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 Good Oboe for Single Reed Doubler
Author: rnrdjoeman 
Date:   2013-03-02 23:05


So I'm contemplating adding oboe to my list of instruments, and I've been playing only single reeds so far (saxophone and clarinet). Where should I start, what defines a good oboe, any recommendations?


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 Re: Good Oboe for Single Reed Doubler
Author: Merlin_Williams 
Date:   2013-03-03 16:44

Best oboe for a doubler: Renard 330 or, if you can spring a bit extra, the Fox 300.

I have a 330, and it's rock solid. It stays in adjustment, doesn't crack, plays in tune, and responds well.

They're also quite easily available in the used market for a reasonable price.

I'd love to get the companion EH, the Renard 555, but they're a bit harder to come by.

Jupiter Canada Artist/Clinician
Stratford Shakespeare Festival musician
Woodwind Doubling Channel Creator on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodwindDoubling

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 Re: Good Oboe for Single Reed Doubler
Author: DrewSorensenMusic 
Date:   2013-03-03 20:39

Get an oboe teacher and follow their advice. I just made this switch, and believe me, you will not be able to go it alone. It is not like any of the single reeds or flutes. You don't need to take a crazy amount of lessons, but every other week you will need someone to guide you and teach you the concepts of oboe tone and phrasing.

I played a Renard 330 before getting a C series Loree. It was a good instrument. I've also heard good things about Yamaha Intermediate oboes, however, I haven't had the pleasure of trying it or all of the other options.

Drew S.

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 Re: Good Oboe for Single Reed Doubler
Author: Loliver 
Date:   2013-03-04 18:56

You probably do need a teacher- I'm speaking from experience!

I took up oboe in my last year of School ( I was 18, now 21) after having got grade 8 clarinet. I started on a Buffet student oboe (Artiste or something), then sold it for £100 more than I paid for it and moved onto a 1995 Howarth S2 for £700 (bargain I feel...had 3 octaves, all trills but thumbplate only) then a new Howarth S45c dual. All I knew when I started was that Thumbplate was what the vast majority used in UK, and that was it.

I thought I was doing fine after a couple of months (all notes were fine from low Bb to roughly high D#) but then I realised the position I held it in was awful...as in rather than holding it at ~45 degree angle, was at like 0 degree angle, and was basically looking really weird whilst I played it...

It was really hard to break those habits on my own, but I did by asking the Oboist next to me to tell me when I was holding it wrong (she actually took that to mean 'pinch me on the leg during Beethoven's 8th symphony'), but it took AGES to stop doing it!

Also a teacher can possibly make you reeds, which would be a lot easier than buying unadjusted ones from a shop/internet.

You will get to a good standard eventually...but you will get there much faster, I reckon, with a teacher.

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 Re: Good Oboe for Single Reed Doubler
Author: DrewSorensenMusic 
Date:   2013-03-06 13:36

I thought I should also add, oboe is an expensive hobby, so if you are on a limited budget, I would not suggest taking on the project. It mainly has to do with the reeds. Good professional reed makers charge a fair price for their service, but it's much more than a box of vandorens, and they don't last as long. If you choose to make your own, the equipment is expensive and the learning curve even moreso. You will wind up destroying a lot of cane just learning to tie the things onto the staple, let along figuring out how to get them to play anything, and then to actually play in tune with good response. I'm not trying to dissuade you, but it is a real discussion weather things are affordable. Life after purchasing your oboe is much more expensive than life after purchasing a flute or clarinet.

All that being said, it's a beautiful sounding instrument when you get it right. Though, the feeling of playing long passages on the oboe is less than pleasant. I still have to work on proper breathing technique, another factor to the instrument that is completely different from the other woodwinds.

Good Luck,

Drew S.

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 Re: Good Oboe for Single Reed Doubler
Author: CocoboloKid 
Date:   2013-03-07 17:48

The Renards are indeed fantastic...I'd also look at the Howarth S40C, the Fossati Tiery, and the Rigoutat RIEC.

If you have a few minutes, I laid out some info about a bunch of the different oboes on the market on my blog, which you can check out here: http://woodwindwonderland.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-colors-of-rainboboe.html

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