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French Horn/Atkinson NR501 Erfurt model


I recently purchased an Atkinson NR501 in silver/ambronze bell. It is a discontinued model and can find practically no information about these horns other than a technical spec. I tried contacting Atkinson to get some information about the serial number and how this horn fit in their range of horns at the time of production but only got a standard language answer that left me with more questions. Have you ever seen reviews regarding this horn? I've tried to do fairly extensive searches for information but have not been able to find anything of substance. Thanks.

Hi, I guess the short answer here is "no"...

I tried previously to find out about an Atkinson A500, this seemed to be a Chinese-made but rather expensive model which had also been discontinued. Yours seems to be something similar, I found various defunct listings for Erfurt models, the only one with a price showed $3750.

Basically Atkinson makes very high-end hand-made horns in the US which cost in the region of $10000. But at some point they obviously gave their name to a cheaper range made in China. These were still retailing around $3000 or so, so understandably weren't very popular - for the same money as the Yamaha YHR567 or Holton H378 intermediate alternatives I guess most people would go for the known (and good) instruments. Probably they then pulled out and sold off the stock to concentrate on the hand-made end of the market.

But that's really all I've discovered, as you say, no way of knowing anyone else's opinion. But hey, how does it play? And what's the build quality like? If it's good for what you paid, then fine. Do give me some feedback...


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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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