French Horn/Less known makers?
Hello Alan, I'm looking for a French horn (adult beginner) but I'm on a tight budget. After doing some research online I was able to find some used instruments I can afford, however I can't find much information about the makers... They are: Josef Lidl (full double unlacquered), Corton (full double), Anborg (full double), Besson 702 (full double), Weltklang (compensator) and Danor (compensator). The pictures seem mostly ok, a few cosmetic issues but no outstanding marks / dents. I saw you've answered questions about Lidl horns before and how they can be heavy, but I couldn't find much about the other makers at all. Any thoughts? I'm after something that would last as I progress on my studies... Thanks!
There are in fact only three makers on your list... the Corton and the Besson are both from the Josef Lidl factory in Brno, Czech Republic, the Danor is another badge for the Anborg, made in Italy, and the Weltklang is the third one, made in the old East Germany.
I would go for one of the full double horns if I were you. Both the compensators have rather awkward thumb valve positions, and a compensator has quite a difference in response between the F and Bb horns which will encourage you to use more Bb horn whereas at first you should be playing lots of F horn... The weight issue with the Lidl double is really only a consideration when buying for children, an adult shoudn't have too many problems with them.
The Besson is probably the better one of these full doubles, it's a redesign of basically the same model as the Corton and the Lidl, it blows better than they do and it's a lot newer. Second on my list would be the Anborg (which is in good condition and pretty reasonably priced, and I can vouch for it because bought the other horn these people were selling a couple of months ago...), then the Corton and the Lidl which are basically the same instrument and are both from the 1960s or possibly 1970s...
Hope that helps a bit.