The main factors which affect the cost of a trombone are the general level of the instrument, the finish used on it, the material the bell is made from, and any accessories included. Trombones made by reputable trombone makers are usually more expensive than those made by low-level manufacturers. Potential buyers can choose a trombone based on the overall quality of the instrument by choosing between student, intermediate, or advanced instruments. Silver or gold plated finishes are more expensive than lacquer ones. Sterling silver or nickel bells also make the instrument more expensive.
The simplest factor which influences the cost of a trombone is the level of the instrument. Student trombones are not made to as high a quality as professional trombones, and the price reflects this. A student trombone is the cheapest type of trombone available. Professional or advanced level trombones are most expensive. Intermediate level instruments have a price which falls between these other types.
The cost of a trombone is affected by the finish that is applied to the outside of the instrument. The most common finish is lacquer, which is also the most affordable. Silver plated finishes don’t dampen the sound of the instrument as much as lacquer does, but they are more expensive as a result. The main issue with silver plated finishes is the level of maintenance they require. Gold finishes are comparable to silver in terms of tone and are more durable, making them even more expensive.
The material used to make the bell of the instrument can also affect the cost of a trombone. Most trombone bells are made from the affordable yellow brass, which is most often used on student level trombones. Intermediate instruments often use the slightly more expensive rose brass, which gives the instrument a warmer tone. The most expensive bell materials used on trombones are sterling silver and nickel, which are used on professional level instruments. The sound produced by these expensive materials is much richer than that produced by cheaper materials.
Any accessories included with the instrument have an effect on the cost of a trombone. For example, a counterweight is an accessory designed to balance out the trombone and prevent it from being bell-heavy. This increases the price of the instrument, but makes the tone produced warmer. Some instruments also come with oils that can be used to maintain the quality of the instrument. The more accessories that are included with the instrument, the higher the price.