The contrabass trumpet is the lowest sounding member of the trumpet family, most closely related to the Bass trumpet. It is a specialty instrument, very rarely used except when the performer deems it necessary. The bell of current models being sold is approximately 24.5 cm. Many large scale instrument retailers still sell the contrabass trumpet, even though it is significantly less popular than other trumpet models.
In 1967 while playing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Roger Bobo was looking for an instrument that would fit the sound he was imagining for ‘Canzonas’ by Gabrieli. Unhappy with the sound of the contrabass trombone, he sought assistance from George Strucel. The pair worked together to put together a makeshift instrument that later became known as the contrabass trumpet. The bell and tubing were provided by Bach. The bell was that of a contrabass trombone while the rest of the instrument was made from scrap material found at a music exchange. The final cost of the project by Roger Bobo and George Strucel amounted to merely $125.