Oboists, go here and then check out the recommended instruments. Gee, the professional level page seems to be missing just a few brands. Or more.

Hey … Woodwind Brasswind, you are somewhat incomplete, and you carry some brands that are pretty darn bad.

Note to buyers: you get what you pay for the majority of the time.


  1. Yikes. One wonders who they’ve consulted for their ‘recommended’ items.

  2. Quoting from the site: “Our best selling oboe! The Renard 330 intermediate oboe, by Fox, is ideal for students through high … ”

    Er…uh…see, the thing about “intermediate” and “students through high school” is that they’re not (usually) professionals. Or is that just me?

    (Please note that this is in no way meant to impugn the qualities of the brand/model of oboe mentioned, but to point out a seeming inconsistency in the website listing it as a perfeshinal instermunt.)

  3. Buying an oboe is such a tricky thing for those who don’t know anything about them. Most of the time it’s parents of young oboe students, and they read those pages and buy a cheap instrument. And they get what they pay for. Which is why students really need an instructor or at least someone “in the know” to help them (and, if they are kids, help their parents).

    Of course all of us instructors are so darn opinionated … and many of us disagree with each other on which is the “best”. Go figure.

    But yes, one does wonder who WWBW consulted for the recommended oboes, and yes, very seldom are high school students professional musicians. (I actually joined the union in high school, which technically made me a “professional” I suppose. I joined so I could play in muni-band … which my high school director conducted. Hmmm. Not sure I was really at the appropriate level … but I honestly thought I was the best oboist ever back then. Funny how that works! The older I get the more I know I don’t know. You know?)

    Anyway … ramble ramble … the pages just make me want to discourage people from buying from WWBW, even though some of those instruments would be just fine, I’m sure.

    But if anyone buys a bare bones Selmer they can count on me sending them out my studio door! (Probably the same would go for the higher up the line Selmer, but I suppose I should at least try it out first. To be nice and all.)

    Ramble ramble … over and out.

  4. lolz, this reminds me of the conversation my mom had with my local music store. (I SO wish it had been me) Basically, I wanted them to bring in a bunch of oboes for me to try so I could get a feel for things. But they kept trying to sell me the Renard 330! The conversation apparently went something like this,

    salesperson: She should definately get the Renard 330
    my mom: well she’s looking for an instrument to play in college and after, and that’s what she has now…
    salesperson: It’s a proffesional level instrument! You school instruments are sometimes kind of old and not well taken care of, you shouldn’t write the brand off because of that.
    m: I know, but she wants a wooden instrument (good sound logic blablabla)
    s: She should get a Fox 330. Steve Secan–principle of Columbus Symphony (insert prayer hear)– plays a Fox.

    I’ve seen Steve Secan’s oboe–it’s a Loree. I think he might have another one that’s a Fox though. Not a 330. Uugh, stupid people.

    I’m almost as annoyed by people who say I *must* get a Loree though. That’s not true either.

    On another note! I’m told pro doublers often use Fox 330s if oboe’s not their main instrument. This I can believe, though I know little about it.