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 Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: KarenO 
Date:   2009-02-19 18:40

Hi there
I've just bought an oboe from ebay. It is a Romeo Orsi Milano no 9981.
I have never played an oboe, but hope to start to learn soon with Northampton Orchestral Winds :0) I am learning clarinet at the moment, but have always wanted an oboe.

I just wondered if anyone knows much about this type of oboe? From pictures I've seen of other brands of oboe (Orsi don't have photos online) it seems to have less keys? The only similar one I've seen is on here - a Howarth B.

My research is telling me that this isn't the best oboe in the world :0( - have I wasted my money?

Kind regards
Karen x

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 Re: Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-02-19 23:31

These are usually very basic thumbplate system oboes, and have gone under many names from various UK importers/distributors - Howarth being perhaps one if not the last UK company to import them (although the Howarth B models were the only version to have the bores reamed at the Howarth factory to Howarth spec - all others will probably still have the Orsi bore as it left the Orsi factory).

This oboe may not be the greatest but it's definitely not the worst by a long shot, it's been the standard beginner oboe in the UK for several decades and can get you to around Grade 5 if not higher (though the basic keywork will be a limiting factor) and doesn't have too bad a tone compared to some other makes in the same range (and can sound much better than some more expensive ones).


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 Re: Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: KarenO 
Date:   2009-02-20 11:22

Thankyou Chris for answering my query. My budget was so limited so I'm grateful it's not the worst - lol.

Perhaps you can help me with reed choice too? I've ordered some American Scrape reeds, I had no idea which were best for a beginner American, French or German Scrape so I basically stuck a pin in when choosing.

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 Re: Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2009-02-20 13:14

Have you got a teacher? I'd advise you to find a teacher as soon as you can - the earlier the better, and most importantly an oboe specialist as they can give the best advice from the word go and have far more understanding and solutions than a general woodwind teacher who doesn't play oboe.

Chances are you'll be advised to use 'U' scrape reeds which are standard in the UK - there's a huge choice of ready-made reeds from any double reed specialists adn your teacher will most likely suggest a make they prefer.

Start with a soft reed and don't try to play on harder reeds too early as you'll only get frustrated. You can develop your tone on a soft reed and in a few years time you may have worked up to playing on a medium by then.

Although a harder reed will give the impression of a better sound, it won't help you as you'll be struggling to control it.


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 Re: Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: Henrietta 
Date:   2009-03-12 21:21


I too have an ORSI - I'm glad I found you, I thought I was the only one. It's had an interesting life that I'd love to get to the bottom of.
It's an ex-school model and stamped ILEA, which I think is the former Inner London Education Authority that disbanded years ago.

I estimate from that it's 30 to 40 years old. It ended up in Manchester somehow, in the hands of someone who didnt have a clue what it was and was happy to take a mere £100 for it.

My teacher thinks it has a beautiful tone, with some Nick Winfield reeds I was flying in my lessons and she believes that I got myself a bargain.

Good Luck - hope you have as much pleasure from your ORSI as I do mine.

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 Re: Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2018-02-14 03:26

I started on a Rudell Carte )spelling???) many years ago, and I suspect it was made by Orsi, but it was a fine little oboe, and whilst ring system, and no G key and without a lot of the bells and whistles, got me through grade * AB amd 1st year of a university performance degree. I loved it to bits and was sad to part with it. Years later I bought an Orsi student model oboe as a gateway back into playing after a long time of inactivity. It was lovely little inbstrument, but alas cracked soon after I bought it, so I got it repaired, sold it and upgraded.

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 Re: Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-02-14 10:47

While I've made my oboe reeds for decades and don't buy reeds, I recently bought a few Prestini reeds for about $7 each on Ebay and was pleasantly surprised at how good they played.

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 Re: Romeo Orsi Milano Oboe
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2018-02-14 22:13

Another reason for getting a teacher other than to prevent bad habits is to check out the instrument, whether it needs adjusting. Playing on an instrument that would be fine if adjusted properly, can make you think it is an impossible instrument simply because it is leaking.

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