I need an Oboe for my son. He has played Sax for 5+ years.
Now he wants to play Oboe. I do not want to rent.
Do you have one at a very reasonable price ?

I read this online. I’m just not sure what a person can say to such a question. I mean … sure, many could offer this guy an oboe at a reasonable price.

1) Someone could sell a horrible instrument for under $1,000. The price would be “reasonable” … right?
2) Someone could sell a Fox Renard for something like … are they around $3,000 now? That’s reasonable for what you are getting.
3) Someone could sell a professional model oboe for $7,000 and that’s not an unreasonable price these days for a professional oboe.

So I think he’s asking the wrong question. Or at least asking the question the wrong way.

I have suggestions for buying oboes. So does Martin Schuring.

If anyone wants to know what I think, feel free to contact me. I’ll quickly say, though, that you nearly always get what you pay for. You should buy an oboe with all the keys, doggone it … don’t skimp! The oboe should have the left F and low B flat, NO question. I also prefer the articulated C# even for the younger student, so you don’t regret missing that later one. (I don’t accept students for longer than one month if they don’t have an oboe with a left F.) You shouldn’t just order an oboe online and not have a trial period to test it out. If you are a student have your teacher have you help you with your purchase decision. If you do order an oboe online because they are so much cheaper than going through a reputable dealer, just keep in mind you’ll have to take it to someone to have it adjusted. I’ve never had a student buy an oboe at one of these places without then having to spend more money to get it adjusted properly.

Any questions? I’m here. 🙂


  1. I don’t believe you can get a new oboe for less than $900, and I don’t believe you can get a decent one for less than maybe $3,500 (based on my research). So, in my opinion, it would behoove one to rent an oboe until one has decided whether or not one wishes to continue. And starting off with inferior equipment is certainly a Bad Idea(TM) with any instrument, let alone the more challenging ones (which also tend to be the more expensive ones). So, a “reasonable” price for a decent oboe would be between $3,000 and $8,000, depending on the axe, in my opinion, for new or used in good condition (and I’m aware it’s not difficult to pay more).

    This, of course, assumes that he’s planning to make a switch vs. just adding oboe to his doubling repertoire.

  2. Interesting idea, limiting lessons for students with less-than-adequate equipment. I can see two sides to that coin, but it’s definitely a tempting idea to put a little pressure on the student/parents to get a decent instrument.

  3. I have so many students, so I’m blessed to be able to set limits like this. In addition, I just can’t deal with bad instruments. Not learning left F from the start does great harm as far as I’m concerned. And I’m speaking from personal experience! 🙂