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French Horn/different brands of double horns

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Question
Hi Alan,
I've been playing a Conn 14D for about 3 years and feel it's time to step up to a double.  I've been reading your advice here and looking around on e-bay.  What can you tell me about Rossetti and Maestro?  I have been advised by some friends to stick to Conn, Yamaha or Holton.  (I seriously have my heart set on owning a Holton, so will probably just wait and save up enough to get one.)
These are some of the horns I'm watching now:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/290839737697?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m142

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281044985187?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m142

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200858523579?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m142

http://www.ebay.com/itm/390461014548?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m142

Thanks in advance for your help!

Answer
Hi, I'd steer clear of the Rosettis and Maestros and so on, all these Chinese-made horns are some way below the build quality and playing standard of your Conn. The Yamaha is quite an old horn, early 1980s, but a very good one (I had the same instrument when I went to music college) and at quite a decent price. The Holton 179 might not be the ideal horn, its rather a big bore machine. I'd hold out for a 177,178 or 378 if I were you. The Conn 6D looks overpriced for a 40-plus year old horn, the 6D is an ok horn but the Holtons and Yamahas are better. The Holton 378 is maybe a bit overpriced but then again it's quite new and in very nice condition. There's not a lot between the 378 and the pro models, most of my advanced students use 378s.

Feel free to send links to any others you might spot, at the end of the day it's a question of what you can afford and I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed with any of these.

AJ

French Horn

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Alan Jones

Expertise

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

Experience

25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK

Education/Credentials
GRSM (Hons), LRAM, ARCM

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