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what kind of oboe?

HI, so I'm guessing that asking another question will bring out the passion in everyone again but here goes anyway.

so now about my son. It is time to decide whether to renew our rental contract or buy an instrument. of course, I will listen the music stores recommendations. but I would also like to be informed.

Does anyone have any thoughts on a good oboe for a first year student?

Thanks in advance.


Broadway Doubler List Owner
Distinguished Member
The Fox Renard 330 is the only sub-professional oboe that I recommend without any reservations. It has all the keywork that a student needs to develop good fingering habits, has a nice sound, and is sturdily built. A significant step below that is the Yamaha student model, which has a nice enough sound and is also sturdy, but lacks the keys a serious student will desperately need.

If you can afford it, go with the Fox!



Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
Bret's recommendation for a Fox Renard 330 is an excellent one. They keep their resale too - it's difficult to find a used one for less than $2500 in my area.

A used Selmer USA model 101 can often be had for under $2000. If you buy one from a reputable oboe specialist and you know it's been gone over, it can be a great deal, and has all of the standard pro keywork except for the 3rd octave key. This is a wood instrument, so it needs a bit more care than the Fox.

Selmer also made a plastic oboe with the same keywork. I can't remember which model offhand.


Private woodwind instructor
My daughter plays oboe and I've gone through the shopping thing.
After trying LOTS of different brands, composite, wood, she decided on the Bulgheroni student oboe. It is wood so it requires much more care. How responsible your child is should be a major factor in deciding between composite and wood.

It has everything a beginner needs and a little extra as far as key work goes. Left hand F, low Bb, silver plated keys, and a very sweet sound. This oboe will get your budding oboist through high school and into college with no trouble.

The best part was that the Bulgheroni was less expensive than comparable oboe made by the other big name manufacturers.
The quality of workmanship however is equal to some, and better than others in the same category.
If you have a dealer that carries Bulgheroni, or you are within a days drive of WWBW, they are well worth looking into.

Once you get the instrument issue out of the way you move on to the reed nightmare.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
EDIT: I should have put this first.

Provided your kid's instructor is a real oboe player, you should ask him, first -- and say, "Well, I've heard about these horns from $folks_here." You never know: your kid's instructor might have an oboe just sitting around ....


Loree or Marigaux.


(They're high end. Expensive.)

Check out http://oboes.us. The gentleman that runs the website is a former president of the National Hecklephone Society (for all the, oh, 100 people that have Hecklephones), but he does have some used/consignment oboes.

1. If your son can play oboe passably well, he'll always have a job.
2. Remember: you're going to be talking about some serious cash. While the extreme high-end oboes are actually less expensive than the extreme high-end of all other woodwinds, even student model new oboes start at over $1000.

Fox 330: $3200
Selmer 101: $3200
Bulgheroni: $2500
Marigaux Pro: $9000

I attempted to teach myself how to play oboe on either a Signet or Bundy. Don't remember which. It lasted for a couple weeks ....

Merlin and Bpimentel are very correct: oboes have a lot of additional keywork and some have different keywork systems. I also caution with vintage instruments: double-reeds have a tendency to be in odd tuning (purposely), moreso than just about any other instrument. You want modern pitch, A=440hz or A=442hz (European orchestral).

I'd get the Fox, just based on the fact that the double-reed players I've known have always used Fox instruments.
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Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
You also might want to check out http://www.music-oldtimer.com/en/instruments/oboes -- thanks to Carl H for the link. They have a number of inexpensive oboes there. There's a professional Malerne for under $1100 that looks pretty nice (Malerne made relatively good quality woodwinds and was purchased by SML -- that's Strasser-Marigaux-Lemaire).

However, all these horns might need overhauls 'n' such. You should contact them if you're interested.
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Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Unfortunately it wasn't my link, but Tic-tac-tux who pointed me in that direction.

Some neat stuff there. Good prices on some of their oboes!
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