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Best French Horn 2024: Brass Geeks LOVE These Double Horns!!

What french horns do professionals play? Which French horn should you buy? We reveal all...

Looking for the ‘best’ French Horn? Well, we hate to break it to you, but… there’s no such thing!

No – seriously! While other blogs may broadcast that the best French Horn is ‘Horn X’ or ‘Horn Y’, we prefer to take a more rounded approach. That’s because not only do we recognise that not all French Horns are made equal. But we also understand that not all French Horn players are carbon copies either. So naturally, what’s the best Horn for one, is going to be sub-par or potentially even the worst for another.

But with that being said, there is one area of buying a French Horn where virtually all players are in agreement. Double French Horns are by far some of the most complex to play. That being because unlike your single horns, Double French Horns have two tubes (opposed to one), both tuned to different pitches. Usually these are pitched to F & B Flat. Exactly why you won’t find many beginners picking up a Double Horn, unless of course they want to dive in at the deep end.

However, for those of you who’ve mastered Single French Horns, or just want to challenge yourself, keep reading and we’ll dissect 13 of the best French Horns that you can buy today + paint you a vague picture of who we think would play them.

Want to track down something specific about the best French Horn? Or want to learn more about the difference between a French Horn and a Double Horn? Use the menu below to find all the answers you need in 1 click…

an assortment of the best french horns being reviewed by experts

NOTE: Interested in more about French Horns? Be sure to check out out rundowns of the Best French Horn Cases + the Most Popular French Horn Mutes too.

They say you shouldn’t stereotype these days. Which is most cases is completely true, however when it comes to tracking down the best French Horn, we beg to differ. That’s because (as hinted at above) every French Horn player is different, just like every French Horn you can buy. So if you’re to have any hope of tracking down the best French Horn for you, you’re going to at least need some form of guidance.

Exactly why we’ve decided to go against convention for this French Horn review and not only give you our honest opinion on these 13 Double Horns, but also give you a brief summary (vague stereotype) of the type of person who’d play them… you can thank us later :)

1: Conn 8D (CONNstellation Series) double nickel horn

While this classic French Horn may make purists squirm, we’re HUGE fans of it. And that’s because while there is a certain stigma around this horn (many hornists despise the 8D as much as the Mellophone), when it comes to putting a finger on the best French Horn, we’d say the 8D gets pretty darn close.

The sound you get from this instrument is sensational! For any budding soloist, we’d say hand’s down that it’s the way to go. That’s because once you compare the 8D to other horns, you soon realise just how good of a balance it really is. The large throat bell of this Geyer horn allows for impressive levels of volume. As does its nickel silver construction, which we’re convinced helps to amplify the richness of its sound. Compare the 8D to a Yellow Brass alternative & you’ll soon sense a difference.

A sound that may we add, is pronounced, rounded and yet, isn’t too bright. Brightness being a major flaw of cheaper French Horns and a trait we’re pleased to say the 8D shies away from. Playing this horn is a joy too. The 4 valves are smooth to operate and the Conn 7BW mouthpiece makes funnelling air into this horn a breeze. That 311mm bell should also make any keen hand hornist very chuffed.

And that’s what makes the 8D a strong contender for the title of the best French Horn. It’s sheer amount of adjustability allows you to have real control over your sound. Then again, such a sound is something you’d expect, as the 8D isn’t a new addition to the French Horn family. Conn 8Ds stem all the way back to 1937, so really this horn isn’t just a musical instrument. If anything, it’s a slice of musical history.

  • This horn has a fixed bell.

Who’d say the Conn 8D is the best French horn?

Those who opt for a CONNstellation Series horn are usually seasoned pros. Those after a strong & pronounced sound, which you get with this horn thanks to its large throat nickel bell. Although this certainly be a bad choice for a beginner either. This horn really does sing!

  • Pro rating: 10/10
professional french horn glinting in the sunlight

2: Holton H379 double French horn

Sorry – but you cannot discuss the best French horns without at least touching on the H379 by Holton. A horn that’s (there’s no other word for it) the result of exquisite craftsmanship.

See, unlike a lot of French horns, the H379 is manufactured in the USA, not China. A key difference that really does shine through, both in regards to sound & build. Get hands on with the Holton & from the first blow, you’ll immediately sense its impressive tone. While some French horns can sound a tad bright, the Holton is the reverse. The sound is rich and swimming in depth… the H379 has great puts a LOT of budget horns to shame!

And it’s the same story when you consider build quality. Then again, being a pricey horn with an RRP in the £1000s, you’d expect that. For us, there’s 2 stand out features of this horn’s build. One being the seams, which use a different (more durable) technique to those you’ll find on most horns; the seams on the Holton are overlapping seams, opposed to butt seams. A subtle, but albeit obvious sign of quality.

The other being the rotor valves, which aside form being hand fitted are also designed with longevity in mind. Unlike you’ll find on a lot of French horns, the rotors on the Holton are tapered. Yet another nifty detail that’s direct proof of the brand’s reputation for quality; tapering the valve rotors enables them to seat regardless of wear. So if you’re searching for a reliable workhorse, Holton pretty much have you covered.

  • The bell on this instrument is fixed.

Who’d say the Holton H379 is the best French horn?

Buy this French Horn & chances are you’re after a consistent well-balanced tone that doesn’t perhaps come at the same premium as other French Horns. You’re also a fans of being subtle too, because unlike 99% of horns, it’s not golden brass – it’s nickel silver.

  • Pro rating: 9.5/10

3: Levante HR 6515 F double French horn (with case)

When it comes to professional-grade French horns, the HR6515 is certainly a front runner.

Made of 100% gold brass & varnished to high heaven, this horn both feels & sounds like a quality instrument. At just over 2.5kg, it has a good weight to it & out of all the horns on this list, was (for us) the most comfortable to hold. All of which makes unleashing this horn’s party-piece (it’s unique sound) a joy too. We can’t get enough of the silver-plated mouthpiece you get with this horn. Give it a blow & you see why.

The sound of this horn has a distinct character to it. One you’ll struggle to find in any other horn. It’s warm & brassy, yet full of character. For jazz musicians, it’s certainly one to consider; the HR6515 allows you to work some real attitude into what you play!! And what’s more, for a horn with a detachable bell, the sound is strong & projects a great distance. A rare occurrence that should have purists raising an eyebrow.

Heck, even the case is something to shout about. Having reviewed many French horn cases & gig bags in the past, we expected this (one you get included with the horn) to be sub par at best. But how wrong we were. The inner is nicely padded & the case overall seems very plush – more than sufficient at protecting the horn from dints & scrapes.

A pleasant surprise which makes the argument that the Levante 6515 is the best French horn, actually quite a convincing one. #JustSaying

  • With this horn, the bell is detachable.

Who’d say the Levante is the best French Horn?

Be you a seasoned professional or an intermediate player, the HR 6515 is a sound choice. We were pleasantly surprised by the tone of this horn, especially in relation to its price. So if you’re an Intermediate French hornist or above, don’t pass this by!

  • Pro rating: 8.5/10
hornist polishing their french horn

4: Hoyer Hans 6802 double French horn

As far as double French horns are concerned, the Hoyer Hans 6802 is a solid choice – 100%!!

We says so because for professionals at least, it ticks a LOT of boxes! We’re particular fans of the sound you get with this horn, that’s slightly more dark & studio-sounding than that you’d find with other horns on this list. So, if you’re looking to create a real atmosphere when you play, this instrument isn’t one to overlook. It has some real presence!

However, what really stood out to us about this French horn was how easy it is to play. Unlike a lot of cheaper intermediate or beginner French horns, the 6802 gives you a serious amount of control over your sound – to play, it’s no on/off switch! Even the smallest breaths creates an input, allowing you as a player to really regulate your sound & form a lot of warm, yet delicate tones.

Then again, we suppose that’s to be expected, because Hoyer Hans developed this horn in association with some of the globe’s most renowned French hornists. And aside from having the build quality to match, this French horn is also joy to hold. While some horns have a fixed finger hook, the one of Hoyer Hans is adjustable – a small, yet useful easter egg! In fact, the only real complaint we’d have about this horn would be the case.

For the price, we’d have liked some form of hard-case, opposed to a gig bag, but eh – you can’t have everything right. Could that make the 6802 the best French horn for sale today? Potentially.

  • The bell on this instrument is detachable. BUT you can also get a non detachable version too.

Who’d say the 6802 is the best French Horn?

In the eyes of either a seasoned pro, intermediate player or at the very least, an advancing student, this horn has serious potential. Call it a slightly more fine-tuned Conn 8D (above).

  • Pro rating: 9.5/10

5: Yamaha YHR 567 geyer double horn

If what you look for in a horn is something lightweight, yet responsive, then you’d be a fool to overlook any Yamaha French horn, especially the YHR 567.

And we don’t say that lightly. See this French horn stands out for a reason – as far as playability’s concerned, it’s near-on the perfect recipe. The stand-out feature for us is those valves, which are very much ‘Yamaha’ in nature – they really do move like lightening! So playing jazzy or slightly skittish tunes on this horn, takes very little effort.

We’re also fans of the Bb slide, which is slightly thicker than that you’ll find on most French horns. Then again, you have to expect some differences with the 567, because unlike most doubles, it’s actually a Geyer horn – i.e. the Bb rotor sits directly underneath all the other rotors. A small quirk that almost instantly = bragging rights. Speaking of which, the sound of the YHR 567 is also noteworthy too, especially when equipped with a custom Ron Pinc lead pipe.

The high end on this Yamaha blows that of the YHR 667 out of the water. It’s smooth, punchy & yet not overly sharp. A characteristic you struggle to find on even (quote on quote) the ‘best French horns’!! In fact, our only real niggle with the 567 would be the trigger, which can be a tad slow to respond during fast-paced play.

But then again, 90% of the time that’s not really an issue – the Yamaha YHR 567 is exceptional value, to the point that writing this review has made us a tad reluctant about selling ours. From an owner to an owner, this is 1 special horn!!

  • This horn has a fixed bell.

Who’d say the YHR 567 is the best French Horn?

The person who buys this Yamaha French horn, is likely chasing a quality horn that’s designed for frequent use. Few players of the YHR 567 do so as a casual hobby. They also understand the fundamentals of French horn & appreciate how the YHR 567 can make everyday play so much more involving.

  • Pro rating: 9.5/10
french horn instrument being played as part of a brass band

6: Jupiter JHR 1100D geyer double horn

When in search of the best French Horn, you simply have to consider the JHR 1100D from Jupiter. Why is simple – this horn is all about precision. In fact, it uses Jupiter’s state-of-the-art instrument know-how to make the sound one of the malleable (& accurate) of any French horn to date! A major reason for which, comes back to the brass formulation used to create the horn’s body.

However, it’s the rose brass lead pipe that’s (for us) the star of the show, as it gives this horn a real warmth & tonal colour that you don’t find in every horn. So as you’d imagine, when played as part of a group performance, the Jupiter’s almost instantly recognisable. And yet, being a geyer horn with a big bell, its somewhat delicate sound, projects really far. The 1100D is one of the best double horns when it comes to volume & register!

Combine that with this horn’s smooth rotary valves + the fact it’s super comfortable to hold, & for any budding soloist, it’s pretty much ideal. Its sound is one of the best in class, that lacquered finish makes it proper durable & when it comes to £££, it won’t set you back as much as you might think.

Yes, you only get a wooden case if you opt for a fixed bell (detachable bell models get a gig bag), but when you consider the figures in comparison to the equivalent Hoyer Hans or Yamaha French horn, the 1100D suddenly becomes an incredibly convincing argument.

YouTube video
  • The bell on this French Horn is fixed, BUT you can also specify for it to be detachable too.

Who’d say the 1100D is the best French Horn?

Performers and soloists alike, gravitate towards the 1100D. Its bold, but rounded sound really does set it apart during a professional live performance. Although with that being said, this horn is also a great starting point. For any beginner, the 1100D is a great way to transition into a double horn.

  • Pro rating: 8.5/10

7: Stagg 77-FHD/FC Double French Horn (with case)

SPOILER: While there are some Stagg instruments that we’re (let’s just say) not too fond of, that’s thankfully NOT the case with their French horns. If anything, it’s the reverse! Ask us & as an intermediate player, the 77-FHD is pretty much all you need.

So yeah – there are more pricey French horns out there, that offer slight improvements in build or sound – the Conn 8D & those horns by Hoyer Hans & Yamaha, for instance. However, as far as all-round packages go, Stagg French horns are (to us at least) quite appealing. Take this geyer horn for instance.

Despite the price, it’s lacquered, has a strong set of valves & produces a really inviting warm sound. And what’s more, to play this horn is surprisingly easy. Regulate your breathing & you can eeek out an incredible amount of delicate & rich tones. Something we really didn’t expect from a double horn at this price range. Even the valves on the 77-FHD are noteworthy too – their fast action giving you a lot of flexibility when it comes to fast-paced play.

The high end is also something worth mentioning, as while it does take a bit to master, when you do, WOW does it sound the part. Couple that with the fact that Stagg include a really plush case with this horn, & as far as we can see, there’s little to complain about. If we had to though, we’d say that you do get slightly more valve noise than you would on perhaps a Hoyer Hans or Yamaha French horn, but really that’s just us being picky.

For any intermediate player, the 77-FHD does the job… & then some

  • The bell of this instrument is detachable.

Who’d say the Stagg is the best French Horn?

That’d be someone who’s likely making the leap up from a beginner French horn to a double, without setting themselves back £1000s. In many ways, Stagg have done what a lot of French horn brands have failed to do. They’re created a budget all-rounder that doesn’t feel ‘budget;’

  • Pro rating: 7.5/10
Yamaha french horn used alongside the Conn 8D

We could go on days about the best French horns, but unfortunately that’s time we don’t have.

So while we’ve reviewed our top picks in detail, there were also a LOT of other worth contenders that we’d also encourage you to check out before making a purchase. Keep reading for a peek at our other notable mentions…

8: Holton H378 double French horn

9: Conn 6D double French horn

10: Yamaha YHR-668NII crosspiece double French horn

11: Holton H179 Double French Horn

player with their hand inside the bell of a french horn

In the case you’re new to French Horn & fancy trying your luck with a double, then you’d don’t need to spend a lot of £$€

Because when it really boils down to it, you’re buying a French Horn to get a feel for it – less so sculpt a professional-grade sound straight out of the box. Point being that beginner french horns DON’T have to be perfect!! Think of them more as a learning tool, than a super serious instrument.

Hence why if we were a beginner looking to play a double French Horn, we’d opt for something affordable that’s got solid reviews & produces a fine sound. Ask us & if this sounds like what you’re after, the following horn will likely fit the bill…

12: Mendini Double French Horn

Are you a beginner who wants to start on a double horn? Or just want to get a feel for a double before investing in a more pro-grade instrument? If so, then this budget French horn by Mendini, would make for the ideal starting point.

See, aside from being a fraction of the £££ you’d pay for a Jupiter or Yamaha French horn, on the whole, it actually plays pretty well. Now granted, the sound is nowhere near as rich in depth or sculpted as that you’d get on a more professional double, however for a keen beginner, it’s certainly – i.e. for learning the French horn & finding your feet, it’s good enough. And surprisingly, this same trend continues when you touch about build quality.

We were pleasantly surprised by how solid this Mendini horn felt. Considering the price, we expected it to feel a lot less ‘sorted’. The bell for instance, doesn’t feel overly tinny – it’s made of brass. The lead pipe also feels solid & even the valves have a good weight to them. Although with that being said, if you do buy this horn, remember that it’s a budget horn. So to get the best out of it, you need to treat it with care.

Valve strings for instance, are liable to snap pretty easily if you play rough & in comparison to more professional double horns, the Mendini is more liable to dints & scrapes. Then again though, when you consider that learning the French horn only takes around a year (2 for a casual player), this horn does seem like a wise choice, especially if you’re a fast learner.

  • This horn has a fixed bell.

Who’d say the Mendini is the best French Horn?

The typical player of the Mendini would be someone who’s (A) on a budget, or (B) after a horn which they can use to get a feel for a double horn. Basically, a beginner or lower intermediate player who’s looking to make the leap to double horn.

  • Beginner rating: 9/10
cheap french horn for beginners

If we had to narrow down the best French Horn for sale, we’d find it quite hard to reach a solid conclusion, because (as we said earlier) there isn’t really a ‘best’ French Horn. All French Horn players are different, and have a unique relationship with their instrument. So to dub one as the best would be a bit naive. Although we have come to a conclusion…

When shopping for a Double French Horn, you’re likely one of two people: either a seasoned pro who’s out for an upgrade, or an intermediate player looking to step up from a Single F Horn. In which case, we’ve decided to split our conclusion down the middle and reveal our top 2 French Horns in relation to who you are. So without further ado, we’d say the….

Best French Horn for professional players = Conn 8D double nickel French Horn

Reason? This French Horn is arguably the best of both worlds. Not only is it incredibly flexible and gives you the scope to really grow your sound, but the actual sound itself is really balanced. Out of all the horns on this list, the Conn 8D sounded (to us) the least bright. The tone of this horn is rich, punchy, but can also be rather mellow too. That’s because the response of the Conn 8D is its real party piece.

Blow into this horn and you can almost always predict the sound that’s going to come out the other end. We’re proper fans of the relationship between this horn and its player. In fact, that explains why this horn has been so popular over the past centuries. Yes, it may not have the best reputation – Conn made a fair few slip-ups to get the 8D to where it is today. But without those ‘slip-ups’ the 8D wouldn’t be a patch on the horn you can pickup today. One that we’d be tempted to say is the best French Horn any pro hornist can buy.

But if you’re not a seasoned pro, then you may want to consider our next option. Because if you ask us, the…

Best French Horn for intermediate players = Jupiter 1100D Double Horn

A horn that we think is ideal for intermediates due to its accuracy. Just like the Conn, this Jupiter French Horn is really easy to gauge. So much so that playing this horn doesn’t turn into guesswork. Blow into this horn and you can be confident of the sound you’ll produce. there’s none of this ‘crossing your fingers’ and ‘hoping for the best’ malarky. Exactly what you want if you’re looking to make a smooth progression from a Single to a Double Horn.

What’s more, in terms of build and overall fabrication, we found the Jupiter really quite impressive. The welding work is done on par to that you fiond with the Conn (above), and the actual sound only differs slightly too. We found the Jupiter to be a little less soft, but equally as balanced. And yet, when you look at the figures, the Jupiter is going to be the clear favourite.

So while it doesn’t perhaps have the heritage or nickel silver finish of the Conn, it is in many ways the same. A high-end horn that performs well & offers a really solid response, yet comes in at near-on half the price. Ask us and for any intermediate player in search of a quality, this is pretty much the winning combo. But does that make it the best French Horn for sale today? To the right person – yes!

Enjoy this review of the best double french horns & eager for more? Be sure to jump inot all our Advice On Brass Instruments, as well as our extensive Musical Instrument Knowledge. Recently, we also published an article on the Best Pocket Trumpets + another on the Best Plastic Trumpet, which may also be worth a read.

horn player inspecting their horn whilst oiling the valves

Or if you want to continue with our best French Horn review, be sure to dive into the FAQs below…

Much as the name suggests, the main difference between a French Horn and a Double French Horn is their level of difficulty.

For beginners, Single Horns are ideal as they only have one tube, which is usually tuned to F. Whereas for professionals (but also intermediate) players, Double French Horns tend to be a better bet. This is because a Double French Horn comes with 2 tubes, tuned to F and B flat. So as you can imagine, they’re more complex to play.

This also means you can easily tell the difference between a French Horn and a Double Horn by their sound. The F of a Single Horn will sound far lower and have more bass, than that of a more high pitched double. Aside from Single and Double Horns, you can also get a Triple Horn. However, you rarely see these being used, even by professionals.

In the eyes of most, the best French Horn is either a double or single, depending on their level of skill and capabilities.

The value of a Double French Horn can vary quite substantially.

Shop smartly and you can pick up a decent Double for around £700. However, depending on how much you have to spend + the sound you’re after, this can differ. And by ‘differ’ we mean rise; some of the most prestigious Double French Horns can set you back over £10,000!! But with that being said, there is reason behind that substantial gap in price. Three include…

  • Breed of horn – There are two distinct breeds of horn: a Kruspe and a Geyer. Usually you’ll find that Kruspe Horns will be made of Nickel Silver, while your Geyer Horns will be made of yellow Brass. So therefore, your Kruspe Horns will give you a bigger and warmer sound, while your Geyer Horns will create a sound that’s slightly more bright.
  • French Horn Brand – As much as material and manufacturing technicalities play their part, Brand can be a HUGE driver behind the price of a French Horn. Fact is, if a brand has a reputation for quality and has had their horns featured with professional orchestras/ notable public figures, then chances are that there’ll be some sort of ‘brand premium’ behind the price.
  • Detachable bells – Yep, if you’re the ‘on the go’ type of musician, you can even get your hands on a horn which has a detachable bell. All of which makes the chore of transporting your horn 10 times easier. And while of course the sound from horns with this modification can differ, there’s little evidence to suggest that fixed bell horns sound better than those with a detachable. In fact, it’s something that’s got French Horn purists at lock-heads!

While single horns are great for beginners, Double Horns (thanks to their dual tubing) allow you to have greater accuracy over across the scale. Therefore, with a Double Horn you tend to get a more rounded sound, yet also have more range to play with too.

So as you can imagine, whether you’re in an orchestra setting or going solo, a Double French Horn is always going to be better suited than a Single F Horn. And that’s the whole point + why Double French Horns are such a hit with Brass fanatics. As far as French Horns go, they’re the gymnast – the most flexible of the two.

Single French horns are by far the most common because they’re very much the entry-level option.

Being aimed at beginners means that while these Horns tend to be more popular, they’re more of a ‘transition’ instrument than anything. Your average F Horn will last a student around 1-2 years. So yes, the reason you see less Double Horns is partially to do with the price, but also due to the fact that only a certain amount of those who take up the French Horn actually stick it out to the point at which levelling up to a Double `Horn makes sense.

Exactly why if you’re a Double Horn player, you’re one of a rare breed!

Spoiler: A Double French Horn isn’t the lightest horn that you can buy.

Being made out of metal (usually a form of Brass/ Nickel), French Horns do have a fair weight to them. Especially Double Horns, as compared to a Single F Horn they have near-on twice as much tubing – the only real potential drawback we can see of that added B flat.

But then again, whether that extra weight presents an issue, is merely a matter of preference. So while the weight of a Double Horn could prove problematic, you could also say that it tones your arms. Hardly a bad thing if you’re not a fan of the gym.

Depending on what French Horn you buy, the material it’s made of can differ. Although it will be some form of metal. The most common three are…

  • Yellow Brass – This is an alloy made up of copper & zinc. Usually Yellow Brass contains in-between 60-70% copper.
  • Rose Brass – This is the form of brass which has the highest copper content, at around 90%! French Horn players opt for this as it’s said to create a warmer & more mellow tone.
  • Nickel Silver – Don’t be mistaken! This metal has no silver content whatsoever. It’s merely nickel that’s dubbed as ‘nickel silver’ because of its silvery complexion.

However, it’s not always clear to tell which metals a French Horn is made of, due to the fact they can also come plated, as well as just bare metal. What’s more, you can even get French Horns which are lacquered or unlacquered too. As you’d imagine, unlacquered horns require more care, especially those which are made of Yellow Brass. Fail to care for these and your French Horn could soon start to turn green!

So while that does make lacquered horns appear the more obvious choice, some experts do maintain that this extra lacquer can dull the sound. Consider the protection it provides thought and we’d say it’s a trade-off worth making.

Out of all the brass instruments out there, there French Horn has the widest tonal range!

The actual sound is known for being warm, but equally rich and soft. And this goes for both Single F Horns, and Doubles too. The difference with the Double Horn comes when you compare the tonal range. With two notes (F & B flat) opposed to just F, the Double is also capable of reaching a higher pitch. A characteristic that all-in-all makes it a more flexible instrument.

Ask us and the best French Horn when judged on sound, simply has to be a double horn!

The French Horn doesn’t just face backwards to be different – there is an actual purpose behind its shape.

The main one being sound. You see, originally the French Horn wasn’t designed for the orchestra. It’s actual purpose was to be a signalling instrument that you’d find in the hands of a fox hunter (vegans cringe). A blow of the horn would often signal the direction of the hunt to the hunting party, or be an order for them to pounce. Hence why the French Horn faces backwards.

If you’re hunting the last think you want to do is alert your prey directly in front of you to the fact that you’re poised with a shotgun & about to pounce. Over the years, hunters also found that by putting their hand inside the horn’s bell, they could alter the notes. This technique was dubbed as ‘hand horning’.

Want to know more about ‘Why French Horn Players Put Their Hand In The Bell?’ Click that neon link for the full lowdown.

While French horn players don’t quite experience the same level of fame that guitarists, drummers or singers do, that’s not to say there aren’t any who’ve gained ‘worldwide’ status. There are. Here’s 3 French Horn players that are known worldwide for their skills with a Double Horn…

  • Radek Baborak – You could say that being born into a musical family meant that Radek was almost destined to become a prestigious horn player. He started playing the French Horn at just 8 years of age! To date, he’s played as part of many influential orchestras from across the world.
  • Hermann Baumann – It was only in his late teens that Hermann decided to make the transition into playing the French Horn. Previously he’d specialised in vocals & playing the jazz drums. From taking up the French Horn at 17, Hermann got the opportunity to perform alongside various orchestras, before turning his love of playing he French Horn into a fully-fledged solo career. Today, he’s commonly regarded as one of the best French Horn players.
  • Sarah Willis – Willis is a French Horn player who can often be spotted playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and hosting music events. She’s one of the few French Horn players to gain influence across Europe and began playing the horn at just 14!

Students tend to stay on Single F Horns for somewhere around 1-2 years, so you could call them more of a short-term purchase. However Double Horns are virtually the reverse.

In terms of playability, a professional could stay on a Double Horn for the rest of their career. Yes, you could go one step further and upgrade to a Triple Horn, but really we’d only advise that if you’re a full-time horn player. Triple Horns are the most expensive French horn you can buy, with the majority of high quality Triples costing well over £10,000!!

And as for wear and tear, all sizes of French Horns can last a long time – 10+ years – if you keep up to them on a regular basis. It might sound like a petty chore, but making the effort to clean your horn regularly can have a substantial impact on its lifespan. We’d always recommend you invest in some form of Ultrasonic cleaning at least once a year, on-top of regular maintenance.

To learn more about the importance of cleaning your French horn (especially a more pricy double), be sure to check out our recent blog on the Best French Horn Cleaning Kits.

Out of all the Brass Family, the French Horn is that kooky alternative cousin, who wears oversized glasses and has a slightly mysterious side to them. And nope – we haven’t lost the plot. Check out these kooky reasons why the French Horn is different…

  • Despite being Brass, the French Horn doesn’t feature in the majority of brass bands.
  • When uncoiled, a double horn amounts to a whopping 18ft of tubing!!
  • The player’s hand inside the French horn allows them to alter the notes + keep in tune.

Buying a French Horn, be it Single or Double, is a BIG decision.

Let’s face it, Horns aren’t the cheapest of instruments. Neither are they the most common, hence why being clued up on what to look for in a French Horn is vital. So with that in mind, here’s 2 things to consider when buying a French Horn….

  • Value for money – When you’ve got a whole world of French Horns to sift through, the first (and easiest) way to cull your options is to know your budget. But don’t be fooled into thinking that any horn in that price range is right for you! You see, the price is only half the story. It’s the value that you get for the price that really matters. So when searching for the best French Horn, be sure to make a lot of comparisons.
  • A quality brand – Now, we know it sounds a bit snobby, but the brand of a horn can actually make a substantial difference! Why? Because it’s usually a good indicator of quality. Go for a brand that’s known to make Horns for professional orchestras and you’ll likely get a better build than a cheap unbranded knock-off made in China. In most cases, even a professional brand’s budget horn is likely to be on par (or potentially better) than that of an unknown brand. Moral of the story: buy quality!