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 What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-08-17 04:34

I have often wondered what drives people to a particular maker or instrument. For myself, because I am not playing professionally now, I play on an open ring system Louis oboe and Cor that were made in the 1930s. They are dual system and fully automatic. The reason - I played a similar cor that belonged to Adelaide Con back in the late 70's and loved it. I always told myself if a Louis cor came up anywhere and I had the means, I would buy it. Well one did, (along with matching oboe)and it meant for me going back to thumbplate after many years of playing Conservertoire, and then there were learning new fingering for the 3rd octave notes. it was causing a conflict with my oboe ( Fossati) so I bought the matching oboe and sold my Fossati. I love the sound of the Louis, very different from modern instrument, but is lovely and has a lot of character. it also locks in well to its tonal centre.

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: oboeyogi 
Date:   2017-08-17 16:00

Hi play Marigaux.

Simple answer is my teacher played one. At the time I had a lark so anything could be better than that was about 38 years.

Currently on a M2 this my third Marigaux, and my seventh oboe.

1 the tone is sweet and smooth.
2 M2 key work is just easy on my fingers ergonomically.
3 The members in the orchestra like the sound.

I have tried howorth XM and I would have bought it as it pitch is very much spot on, but my fingers just could not work with it.

I just not understand why the top oboe makers make different size oboe key work for different size hands. Like you can get different size bike frames for different size body's.

Playing the oboe is the only instrument I play and it's only a hobby to me. I am 58. And have being playing the last 8 years this time around and loving it more and more.

Thanks Nicholas

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: mjfoboe 
Date:   2017-08-17 16:43

I play a Marigaux 901. This is my fourth Oboe.

I am a very competent non-professional Oboist.

Previously, I owned a Fox, Fossati Tiery, and Loree.

I chose the Marigaux over the Loree for a few reasons:

The instrument is more reed friendly, the scale is more consistent in the upper register, the tone of the Oboe is warm and inviting whereas my Loree was more edgy in its tone. Additionally, from recent experience the Marigaux company is super accommodating to its customers.

My orchestra colleagues really enjoy its sound within the ensemble.


PS: I did make some adjustments made to the lower keys (C< C#<EB). The Loree keys are positioned a bit higher/up which worked better for my hands ... so I raised the keys on my Marigaux. For those who are uncomfortable with their key work whatever your instrument ... these adjustments are readily available by a good chairperson.

Post Edited (2017-08-17 16:49)

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-08-19 10:09

After years of using a full mechanised Dual System Oboe I've decided recently to get rid of it and go back to the more simpler Oboe of my younger years. The reason is because the more heavily mechanised Oboe was getting too heavy to hold for any length of time. It was either that or give up the Oboe completely. I ended up with two simpler instruments. A Howarth S2 and a plastic Bundy. Both are basic English Thumb Plate systems and I find them much easier to play and they also seem to be more 'reed friendly' Looks like my Oboe playing will be for a little while yet (touch wood :) Now that I have these two simpler Thumb Plate Oboes I'm been wondering why I put up with an excessively mechanise Oboe for so long. I find that I can easily get by without the LH long F. the C/C# trill gizmo and the RH G#/Ab trill key although I do miss the latter but manage without it. It hasn't been lost on me either that when I look at the keywork of my simpler Oboes, it's quite obvious that it is designed for 'finger sliding' , especially in the more remote keys. In fact there is only one trill that I cannot do in the entire range of the instrument and that is of course the low C/C# trill. No big deal as flute players don't have it either. There is also the E/Eb ring gizmo for the 6th finger. Not really needed either. Also no big deal as Flute and Clarinet players get by without such a gizmo . To sum up. There is so much unnecessay gadgetry on the Oboe. Without it , the Oboe is so much lighter and more enjoyable to play. And there is the added bonus of the mechanism, being simpler, keeps in adjustment better and is more easier to adjust when required.


Post Edited (2017-08-19 10:12)

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-08-19 10:23

Two other things to be noted concerning the Howarth S2 and the Bundy. On the S2 there is the low B/C linkage which I do really find very useful but is not on the Bundy. I have to keep this in mind when I'm playing the Bundy. Also , the S2 has semi-automatic octave keys and the Bundy has simple octave keys.
Interestingly, when I'm using the S2 I nearly always seem to use the octave keys as if they where the simple set up. I don't have a problem with this at all so there's another piece of mechanism complexity that I find is not essential.
And I can also get up to high F# easily on either Oboes so what's this idea that you need a third octave key ? Perhaps it's needed to sound the high G which I do find 'tight' and difficult. I can live without such a thing though as this high note is hardly ever seen even in the Tutor books I have.


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-08-19 17:54

I started out on a B&H Regent oboe back in 1986 when I was 14 which I struggled with for around two years when I knocked it over and it snapped in half. No love lost there. I had it repaired and swapped it for an old C Melody sax.

Fast forward around ten years to around 1995 when I did some work on a Marigaux 901 and then I play tested it - I found I could make a pretty decent sound and a former work colleague (a violinist) also mentioned how nice it sounded.

And then a year or so later I was planning on buying a new instrument and had two options in mind - a B&H 400 series contrabassoon (Amati) or a pro level oboe. An ex demo list of Yamaha instruments came by the workshop and there was a Yamaha YOB-821TP listed on there, so I went with that.

The main reason I decided on oboe was after hearing a recording of Heinz Holliger playing the Strauss concerto which was new to me - it was the last three tracks on a double CD of Strauss wind ensembles which I used to play clarinet in when at college (as clarinet was my first study instrument back then). His playing really knocked me back - I'd never heard such bold and gutsy playing before and that really kicked things off big time for me.

Then decided to do it properly this time around and get a teacher. A new teacher had started in the area and I had one lesson with him to get started, but his schedule was full so I remembered another teacher who taught oboe at college and called her up and went straight over that same evening. Both teachers are Marigaux players, so I had my heart set on getting a Marigaux 901.

I joined a local band on oboe and then decided to get a cor, so went up to Howarth and bought a brand new Marigaux 930 in 1998. While I was there the offer of a job as a finisher at Howarth was mentioned. I wanted out of my then current job in a music shop and then started at Howarth in late 1998. I had some keywork on my Yamaha oboe modified but was never really happy with it as the tuning on some notes wasn't great - mainly the Gs which were flat against the As.

In 1999 a kingwood S5 oboe had come back from being out on approval by a player at La Scala and they split the top joint, so it had a top joint transplant and a thumbplate was added so it could be sold in the UK. I tried it out when the work was done and felt that was the one for me - no more saggy Gs and it was far more comfortable for me than the Yamaha as it had much chunkier keywork which I prefer. I still play that kingwood S5 now and have no plans of changing it.


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-08-19 23:45

How interesting to read of Chris's history as he is such a significant expert on woodwinds of all kinds, who freely shares his information!

As an adult clarinet and saxophone player, I first bought a simple or military system B & H oboe at a music store in New Delhi, India, for a small amount. Later, I got a usable Bundy oboe at a pawn shop in Torrance, CA. After starting lessons with a good teacher, I asked her to pick out a Loree for me at RDG. Years later, I ordered a Laubin which took a year to get, but used it very little as I liked the Loree a lot. An AK Loree from RDG completes the small herd, except for a couple of Boehm oboes, a metal Moennig oboe, and a simple system Buffet oboe with Buffet EH bought in a rainstorm. So it goes!

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: oboeandy 
Date:   2017-08-20 02:23

I play Laubin oboes and a Laubin English horn for their mechanical reliability, excellent intonation, superior response throughout the whole range, and depth which allows me to play with a covered sound even on light reeds.

Post Edited (2017-08-20 02:25)

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2017-08-30 17:41

I play a Yamaha 841 oboe and a Fossati Soliste English horn.

The Yamaha has a great sound and great pitch stability, and is quite reed friendly.

The Fossati has WONDERFUL projection! When I played in the University Orchestra the first time (about a day after purchasing), the entire section turned their heads at how much it projected! We were playing Wagner and it was during a tutti section! That's when I fell in love with it!

Ron Ford
Woodwind Specialist

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: veggiemusician 
Date:   2017-08-30 22:24

I play on a Marigaux 901 and M2.

1. Howarth S2 (1993-2015)
2. Howarth XL (2001 - 2003)
3. Howarth S5 full composite (2003 6 month loan)
4. Marigaux 901 (2003 - 2017)
5. Marigaux M2 (2014 - 2017)

My two long time instruments are the Howarth S2 (12 years) and Marigaux 901 (14 years). The Marigaux 901 just works... add a reed and a drop of oil from time to time. Not a days trouble and sound great... my favorite oboe.

Jerome Broun
Principal Oboe UAE NSO Symphony Orchestra

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-08-31 08:46

I bought a Armstrong ward, as recommended on here. I am quite happy with it. I chose it because it is resin basically.. And I could try it. Otherwise I would have gone for the fox resin.. But as I couldn't try any of them, I opted for this cheaper option. It isn't as ergonomic on my hands as I would like. But it is quite okay. And so far so good... It hasn't let me down yet!

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-09-01 18:05

Rigoutat Expression.....because it's what I began on. I struggled with an old Cabart for a month or two, a repair guy ruined it when I went in for a minor adjustment (tore it apart, he was mentally ill) and then the Expression became available. Good scale, fits my small hands. I'm actually on my second one; I had to sell everything at one point due to illness, but got better and re-bought some of the instruments I had sold. I have trouble reaching a Loree or a Fox, have been told I'd be fine with a Laubin but that is a bit out of my price range. I've done exceptionally well with lucking into top level used instruments.

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: mberkowski 
Date:   2017-09-02 03:12

Simple conservatory Selmer Signet from age 8 to 17, but my first high quality instrument was a Fox 450 (full conservatory with resin top joint) selected for me by my teacher. When I started university studies, my new teacher was alarmed that I didn't play a Loree and put me on a school-owned Loree for 2 years, which I never felt sounded as nice as the Fox. I played the two in alternation for a while.

Eventually my third teacher was looking to sell a few instruments at the same time I would lose access to the Loree and feeling constrained a bit by the Fox's sound. Between 2 of his Loree instruments (an AK and something else) and a like-new Covey, the Covey's tone & projection outclassed the other two and I've been playing it for 16 years since.

A few of you mentioned your instruments were reed-friendly. I would not say that of my late 1990's Covey, and as a mediocre reedmaker I struggle with it. It sounds amazing with an expertly made reed, but I don't often make those and sometimes I'd like to trade it for something more tame :)

My EH is a perfectly adequate early 1970's Loree. A workhorse rather than a stand-out.


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-09-03 01:44

Loree: Looks like I'm the only Loree player here nowadays!


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: jhoyla 
Date:   2017-09-03 11:56

I play a Loree C+3 with TP - lovely instrument but with the traditional Loree intonation issues (Sharp E, flat low C#).

I also play a delightful Loree C.A. (not mine, but on long-term loan).

I have a Marigaux Strasser with full pro keywork from the mid-70's - still plays well but the keywork is a little noisy now. This was my first instrument after my plastic B+H thumbplate oboe, bought new during my early teens. I can't part with it!


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: oboesage 
Date:   2017-09-04 16:11

Well lots of oboes...

Loree Oboe EH44. 1976-1990. My first professional horn purchased through my teacher Patricia Stenberg from Kenneth Holm. My teacherlayed .Loree... it was a beautiful Horn wish I had it back.
Loree English Horn BC22 1977-1985 purchased from my first teacher Manley Saunders who purchased it from Michael Nazzi in the NY Philharmonic.
Chauvet Oboe BWV ???? 1979-1980
Loree Oboe GC84 1990-2007 purchased from Patrick McFarland. A real workhorse, very difficult to make reeds for though.
Gordet Oboe German Kreisler - Ben Storch 2007-2009. Very dark but pitchy.
Moenig Oboe AMG 150 2009-2012 very lyrical but thin in the upper register.
Marageaux 901 2012-2015 lovely sound but keys had quirks.
Yamaha Kingwood 841 Oboe 2015-present very sweet, great intonation, very reed friendly.
Buffet Greenline Oboe 2916 unbelievably lyrical, great dynamics. Reed friendly.

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: SparkleSteffie 
Date:   2017-09-22 08:13

When I first started playing, my parents rented a resin Selmer. I do not miss that instrument at ALL.

During my freshman year of high school, my parents bought me a used Fox (resin, Renard Artist, model number unknown). I played this oboe all through college. I know that many people are not a fan of plastic horns, but I have much affection for my Fox! I was a clumsy kid, and those things are disaster proof.

I took over a decade off, and just started playing again two years ago. It has been SO DIFFICULT- sometimes I think I'll never get my chops back! I'm not able to practice as much as I like (full time job + part time job + back in college + hockey team = NO FREE TIME). So this winter I decided to treat myself and buy a "big girl" oboe, in an attempt to improve my tone the easy way. I found a Gordet on ebay for an unbelievable price. I totally lucked out - it was in perfect condition, and needed minimal adjusting! I believe it is a German model, as it is stamped with "made in Germany" (as well as Paris/NY... so who really knows?!).

I chose Gordet because I wanted the darkest tone possible. Currently, I'm playing on soft reeds with terrible embouchure. And to be honest, I've always played with a very bright tone. The Gordet isn't a cure all, but it definitely makes a noticeable difference. I'm very happy with my "new to me" oboe!


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Oboehotty 
Date:   2017-10-11 05:30

I currently play on a 2001 model Marigaux altuglas. Previously I played on. Loree AK for about 15 years.

I chose the Marigaux due to its comfortable feel (ergonomics), especially on the pinky keys. I sort of stumbled upon the altuglas and merely tried it for something new with no intention of buying it. Low and behold, I kept coming back to it. It was compared to about 12 different horns of different brands. In comparison to any Loree, it was no contest. In fact, every other oboe beat out the Loree. My next choice would have been either a Covey or a Howarth XL. All three were miles ahead of the Loree horn I had won jobs and played professionally on.

What is so wonderful is the myriad of instrument makers out there nowadays and the vast instruments being played professionally. Recently, a college professor told my students that if they bought a Marigaux they would get laughed at in an orchestra, let alone even be allowed to audition on the instrument. Interestingly enough this person does not play a Loree. The comment infuriated me since I felt this very unprofessional in that the professional in question knew I played a Marigaux.

Moral: I firmly believe that no one brand is superior to another. Like Harry Potter and wands picking the wizard (haha- had to make the reference!) I truly believe the oboe picks the player. I can usually tell what brand of horn my students will play best on and these days, it's rarely Loree. I can tell based on their hands, their setup, their reeds, and their embouchure, as well as their tonal preference (based on many discussions and talks) what they will feel "home" on and will sound best on. I have been spot on (with no coaxing and letting them each evaluate a series of characteristics and blind tests) on every one over the past 15 years.

Great times in the oboe world we live in! So many wonderful instruments and different brands!

I do play a Loree English horn. However, I have purchased two for two different schools in the last year: one was a Howarth s40 and the other was a Marigaux altunoir. Both played circles around the Loree horns at that point in time.

Disclaimer: I in no way want to sound as if I'm bashing Loree...not at all. They make wonderful horns....I just find many other brands making more strides in tone color, tuning, and ergonomics than Loree at this time.

Hope that helps! 🎵🎶😉

Professor of Oboe - Youngstown State University
Howland Local Schools - MS Dir. Of Bands/HS Asst. Dir (Marching, Symphonic)

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-10-12 05:23
Attachment:  lucerneartistoboe.jpg (193k)

My oboe teacher is from Minnesota and she's played on the same Marigaux oboe since 1972 which she bought whilst visiting the UK and returned to the US with it (where it cracked due to the harsh northern Minnesota winter whilst playing the oboe solo in "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune").

She also went against the grain as she plays on short scrape reeds and with European posture (her teacher in Minnesota was Polish) while all around her were Loree players, long scrape reeds and American posture players. She's lived in the UK since the late '70s and studied under Anthony Camden among others - he sold her the oboe back in 1972 which was for her 16th birthday.


Post Edited (2017-10-12 05:26)

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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-10-12 06:31

American posture. Is that the Praying Mantus posture ?


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: mberkowski 
Date:   2017-10-12 06:36

> My oboe teacher is from Minnesota and she's played on the same
> Marigaux oboe since 1972 which she bought whilst visiting the
> UK and returned to the US with it (where it cracked due to the
> harsh northern Minnesota winter

I also live in Minnesota, not the far north though - Minneapolis, the USA's coldest large city. And I will confirm that the cold, dry weather is very unkind to oboes...


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-10-13 17:15

"Recently, a college professor told my students that if they bought a Marigaux they would get laughed at in an orchestra, let alone even be allowed to audition on the instrument."

That's a very short-sighted and damaging opinion - if anyone tried to sway my mind like that, I'd purposely go out and buy a Marigaux oboe just to annoy them (I have a Marigaux d'amore and cor). No professor should dictate what their students play - it's not a one size fits all world and there are other oboes besides Loree (just as there are other clarinets besides Buffet).

Marigaux oboes are immensely popular with the majority of European orchestral players and soloists - nearly all the oboists in the orchestras at this year's BBC Proms played Marigaux oboes (901, 2001 and M2). If anything, they're the maker the other oboe makers are having to compete with.


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 Re: What sort of oboe do you play and why
Author: PaulNorway 
Date:   2017-10-13 18:46

I play a Mönnig 155AM oboe and a Mönnig 180D English horn. I also have a full automatic Dupin classic that I really should sell because I don't have time to play on it...

"why" is always a good question. Well... at the time I had saved enough money to buy a new english horn Ludwig Frank held a instrument exhibition at the Norwegian music academy. So I tested every english horn he brought. Rigoutat, Marigaux, the complete Mönnig lineup and Lorée. I do not like Lorée oboes (and I have tested many) but the english horns are decent. The one horn that I enjoyed playing most was the 180D. I asked my teacher to try it, and he described it as "I cannot find anything wrong with it" and that translates to "yes, buy it". and then the local testing startet. Took 2 hours to pick out the two I now use.

Just before christmas I sold my old apartment (and bought a new one) and because I earned more on selling my old apartment than the bank guessed I would, I had some money to spend on a new oboe. I have never owned a new oboe as all my previous have had at least one owner before me. Perfect timing as mr Frank was at the music academy again. This time I spent 2 days before going for my new oboe. Testing all different Mönnigs (also the maple one and I almost bought one), Ludwig Franks own oboes and a bunch of Marigauxs. I can't explain why I chose the one I did, but it felt right. I could pick it out in a blind test, and again my teacher described it as "there is nothing wrong with it". Stamp of approval, here are the money.

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