If you're into brass, you will appreciate these music stores. There are a bunch of "mega stores" that sell lots of woodwind and brass instruments. But to find a store that specializes in brass is a real find.
So who's on the list?
But these brass dealers are on the list because they are just plain unique or fun.
I find that the difference between a mega-store and one that specializes one kind of instrument or subcategory (in this case, brass) is that when they specialize, they've usually done a lot of the legwork for you in sorting out the "best of the best."
So check these shops out. Hopefully, there's one close enough to get to in person. Maybe it will become your "musical Mecca."
J Landress Brass - New York
OK. This store is a little bigger than KB Sax. Quite a bit bigger, actually. But it caters to brass players and it has a vast selection of different brands of instruments.
These guys are into some serious horns as well as some serious repair work when needed. They look like they do it all: plating, polishing, dent removal, valve rebuilds and anything else you need done to your favourite horn to keep it running young.
Of course, they'd be perfectly willing to help you replace that dented trumpet with a new one, too.
These guys have a serious showroom and carry many brands, including the standards like Vincent Bach, Besson and Yamaha. But they also carry some of the less common brands like Del Quadro, Benge, MidTown Brass, Lawler and Blessing.
They also seem to have an interesting variety of quality used instruments if you're looking for a treasure from the past.
You should be aware that their website says they work by appointment only. So be sure to call ahead so you're not disappointed.
They also actually have a "brass museum" with some interesting pieces. Check them out.
Wessex Tubas - Chicago, IL
This is definitely one of the more specialized stores I've come across. It's worth a visit just to see all of the unusual instruments that are being made.
They have a great inventory. Check out this shot of their showroom.
But it's not even just the vast array of tubas that they sell that gets your attention. It's all the ophicleides and sackbuts.
What's a sackbut, you say?
Take a look at this.
And, of course, the ophicleide. Don't forget the ophicleides.
And the cimbassos. Don't forget about the cimbassos, either.
Just in case you're wondering, they also sell a vast line of trumpets, trombones and cornets (as well as the occasional saxophone, actually....).
Baltimore Brass Company - Baltimore, MD
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are a couple of them to give you an idea of the VAST inventory they stock.
Tubas and french horns, for instance.
You KNOW what the means for how many trumpets and horns they have, right?
Not to mention accessories. They have a wide and varied inventory of mouthpieces and accesories. Enough to keep you busy for the whole day.
Mouthpieces by standards like Conn, Bach, Yamaha and Schilke. But also specialty pieces from Denis Wick, Laskey and Marcinkiewicz. And horns from B&S, Bach, Packer and Adams.
(They also have a small inventory of woodwinds for those of us so inclined.)
Dillon Music - Woodbridge, NJ
When I say brass, this store still gets mentioned on my site when I'm primarily a woodwind guy.
Because they have a TON of good woodwind inventory. They have a lot of good used pieces in their inventory, too. Like this recorder collection.
You're into woodwinds? So are they.
Vintage saxes: Buescher, Martin, Selmer, Yahama, Amati. They also have a great inventory of new stuff (including their "Dillon" house brand).
But... brass. Take a look.
You get the idea. They have a lot of horns for the brass player to enjoy drooling over.
Plus, they have a pretty good woodwind selection. Good stuff. Worth a look. Or a phone call.
The Horn Guys - Passadena, CA
These guys are SERIOUS players in the brass field.
What stood out to me with these guys is something that might or might not be a big deal to you as a customer. But if it is, take note. If you're wanting to be aware of environmental impact, you might want to consider looking these guys up. They seem to speak your language.
From their website:
Here at The Horn Guys, we do our best to create a culture of sustainable infrastructure. This means that we go beyond our day-to-day personal choices, and look at how businesses can make reductions in waste in all areas. In our facilities, we use fluorescent lighting as well as LED accent lighting for our display cases. Behind the scenes, you'll be glad to know that your instruments and precious cargo are all packed with reused and repurposed shipping materials whenever possible. This drastically cuts down on using virgin plastics and paper, which would both increase the cost and the environmental impact of each horn we sell.
Even beyond the daily workings, Steve, who is an avid cyclist, runs many of our local errands by bike. Tuba cartage gets a bit tricky on a bike, but he has retrieved our jugs of filtered water on his extended cargo frame. Empty bottles and can are collected and donated to a local Boy Scout troop as a fundraiser, and we stockpile any and all shopping bags from other sources in case your hands are just too full to hold all of the mouthpieces and valve oils you just purchased. We hope to lead by example and encourage others to keep as much material out of landfills as possible!
They have brass. Lots and lots of brass.
And don't forget. If you're anywhere close by, it's ALWAYS worth a stop in to see if you find that magic vintage horn you've been looking for.
(Worth noting: as of the date of this writing - June, 2022 - the store has a "must be fully vaccinated" policy if you want to enter. Just so you're aware.)
Robb Stewart - Santa Clarita, CA
Yeah. You heard that right. Not sure I got it exactly right but based on the website info, it seems this is a used (vintage?) brass instrument dealer that has a TON of brass instruments as museum pieces.
If you're looking for a vintage horn, this guy might have what you're looking for. It seems to be all he has listed on his "for sale" page.
But it would be an interesting visit. And if you are into vintage, he's worth a look.
No doubt I've missed some.
A brass instrument dealer that specializes in brass is quite unique. But I have to imagine I've not found them all.
If you know of others that need to be added to the list or have any helpful comments for my readers, please let me know.