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Oboe/should I throw it all away?

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Question
Hello,

I will start off by saying I know I should not have done what I did; that being said: My daughter got her cleaning swab stuck in the top joint of her oboe and I read online that a person could try to melt the silk swab and then push the rest through...long story short I tried, I was making progress, and then the metal skewer I was using got stuck as well and then snapped off, so now there is about 3-4 inches of metal skewer and what might be remains of the swab left inside the oboe.  I tried putting a nail in on top of the skewer and tapping it with a hammer, but it is all stuck tight, I am guessing it might have melted to the inside of the horn?  My real question is: would we be able to find just a top joint to replace this one? It is a Linton plastic oboe #HP238983. She is a 15-yr-old Above Average player. We thought this horn could get her through high school and then we could invest in a higher quality instrument for college...not sure which way to spend money now, would a top joint cost more than the rest of the horn is worth? Either way, I know I will no longer attempt ANY help with her horn! thank you for any assistance you might have to offer.

Answer
Anita:  I have to say, I have two conflicting pieces of advice here.  The first is without looking at the mess, it would be hard for me to advise putting the instrument in the recyclable bin.  In this line of reasoning, I would probably get it to a qualified oboe repair person to see if it's salvageable and how much it might cost.  BTW, I don't agree with the suggestion that you should melt the swab.  It just goes to reinforce that you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet.  In fact, they do make a tool that is specifically for extracting a stuck swab.  In the future, purchase a swab with lines on both ends and then never have your daughter pull it all the way through.  Now, my other thought:  "goody, an excuse for buying a real oboe."  I've often been asked by parents whether they should purchase a student or higher quality oboe.  My response is that the instrument is hard enough to master without having to struggle with a less than responsive oboe.  I advise purchasing the best oboe that can be afforded. Given that your daughter is an "above average player," suggests that she is serious about the instrument.  If so, she deserves a good instrument.  Why wait until she's in college?  PS, good decision not to try fixing oboes!  Joel

Oboe

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Joel Simon

Expertise

Reed making, oboe technique, oboe adjustments. PLEASE NOTE, NO QUESTIONS ABOUT OBOE VINTAGE OR VALUE. THAT INCLUDES SERIAL NUMBERS, AGE OF INSTRUMENTS, AND HOW MUCH THEY MIGHT BE WORTH; AND THAT INCLUDES WHERE YOU MIGHT FIND SUCH INFORMATION. THESE QUESTIONS WILL BE REJECTED.

Experience

I've played oboe for over 40 years. During that time I've played and performed in many ensembles including full orchestras, chamber orchestras, and wind quintets. I've played as both an amateur and professionally. Out of necessity, I've learned how to care for the oboe, make adjustments and repair when necessary.

Education/Credentials
I studied with Robert Sprenkle at Eastman School of Music preparatory department and 3 years privately with Lois Wann. I've also studied with Robert Eliscu.

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