French Horn/French Horn Suggestions


QUESTION: I played in high school and now want to take up the horn once again, love the advise and help you give. My question, around a $1000 is what I had planed on spending on a used horn, would you list your preference on makes and models that I should look for.

ANSWER: Hello, firstly for that sort of money you should be looking for an older US-made full double horn but in good condition - the US being full of people who played in school or college and then gave up, there are plenty still sitting in attics and eventually emerging onto Ebay, Craigslist or similar sites.

The trick is to look at the slightly less popular brands and models, for instance older Conn 8Ds are very highly priced, but 6Ds are often a bargain. King is my top bargain recommendation, very good instruments and often undervalued. Olds or Bach are rarer but also cheap. Holtons are not often found cheaply, but are very good horns.

There are quite a lot of different models, and rather than list them here, I'd prefer to vet your choices as you find something - so e-mail me on jonesthehorn "at" btinternet "dot" com (replace the bits in quotes with the usual symbols) with a link to whatever you're considering, and I'll happily take a look and advise you.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have found a Holton Farkas #H179 for $1000.  What do you think?

Hi, if it's in any sort of decent condition then it's a bargain. The H179 has a large throat bell but this works quite well with the nickel-silver. It's a better instrument than the H180 which is yellow brass. You should find it easy to make a good sound on, only drawback with a large bore horn can be a lack of precision and control in the high register but you may not be worrying about that just yet...

Is there anything online so I can take a look? You can also ask for the serial number (on the underneath of the 3rd valve casing) and then I can date it.


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Alan Jones


Can answer just about anything on playing the horn, repertoire, buying instruments, repairs, care and maintenance


25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK


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