Buying Guides

Are Used French Horn Any Good? (What you should know before buying)

are used french horn good
Written by Corey Morgan

Are Used French Horn Goood?

Yes, they are good but it depends.

Following are some guidelines for deciding between a new and used horn:

Take into consideration the condition of the French horn and whether or not the previous owner maintained it on a regular basis. If it was properly maintained then, a used French horn may be preferable to a new one. However, if this is not the case, it will not matter how much less the used French horn cost due to the possibility of repairs that might arise.

What Are the Most Valuable Tips for Purchasing a used French Horn?

When purchasing a secondhand French horn, it is vital to consider a number of factors, including the material used for the bell, whether or not the bell is detachable, and whether the horn is a single or a double horn, among others.

Other criteria include the instrument’s wrap, the size of the bell throat, and whether the valves are controlled by string or by rods. It is also necessary to perform a brief inspection of the instrument before purchasing it to guarantee that the instrument has been properly maintained.

A Quick Checklist for Buying Used French horn includes the following:

  • Condition:

When purchasing a used horn, it is critical to ensure that the instrument is in playable condition. Questions to inquire about include the following:

  1. Are all of the slides moving?
  2. Is there any damage, and if so, how significant is it?
  3. Has horn has been repaired before?
  4. Is the horn still equipped with its original bell?
  5. When was the last time it has been thoroughly cleaned on the inside?
  • Single or double French horn:

It is important for the buyer to understand the differences between a single and a double French horn before making the final purchase decision. Single horns are normally less expensive; however, a double horn can be bought at a reasonable price if purchased used.

Single French horns contain three valves and can be purchased in either the key of F or B flat, depending on the manufacturer. In contrast, double horns can be utilized to perform in both the keys of F and B flat, depending on the instrument. The result is that the vast majority of players will eventually progress to a double horn, but single horns are easier for children to grip and operate.

  • Type of material:

The bell and first branch of the French horn are made of different materials, which has a significant impact on the tone that the instrument produces. When purchasing a secondhand French horn, it is critical to determine what type of material was utilized to construct this component of the instrument.

Most typically used is yellow brass, which produces a bright tone with a rich sound and is quite cheap. Players with more advanced skills may prefer a bell made of rose brass or silver and nickel. In general, intermediate instruments are made of rose brass, which produces a little warmer tone, and professional instruments are made of silver or nickel, which produces a more complex tone.

  • Inspect the valves:

It is recommended that you press down on the valves to ensure that they are operating smoothly. However, it is vital to remember that if the instrument has been maintained, the seller may accept a lower asking price.

  • Brand:

As a first-time buyer, you’ve probably heard a variety of opinions about which horn brands are the best. Don’t pay attention to people who advocate for a specific brand over all other alternatives. True, some brands are better made and more reputable than others, but this is not always the case.

It’s also true that there is variety within a given brand, depending on the year of matufacturing and the model involved.

In general, brands from the United States, Germany, and Japan are more reputable than others. Yamaha, Holton, Conn, Alexander, and Hoyer are among the companies involved. As a rule of thumb, lower-priced Chinese brands (which are frequently packaged with white gloves) are unreliable and have little to no resale value.

What is the price of a used French horn?

A brand new intermediate double horn will cost between $3000 and $5000, depending on the model. Similar brands can be found for $1500-$2500 if they are purchased in used condition. It’s the same as when you buy a new car: after you drive it off the lot, its value plummets dramatically. As a result, purchasing a decent used horn that will hold its value can frequently be a better investment in the long run. Bargains can be found for less than $1500, but they will necessitate further effort and, at times, compromise.

What are the benefits of purchasing a used French horn?

When you look online, you’ll find a plethora of brand new Chinese horns that are both attractive and reasonably priced. It might be perplexing because there are so many different brands to choose from and it can be difficult to determine which ones are the best.

The benefit of purchasing a secondhand French horn is that you can get an instrument that would have cost far more when it was new, and it may be of significantly higher quality than a new horn for the same price. Even if it’s not as flashy as the new, you’re getting more for your buck.

That is to say:

  • Better-quality materials are used.
  • More effective design
  • Increased long-term durability
  • Increased resale value when it comes time to sell or upgrade.

What happens if something goes wrong with my used French horn?

When it comes to French horns, there really isn’t much that can go wrong with them that can’t be fixed by an experienced and fairly priced repairer. It is possible to locate a repairer either online or through your local music store.

Where can I purchase used French horns?

There are a variety of options available based on the horn and service level you require. Local music stores are generally more expensive, but they frequently provide maintenance plans as a perk.

Sellers on eBay have a big inventory of lower-priced items to choose from, and they are protected by some amount of buyer protection. The IHS classifieds are excellent resources for high-end horns. Furthermore, there are numerous horn-specific vendors who offer both new and secondhand instruments, however the target market is often high-end and pricey.

When Is It Time to Purchase a Brand New French Horn?

While purchasing secondhand instruments can save you money, you may have to make trade-offs in terms of materials or other aspects.

When you purchase a new trumpet, you have the option of customizing it to match your specific requirements, which is critical as you progress.

Beginners may choose to purchase a secondhand trumpet in order to save money while they are learning the instrument. You will, however, need to upgrade to an intermediate or professional model at some point in time.

If you wish to play a specific style, such as always playing lead French horn, it may be worthwhile to spend the extra money on a new instrument. You may make certain that you purchase the brand and model that you desire, as well as the specifications that are most appropriate for you.

Do used horns have a better sound than new horns?

Some secondhand horns may have a better sound than new ones, while others may have worse sound. Because various players have varied preferences, sound can be an extremely subjective indicator of overall quality. The sound quality might also differ between models and manufacturers, making it difficult to determine which is essentially superior.

The response of the horn will vary depending on the material used. Gold brass horns are known for producing a deeper tone and having a somewhat slower response time than silver brass horns. Silver horns are more responsive and have a brighter overall appearance.

Final thoughts on are used french horns good

Generally speaking, used instruments are in good shape; nevertheless, some vendors may not have taken proper care of their instruments as they should have. This is why any potential buyer of a secondhand French horn should thoroughly inspect the instrument, making certain that it has been maintained in good condition and that there are no visible scratches or stains on the surface.