French Horn/Used french horn


QUESTION: Hello. I'm shopping for a decent used french horn for my son who is entering high school. He plays a double. I saw this listing on eBay, but can't find any such name in French horns to match this. In the first description they list it as "Selema", then in the detailed description they list it as a "Selma". Any thoughts?

Thank you for your help.

ANSWER: Hi, looks like a generic Chinese horn to me. The name sounds like an attempt to copy "Selmer" - which is a brand mainly used for woodwinds rather than brass. I'd avoid it if I were you. $700 for a nearly new horn is unfortunately a bit too low to be anything other than Chinese.

As you may realise if you've read any of my previous advice to others, the main brands to look out for are the well-established US ones, Conn, Holton, King, Olds, Bach, and then Yamaha and maybe Jupiter. In that price range you probably will only find quite old horns, but they can be a good investment which a Chinese one certainly isn't. If you have a bit more to spend then the job is easier...

Feel free to ask about any horns you find, I can size them up as to value for money and so on...


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

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your input. I was afraid of that, but was hoping to get a really great deal!

this Conn is listed, very cheap. I'm finding that if it's very cheap, there's a reason. What are your thoughts on this one?

Also, this Yamaha, but I don't know if you'll see my question before the bidding ends. I think I've read that this is a nice horn, maybe better than the Conn? What would you say would be the value of this horn?

Again, thank you very much. Your input has been invaluable to me! It all gets very overwhelming, very quickly.

ANSWER: Hi, the Conn is fairly old and not in particularly fab condition hence the low price, and the case is pretty horrid... could be an ok horn though.

The Yamaha will certainly sell for more than it is currently, but try a bid or two. Anything up to about $1500 would be a very reasonable price. It's an excellent instrument and much newer.


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

QUESTION: Hi there again Mr. Jones,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on this horn. I'm finding a lot of Conn's. 6D and 8D, and they seem to be priced lower than the Yamahas and Holtons. What do you think about the Conn. And about this one in particular. What would you pay for this horn? I know it has been listed more than once.

PS - sorry if this is sent to  private, that is not my intention, I don't know how to change it.

Hello again...

Conn 6Ds in particular are very plentiful, and therefore cheap, and they're an ok student horn, solidly built and mechanically sound. It's an oldish design which hasn't really changed in 60 years, they have a nice tone, but they are not necessarily quite as well-centred or accurately in tune as a Holton 378 or Yamaha 567.

The 8D is a large bell horn and I wouldn't recommend it for a student.

This horn looks in excellent condition, I've never seen this "limited edition" version but it looks like a fairly recent instrument - comes with a very nice lightweight case. It is definitely a 6D - Conn have never marked their horns with a model number.

If you would like a newish, shiny and very pretty horn, the buy it now price is very good value - by the way, I've discovered by bidding on it that the reserve is over $1000 so you won't get it for less than that anyway. Probably I would try $1100, then $1200, see where the reserve is... or contact the seller and make an offer.


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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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