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French Horn/Holton H378 ad and bore size questions


I was a good intermediate player in college, and am looking to get back into playing after about 17 years.  I miss it desperately (I do lip slurs on my old mouthpiece as I drive to and from work.  Is that sad?  lol). and hope to join a local community orchestra when I can get a horn and get back into presentable shape.  My dad was an instrumental music teacher (his main instrument was trumpet) and was always able to get a good district double horn for me, so I've never owned or searched for my own horn.

My first question is basically your opinion on an ad. I can't afford one right now, but based on your recommendation of Holton H378 in other posts, is this a good price for this horn?

It looks a bit cosmetically beat up, but it seems a good deal compared to other listings I've seen on eBay, Craigslist, etc for that model. Would this be a horn that I should jump on or be leery of?

My second question is in regard to horn throat size. I see that you usually recommend medium-throat horns. I tested a horn once in college in which I could get a very big sound without much resistance. I could also hit 2 notes higher on it (probably a high Bb or C, but I don't remember exactly) than on the school horn. We were stupid and didn't buy it.  Based on how easily I remember putting air through it, I would guess that it was a large throat horn. Would you agree based on that description?  But I've also read that typically it's harder to hit high notes on large-throat horns, so I'm not sure it was one. It might have just been a better built horn that what I was used to.

Typically I enjoy playing higher than lower, so would you recommend a medium-throat horn for easier accuracy, or a larger throat horn that I could put a lot of air through?  Again, main playing would be in the community orchestra, church band, maybe random quartets or quintets, etc.  I know it's tough to judge without hearing me (or the me I was and hopefully will be again), but I'd appreciate your opinion.  Thank you!

Hi, as long as you don't mind the slightly cosmetically challenged state it looks like a very good deal.

I'd say for someone re-starting after a long layoff, a medium-bore horn probably is the best idea, and yes, I'm a fan of the 378 for anyone on a limited budget. They generally play all the notes nicely in tune and make a very nice sound. If you're more likely to play high than low, you'll definitely find it easier to be accurate and centre notes on a 378 compared to, let's say, a 179 or a Conn 8D

I'd give it a try...


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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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