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French Horn/Older Model Jupiter 852 with known thumb rotor problem

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Question
I am renting a Jupiter 852 for my 6th grader. We had to send it in for repairs when the thumb rotor wouldn't work. I have the option to purchase the instrument for 1980.00. I want an instrument that will last through high school, and was told this older model was like a used Mercedes compared to economy car cheaper beginner models. This was before we had a problem with the thumb rotor.   My questions:  
1) Is it wise to purchase this Jupiter knowing that this model has a recurring thumb rotor issue for the price?
2) we were given instruction on how to fix this if it happens again, and my son thinks he can fix it. ( I'm not so sure)if this problem occurs, how much is a repair cost to fix the thumb rotor. ( I think it gets stuck??? Not sure though)

Note:  I am willing to spend up to 2500.00 for a horn that will last. I welcome your recommendations n what to purchase. We have had the Jupiter for 4 months and have had no problems since the repair which occurred a week or two after renting.

Answer
Hello,

$1980 sounds like an awful lot of money for a used Jupiter - it's true that compared to a lot of the cheap Chinese made horns around these are well built and blow quite well. But the comparison to Mercedes is overstating the case. I wouldn't buy a used Jupiter at anything like that price.

Within your budget it should be possible to find a used (but in very good condition) Holton H378, H379 or Yamaha YHR567, any of these would be a much better buy than the Jupiter. There might be other Holton models too, the 178 or 177. But there are also lots of other models you don't want because they're large bore instruments, less suitable for a student. Confine your search to what I've listed and it will be easier.

Look on Ebay, Craigslist or here http://www.hornsociety.org/hornplayer-dot-net and report back to me what you find... I'm happy to look at listings and advise what to buy and what not to. Don't be afraid of buying on Ebay, as long as the seller has plenty of feedback and it's the right instrument it should be trouble-free.

Hope this helps

AJ

French Horn

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Alan Jones

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

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25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK

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