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 boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: louM 
Date:   2021-05-16 15:25

Hi,

I am debating between a B&H ebonite Regent oboe and a wooden Selmer Sterling open holed oboe.

I am predominantly a flute player and prefer the idea of a wooden instrument but it seems ebonite is more hardy for newbies not hot on maintenance?

I would like an instrument that I don't have to change in the next couple of years. I am approximately grade 6/7 in flute but will only be learning oboe part time, amongst my other hobbies, flute and work and so I thin it will be slow progress learning the oboe.

It seems the Regent is a safer choice, but is it likely to last me a few years of learning or is it more only for 1 or 2 years of playing before I will want to move up?

Both instruments have been fully serviced.

What do you guys think?

EDIT: I also found a Yamaha 241B oboe at a similar price range, but it hasn't been serviced. It just says 'good condition'. The listing describes it as modified Conservatoire System- European system. I am in the UK so not sure if that makes a difference in terms of teaching books and tutoring and tutorials.



Post Edited (2021-05-16 15:30)

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2021-05-16 23:26

I recommend that you find a teacher first. The teacher will make recommendations for you and may even know of other available instruments. If you don't plan to take lessons, then I recommend that you do not take up the oboe because you will quit in 6 months. Flute and oboe are about as opposite as can be when it comes to woodwinds.

I also do not recommend an open-holed instrument. Your progress will be slow and your frustration will be high. Do not purchase anything until you see a teacher first.

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-05-17 00:13
Attachment:  P3240001.JPG (704k)
Attachment:  P4070003.JPG (716k)

The Selmer Sterling (or any other of the older Italian Prestini, Santoni or Orsi stencil models made for the UK market) would be a much better instrument than the B&H Regent, but both have the same basic thumbplate system keywork which you may find limiting. Early ones don't have a forked F vent.

It's the same basic thumbplate system as a Howarth S10, UK spec Bundy/B&H "78" and Schreiber/Buffet Artist oboes except they have covered fingerplates instead of ring keys/open holes.

B&H Regents are a mixed bag - older bakelite ones are better players than the later ABS ones, but all suffer with weak middle tenons. I had one from 1983 which was impossible to play below low D without it bubbling because of the top joint bore being the wrong taper and one day I knocked it over and it snapped in half. Then I never played oboe again for around another ten years after that.

Yamaha YOB-241B should be a dual system oboe made for the UK market - basic conservatoire system built to low Bb with an added thumbplate and semi automatic 8ves which are far more advanced than most basic thumbplate systems. Be aware the more recent ones don't have a forked F vent, but the earlier ones do which are the better ones to get, so check if it has a forked F vent. The 241 oboes made for the rest of the world are pure conservatoire system (no thumbplate), only built to low B, may or may not have a forked F vent and I've seen some more recent ones that have a LH F key - maybe that's the US spec ones.

I'd recommend looking for a used Howarth S20 as they will have much better build quality, better spec keywork than a basic thumbplate system and better resale value.

There's no reason why you can't learn with a conservatoire system oboe, only if you can find a conservatoire system player/teacher who are a bit thin on the ground even now as most UK oboe teachers have been brought up on thumbplate systems going back generations and only a few have learnt on or have been taught and will teach conservatoire system.

Chris.

Post Edited (2021-05-17 00:29)

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: louM 
Date:   2021-05-17 03:53


'Hotboy',
I would LOVE to get a teacher but there is no one doing face to face lessons right now where I am, and I won't be able to partake in online lessons without an instrument. So a bit of a catch 22 eh. I play flute, piano and guitar amongst some other lesser known instruments, I should hope the oboe isn't the first instrument I give up after 6 months!
But I did suspect as much when you say an open holed instrument is frustrating as I suppose you need excellent/ impeccable technique.



'Chris P',

I shall ask about the forked F vent on the yamaha thank you! The listing says it has a 'modified Conservatoire System but also says 'conservatoire European system.' so I am a bit baffled what that falls under (dual system? Thumbplate with european conservatoire system??). If I am unlikely to find a conservatoire system teacher (once everything settles with the pandemic) then it sounds like I will struggle with that instrument.

The Howarth S20 is a bit out of my price range- the serviced oboes I am looking at are £200 (B&H Regent) to £350 (yamaha) whereas the Howard is coming out more than double the yamaha by the looks of it!...Chris P wrote:

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: louM 
Date:   2021-05-17 13:20

They didn't know about the forked F but they did say it isn't a UK model but an American/European system with no thumbplate.


I have found a couple of Howarth B models for £500. They look open holed and wood. Am I better off waiting for something like that instead over the Selmer Sterling?



Post Edited (2021-05-17 14:37)

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-05-17 22:12
Attachment:  corkpads.jpg (171k)

Howarth B models were made by both Prestini and Orsi - the early ones don't have a forked F vent and the later ones from the '80s onwards do as well as being both ring key or covered action. The other difference with Howarth B models compared to the other Italian imports is the Howarth ones have the bore reamed with Howarth reamers.

The problem with eBay is many instruments are listed saying 'recently overhauled' or words to that effect which may or may not be true. Even if they say they've been 'fully overhauled', the quality of the work may be questionable or they may have been overhauled, but several years ago and have clocked up plenty of mileage since then.

I had one come to me for a service which was sold as having been fully overhauled and checked by an oboe specialist, only all the cork pads were hewn from sheet cork full of pores and it was completely unplayable. See attachment as that's what the pads looked like. I had to completely overhaul it for the buyer as there was no way they'd have been able to play it as it was when they got it.

Chris.

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-05-17 23:49

I've just had a look at the two Howarth B models on sale at £499 and both are listed as 'seller refurbished'.

The one in the blue lined case is the newer of the two and has a low B-C link which means you can do a low B-C# slur much easier than ones without that link. The one in the new case with the burgundy lining is a much older one and doesn't have the raised tonehole bush for LH3.

As for the 'seller refurbished' part, I don't like the look of those tenon corks on either of them and it also looks like they may have used leather pads on the newer one.

Chris.

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-05-18 15:01

Are you on Facebook? Please contact me as I've noticed something about the Yamaha oboe which I think is too important for you to ignore.

Chris.

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: louM 
Date:   2021-05-18 16:03

Oh dear I am even more lost now :D So are leather pads not ideal? I found another seller (with the Selmer and B&H) who used leather pads...

And I don't really do fb, let me see what I can do. Thanks for your help!!



Post Edited (2021-05-18 16:06)

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-05-18 17:38

Leather pads in the largest pad cups are fine, so long as they're high quality. But leather pads everywhere else doesn't make for a positive feel. Oboes normally have cork pads and leather for the largest ones whereas older oboes used skin pads that aren't all that durable. Leather pads are better suited to clarinets and saxes.

I've just got your message and replied to you over on Facebook.

Chris.

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 Re: boosey and Hawkes regent oboe vs selmer sterling oboe
Author: louM 
Date:   2021-05-21 03:09

I don't know what happened to my reply here! I must have forgotten to hit send!

But it was something along the lines of 'I now realise I have more to learn besides actually learning how to play the instrument'. What have I gotten myself into? :D But actually really excited for a new challenge.

Thanks Chris!

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