What’s the difference in a student, intermediate, or professional trumpet?

Many companies manufacture student, intermediate, and professional model trumpets.  In general, student horns play well, but don’t have all the features and craftsmanship found on an intermediate or professional model. Most student trumpets are made with a two-piece bell as opposed to a one-piece bell, which does affects sound and projection. There are also trumpets with the so-called “seamless” bell. A seamless bell is two pieces joined without “filler” material, in effect creating a one-piece bell with no seam. The valves (pistons) on beginner instruments are made with slightly looser tolerances than the pro models, so they should always move freely as long as they are cleaned and maintained properly. A student model horn will probably satisfy beginners for two or three years.  If a player excels, they may be ready to move on to a more expensive instrument at that time.