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 Post subject: French Horn Information
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:50 pm 
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Location: Riverside, CA
Can anyone give me useful information on purchasing a French Horn; brands, models, what a good price is???:idea: My son will need his own in a couple years and now is the time to start saving.... Thanks :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:17 am 
Well, let's start:

As a general rule (from my experience), Holton and Conn are among the better brands for horns, though Conn horns seem to be the most common student horns out there. (There are, obviously, far better horns at the professional level, but unless your son is going pro immediately, I'd reserve that for a much, much later time.)

Now, for practical play, there isn't much point in getting a single horn (horns that can't play in the key of Bb as well as F), so I'm not going to list any of them... plus, I barely know anything about them.


My personal choice is the Conn 8d- it has a nice, dark sound, and is probably the most consistant horn I've ever used; you can usually get them for $3000-$3400 at sale prices, though retail costs go from $4700-$5200.

Holton is probably the next most commonly played, and often come a bit cheaper than the Conns. They also feature screwbells, though I've never really seen the need for them; they are quite cool, so that in itself may make them reasonable. I would choose one of the horns in the Holton Farkas Double Horn Series, since that's what my old horn teacher used before he got his new one, and he said they're great. They usually go at a little over $3000 for sale prices and between $4000-$4500 at retail.

I don't have very much experience with Yamaha horns, but the Yamaha YHR668II Pro French Horn Kruspe Style series appears commonly used. Can't tell you much more, but they're edging their way up towards becoming a standard. These are usually around $2800 at sale prices and the lower-middle $4000s at regular prices.

Hope I was able to help


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:23 pm 
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Thank you so much for all that information, very helpful!!! :tup:


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 Post subject: Horn advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:38 am 
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I play horn and have assisted many of my private horn students with their purchases. Here is my advice:

Holton and Conn horns are good. Conn 8d is great, especially for professionals, but can be hard for some students to play. The Holton horns tend to be more "student friendly."

Like someone else said, definately avoid the single horns. If you're going to buy one, may as well get a good one. Triple horns (F, Bb, high F) are also not necessary at the student level. You usually woulnd't get/need one unless you're going pro, and even then there are a lot of professional that play on doubles.

As far as specific models: I recommend Holton 177 or 179. The 377 and 379 are the same as the previous two, but come with a detached bell.

About the detached bell: doesn't hurt, but not necessary needed. The ring put on the bell to make it detachable adds weight to the bell, which can allow the player to play louder before the sound splits, but again you wouldn't be able to notice this until the semi-pro level. The reason most people get detachable bells is convenience. The shape of a horn is wierd, and the cases can be bulky and don't fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane. There are a LOT of case and gig bag options available for screwbell horns, and this offers a lot of convenience. I had my horn converted to a screwbell, but only because I crunched my bell and was going to be getting a new one anyway. It has made carrying it around a lot easier since I have a case with backpack straps.

Last important thing: make sure the person who will be using it can test it out. Go down to a music store or warehouse, another school or college, etc, and try a lot of different brands. Make sure you have the option of returning it within the first 30 days or so if you're not happy with it (this is especially necessary with horns off Ebay). Other than that, see if you can get some recommendations from a private teacher or school instructor to see what their preference is. Every person is different, and thus a horn that works well for one person might not work well for another.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:40 pm 
[quote="mariahorn"
Last important thing: make sure the person who will be using it can test it out. Go down to a music store or warehouse, another school or college, etc, and try a lot of different brands. Make sure you have the option of returning it within the first 30 days or so if you're not happy with it (this is especially necessary with horns off Ebay). Other than that, see if you can get some recommendations from a private teacher or school instructor to see what their preference is. Every person is different, and thus a horn that works well for one person might not work well for another.[/quote]

The all important thing I forgot: have your son test it. There is no "best" horn; it's all relative to the player. I started with a Holton and couldn't play it for anything (it was a good horn, for reference), and when I got my Conn my playing ability improved amazingly... as the saying goes, "one man's trash, another man's treasure."

Also, do not, under any circumstances, buy a horn off Ebay; my family bought my brother an alto sax off one of the "Ebay shops", only to find the condition amazingly over-praised by the add, in terms of condition, sound... everything. I know it may seem like a very convenient and good way to buy, but for your own sake, I'd advise you don't.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:54 am 
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thedarkwally wrote:
Also, do not, under any circumstances, buy a horn off Ebay; my family bought my brother an alto sax off one of the "Ebay shops", only to find the condition amazingly over-praised by the add, in terms of condition, sound... everything. I know it may seem like a very convenient and good way to buy, but for your own sake, I'd advise you don't.


Buying instruments from eBay is OK as long as you really know what you want and have done your homework researching it! Many times you can find something that others miss and get a really good deal. But you MUST know what you want exactly by brand and model number. I have bought 6 horns off of eBay and was only slightly disapointed with one. But I knew exactly what I was bidding on, in fact I knew more about the horns than the persons selling them. I just bought a used York-Master tuba a few months ago for $2000 and just saw one last week, in not as good condition as mine, for sale on a music store's website for $5100. I also found my gold plated sousaphone on Ebay and got it one tenth it's real value. If you are careful, eBay shopping can be a good thing.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:07 pm 
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A great place to buy form is woodwind and brasswind. wwbw.com. they are out of Indiana and have great prices.

I play Holton and it is great. If you get a double horn most people like the curved trigger....not the long one, it seems to be more of a hassle.

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>>>Jessica
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>French Horns are amazing!
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