trumpet looks like it should be in Ferrari commercrals. I love the lines and the look... and it sounds great!"
-A woman in the audience

"I agree, your sound is warmer than I remember. It's interesting your sound was warmer sounding but With an edge,.."
Hi Pete & David:

The horns (PHT-2040 & PHTF-2060) arrived safely on Wednesday and I worked with them on Wednesday night. They live up to every review I have read. I have found that it is like playing on a ladder where every note has its own rung and you have to be very deliberate to play between the pitches but it supports very comfortable glisses.

The shorter valve stems give much faster speed and allows me to play accurately because of the ladder effect. I am much more in control of what I play than I ever was on a Strad and I've played Strad from 1983, no going back though. Now I am back home I started detailed work on the bottom register - long notes and lip slurs and articulation exercises to build that relationship and I find the bottom less broad than the strad but oh so much more focused.

I look forward excitedly to what my union with my horns will bring in 6 months. I am extremely happy I chose Phaeton and I had intended to write you with my comments but you got to me first. Thank you for going all out and providing me with the service that you did to make me this happy. I am also a repair tech and I don't need to polish my valves, I prefer to work these in naturally.

Anthony Woodroffe - September 2012

Editor’s Note: Anthony wanted a matching set of Phaeton Trumpet and Flugelhorn in Black Onyx Gloss finish. Both of which were delivered via our dealer, Austin Winds of Austin, Texas.
We just returned from the ITG convention in San Antonio. It was, as usual, a fabulous week. Okay trumpet geeks - As many of you know, I endorse for Phaeton Custom Trumpets and play an FX model which I like very much because of its exceptional versatility. I took mine to Bob Reeves to check for the "dreaded" alignment of my valves. After about five years of being played 350+- days a year, the valves were well within (-.001, +.002) the excellent range for brand new first line horns - remember, mine is five years+ old and is played nearly every day. These results are a tribute to the quality of Phaeton horns. Kudos to Peter LaPlaca and crew. Those of you who purchased a Phaeton after playing mine can look forward to years of quality results when playing your horn.

Douglas Bull - June 6, 2018
I have been playing my Phaeton FX for 12 years now and it still is a joy to play. It has a great sound and the valves are still very smooth and fast. All these years have been trouble free. People are fascinated by the finish on this horn and ask lots of questions after they see it.

Bill Kovar - Omaha Nebraska

I just wanted to say my replacement flugelhorn arrived this week, and it looks and sounds great. I love the attention to detail, and great customer service you have provided. I took the new horn to band practice this week (I play in the local community band) and showed it off to a few folks before practice. At break the 1st chair trumpet player asked if he could give it a try. He played a few things like I had, then pushed the horn into the upper registers. It sounded great. He and the band director were both impressed. I will be playing it at several concert between now and Christmas. I was hooked as soon as I played it at NAMM in Nashville, and will be singing it's praises from now on!

Thanks again,

Jim Franklin - Springfield, TN
October, 2014
Phaeton Pocket Trumpet PHT3030

I found this pocket trumpet to be a quantum leap from the Amati pocket trumpets and that It plays mostly like a regular pro horn or maybe an intermediate one but in other words its not a horn you have to limit to playing only at home and travel, or a novelty, its a really good horn. I like the .460 bore, that is the same big bore my FLUGEL HORN from YAMAHA has and it sounds biggest in the lower register. AS you go up near high C notes need to be held together with a strong embecheure and so its not perfect but if I work with it a while I am sure I will have it playing High Gs over C at a minimum. Phaeton seems to have its act together.

Review Date: 5/26/2009
Phaeton PHT2060

From a trumpeter's stand point, this is one of the best horns I have ever had the pleasure to play! The tone and intonation of this horn are amazing! I had a custom made Back and after 25 years on it, it was time for a new horn. I bought this horn without ever playing it; just from the reviews I have read about it. I tried all store brands, and the V-raptor. All in all, I found them lacking. So I rolled the dice and tried this horn and got it. I was stunned, and totally impressed, by the way the horn responds. The sound and the way it plays just blew me away. I was hoping for something close to what I had, but this instrument far outperforms anything I could have hoped for. And I'm my opinion the horn has to look as good as it sounds if your a front man in a band. Thanks to those who came up with this horn. It was wonderful!

Review Date: 4/3/2008
The horn I tested and purchased was the new FX model with removable braces and totally new design... still not listed on this site.

Most advanced design... best performance of any trumpet I have ever played. These guys know what they are doing!

Review Date: 4/3/2007

Review Date: 4/27/2005
Phaeton PHT2020

The horn performed exactly to my needs...

Review Date: 7/21/2006
I have purchased a Phaeton Bb trumpet, serial number 100096 a few years ago.

Yes, I love this trumpet, it is great! The best valves I have seen on a Bb trumpet, slots very well and the sound is one of the most focused I have heard. The build quality is superb! I have a Sterling Silver lead pipe and the original case by Phaeton.


Dan Shaham, Ph.D. (Baker Dan - Manhattan, NY.
I was the proud owner of two flugelhorns, a Getzen Etema (4 valves) and a Czech rotary valve circa 1880. I purchased them both for their unique characteristics As much as I enjoyed them. I was still chasing the elusive timbre i heard in my mind's ear. if I were to put a verbal description to this sound it would be described as dark and mellow, with a sonority the effect of a warm velvet blanket.

My search is now over. I found the Phaeton PHTF-2500 with that huge, warm, dark and centered sound. The first time I played the Phaeton on a gig. I felt that warm, velvet blanket cover the audience like I was tucking them in for a night of melodic bliss.

I can't thank Peter LaPlaca and his engineers/craftsmen enough for this exquisite instrument. The Phaeton’s design is elegantly modern, extremely well balanced and promotes a free-blowing feel with great response and perfect intonation.

I can enthusiastically say that the Phaeton rivals and exceeds all the hand-made flugelhorns I’ve tried in Europe. I played all of the flugelhorns at the NAMM show and left with the Phaeton. “Nuff said." Thanks agaain, Peter


Carle Vickers - Georgia Professional Musician
The Phaeton 2070 model with Sterling Silver leadpipe and Rosebrass bell is a remarkable trumpet with a very unique sound and an elegant appearance. After playing it for several weeks I found it allows for high air velocity without breaking up and tone remains open, rich and powerful. It is my choice for steady use over any of my other horns.

I also had an opportunity to put the Rose Brass Flugel to the test which plays as good as it looks with a warm even tone in all registers.

I sold my Selmer Piccolo trumpet of 20 years to one of my students after I played the amazing Phaeton Piccolo. With 2 detachable bells in either Gold or Silver plate, this horn truly meets all my performing needs.

Mac Gollehon, Artist/Clinician
New York City
December 20, 2010
The Phaeton Pocket Trumpet is a marvelous instrument that is between a trumpet and cornet. I have wanted a pocket trumpet for years but have not been able to find one that I would consider anything but a novelty. The Phaeton Pocket Trumpet is a fine instrument that one can use in performance. I take it when I travel and enjoy practicing on it and also know that I could perform on it if the occasion arose.

Dennis Najoom - Principal Trumpet Chair
Milwaukee Symphony - January, 27, 2011
I gave up my Bach of 12 years for my new Phaeton... and never missed it for a moment.

Review Date: 11/15/2006
“My new Phaeton FX-1100 trumpet was my best investment getting back into a performing mode. The horn plays easy with a centered tone that projects perfectly. I love my new Phaeton and urge others to give it a play test. Great intonation with bracing options that work for me.”

Pete LaPlaca, Bill Kovar and Rebecca Stromquist are pictured together at a recent Mike Thompson music brass conference in Elkhorn, Nebraska.
The Phaeton FX is wonderful, for its sound, its looking, and its freer blowing. The price is an amazing way to help people with few money, to buy this Professional Trumpet.

Don't worry, about: Bach - Yamaha - and others, even they have conquered the public, now we have a change. Phaeton FX has power to do that. I suggest the Professionals, and the others, to try Phaeton FX, and they will realize that today in this world, this Trumpet has value to legitimize its place among the perfect trumpets.

Dr. Edouard LAZARRE, PhD.
FRANCE, 20 of March, 2009.
"Most Incredible trumpet I've ever played!!

In August 1994, I became a Professional Trumpet player right out of high school, thanks to my training with David Santiago!!!”

Allen Pettit III
Review Date: 2/2011
I received my pocket trumpet on Wednesday.

Just wanted to tell you what I thought of it. Excellent playing horn, great quality and terrific for the money I paid. Very impressed! I'm a Band director/music teacher, 40+ yr brass player.

Laura Mazich
I've been playing a Phaeton trumpet for five years now and it's a great Instrument. Great open sound, very easy and fun to play. Thanks for creating a professional instrument at at affordable price.

Rafa Rodriguez Morales - Puerto Rico
Dear Phaeton Folks:

First at all, let me introduce myself. My name is Clarence and I have played trumpet professionally for 30 years. I'm currently performing for Ike Turner and the Kings at Rhythm. I have used many trumpets throughout my professional career and I must say that I find the Phaeton 2030 Brushed Brass model not only professional sounding, but a creative work of art.

In my opinion, I believe this horn suits my needs exactly. Not only does it deliver smickity smack licks and bomb ass hits. I feel hooked up like a tow truck. I've been looking for a horn like this in the daylight with a flash light. Thank you very much for building such a great horn.

My most sincere thanks,
Clarence aka Therno-Glisseren
Review Date: 3/2011
Dear Pete

For years l have sought a true flugelhorn sound from a flugelhorn.

With Phaeton my search is over. It's the dark warm and heavy NYC sound I have always wanted.

It's also a beautiful and artistic horn that demands attention.

Thanks, Phaeton!
Matt Lavelle - NYC
I bought an FX model and it is the best trumpet I ever played!

Giovanna Delana
Review Date: 5/5/2011