French Horn/buying used french horn

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Question
Hello,
I just stumble across this site and I've read many of your previous answers and have learned quite a bit. I would like to buy a used french horn for my 12 year old daughter who has been playing for the past 2 years.  She is currently playing a single horn. I asked her teacher for a recommendation and she said to go with an intermediate double horn. She said any yamaha intermediate instrument would be fine. She specifically recommended a holton 179. Am I correct that you have said this is a larger bore instrument and I should be looking at medium bore? What do you think of this listing for a holton 378? Is this instrument more appropriate? What do you think an appropriate price for this one would be?
Also what yamaha or holton models do you recommend? We were hoping not to spend more than $1500(preferrably less). Do you think that is realistic?
Thank you!


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Holton-H378-Double-French-Horn-With-Case-No-Reserve-/181

Answer
Hi, the H378 looks a very good buy, but you may not be lucky enough to get it under $1500. But I would definitely try. It's a much more suitable horn for a student than a H179, as you say that's a large bore imstrument and I think students always fare better with a medium bore to start with, although that's only my opinion. Generally larger bore instruments are pretty much out of fashion which is why they are often for sale at bargain prices.

The shortlist would be Holton H378 or H379 (same but nickel-silver) or pro models H178 or H177 (confusingly the H177 and the H379 are basically similar) or Yamaha 567 or 664 (older model but very nice if you can find one). The Yamahas seem often to be more expensive secondhand, so you're more likely to end up with a Holton.

If you aren't lucky with any of these you might consider a Conn 6D, not quite such a good horn but plentiful and often cheap. But I think with some patience you should find a nice Holton within your budget.

If you want an opinion on any more specific horns, e-mail me direct at jonesthehorn "at" btinternet "dot" com  (replace the bits in quotes with the usual symbols...) with the links and I'll tell you what I think.

Happy hunting

AJ

French Horn

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Alan Jones

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

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25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK

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GRSM (Hons), LRAM, ARCM

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